When you entrust the care of your loved one to a nursing home, you reasonably expect the staff and facility will provide excellent care and medical treatment. However, if the nursing home violates your trust and subjects your loved one to abuse or neglectful actions, you can hold the facility, its administrators, and even individual employees accountable. A Marksville nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you achieve this goal.
Your loved one’s reliance on nursing home staff may make them vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Since many nursing home residents are unable to advocate for themselves, it is often up to family members to recognize signs of mistreatment. A compassionate personal injury attorney could help you recognize potential abuse, protect your loved one, and fight to remedy the situation.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Claims We can Help You Sue for
Legal claims alleging nursing home abuse and neglect cover many different behaviors. Since abuse can range from physical to financial to emotional in nature, it is often difficult to recognize. However, there are certain signs that may indicate abuse and help support a legal claim of neglect, including:
- Bedsores or pressures ulcers
- Dangerous falls due to inadequate support or lack of supervision
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Residents wandering away from the facility
Other types of injuries to nursing home residents may stem from non-physical abuse, such as emotional or financial mistreatment by staff members. Residents showing fear or discomfort around staff may be a sign of non-physical abuse.
Unfortunately, any type of abuse can exacerbate existing medical conditions and disabilities. Even for a healthy resident, abuse can lead to emotional stress, serious injuries, or death, which makes contacting a Marksville nursing home abuse attorney and taking legal action as soon as you suspect maltreatment all the more critical.
Recoverable Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Our lawyer serving Marksville can review your nursing home incident and go over your legal options as well as recoverable damages you could receive. The severity of these damages will determine how much compensation you could seek in your case. Upon review of the details and evidence in your situation, you may be able to recover economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages can be documented with receipts, invoices, work time cards, and other files. These include:
- Medical bills of the elder who was in nursing care
- Therapy to address the individual’s mental health needs
- Property damage or replacement if the property was damaged or stolen
- Lost wages if you are your loved one’s caregiver and had to take time off work
- Pain and suffering
If your loved one did not survive their abuse, you might qualify to pursue a wrongful death action against the liable party. You may be able to receive compensation for:
- Final medical expenses
- End-of-life care
- Funeral, burial, or cremation expenses
You may have additional expenses not listed here. You can speak with a Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers team member who can advise you further during a free consultation. We can answer your questions and possibly help you uncover additional damages in your case.
A Lawyer can Help You File an Administrative Complaint Against the At-Fault Agency
Nursing home residents have legal rights to appropriate care, as outlined in the Louisiana Nursing Home Bill of Rights. Any violation of these rights could make a nursing home, its administrators, and its staff liable for the injuries and harm the residents suffer.
Individuals who suspect a nursing home is mistreating, neglecting, or abusing a resident should be aware that nursing home abuse amounts to criminal activity in many cases. To start combating such behavior, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Marksville could help a suffering resident or their family members file an administrative complaint with the appropriate state agency.
After this initial report, a dedicated attorney could help plaintiffs file a legal action against the nursing facility. In the process, they could also help investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged abuse and collect evidence of understaffing, lack of employee oversight, or other factors that could contribute to neglect and support the claim.
Negligence as Grounds for a Personal Injury Action
Nursing homes have a responsibility to care for their residents and to maintain a certain quality of living. Much of nursing home abuse could be intentional, but sometimes, through situations like neglect, the harm is done unintentionally to residents. When a resident suffers mistreatment in Avoyelles Parish that was unintentional, he or she may be able to bring a lawsuit for negligence.
To bring a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care, that there was a breach in duty of care, and that the breach caused the plaintiff harm. Nursing homes owe a duty of care, or legal obligation, to their residents. The most difficult challenge would be to prove that through neglect or some unintentional act that failed to meet their duty, the nursing home or its officials caused injury or illness.
Federal Rights for Nursing Home Residents
To help prevent nursing home abuse, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. The Act sets forth a “bill of rights” that nursing home residents across the country are entitled to enjoy. These rights were put in place to protect, inform, and maintain quality care for nursing home residents.
Nursing home residents in Avoyelles Parish enjoy the following rights, in addition to others:
- The right to be free from mental abuse
- The right to be free from physical abuse
- The right to be free from corporal punishment
- The right to be free from involuntary seclusion
- The right to be free from restraints
The federal rights granted under the Act may not be replaced by State acts. Under the legal doctrine of “preemption,” if any state regulations are passed that limit a nursing home resident’s federal rights, those state regulations will be preempted, or trumped, by the federal rights granted under the Act.
State Rights for Nursing Home Residents in Avoyelles Parish
Louisiana has enacted its own laws to protect nursing home residents. Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §40:2010.8 lays out these state rights for residents, which include:
- The right to present grievances
- The right to immediate access to their personal physician
- The right to immediate access to family members
- The right to be informed and to have a copy of the nursing home rules and regulations
Nursing home abuse victims in Avoyelles Parish could turn to both their federal and state rights when seeking relief. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals created a Nursing Home Care Bluebook, which outlines these state rights. Although additional regulations and protections have been given under state law, many of the state rights also reaffirm the federal rights given under the Nursing Home Reform Act.
Allow a Marksville Nursing Home Abuse Attorney to Help You Today
Legal actions against nursing homes can be complex and time-consuming. However, a dedicated attorney could work diligently to protect your loved one and your interests. Call us today to discuss your claim and begin working toward a favorable outcome for your case.
We are a contingency fee firm, which means we can work on your case with no upfront fees. We get paid only if we recover compensation for you.