5 Things to Consider When Hiring an Attorney for Nursing Home Abuse
It’s devastating news to learn that a family member is the victim of abuse or neglect in a care facility. These facilities should be a place of safety and care. When nursing home abuse occurs, what can you do to hold the facility accountable? Not only do you need justice, but it’s also vital to protect other residents from the same mistreatment.
Are you considering legal action against the nursing home? Then make sure you have a knowledgeable, experienced elder abuse attorney to assist with your case. Check the attorneys’ credentials and also ask if they serve other similar clients and cases.
Why You Need a Specialized Attorney?
The laws and regulations pertaining to nursing home abuse are complicated and confusing. Hiring an attorney with experience in this specific subtopic means that your legal support knows the best ways to avoid some of the most common mistakes. Even seemingly minor issues can prolong the proceedings and impact the potential outcome.
You deserve to work with a legal team that understands the ins and outs of this specific set of laws. Then, you can have confidence knowing that you are receiving the highest quality services as they are building a solid case.
Before you hire an attorney for a nursing home lawsuit, do your homework to learn about legal firms in the area. Don’t hire a general attorney or someone with unrelated experience.
How an Attorney Assists with a Nursing Home Case
Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation. Then, this evidence builds a case to show the courts how the wrongdoings affected the victim. Making a case involves gathering evidence to display the type of injuries, timeline of abuse, and people involved in the wrongdoings.
Building the case is the beginning of this process. Next, your attorney oversees other necessary steps, such as managing negotiations for a settlement. If you can’t reach a settlement, then it might be time to file a lawsuit. You’ll be glad to have a seasoned attorney as representation in court.
When to Hire an Attorney: Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
Why do you need legal support for protecting your family member? Here are a few examples of situations when legal services are beneficial:
- Medical Malpractice: The person is receiving improper medical care. For example, the nursing home mismanaged medications or withheld essential treatments.
- Breach of Contract: When a resident moves into the nursing home, the family signs a contract outlining expected services. If the facility does not meet this agreement, then legal action might be necessary.
- Resident to Resident: Nursing home abuse doesn’t always occur at the hand of an employee. Sometimes, abuse happens because of the treatment from another resident in the facility.
- Physical or Emotional Abuse: Physical bruising or injuries could be a sign that abuse is occurring. Emotional abuse isn’t as apparent but another harmful form of nursing home abuse.
- Financial Exploitation: Financial abuse happens when someone is misusing a resident’s money. For example, a caregiver might have access to the person’s bank account and use the funds for personal gain.
- Resident Neglect: People living in nursing homes require a high level of care, including medical support, food, hygiene, and more. If the nursing home is understaffed, then it could result in neglect in the overall care available for residents.
A nursing home attorney has specific experience and knowledge about elder law, personal injury, and medical malpractice. They understand the branch of law relating to all concerns affecting the elderly population, including abuse, neglect, Social Security planning, Medicaid, and more.
Watching for These Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Here are some of the most common signs that abuse or neglect is happening in the nursing home:
- Malnourishment or unexpected weight loss
- Agitation or withdrawing from the family
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, sprains, or broken bones
- Frequent sickness or infections
- Changes in behavior
- Aggressive or uncooperative interactions
Each situation is unique, which is why the signs of abuse or neglect vary from person to person. If you suspect a problem, then the best thing you can do is consult a legal expert to conduct an investigation.
5 Tips for Hiring an Attorney
Follow these essential tips when it’s time to hire an attorney to assist in building your case against a nursing home:
- Legal Specialization: We can’t stress this point enough – the most important decision you will make is hiring an attorney with industry specialization. Check with local bar associations or ask friends and family for a referral when searching for the right lawyer.
- Payment Structure: How much will the attorney charge for these services? Ask for financial information upfront, so there is no surprise when it’s time to pay the bill. Most attorneys charge by the hour, with a flat fee price for certain services. You might need to pay a retainer (financial deposit) upfront. Also, expect additional fees for other expenses relating to your case, such as photocopying, depositions, or court filing fees.
- Location: Finding an attorney close to home makes it easier to manage the ongoing details of your case. You deserve to work with someone who knows the court clerks and judges in the local courtrooms. This location-specific knowledge is essential to help you build a solid case.
- Initial Consultation: While legal expertise is a key factor, don’t overlook the importance of finding the right personality to match your needs. You’ll be working with this attorney for many months. Make sure you have a good relationship to get a feel for the interactions you can expect. The initial consultation is a great way to get to know the lawyer and see if it will be a good fit.
- Online Reviews: Search for the attorney’s name and the law firm to read about other people’s experience working with the legal team. These online reviews will give you insights into past client satisfaction.
Often, the first consultation is free. So, don’t hesitate to talk to possible legal representation so you can explore your options before moving forward with these legal services.
Legal Experts for Nursing Home Abuse
At AMA Law, our team offers the specialized services you need. If you’d like to learn more, then we invite you to schedule a consultation. We request that you contact our team to discuss your case.