The Cost of Protecting Our Old Against Abuse
August 2012: 83 year old Mynez Carter was suspected of being abused by the staff of her nursing home. In order to prove this allegation, her family members placed a hidden camera in the room and attempted to catch any instance of abuse in plain sight. When they checked the recordings, horrific images of attempts to suffocate Mynez with a pillow and general insults were revealed. The family soon filed a suit for nursing home abuse.
The above case is horrifying and almost unmentionable. Nursing homes are sanctuaries and sanctums for the old and aged, who have already passed through life’s trials and tribulations and to see the old being abused in this fashion there represents an especially low point for man. These old people are helpless and place the utmost trust on the nursing home staff to take care of them.
The number of nursing home neglect cases are low statistically speaking but their existence and even their low number are denigrating to society. It isn’t that there weren’t instances of abuse earlier but that these instances went by unreported and only in the recent past have nursing home neglect lawyers become proactive in their fights against such abuse. In a country where more than 3 million Americans live in nursing homes and elder care homes, it is truly unfortunate that over one third of all nursing homes across the country have received complaints of nursing home abuse. The instances of abuse have prompted interest groups and activists to push for legislation which would shut down any facility where an instance of abuse has been filed and proved and a few Congressmen support this too.
The standard median nursing home cost in the United states is somewhere around $70,000 per annum. Nursing and rehabilitation services are covered by Medicare but only for the initial one hundred days and Medicare does not cover custodial care. Litigating nursing home abuse cases require knowledge and skill in tort reform law. Tort reform laws include an inflexible ceiling for damages and the statute of limitation which is the allowed time to file claim after instance of abuse is also very stringent. Cases begin with the filing of an intent to sue notification to the nursing home or the defendant. The notification should denote the plaintiff’s plaints and brings into effect the legal process.
The signs of abuse show themselves in various ways and nursing home abuse lawyers often ask medical experts to review the records of the patients kept at the nursing home and also to examine the plaintiff for additional signs of abuse. Following this, the process of deposition begins where both parties are required to give statements and witnesses are required to give statements too.
The responsibility of proving or disproving such a claim with the provision of primary evidence is placed on either party. For the plaintiff, these instances may include acts such as the failure of the facility to ensure that the patient is moved within certain timeframes or that the patient has not been administered proper medication and fluids. There are also cases of sexual abuse and financial abuse which represent a particularly mortifying aspect of elder abuse and in such cases, these abuse claims become criminal in nature and seek conviction as well as damages.
Elder abuse lawyers usually do not charge fees unless they manage to secure damages for the plaintiff. This ethos, which separates the financially ambitious world of litigation with the moral fallacy of elder abuse makes it simple to approach a lawyer for advice on elder care without the fear of being billed all the time on a matter which strikes such a resonant chord throughout all of America.
Jeff is a Tort Reform Law specialist who works for towards addressing the legal issues of elder care abuse. Being a nursing home abuse lawyer, Jeff is sensitized to the unique nature of problems which are faced by elders in their final stages and ensures that he can provide whatever assistance possible to aid in their getting the justice they so rightly deserve.