As news unfolds about the deplorable conditions found in a Florida nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma, our thoughts and prayers turn to those who are suffering and those who have lost loved ones as a result of nursing home negligence or abuse. So much of our nation’s elderly population lives in residential facilities, and while some are exemplary in the care that they provide, others are cutting costs at the expense of appropriate care. In our practice, we see the impact that understaffing and cutting corners can have on the elderly and disabled residents, who are the mercy of the decisions of medical staff and administrators. But these stories rarely make the news.
With the national spotlight on The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, and people are asking what went wrong, we think it is a good time to reflect upon the law and how to deal with nursing home negligence.
Nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities are required by state and federal law to meet certain minimum standards. The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act and the North Carolina’s Licensure and Certification Protocols include specific regulations and provide for a detailed list of patient rights. Nevertheless, we see a large number of nursing home residents who are injured or even killed as a result of abuse and neglect in such facilities.
Our firm has handled claims involving all kinds of problems, including physical and sexual assaults, mishandled medications, bed sores, infections, sepsis, dietary issues, choking hazards, slip/trip and fall hazards, etc., that have occurred in nursing homes and residential care facilities. When these tragic incidents happen, the victims and their family members have many questions. Our job is to find the answers that can bring about accountability, prevention and compensation, as the case may be. We help to gather medical records, interview friends, family and other witnesses, and consult with medical experts to determine what went wrong and why. If appropriate, we can advise the victim or their loved ones on when, where and how to report nursing home abuse or negligence to the proper officials. We can also file a lawsuit if the facts warrant taking legal action. Such lawsuits often end with an agreed upon settlement or go to arbitration or a jury trial depending on the circumstances. We advise our clients on the right steps to take to help resolve their case to their satisfaction.
If you or a loved one has a question about nursing home abuse or negligence. Give us a call. We are here to help.