Recovery After Nursing Home Abuse
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Lowell Finson with Phillips Law Group.
Nursing home abuse is more common than some people might think. With many elderly residents unable or unwilling to communicate about the abuse they experience, it often goes undetected for some time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services, of the 1.3 million nursing home residents in the United States, more than 30% will be placed in a facility that is already experiencing reports of abuse. The good news is that a nursing home abuse victim can choose to file a lawsuit against the responsible party and/or care facility, seeking compensation for the financial and emotional damages they suffered. To learn more about options for physical and financial recovery, contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
The damages which a nursing home abuse victim may be compensated for vary widely, but may include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Cost of transportation to the hospital
- Cost of medical testing
- Physical therapy costs
- Cost of mobility equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches
- Prescription medication
- Replacement of any damaged property
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional suffering (i.e. anxiety, insomnia, depression, etc.)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
Some of these damages are considered “economic” damages and have a specifically calculable value, such as medical bills and damaged property. However, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are not as easy to place a value on, but just as important. A nursing home abuse lawyer will have access to the expert resources it takes to calculate the value of not only the victim’s economic damages but their non-economic damages as well, all at no cost to the victim themself.
If you suspect an elderly loved one is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.
If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from neglect or abuse in their nursing home, there are steps you can take to have your suspicions investigated. If your suspicions turn out to be accurate, your loved one will be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
Here are some tips for reporting elder abuse for investigation:
- Call your state’s adult protective services and elder abuse hotline, often found under your state’s Health and Human Services (HHS) department.
- You may use your state’s abuse hotline website to file a report, but this could take longer for the report to be processed.
- You may choose to remain anonymous in your report, but if you do so you will not be informed of the results of the investigation.
- When filing a report, you will be asked to answer a series of questions and should do so as thoroughly and accurately as possible. This should include providing the names of any nursing home and/or individuals you suspect may be involved.
- In addition to filing a formal report, you have the opportunity to file a civil or wrongful death claim to pursue compensation for the damages your loved one experienced.
- If you directly witness abuse, or if you fear an elderly person is in immediate danger, call the police and file a report right away.
If you or a loved one have been abused in a nursing home or elsewhere, it is important to take action. Reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about options for recovery or for help filing a claim. Most of these attorneys offer free consultations and work on a contingency fee basis, so elderly victims do not need to worry about any further damages.