When you are faced with the abuse of a loved one, working closely with an attorney who will explain clearly all rights, options, and consequences can help to ensure that you make decision that are in your loved ones best interests. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
Learn About the Law on Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
If you have trusted a loved one's care to a nursing home, it can be devastating to see that loved one hurt or killed. At the Carter Law Offices, we take action on behalf of countless nursing home negligence and abuse victims, helping them and their families hold nursing homes accountable for the harm caused.
To learn more about the law on nursing home negligence and abuse, please read the information below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Injuries
Q: If a resident of a nursing home has no contract with the home, can he or she still sue the home for improper care?
A: Yes. Nursing home residents (or their survivors) who are harmed due to improper care by a nursing home may recover damages under several different legal theories, even in the absence of a contract.
Q: What rights do residents of nursing homes have?
A: The Medicare program requires nursing homes receiving funding to be free from verbal, sexual, physical and mental abuse, and any physical or chemical restraint that is imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience, rather than to treat a medical condition. If a nursing home is not regulated by federal statute, its residents will still have rights under state laws, which vary from state to state.
Nursing Home Injuries - An Overview
Individuals reside at nursing homes or long-term care facilities to ensure that they are well cared for. Patients may be any age; however, most nursing home patients are elderly persons who need assistance with basic care. Nursing homes provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Along with basic necessities, we expect residents to be treated with dignity and respect. Dignity and respect include the right to privacy, communication with loved ones, visitors, control over medical records/decisions and a good quality of life. However, sometimes nursing home residents do not have a good quality of life and are mistreated while in the care of a long-term facility. Mistreatment may be in the form of abuse, neglect or exploitation by a staff member or other individual in the care facility. If your loved one is a patient who has been harmed in a nursing home, contact an experienced and compassionate nursing home attorney at Carter Law Offices in Kansas City, MO, to learn about your legal options.
Negligence in the Nursing Home Setting
A nursing home is generally a facility that provides shelter, food and care for the sick, elderly or infirm. Different terms are used to describe a nursing home facility, such as: rest home, old age home, convalescent home, special care facility, assisted living facility or retirement facility. Nursing homes are often thought of as facilities for the elderly. While it is true that a majority of residents in nursing homes are elderly, residents may be a person of any age who is dependent either mentally or physically for care. Although these care facilities provide health care by trained professionals, they are not hospitals and may have different requirements according to state and federal law. A common state or federal requirement is that nursing homes must provide a general standard of care based on what similar caregivers and facilities provide in the community. Facilities that do not meet this general standard of care may be liable for violation of state and federal negligence laws.
What Your Rights Are as a Resident of a Nursing Home
The Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 is a federal law that guarantees to residents of nursing homes certain rights. In order to benefit from federal funding sources, such as Medicaid or Medicare, nursing homes must abide by the statutory requirements for resident rights guaranteed by the law. In general, the rights guaranteed under federal and state laws relate to quality of life, dignity, respect and the ability of residents to make their own choices.
Special Considerations in Proving Damages in Nursing Home Abuse
If a resident has been injured in the care of a nursing home facility or at the hands of a nursing home employee, action must be taken. There are special legal considerations involved when proving nursing home injuries. Mental suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment in life, shortened life expectancy and malicious and reckless conduct by the nursing home staff are just some of the injuries for which damages may need to be proved in cases involving nursing home abuse.
Statutory Protection of Nursing Home Residents
The abuse of nursing home residents has come to the attention of the public in the past few decades. The frequency of abuse was shocking not only to the public, but to lawmakers as well. Some of the abuse brought to light included: physical abuse, deprivation of food, water or medical care and residents being taken advantage of financially. When the widespread nature of this abuse and neglect became known, state and federal legislatures enacted laws to protect elderly persons and other nursing home residents.
Nursing Home Injuries Resource Links
Administration on Aging
Contains information on the Older American's Act, State Ombudsman Programs and an expansive directory of websites on aging.
The Alzheimer's Association's official website.
American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people 50 and over.
Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly
Non-profit organization, based in Philadelphia, dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable older people.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMC)
The federal agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid.