Seniors who were the victims of nursing home abuse or neglect could get the justice they deserve. Families have the right to protect their loved ones by filing criminal charges and starting a civil lawsuit against the nursing home. Elder abuse is a heinous crime, and those who commit the crime should be punished.
Did You Report the Abuse to the Authorities?
At any time that the family suspects nursing home neglect or abuse, they should contact law enforcement and file a report. If the senior has physical injuries, the officers will get images of the injuries and file them with the report.
If the family knows the name of the perpetrator, they can file formal charges against the perpetrator. If they do not know the staff member’s name, the officers can find out during their investigations. This is the first step for a family when they discover that negligence caused bedsores or other elder abuse injuries.
Getting Medical Assistance for Your Loved One
The next step is to get medical assistance for the loved one. The family needs medical documentation of the nursing home-based injuries to present to the civil court when filing a lawsuit. The medical records present a formal record of all injuries sustained by the senior.
The attorney will inquire about medical records, and the family will need to take their loved one to a doctor to get these records. They are an important piece of evidence for the civil claim against the nursing home.
Get the Footage From the Security Surveillance System
Nursing homes have security surveillance systems that are monitored by security guards and the administrator. Before filing the lawsuit and notifying the nursing home of the impending legal action, the attorney can file a motion through the court to get copies of the footage that may show the unlawful actions.
However, the family must have an active police report against the nursing home staff. Without a motion to get the footage ahead of time the footage could conveniently disappear and present difficulties proving who injured the senior.
Finding Out Who Neglected the Loved One
A police investigation could lead to the identity of the perpetrator who injured or abused the senior. Under most circumstances, the nursing home administrator will take disciplinary action against a staff member if they become aware of illegal or unethical actions. This doesn’t prevent the family from filing a legal claim. Even if the administrator terminates the perpetrator’s employment, they are still liable for any unlawful actions taken by their staff.
Will Criminal Charges Be Filed?
If the law enforcement officers have hard evidence and probable cause, they can arrest the perpetrator for elder abuse. If the senior was assaulted and sustained injuries, the offender could be charged with assault and battery.
The severity of the injuries defines what criminal charge and classification are used. The victim could receive restitution if the offender is convicted of the crime, but this doesn’t prevent the family from collecting in the civil court.
Seniors who were abused or neglected in a nursing home have the legal right to press charges against the perpetrator and file a civil lawsuit. Since most seniors who are in a nursing home are not of sound mind, their families will have to take action to protect them and collect compensation. By hiring an attorney, families can get clarity about their rights and how to proceed.