Nursing home abuse is shockingly common. According to one study, nearly one in four nursing home residents surveyed reported experiencing physical abuse. Mistreatment in senior care facilities may be even more prevalent than the study indicates, since many residents are unable to report abuse.
If you or a loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you might benefit from the legal advice and counsel of an Avoyelles Parish nursing home lawyer. A personal injury attorney with experience and dedication could help you determine if your rights have been infringed upon and could guide you through the process of receiving the care and recovery you seek.
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.
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 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.
Louisiana has enacted its own laws to protect nursing home residents. Louisiana Revised Statutes §40:2010.8 lays out these state rights for residents which include:
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.
You have entrusted your family member’s life to the care and hospitality of a nursing home. If he or she was mistreated and abused, the dangerous senior care facility could be held accountable. An experienced Avoyelles Parish nursing home lawyer might be able to help you exercise your rights and hold the nursing home accountable for its actions. Call now and schedule a consultation.