What you can do following a nursing home abuse incident

As someone who has struggled with nursing home abuse affecting you or your family member, you may have many questions. Here are some common questions and the answers you need to know. If you feel you've been harmed or put in danger, speak with someone who can help as soon as possible. You could be entitled to compensation, and you need to make neglect or abuse known to prevent harm in the future.

If you have been at a nursing home without a contract, you might think you can't sue in the event of injury or mistreatment. That's not true. In fact, either nursing home residents or their survivors can recover damages -- even despite the lack of a contract. For instance, if a nursing home patient was suffering from nursing home abuse, the home could be sued for damages for assault and battery.

As a resident of a nursing home, patients have the right to be free from sexual, verbal, physical and mental abuse. They are also given the right to be free of any chemical or physical restraint used for purposes other than medical treatment. If the nursing home isn't regulated by federal statutes, then they will be regulated by the state instead, and those laws can vary.

After neglect or abuse takes place, patients and family members have the right to file a complaint through the state. An investigation takes place after the complaint is filed, and it will include interviews with the staff, patients, their families and the staff's management team. Adult protective services steps in if the allegations are founded, and they help the adult stay safe while trying to prevent a recurrence of the issues.

Source: FindLaw, "Nursing Home Abuse FAQ" Oct. 07, 2014

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