If you find that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, you should consider taking legal action. If you have a good case, it’s likely that you or your family will be offered a nursing home settlement. This article offers a few tips on how to identify neglect or abuse, as well as a brief introduction to the concept of a nursing home settlement.
Why Nursing Home Settlements May Rise
For the foreseeable future, the legal system is going to be the best way to ensure quality of care for American seniors in nursing homes. Acquisitions and mergers in the nursing home industry hit an all-time high in 2017, with large for-profit conglomerates absorbing small non-profit facilities. Due to cost-cutting practices and a number of other factors, these for-profit nursing homes are known to offer objectively worse care than non-profit institutions.
In addition, as of December 2017, the current administration made deep cuts to nursing home fines that the federal government put in place to improve quality control and adherence to safe practices in nursing homes. Regardless of the level of federal regulation, the fact remains: for the time being, the legal system is the most important way to ensure quality of treatment in American nursing homes.
These regulatory changes mean lawsuits in which nursing homes reach settlements with those injured by their staff may increase. Such settlements not only bring justice to the injured, but also serve to provide a financial incentive to nursing homes to provide high quality, safe treatment of their residents.
If your loved one was injured due to neglectful or abusive treatment in a nursing home, you may have a case. Our nursing home attorneys can assess the injuries and determine if it will be worthwhile to pursue a legal case. At the Khalidi Law Firm, we have decades of experience in helping our clients get the justice and compensation they deserve. Contact us for help today.
Signs of Neglect or Abuse
If you notice any of the following signs, your loved one may be experiencing nursing home neglect, or even nursing home abuse(LINK). Of course, the more of these signs you encounter, the more likely it is that abuse has occurred.
- Poor Hygiene
The nursing staff should help your loved one get dressed, comb hair, bathe, etc. If these things aren’t being done, this is a sign that something could be going wrong.
- Unsanitary Living Conditions
Clothing should be clean. Kitchens should be sanitary. Your loved one’s bedding should be kept clean and regularly changed. Of course, people live there, so it won’t always be spotless, but the living space should be well-maintained.
Malnutrition and dehydration affect about 20 percent of nursing home residents. Obviously, your loved one should be eating well and getting enough to drink. If these needs are not being met, take note.
- Lack of Mobility
Your loved one should be given the opportunity to get out and be as active as he or she possibly can. Granted, some nursing home residents will be less mobile than others, but there is a problem if your loved one becomes immobile through lack of opportunity to move.
- Unexplained Injuries
Injuries happen. The average nursing home resident falls 2.6 times per year. That being said, a serious injury is a warning sign that has to be taken seriously.
- Psychological Issues
The most common psychological problems for a nursing home resident include depression and a fear of his or her caretakers. These may be signs of serious neglect or abuse, so pay attention—especially if your loved one seems reluctant to talk about his or her experiences.
What Are Nursing Home Settlements?
A settlement is “a compromise or agreement between litigants to settle the matters in dispute between them in order to dispose of and conclude their litigation.” In general, the settlement will take place out of court, so the court will not have to give a judgment. The settlement takes the form of a binding contract, and either party will have the option of renewing litigation if the contract is broken.
In a case of nursing home abuse or neglect, the settlement will usually involve a negotiated agreement between the plaintiff and the nursing home.
Should You Aim for a Settlement?
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, your goal will either be to win the case or to obtain a favorable settlement. If the nursing home believes they are likely to lose the case, they’ll have a strong incentive to offer you a good settlement.
Whether or not you should aim for a settlement depends on the particulars of your case, and that’s one reason why it is important and valuable to have an experienced legal professional on your side.
Do You Have a Case?
Let us help you determine whether neglect or abuse a loved one suffered in a nursing home may be a legal case. The Khalidi Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience helping neglected nursing home residents and their families in the Tucson area get the closure they deserve. If you have suffered injury or lost a loved one trying to cross the street, we can help. Contact our Tucson nursing home injury lawyers at The Khalidi Law firm.