You've just gotten a call from your elderly loved one. He or she is upset and doesn't sound like themselves. You're worried that something bad has happened, but you don't know what to do.
It might be time to investigate the nursing home for abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario for many families who have an elderly relative in a long-term care facility.
The good news is you may have legal recourse. First, however, you’re going to have to put together a compelling claim. This starts by taking the following steps as soon as possible:
1. Take the Victim to a Doctor
If you suspect your loved one has been mistreated, it's important to get them checked out by a doctor right away. A trained physician should be able to determine whether they have any injuries that are indicative of abuse or neglect and, if so, begin a treatment plan.
2. Compile Evidence of Wrongdoing
Gathering proof can be difficult because of the laws that protect patient privacy; however, doing so is essential if you want to help your loved one and prevent future incidents.
Here are some tips for collecting evidence:
Take photos of any injuries on your loved one's body from multiple angles. If possible, take videos, as well, so there is no question about what happened or how severe the victim’s condition was.
Take photos of the environment around your loved one. This includes everything from furniture and appliances to walls and floors. You should also look for anything out of place or broken.
Preserve the victim’s medical records from both the long-term care facility and any hospitals where he or she was treated for the associated injuries.
3. Call a Nursing Home Abuse Injury Lawyer
A nursing home abuse injury attorney can help protect your loved one’s rights, as well as provide him or her with the legal tools needed to fight back. The services provided by these types of lawyers can range from assisting in filing for Medicaid benefits and helping with guardianship paperwork (if necessary) to navigating a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you’re wondering when to reach out, it’s advisable to do so sooner rather than later. By enlisting legal help right away, you’ll give your attorney the opportunity to gather time-sensitive evidence while it’s still available. If you bring them in early, they’ll also be able to keep you from making any major mistakes early on or missing critical deadlines down the road.
Speak with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you suspect your loved one is being abused, you’re probably feeling frustrated and helpless. You want to do what's best for them, but how? Start by turning to Leitner Varughese.
We represent clients in New York City, Long Island, and throughout New York State. Our tenacious team has won more than $100 million in nursing home negligence and malpractice settlements and judgements. To schedule a free initial consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York, submit our Contact Form or call 855-585-2969.