Elder Abuse Next Steps...
The unimaginable has happened. Your loved one was abused by a care giver or while in a nursing home facility’s care. Discovering abuse only compounds the distressing feelings around placing a loved one into a nursing home or care facility But you’re not alone; an elder abuse attorney can help you get the justice your family member and loved one deserves.
Taking legal action with the help of a elder abuse attorney is one way to stop future assisted living abuse and hold individuals accountable. Your brave decision to respond could help others. If you're willing to acknowledge and respond to the nursing home or care facility abuse, then we're here to assist you through the legal process.
At the Phillips Law Office, we have over 25 years of litigation experience. We can help you recognize the warning signs of elder abuse and neglect, and get the justice and compensation that your loved one deserves.
Many states have passed their own laws that make it easier for elder abuse victims and their families to sue abusers and facilities that allowed emotional and physical abuse. While the process varies by state and court (local, state, or federal) that you file a lawsuit in, here are the basic steps:
1. Decide if your family member should be immediately removed from the facility. Start by finding a new facility.
- Research online. Start by looking at facilities close to home and at not-for-profit care providers. Not-for-profit providers are few and far between but are generally well worth the trouble it may take to find one. The internet may also provide access to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) complaints or negative reports from consumers. While context may be missing from such information, it can still be worth considering.
- Ask to see the most recent HHS survey of the facility. This should be kept at the front desk and can provide you with a wealth of information regarding how the facility is run on an overall basis. Be sure to ask about any infractions and what the facility has done to correct them.
- Stop in unannounced. Stop in outside visiting hours. Stop in again.
- Take note of the general conditions on your visit(s). Are there strange smells? Are the bathrooms clean? Are windows and corners and other hard to clean places dirty? Are the residents in activity areas together or do most seem to be isolated in their own rooms?
- Talk to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman cannot recommend any particular facility over another but if you ask questions about staffing and other common issues or complaints, they will answer.
2. Hire an elder abuse attorney
Our mission is to provide the highest quality legal representation and service to our clients. Unlike many attorneys, we prepare each case for trial from day one. Our firm strongly believes that old-fashioned hard work, team work and preparation is the best way to help our clients and family receive justice they deserve. And we never lose sight of being compassionate about each client's situation. This means paying close attention to the individual case. We communicate better with our clients than larger, impersonal, big-city firms.
3. File a lawsuit
After meeting with your attorney you and your family will file a complaint (lawsuit) with the appropriate court specifying who you are suing and why. The defendant (abuser or long term care facility) needs to respond to your lawsuit within the time frame specified by local, state, or federal law.
4. Decide to settle or proceed forward with a trial
Your attorney will work with you to decide on the best course of action. Many lawsuits are settled out of court before they even go to trial. A lengthy lawsuit is often the last thing nursing homes want to fight. Your family decides whether to settle out of court or move forward with a trial.
5. Understanding the trial process
Our team stands by you throughout the legal process. If you decide to take legal action, the Phillips Law Office capable nursing home abuse team, including nursing home abuse attorney will help you from your first call to the final resolution of your case.