How to Choose the Right Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for Your Case
Placing a loved one in a nursing home facility can be one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make. Entrusting another person with the care of a loved one takes a leap of faith, so it can be a devastating event to discover that they have abused that trust— or your loved one.
Due to their physical frailty and mental state, nursing home residents are one of the most vulnerable populations to suffer from abuse or neglect. Often due to low staffing, high turnover rates, and poor employee training, many facilities fail to provide their residents with the expected standard of care.
So what can you do when you or a loved one has been victimized by nursing home abuse or neglect? And what type of lawyer should you choose to take legal action against the nursing home facility?
Pay Attention to Signs of Neglect or Abuse
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to distinguish from regular signs of aging or illness, so it’s crucial to document everything your loved one claims happened and to hold the staff accountable for their actions. By contacting an experienced nursing home attorney, you can ensure you are taking the proper steps to pursue future legal action. An experienced attorney will help you to collect the appropriate evidence and sort through the truth of the situation. Common warning signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Signs of dehydration, including weakness, confusion, and disorientation
- Unexplained weight loss
- Mood changes, such as lethargy or depression, which may indicate a lack of socialization for residents or over-medication
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Cuts, bruises, or wounds that may indicate physical abuse
- Bruises near the wrists or ankles which indicate restraints were used or forceful grabbing occurred
Because it is often difficult for victims of nursing home neglect or abuse to speak out because they either fear repercussions or physical communication limitations. They may also feel embarrassment or shame, so it’s important to support your loved one every step of the way and to protect them from any future threat of harm from their current residence.
How a Lawyer Can Help Victims of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
Any nursing home can be liable for criminal charges, financial damages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. A law firm with attorneys with expertise in nursing home abuse provides an excellent resource for seeking legal action against the facility that wronged you or your loved one. A great lawyer will help you to:
Understand Your Legal Options
An attorney will explain various nursing home regulations and abuse laws. They should also be able to calculate how much compensation you are entitled to for your damages.
Navigate the Legal Process
The legal system is complex, and it takes a knowledgeable expert to successfully guide you through every step of the legal system, including filing a report to negotiate for the settlement you deserve.
Receive Maximum Compensation
A skilled lawyer will always be on your side, arguing for the best trial verdict and negotiating with insurance companies so that you receive the maximum financial settlement.
What Types of Lawyers Should I Look For?
It is crucial to find an attorney that specializes in elder abuse. Most attorneys who handle nursing home abuse cases also accept cases related to medical malpractice, sexual assault, wrongful death, and other types of personal injury cases. However, it’s still important to ensure that any attorney you choose has specialized knowledge of the rules, regulations, and laws about nursing home abuse. While other law firms may accept nursing home abuse cases, make sure that whomever you hire has extensive experience handling cases of nursing home abuse and neglect.
How to Choose the Right Law Firm for a Nursing Home Abuse Case
When searching for an attorney to handle your case, look for someone who possesses the following characteristics:
- Experience Handling Nursing Home Abuse Cases
- Warm and Timely Communication with Clients
- Excellent Track Record for Winning Cases (check online for reviews and bar association records to verify a firm’s standing)
- Works on a Contingency Basis (meaning they do not charge you an upfront fee to take on your case)
- Specialization in Elder Abuse and Neglect
A law firm specializing in elder abuse will help you gather evidence, file a lawsuit, obtain the maximum settlement, and proceed to a trial by jury if necessary.
If you suspect that someone you love has been a victim of nursing home abuse, it’s essential not to ignore the early warning signs. Contacting a lawyer who can review the strength of your case offers a way to seek legal justice for those who have harmed your loved one.