Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence
Acts of nursing home neglect are more about carelessness than intentional abuse, but the harm to residents is still significant. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) definition, neglect is the failure to provide goods and services necessary for a resident to avoid physical or emotional harm. Therefore, victims still sustain serious injuries from nursing home negligence, which is unacceptable, intolerable, and often illegal. Fortunately, residents and their families have legal remedies to pursue assisted living facilities for their losses.
A nursing home neglect claim is a type of personal injury case, which means you must be very careful with strategy. Retaining legal representation is essential to handle the important tasks, but there are some tips you can use to protect your loved one who is subjected to mistreatment. A Tampa medical malpractice attorney will advise you on the following steps to take when you expect unlawful conduct.
Report to Officials: As horrified as you are by the thought that your loved one was neglected, it is a priority to also protect others. You should notify relevant authorities about the instances of neglect, with as much detail as possible. When you file a complaint with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs or Agency for Health Care Administration, officials will conduct an investigation to determine if other residents are at risk.
Get to Safety: Depending on the physical and emotional harm to your loved one, you may need to take action to get them to a safe location. If there are injuries that require treatment, head to the ER, a hospital, or urgent care facility. You will have to consider options for a new nursing home if you do not feel comfortable returning the resident to the facility that caused the injuries.
Collect Evidence: You can use your cell phone to gather important information for your claim against a negligent nursing home. Make sure to take pictures of signs of neglect, such as:
- Dirty linens, clothing, and filth in the resident’s room;
- Signs of lack of personal hygiene care, including unwashed body and unkempt hair;
- Grime and dirt in halls, eating areas, and common areas;
- A lack of security, broken gates and locks, and insufficient lighting; and,
- The injuries or other signs of neglect to the resident.
Take Notes: As soon as you suspect that your loved one is suffering from neglect, start a journal. Write down all details about what you observe, the resident’s general condition and welfare, and what your loved one tells you. You may need these notes to refresh your memory when pursuing a claim.
Consult with a Florida Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer About Remedies
One of the most important steps with a nursing home neglect case is retaining legal counsel to assist with your remedies, and our team at Greco & Wozniak P.A. is ready to help. Please contact us at 813.223.7849 or visit our website to schedule a free case review with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. We can meet with you at our offices in Tampa, FL to discuss the process.