At Lawyer Legion we created a directory of attorneys focused on nursing home abuse cases. You can search this list of personal injury attorneys by state, city, or zip code. Find profiles for different attorneys in a particular city or state. The profiles have information on the attorney's membership and leadership in legal organizations related to nursing home abuse, speaking engagements at quality CLE seminars, and participation in specialty certification programs.
Approximately 16,000 facilities act as nursing homes or long term care facilities for the elderly and disabled across the United States. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that those facilities have approximately 1,730,000 beds with an 86% occupation rate. The patients at these nursing home facilities require a special level of care.
Nursing home facilities must deliver a wide range of health and medical services to its residents, many of whom are not able to adequately and properly care for themselves. Nursing homes provide a wide range of services to their residents including vision, dental, hearing, nutrition, digestive, mental health, dementia, dermatology/skin care, wound maintenance and even hospice services.
What problems with abuse and neglect exist in nursing home or long term care facilities?
Many nursing homes and long term care facilities are shining examples of efficiency and organization when it comes to the care and treatment of the elderly. Unfortunately, other nursing homes are plagued with ineffective management, staffing problems and high employee turnover rates Problems with abuse and neglect can also exist at assisted living facilities.
The biggest problems in nursing homes are related to maintaining adequate staffing levels and financial resources in the nursing home facilities. As a general rule, the higher the ratio of caregivers to residents, the higher the quality of care provided. Many estimate that more than 90% of nursing homes in the United States have staffing levels too low to provide minimum levels of adequate care.
What is the Nursing Home Bill of Rights?
In most cases, state law governs lawsuit against nursing homes for negligent care. Many states have a version of their own Nursing Home Bill of Rights which detail minimum requirements for proper care and treatment of the elderly. The rights included are adequate medical care and treatment, properly documented written reports regarding complaints, and a respect for the privacy and dignity of the resident. The right to be free from abuse and neglect is among the most important rights recognized by the Nursing Home Bill of Rights.
Despite these lofty visions and aspirations for the care of the elderly, in many situations the elderly do not receive proper medical care and treatment. The manifestation of this inferior care is found in patient neglect, apathy, a lack of communication and little patient engagement. As a result of low staffing, patient’s mental and emotional needs are not met.
What happens when the level of care is poor?
When the patient’s physical and medical needs are not properly met and monitored a resident in a nursing home can suffer from certain physical ailments. When abuse or neglect is present, the elderly person might be plagued with nutritional and digestive problems. Inadequate care can results in falls and other injuries.
Without adequate staff, the residents personal hygiene often suffers because the elderly person has a difficult time taking care of his or her basic daily needs. Signs of inadequate staffing and inferior care often includes preventable skin lesions and pressure sores (often referred to as "bed sores"). Many of these conditions can result in major illness and suffering. In extreme cases, the neglect can cause death or permanent bodily injury.
What new laws or legislation to help the elderly?
Many states have recent Nursing Home legislation that establishes the rules for minimum care and treatment. Many of these state statutes control the litigation process and the damages one can receive when a suit is lodged against a nursing facility for injury or death of the resident.
The new laws often establish rules and regulations that might improve patient and resident care. These state statutes to regulate Nursing Homes set minimum staffing requirements. The goal of these regulations is to make certain the residents receive the care they require and the level of care they are entitled to. Unfortunately, these statutes, in many states, limit certain types of litigation awards for pain and suffering.
Many states have tightened procedures and enacted rules making it more difficult to maintain an action against a nursing home for abuse or neglect. Many states have imposed caps on non-economic damages and limit the imposition of punitive damages no matter how outrageous the wrongful conduct or neglect may be.
Selecting a Lawyer for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claim
Nursing home abuse cases are handled by civil trial law attorneys or personal injury attorneys. The lawyers who pursue abuse and neglect claims against nursing home and other residential facilities are trial lawyers who should have experience taking such cases to trial. Some personal injury attorneys focus a large percentage of their practice on nursing home abuse cases and represent the residents or their survivors in cases of neglect or abuse.
At Lawyer Legion we created our directory of personal injury lawyers to help the public find a qualified attorney in a variety of practice areas such as nursing home abuse. We organize attorneys according to the focus of their practice, their membership and leadership in organizations related to personal injury law, and other objective factors.
Use our online attorney directory to find the top nursing home abuse attorneys in the United States.
Article last updated on Friday, June 12, 2015.