Elderly people are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, particularly those in nursing homes who have serious physical or mental limitations or conditions. That is why they are often abused, causing them to suffer severe physical or mental trauma. If this has happened to your loved one, our nursing home abuse attorneys in Clare, MI are available to discuss possible legal options. We may be able to recover compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages and hold the abusers accountable.
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There are no upfront fees for our services, and you will not be charged unless you receive compensation. The initial consultation is also free of charge and there is no obligation to file a lawsuit after our meeting.
For over 30 years, we have been protecting the rights of our clients throughout Michigan and have obtained more than $500 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. Our founder Jay F. Trucks is a member of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association and American Trial Lawyers Association.
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Proving a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Building a robust personal injury case, including a case against a nursing home or its staff members, requires detailed knowledge of relevant laws and legal theories, along with an understanding of how to investigate and gather evidence.
That is why if you are unsure if you may have a case, it is important to talk to a licensed attorney. At Jay Trucks and Associates, an initial consultation with our lawyers is free of charge.
Some of the factors we may consider when deciding whether you may have a case include:
- Injuries your loved one suffered, including psychological trauma
- Past abuse/neglect claims against the nursing home
- How staff members and administrators responded when you asked what was going on
- Evidence you may have indicating abuse, such as pictures of injuries or statements from witnesses or staff members
Our attorneys must prove there was a breach of the duty of care and link this breach to your loved one’s injuries. A breach of the duty of care could be a violation of your loved one’s rights granted by federal and state law. Linking that breach to the injury means we need to show the injury would not have happened otherwise.
Some of the most common examples of negligence that could lead to abuse at a nursing home include:
- Lack of staff, resulting in neglect of residents, particularly those that need extra attention, such as those with mobility problems, dementia or other severe psychological problems
- Poor security that allows outsiders to come in and abuse residents
- Poor training of staff members
- Negligent hiring, such as employing people who did not pass a background check or have a prior history of abusing residents
- Failure to monitor staff members to ensure they are providing proper care to residents
- Failing to remove slip and fall hazards in hallways and resident rooms, as falls are quite common in nursing facilities
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Liability for Abuse or Neglect
It may be possible to hold the nursing home liable for your loved one’s abuse or neglect. Additional liable parties could include a staff member, health care provider, administrator, nurse, vendor, visitor, contractor or other individual who caused your loved one to suffer harm.
Determining the liable party or parties requires a detailed investigation. Our attorneys want the people responsible for your loved one’s damages to be held liable to prevent other residents from suffering the same injury as your loved one.
Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Each case is unique, and so is its value and the types of compensation that may be available. Generally, victims may be able to pursue compensation for the physical, financial and emotional toll of the abuse. Some of the damages may include:
- Hospital bills
- Transportation to the hospital in an ambulance
- Surgical procedures
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Appointments with doctors
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering and psychological trauma
- Lost enjoyment of life
If a resident was a victim of egregious, malicious or despicable negligence, our Clare nursing home abuse lawyers may be able to pursue compensation for exemplary damages. These are similar to punitive damages awarded in other states. However, these damages compensate the victim for what he or she had to endure, they are not meant as punishment for the wrongdoer.
At Jay Trucks and Associates, we are committed to pursuing maximum compensation for victims of nursing home abuse.
Your Loved One’s Rights Under Federal and State Law
Your loved one has the right to be free from physical or mental abuse and the right to receive adequate and appropriate care. These are just some of the many rights granted to Michigan nursing home residents under Michigan Compiled Laws Section 333.20201. The rights outlined here are also protected under federal law.
If your loved one suffered a violation of any of the rights listed under state or federal law, you may have a viable nursing home abuse/neglect case.
Nursing home residents in Michigan have the right to:
- Receive appropriate care and not be denied care based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual preference or method of payment
- Receive a copy of his or her medical record for a fee that is reasonable
- Privacy with respect to medical treatment and handling personal needs
- Receive appropriate information about their medical conditions, treatment plan and chances of recovery
- Refuse to receive medical treatment and learn the consequences of refusing medical treatment
- Know who is responsible for providing a resident’s care and receive updates on health needs
- Have private communication with doctors, attorneys, nurses and anyone else they choose
- Be free from chemical restraints unless they are authorized in writing by an attending physician
- Appropriate management of symptoms, such as pain
- Receive information about the nursing home, such as rules and regulations, including complaint/grievance procedures
Questions about the legal process? Ph: (800) 762-8623
Types of Abuse Common at Long-Term Care Facilities
There are three main types of abuse nursing home residents may suffer: physical, psychological and sexual.
This refers to any sort of physical violence against a nursing home resident that results in injury. Examples might include:
If you see any bruises, cuts, broken bones or burn marks, you should investigate to find out what is going on, particularly if your loved one cannot explain them or seems afraid to say anything. Abusers often intimidate or threaten victims into silence.
Sometimes staff members who were not properly vetted are incredibly verbally abusive toward residents. They may make fun of them, harass them, insult them, call them names, separate them from the other residents or embarrass them in front of others. These kinds of actions are meant to intimidate or control residents.
This can result in residents feeling depressed, anxious, fearful, socially withdrawn or like they do not want to eat. If you notice a change in your loved one’s mood, it could be a sign of some form of psychological abuse.
This refers to any unwanted sexual contact, such as intercourse or molestation. Other examples may include photographing a resident who is not dressed or forcing a resident to be photographed in a compromising position and posting pictures to social media or texting them to others.
A common sign of sexual abuse is a sexually transmitted infection. Bruising to the genitals is also a common sign.
Residents also suffer from neglect. A common example of the consequences of neglect are bed sores. These are sores that develop when an area of the body is put under pressure for too long.
Residents who struggle to move on their own may need help, but if they do not get it, they could be stuck in bed or a wheelchair long enough to cause bedsores to develop. If these sores are not treated, they can become more severe and potentially life-threatening.
Neglect can also result in slip and fall accidents because staff members did not move hazardous obstacles or attempt to help a resident transfer out of or into a wheelchair, and he or she fell while trying to do so alone.
If your loved one suffers a fall, has poor hygiene or lives in a dirty or cluttered room, he or she may be a victim of neglect.
Learn more about how our Clare nursing home abuse attorneys may be able to help you. (800) 762-8623
How Do You Report Abuse or Neglect in Michigan?
If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 so the police can be dispatched to assess the situation and get your loved one out of harm’s way.
Otherwise, report the situation to the nursing home. Many of the staff members and health care providers at the facility are likely mandated reporters of abuse. That means they are legally required to report suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation to Adult Protective Services.
If they fail to report the abuse, or you want to ensure it is reported, you can call the Bureau of Health Services Hotline for Abuse at 800-882-6006.
Contact an Experienced Clare Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Have questions about filing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim?
Our attorneys can review your situation and answer your legal questions in a free consultation. We understand how traumatic abuse or neglect is for the victim and his or her loved ones. Our Clare nursing home abuse lawyers are committed to holding perpetrators accountable, protecting other nursing home residents and obtaining maximum compensation for our clients.
We work on a contingency fee basis. That means the consultation with our lawyers is free and confidential. If you have a case and hire our firm, there are no fees unless you receive compensation. There is no risk in picking up the phone, completing an online case evaluation form or visiting our office.
Free Consultation. No Obligation. Ph: (800) 762-8623