Coming to terms with the fact that it’s time for your loved one to enter into a nursing home can be challenging. In most cases, however, they’ll have the best chances of living a high quality, fulfilling life inside the facility. The best nursing homes see to it that their residents have what they need physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially. When that fails to happen, however, a Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer can step it.
If you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected in their long-term care facility, it’s time to remove them from the situation and take legal action. At Golden Law Office, our attorneys have extensive experience representing victims of nursing home abuse. We’re prepared to look into what your loved one was wrongfully put through, determine the at-fault party, and calculate the amount of compensation that’s owed to maximize chances of recovery and hold the negligent person or entity accountable.
In order to determine if your loved one’s rights aren’t being met, it’s important to understand the state laws that apply to nursing homes and how they’re supposed to treat patients. Let’s take a look at the rights nursing home residents have in Kentucky.
Nursing Home Resident Rights in Kentucky
The rights of nursing home residents are established at the federal and state level. These rights protect residents from abuse and neglect and provide grounds for legal action in the event a nursing home is found to be negligent with the care and treatment they provide.
In regard to the federal rights, nursing home residents all across the country are entitled to having self-determination and a dignified existence, exercising their rights as a residents of the United States, being fully informed about their health status, managing their own legal and financial affairs, choosing a physician, refusing treatment, having personal privacy, requesting all personal records, and approving or refusing the release of personal or clinical records.
As far as state rights go, Kentucky nursing home residents‘ rights begin before a person moves into a facility. Before admission, the potential resident and their family must be fully informed of all the services available at the facility. Potential residents must also receive information in writing regarding their responsibilities and rights and information on all service charges they are responsible for. Facilities are required to keep original documents on file.
Once a person is an official resident, they should be encouraged to exercise their rights as a resident and citizen, which includes voicing grievances without fear of retaliation. All residents are to be free from mental and physical abuse and physical and chemical restraints. All medical treatment is to remain confidential unless the resident chooses to release their records.
In regard to finances, all residents have control over their personal funds. All mail and communications are to remain private. Married residents are allowed to share a room unless they require different levels of care. Facilities should also provide activities for social, religious, and community purposes. Residents may attend and participate at their own discretion.
In general, the rights boil down to residents in Richmond and throughout Kentucky being treated with respect, receiving the care they need to live as high-quality a life as possible, and being able to take action in the event they’re not receiving the proper care.
Types of Abuse Nursing Home Residents Endure
When a nursing home resident’s rights are violated, there’s the potential abuse or neglect is the cause. If you believe your loved one is being mistreated, identifying the type of suffering they’ve been forced to endure will help your lawyer build a strong case against the facility. Depending on the situation, a resident could suffer from the following types of abuse: physical, psychological, financial, or sexual. The concept of neglect revolves around basic needs not being met and residents getting hurt when there aren’t staff ready and willing to help.
If your loved one is being abused, you may notice they have trouble sleeping, seem depressed or confused, act violent or become withdrawn, show signs of trauma, stop participating in activities they enjoy, have unexplained injuries, or appear unwashed or dirty.
If you notice any of those signs, try speaking with your loved one first to get an idea of what’s going on. Help them report what’s going on in the nursing home. Depending on the actions the facility takes, legal action may be necessary.
How to Hold a Negligent Nursing Homes Accountable in Richmond
Once you’ve discovered how your loved one’s rights have been violated and the type of abuse they’ve suffered, it’s time to take action. It’s likely the first step you’ll want to take is to remove them from the dangerous situation. That will involve reporting the abuse and finding a place to take your family member. Depending on the situation, taking them home isn’t always an option. If required medical care is too intensive, you’ll need to find another facility.
After your loved one is safe, it’s time to get in touch with a law firm. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you file a claim and hold the facility accountable for their negligent actions. Taking legal action also puts you on the path to receiving the compensation your loved one needs to recover. Let’s take a closer look at what reporting nursing home abuse and filing a claim looks like in Kentucky.
Reporting Suspected Nursing Home Abuse
Anyone has the right to report a complaint against a licensed long-term or health care facility. To file a complaint, you’ll need to contact the Complaint Coordinator in the appropriate enforcement branch. All reports should contain the following information:
- Name of the facility
- The complainant and complaint
- The alleged perpetrators
- How the resident was affected
- When, where, and how the incident happened
- Potential witnesses to the incident
- Names of staff who were involved
- Whether the facility was made aware of the complaint and their actions
Once the report is made, an investigation will begin to determine what happened. You have the right to remove your loved one from the Richmond facility you believe harmed them. Depending on the circumstance, you may want to transfer them to a different facility or bring them home until the investigation is over.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
While every nursing home abuse claim is different, there are common elements. The first step is to retain an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases. Cases like this are often complex, so have a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer is crucial to a successful case.
Once you and your lawyer are on the same page, you can begin filing preparations. Your attorney will help you gather the necessary documents and evidence needed to file. This could involve nursing home contracts, medical records, witness statements, and photographs.
With the case built up, filing a claim is next. While there are situations where a claim can result in a full and fair settlement through negotiations, that doesn’t always happen. When that’s the case, the next step is to pursue a lawsuit in court. With a lawsuit comes a series of gathering information, asking questions, interviewing witnesses, and preparing for case resolution. A judge or jury will ultimately decide if negligence was present and if compensation is owed.
Help Your Loved One Recover with Golden Law Office
Because nursing home residents are one of the most vulnerable groups of people, they deserve high-quality care and respect that allows them to live comfortably. Safety, health, and happiness should be a priority for a long-term care facility and its employees. When it’s not, there are consequences.
Negligent nursing homes need to be held accountable for what they’ve done to residents. If you’ve recently reported a suspected instance of abuse on behalf of your loved one and removed them from the dangerous environment, it’s time to seek legal guidance. A Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer can help you fight for your loved one’s rights and ensure they receive the compensation need to recover.
When we fight for a monetary award, we’ll be sure both economic and noneconomic damages are taken into consideration. This means that medical bills and any medical bills in the future related to the abuse your family member incurred will be taken care of, in addition to any other monetary losses. We’ll also be sure to seek compensation for their pain and suffering.
Filing a nursing home abuse claim takes time, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible. While your attorney will do everything possible to secure a full and fair settlement offer, there are times where filing a lawsuit is the only way to ensure justice is served. No matter what legal route you take, we’ll be with you every step of the way. To get started, contact Golden Law Office today.
Golden Law is a local, Kentucky Law Firm, attorneys/lawyers in Fayette County, Kentucky, working in the fields of personal injury, auto accidents, car and truck wrecks; medical malpractice: doctors, hospitals & nursing homes; senior living abuse: neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, dehydration, bedsores, catastrophic injuries, and broken bones. If you are considering a lawsuit, call us at 859.469.5000 for a free consultation. We are located at 771 Corporate Dr. Suite 800/ Lexington, Kentucky 40503. We handle cases all over the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We have represented and trained people in major insurance companies & major trucking companies. We have first hand experience and know the ‘inside of the insurance business’ … that’s a distinction that no other law firm can make. We’re Your Advocate. Dale Golden, Laraclay Parker.