If your elderly relative has been the victim of physical abuse, medication theft, financial exploitation, or other forms of nursing home abuse, hiring an attorney can be very beneficial.
6 Ways a Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help
Every case is different, but there are 6 ways a nursing home lawyer can help you get justice for your loved one.
- Interpret the Law. Nursing homes have a legal duty of care to provide a safe environment for residents, but what this means isn't always clearly spelled out. For example, there is no specific staffing level requirement for nursing homes even though understaffing increases the risk of resident injury. A lawyer can review requirements for facilities and develop a case that best demonstrates how the nursing home's conduct meets the standard of negligence. If appropriate, a lawyer can also build a case for awarding punitive damages as part of the settlement.
- Document the Damages. Nursing home abuse can provoke intense reactions in the friends and family of the victim, but emotional responses aren't considered evidence in a court of law. A skilled lawyer can help document the damages your loved one has suffered, including obtaining expert witnesses to testify about specific aspects of the case. This maximizes eligibility for compensation.
- Handle the Effects of Financial Abuse. Often, financial exploitation is an overlooked type of nursing home abuse. If your loved one was defrauded in an investment or insurance scam or someone with power of attorney mismanaged assets, a nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to recover the affected property or assets.
- Allow You to Focus on Your Loved One's Recovery. If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to be able to devote your attention to her mental and physical well-being. Having a skilled lawyer to handle the case ensures that you can receive a fair settlement without taking time away from your loved one's care.
- Persuade the Nursing Home to Do the Right Thing. Although there are many caring and compassionate people who work in nursing homes, it's important to keep in mind that a nursing home is ultimately a business. The goal is to make a profit, which means keeping expenses down by minimizing damages and refusing to admit liability for the harm your loved one has suffered.
- Protect the Rights of Other Vulnerable Seniors. Nursing home abuse often goes unreported, so it's important to think of the vulnerable seniors who are in the same position as your loved one but don't have the support necessary to take legal action. By retaining a nursing home abuse lawyer, you may be able to inspire the changes necessary to protect the rights of other residents and prevent similar injustices from occurring in the future.
What You Need to Know
Before searching for a lawyer to handle a nursing home abuse case, there are a few things you should know:
- This area of the law is quite complex, so it's important to choose someone with specific experience in obtaining compensation for the victims of nursing home abuse.
- You must act quickly. There is a one-year statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases in the state of Louisiana.
- If your loved one suffers from dementia or a cognitive impairment that prevents her from understanding the legal process, you may be able to file the lawsuit on her behalf.
- If your loved one has passed away, you should contact a lawyer to file the claim on behalf of her estate.
- When a nursing home resident receives Medicaid or Medicare benefits to cover the cost of care, these programs will have a lien on a percentage of any funds recovered in the claim.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's dedicated legal team is committed to serving the needs of Louisiana residents who've suffered harm due to nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.588.6303 to schedule your free consultation.