A 4-Step Process To Report Nursing Home Abuse

If you want to report nursing home abuse, you will have to follow a set procedure. Nursing home patients or their family members have the legal right to file complaints for any incident of abuse that may include sexual, emotional or physical mistreatment. There can be other forms of abuse also, such as neglect and self-neglect. As per the report published by the National Center on Elderly Abuse, the most potential victims of these types of abuses are older and female nursing home patients. When you file a complaint against a nursing home center, further investigations take place. If your report is find to be genuine and 100% true, you may be entitled for certain amount of money as compensation under the personal injury laws. Besides that, depending upon the severity of the incident, the nursing home authorities may also be punished by monetary fine or jail term. Their license may also get cancelled. Sometimes, the final judgment comes after court proceedings, but generally, the case is settled outside under the guidance of legal experts through mutual negotiation. If any mutually agreeable resolution is not reached, you have the right to file a lawsuit in the court in this regard.

Do You Need A Lawyer?

In order to report nursing home abuse, it is not legally mandatory for you to have a lawyer to represent you. But, it is often preferable to have one, as it will help you make the best use of your legal rights. Your lawyer will make sure that your rights and interests are well protected and that you get a fair judgment. If you have good knowledge about the basics of the legal procedures associated with these types of cases, you can choose to go ahead without a lawyer – the decision is entirely up to; there are no legal obligation regarding this. If you are considering hiring an attorney, make sure you choose one who works on a contingent fee basis, which means you will be liable to pay their fee only if they win a certain amount of monetary compensation for you. Such lawyers usually charge a certain percentage of the total compensation received.

File An Official Complaint With The Director Of The Facility

The first thing you have to do is to contact the director of the facility and report nursing home abuse by submitting an official written complaint. As part of the process, you may be required to provide a confidential written statement with complete details of the incident. This statement plays a crucial role. So, you are recommended to prepare it carefully. Make sure that the information you are providing are 100% true. Do not try to manipulate with the facts just in an attempt to make your case stronger. Providing false information is an illegal activity and legal charges may be placed against you for that.

Fill Out The Incident Report Form

In addition to the statement, you are also likely to be asked to fill out an incident report form, where you will again have to provide complete detail relevant to your case. The most important sections in this form are “the type of abuse”, “the parties involved”, “the date and time of the incident”, and “the type of loss (injuries, monetary loss, or psychological torture)”. Make sure you keep a copy of everything you are submitting, including that of an incident report form.

Get The Report Forwarded To The Board Of Nursing In Your State

If the case does not get settled through negotiations and talk, you can forward the complaint report (along with a copy of the form submitted to the director of the facility) to the state’s board of nursing that will start further investigation process.

Monitor The Progress

Once you report nursing home abuse, you should not just sit back and wait; instead, you should keep contacting the state board of nursing to be updated on the progress in your case. After the investigation process is complete, a closing statement of the investigation is released by the Board. The copy of that statement is sent to all parties that were involved in the case.

File A Lawsuit In The Court

If you are not satisfied with the judgment passed by the board, you can file a lawsuit against the facility in the court. The court will look into each and every aspect of the incident reported (based on the proofs ad evidences provided in support), listen to the arguments of the lawyers, and then will issue a judgment accordingly.