5 Steps to Take After Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Anger, depression, guilt—these are just a few of the emotions you may be feeling after finding out that a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home. Your top priority upon discovering the abuse is to get your family member to safety, whether that means your own home or another long-term care facility. He or she should also receive a prompt medical assessment if warranted.
The next steps are to report the abuse, contact an attorney, and compile evidence. Read on for a more detailed overview of what to do after discovering nursing home abuse or neglect:
1. Get Your Loved One to Safety
Your loved one’s health and safety should be your primary focus. Depending on the nature of the abuse or neglect, it may be necessary to remove your loved one from the facility. He or she should also get an official diagnosis for any injuries suffered as a result of the mistreatment.
2. Report the Incident to the New York State Department of Health
You can report the abuse or neglect online using the Nursing Home Complaint Form, or you can call the Nursing Home Complaint hotline at 1-888-201-4563. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
3. Contact an Attorney
You should call an attorney within 48 hours of discovering the abuse. If too much time passes before your lawyer is able to conduct the investigation, critical evidence may be altered or destroyed. Your attorney can take over the logistics of your case such as compiling evidence, filing subpoenas for evidence that’s being withheld, interviewing eyewitnesses, bringing in expert witnesses for deposition and testimony, and managing settlement negotiations with the opposing party.
4. Compile Evidence
Take pictures of any visible injuries your family member has sustained. Common examples include bruises, bedsores, and restraint marks. Ask him or her to explain what happened in detail, and record that description. Your nursing home abuse attorney will be able to compile other evidence on your behalf such as caregiver schedules and keycard data, surveillance footage, and statements from other residents and caregivers.
5. Be Proactive About Protecting Your Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claim
Once you’ve hired a lawyer, you will be able to focus on more important matters—such as your loved one’s health—while your claim proceeds in good hands. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to protect your claim. Examples include:
Directing any phone calls or emails from the opposing party to your lawyer;
Not discussing your case online; and
Ensuring your loved one takes his or her healthcare seriously—for example, by attending all scheduled doctor’s appointments and filling prescriptions.
Discuss Your Claim with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The award-winning attorneys at Leitner Varughese have helped clients win more than $100 million in nursing home abuse and malpractice cases. They are well-versed in the procedures, case law, and statutes pertaining to these claims. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, call 855-585-2969 or send us a message.