Nobody who makes the difficult decision to put a loved one in a nursing home expects that facility to provide substandard care to their family member. Unfortunately, that possibility is all too real for many Pennsylvania residents, and in many cases legal action is the only way to remedy it.
If your loved one experienced abuse, neglect, or any other form of mistreatment in an assisted living facility, you benefit from speaking with a Montgomery County nursing home abuse lawyer. Once the resident is safe, a dedicated personal injury attorney could help establish evidence of negligence, take stock of all the damages that negligence created, and seek appropriate compensation through the civil litigation process.
What Constitutes Abuse Under State Law?
According to Pennsylvania Code Title 28, §201.3, abuse in a nursing home may be physical, verbal, sexual, or mental in nature, and it can also manifest as involuntary seclusion or simple neglect of a nursing home resident. Regardless of its specific form, any behavior that harms a resident’s physical, mental, and emotional health constitutes actionable abuse under state law.
Among various other rights, 28 Pa. Code §201.29 guarantees all nursing home residents the right to be treated with respect and consideration for their needs, so a failure by nursing home staff or administrators to do so typically serves as valid grounds for civil action. Before pursuing litigation, a Montgomery County lawyer would advise anyone who suspects mistreatment of a nursing home resident to report those conditions to the state Agency on Aging for their particular area, as well as local licensing agencies.
Furthermore, if abuse or neglect allegedly results in serious bodily injury, involves sexual abuse, or contributes to a resident’s premature death, state law requires a report to be made to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the area’s police department. These reporting regulations apply to both employees and administrators of assisted living facilities, so failing to abide by them may constitute additional evidence of negligence.
Taking Action to Protect a Nursing Home Resident
A the family of a resident who suffered nursing home neglect or abuse may hold an individual staff member liable for negligence or intentional actions leading to personal injuries, including those resulting from falls and other accidents that proper oversight could have prevented. Facility administrators and owners may likewise bear liability for failing to properly check the backgrounds of employees with histories of abuse, failure to provide proper training, and failure to hire enough staff to meet all their residents’ needs.
If their case is successful, a nursing home neglect attorney in Montgomery County may be able to help an injured resident and their family recover for various losses. While economic damages like additional bills and damaged personal property may play a role, most claims center around non-economic harms like loss of enjoyment of life, emotional anguish, and pain and suffering.
Learn More from a Montgomery County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you suspect or know of abuse going on in a nursing home, reporting it to the proper authorities and taking legal action against those responsible for it may not just be a matter of personal recovery. Stopping the neglect or abuse of one elderly resident could be crucial to preventing other families’ loved ones from suffering the same harm in the future.
Taking legal action could be made easier by retaining a skilled Montgomery County nursing home abuse lawyer. To learn more about your legal options, call today and schedule your free case consultation.