How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You

When faced with the problem of nursing home abuse of an elderly loved one, knowing where to turn and what steps to take next can be confusing. In a time of confusion and frustration, working with an advocate who understands the laws surrounding nursing home abuse, resources for getting help, and your options moving forward is very helpful. At the the Law Offices of Edward A. Smith, my team and I know what you are going through. As a nursing home abuse lawyer in Sacramento and surrounding areas for more than 30 years, I understand how devastating learning of the nursing home abuse of a loved one can be, and I also know how important it is to seek justice and ensure that the abuse is brought to light. Here are a few ways that I, as a nursing home abuse lawyer, can help you--

Recognizing and Documenting Signs of Abuse

If you suspect the nursing home abuse of a loved one, one of the most important first steps will be to start documenting abuse thoroughly; if abuse is not documented, bringing forth a claim and seeking damages may be difficult, if not impossible. I can help you to recognize some of the signs of abuse, such as:

  • Withdrawal of the abuse victim;
  • Emotional changes, such as depression or anxiety;
  • Behavior changes, such as displays of aggression;
  • Weight loss;
  • Rapid decline in health;
  • Bed sores/pressure ulcers;
  • Major financial changes;
  • Cuts, bruises, or broken bones; and
  • Any other physical or emotional changes.

I can also aid you in documenting these signs of abuse.

Knowing Where to Turn - Reporting Abuse

If abuse is suspected or confirmed, it is very important to take action quickly to report the abuse to the proper person, organization, or agency. Parties to whom abuse should be reported include:

  • A caregiver of the nursing home patient (that is not the abusive caregiver);
  • A nursing home manager or supervisor;
  • California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform;
  • California Department of Aging;
  • Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse;
  • Your local ombudsman office; and
  • The police if abuse is life-threatening or puts the resident at risk of bodily harm.

In many cases, just reporting the abuse is not enough; you may need to engage in talks with liable parties (like the supervisor of a nursing home) to develop a plan to ensure that your loved one is properly cared for. I can represent you during all talks with involved parties, and will help you to ensure that your loved one is protected. If abuse is serious, I can aid you in taking the next steps: Taking legal action.

Filing a Nursing Home Malpractice Claim

When nursing home abuse or neglect causes harm to a patient, the nursing home, or the responsible staff, has committed an act of medical malpractice. Nursing homes are medical facilities, and nurses within are medical professionals. As such, a nursing home that causes harm to a patient as a result of failing to deliver a proper degree of care is not just guilty of negligence; it is guilty of malpractice.

In order to recover compensation for medical malpractice, the person bringing forth the suit must establish that the nursing home owed a degree of care to the nursing home resident; that the nursing home breached this duty of care; and that the nursing home resident suffered as a result. Examples of nursing home neglect and abuse that may be considered malpractice include everything from medication errors to failing to move a patient regularly to prevent bed sores to actively physically or abusing a nursing home resident. Failure to supervise a nursing home resident may also be considered malpractice if that failure leads to the resident’s harm.

I can help you to prove the above factors to recover compensation for your - or your loved one’s - losses. Types of damages that may be recoverable in a medical malpractice claim involving a nursing home may include costs of medical expenses and nursing home care, pain and suffering, and emotional harm. I will also guide you through other areas of civil law, including things such as confidentiality, burden of proof, and the statute of limitations. In California, the Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5 reads that a claim against a healthcare provider must be filed within one year from the date that the plaintiff knows about their injury, or three years from the date of the injury, whichever is earlier. The statute of limitations, which limits the amount of time you have to seek damages, is one of the primary reasons it is important to act sooner rather than later when nursing home abuse has occurred.

Emotional Support Throughout the Entire Process

Working with a nursing home abuse attorney is helpful for myriad reasons, including knowing what types of abuse to look for and how to document abuse, to whom abuse should be reported, and how to bring forth a civil claim and all of the legal regulations surrounding the claim. In addition to all of these benefits, though, I will also provide you with the emotional support and advocacy that you are looking for during this difficult time. I have more than 30 years’ worth of experience working with individuals and families in California who are the victims of nursing home abuse, and I understand the pain and disbelief that you are likely experiencing. I also know how important recovering compensation is to your family, and how serious some abuse can be. For all of these reasons, I will work tirelessly on your behalf to get you and your loved one the justice deserved.

If you have more questions about how working with an attorney can be beneficial, what you should look for in an attorney, or resolutions for situations involving nursing home abuse in California, please contact me today. You can reach me online or by phone. A consultation is 100 percent free, and I work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that I will never charge you until your case is settled in your favor.

Sacramento Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento nursing home abuse attorney. If you or your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse, please call me at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly advice. Or, call me toll free at (800) 404-5400.

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