If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, you may be wondering where or who to turn to for help. Fortunately, there are lawyers who are experts in dealing with nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the Kansas City area. These lawyers can help you in a variety of ways as you navigate the tricky legal landscape.
Seven Ways a Lawyer Can Help in Nursing Home Neglect Cases
You’ll Have Someone On Your Side
As nice as nursing home administrators can seem when you’re registering your loved one to live in their care, they won’t be on your side if you accuse their staff of neglect or abuse. They will reach out to you and try to get you to deal with the situation internally, but even if they seem compassionate, they are looking for a resolution that is in direct conflict to your interests, which include ensuring your loved one receives appropriate compensation.
It’s not that administrators don’t care about what happened to your loved one, but they have to keep the situation out of the press, and they need to pay out as little in compensation as possible to appease the nursing home owners. Keep in mind that running a nursing home is a business, so they have to act in the financial interests of the business. A lawyer, though, will be on your side and fight for your loved one’s interests.
You’ll Have Someone to Gather Evidence
In cases of nursing home abuse or neglect, you have to have strong evidence that proves your loved one was mistreated. Unfortunately, these situations can be very difficult to manage because the victims often suffer from conditions that make it difficult for them to articulate their experience, or they have passed away, leaving the case without its strongest (or only) witness, other than the accused, (and they aren’t likely to be very helpful to the investigation).
As you try to gather evidence, you might be stonewalled or given the runaround because the nursing home won’t want to admit wrongdoing. Hiring an attorney who’s experienced with nursing home abuse and neglect cases, though, can open doors that you found locked. Your attorney will have a strong network of experts at their disposal, including investigators who are the best at gathering evidence and won’t miss key details that could mean the difference between winning and losing a case.
You’ll Have Someone Managing the Process
Missing a filing deadline or posting about your case on social media could jeopardize your chances of winning justice for your loved one, and these are just some of the many mistakes that could be made during the course of your case. The legal process surrounding nursing home neglect and abuse cases can be quite complicated, and the pressure will be heavy to accept a settlement that might not be fair in relation to what your loved one experienced.
For these reasons, it’s always a better idea to hire an attorney who has experience in this legal field and the knowledge required to ensure that all deadlines are met, nothing harmful is said in public about your case, all damages are accounted for, and you receive the maximum amount of compensation that you and your loved one deserve. Additionally, these cases are highly emotional, but your lawyer will ensure that your emotions don’t cloud your judgment.
You’ll Have Someone Who Knows the Signs of Neglect or Abuse
Particularly in cases where nursing home abuse and neglect victims are unable to verbalize their experience, seasoned attorneys can spot the signs that your loved one has been victimized by the nursing home staff. Changes in behavior often occur rapidly in elderly people, especially if they suffer from a debilitating medical condition, but a lawyer knows which behaviors are consistent with neglect or abuse. They’ll be able to help your loved one tell their story in whatever way they’re able.
Of course, you can tell when your loved one’s behavior is different, but the nursing home can always try to blame your loved one’s behaviors on their condition or confusion. Your attorney won’t let them get away with that, and will even bring in medical experts to testify on your loved one’s behalf if the nursing home contests the allegations. Remember that staff members aren’t going to document their neglect or abuse, so you’ll have to prove it happened.
You’ll Get Help With Filing Reports
Not only should you file a legal claim against the nursing home if your loved one has experienced neglect or abuse, but you also need to file a report with the proper regulating authorities. In Kansas City, your lawyer will help you file a report using the Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline or through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. You can do this yourself, but having an attorney by your side makes it easier.
Your lawyer will help you gather the information on your loved one and the nursing home that you’ll have to provide in your report. It’s also recommended that you make a report with the police department, even if you only suspect neglect or abuse. This opens an investigation into the nursing home and will aid your attorney as they build a case against the facility. Additionally, you may be protecting other residents who may not have representation.
You Can Focus On Your Loved One
As previously mentioned, nursing home abuse and neglect can be extremely emotional, especially if you’ve watched a loved one suffer from mistreatment. The last thing you need is the stress of handling a lawsuit. Hiring an attorney allows you to unburden yourself of the legal component and focus on your loved one and their recovery. Your loved one needs you more than ever during this time, and relieving yourself of the legal hassles gives you the freedom to be there.
The emotional aspect can also lead you to accept a settlement from the nursing home that could be far less than what your loved one deserves. After all, you may want this situation to just be over. However, once you accept a settlement of any amount, you won’t be able to recover more damages, even if your loved one is later found to have suffered more damage than you initially believed. Your lawyer will help you make the right decisions.
Your Loved One Deserves the Best
Your loved one’s nursing home is likely owned by a huge corporation that will have as many lawyers as it needs to fight allegations of neglect and abuse. This can be incredibly intimidating to go up against, especially if you’re trying to do it yourself. Your loved one deserves the best legal representation possible, especially given all they’ve been through. Hiring an attorney can ensure your loved one will not be out-manned in the courtroom.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, schedule a meeting with an attorney to investigate the situation and find out for sure. We’ll get our top investigators on the case and fight for the compensation your loved one deserves. Contact the Potts Law Firm today to meet with our experienced attorneys and discover how we can help you win your case.