What Factors Do You Consider When Determining The Viability Of A Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
One of the main factors to consider when determining the viability of a nursing home abuse or malpractice case is cost. It is time-consuming and expensive to pursue a malpractice case, especially since they require extensive investigation and testimony from medical experts, many of whom are located out of state. In order to have a viable nursing home abuse case, the damages must justify the expenditure required to obtain those damages. Just because a malpractice case can be won, does not mean that it makes financial sense to pursue it.
Additionally, one of the factors to consider is whether or not action is needed in order to stop the abuse. This is an immediate consideration that has more to do with preventing additional harm or death than anything else. Oftentimes, nursing home abuse is serious enough to cause very severe permanent injury or death. In many cases, the best route for preventing ongoing abuse is to change facilities. Threatening to file or actually filing a lawsuit in order to make the behavior stop does not always achieve the desired result, and may actually cause the nursing home resident to suffer additional abuse or neglect. This means that in order to prevent any additional harm from being inflicted upon the nursing home resident, filing a lawsuit may not be the best option. Instead, complaints should immediately be made to the facility, and if that produces no change, then the nursing home resident should be transferred to another facility. Once they have been transferred, it can be decided whether a lawsuit should be pursued.
What Steps Should Be Taken To Build A Solid Case If Someone Suspects Nursing Home Abuse?
If someone suspects that nursing home abuse is occurring, the first thing they should do is try to make it stop. Once they decide that they want to make a claim, they should gather medical records from every facility where the person may have been transferred for medical care. If available, they should gather photographs of the injuries. In addition, they should obtain copies of any complaints made to the facility.
What Happens After The Abuse Has Been Reported? How Does The Lawsuit Begin?
It’s generally not advisable to file a lawsuit while the resident is still in the facility because of retaliation or retribution. Assuming that the patient is no longer in the facility, the first step is to file a claim. In many states (including Louisiana) a lawsuit cannot be directly filed against a healthcare provider; the individual who wants to file the lawsuit must first go through an administrative proceeding. This type of proceeding can take quite some time, and results in an opinion by a three-person panel as to whether or not malpractice occurred. Once that opinion has been rendered, the individual would be free to file a lawsuit.
Can I File A Claim Against Individual Abusers As Well As the At-Fault Nursing Home?
A claim can be filed against an individual abuser and a nursing home, but this can be difficult, especially if the person who wants to file the claim does not know the name of the individual abuser. Under such circumstances, the individual would have to file a claim against the facility, obtain the records, and conduct discovery whereby they require the facility to identify the person or persons that were in charge of taking care of the resident. Once that’s been accomplished, they could file a claim against the individual abuser or include them in the proceeding.
What Type Of Evidence Is Critical In A Nursing Home Abuse Or Negligence Case?
Policies, procedures, and case management plans of the nursing home are critical in a nursing home abuse or negligence case. In addition, records of wound care and photos of wounds (both of which are often kept separate from the actual chart and nursing home records) are important. Another area of inquiry is whether or not the facility violated the nursing home patient’s bill of rights, which is statutory in Louisiana.
For more information on Nursing Home Negligence/Abuse In LA, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (504) 332-8188 today.