If you or someone you love was neglected or abused in a nursing home, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. Unfortunately, you can expect the long-term care facility and their insurance company to look for any possible reason to dispute your claim. As such, it’s important that you’re proactive about protecting your legal rights.
Below are just a few steps you should take if you or a member of your family was abused or neglected in a nursing home:
1. Make Other Arrangements
Upon learning a loved one has been receiving substandard care, your first priority should be his or her health. Depending on the circumstances, it might be best to relocate him or her to a nearby hospital or to another long-term care facility.
Regardless of the option you choose, it’s important that you don’t tell the nursing home staff that you’re making the new arrangements as a result of suspected abuse. Otherwise, they may attempt to resolve the situation internally (and unfairly) or perhaps even destroy or alter evidence.
2. Seek Legal Counsel
While it’s possible to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim without an attorney, there are many advantages to enlisting the help of a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer. Your attorney can handle all the logistics of the case such as:
- Interviewing eyewitnesses;
- Gathering evidence of liability;
- Tracking damages;
- Handling all correspondence with both the facility and their insurer;
- Calculating a fair settlement;
- Handling settlement negotiations; and
- Preparing the case for court if necessary.
3. Document Everything
What prompted you to suspect abuse in the first place? Unexplained injuries? Dehydration and malnourishment? A conversation you had with your relative’s roommate? Be sure to document any signs of abuse or neglect that you’ve noticed.
You should also compile any evidence you have of mistreatment such as:
- Photographs of bruises, lacerations, bedsores, or other wounds;
- Medical records;
- Statements from other residents; and
- Statements from your loved one.
There are many other kinds of evidence that might be difficult to access or even withheld by the nursing home. Examples include surveillance footage, documents that outline the facility’s operational and training procedures, keycard data, and caregiver schedules. If the nursing home refuses to relinquish this evidence voluntarily, your lawyer can apply legal pressure to obtain it.
Your attorney can also arrange expert witness testimony to strengthen your claim. This may be necessary if there’s a dispute related to the cause of your loved one’s injury or death, the severity of the resulting injuries, or the value of damages.
Call 716-855-3761 for a Free Consultation with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or a member of your family has suffered nursing home abuse, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.