If somebody were to ask me what are some of the elements that we consider when deciding whether or not to bring a case against a nursing home, I would explain to an individual that one of the primary factors that we look for is whether or not an individual has been abused and neglected.
In a nursing home setting, it’s really quite different than the traditional malpractice, medical malpractice case, because the individuals in a nursing home are there for extended periods of time. And these individuals, often because they are at the end of life, have lost their independence. They are dependent upon the nursing home personnel to take care of all of their needs.
Oftentimes these people are unable to communicate whether those needs are being met or neglected. So when you look at a nursing home case, it’s usually not a “gotcha” moment, here’s a malpractice; it’s more you have to look over the course of time – weeks, months, and analyze the records to see if the person has been neglected, to see if they have been systematically abused over that period of time.
Oftentimes we see situations where people have developed bedsores that get worse and worse, and that can be indicative that the personnel at the nursing home weren’t turning this person. In other words, moving them so they weren’t sitting on the same place or lying on the same place of the body. Or that they’re malnourished; they’re not being given the food and nourishment they need to keep themselves healthy so that these sores don’t develop.
Oftentimes we see in the records a deterioration of a person’s mental status, and it’s because they’re not getting adequate nutrition or they’re not getting the medications that doctors have prescribed to help keep them as healthy as possible. You have to look at these cases – and usually there are thousands of pages of medical records – very, very carefully. And that is something that Crandall & Pera Law has the staff and the expertise to do as well as anybody.
We have nurses and lawyers that specialize in looking at nursing home cases and analyzing these records to determine whether abuse and neglect has occurred. Oftentimes, we don’t get the real picture until a person leaves the nursing home, goes to another medical institution, and documents how resident truly appears, and oftentimes by then it’s too late for that person.
Now, because people in nursing homes are at the end of life, they don’t have lost income. They weren’t looking at having 30 or 40 years and having children. They were at the end of life, so compensatory damages typically aren’t that great in a nursing home case. They’re not that high because the person didn’t have much life left. Typically, in nursing home cases, we have an element of punitive damages. Because these nursing homes are owned by multi-billion dollar corporations, they are looking at a bottom line, and when we see signs of abuse and neglect in a resident, what we often find is that a nursing home is understaffed, and they don’t have the proper staff to take care of a person’s unique needs.
And they don’t have that staff because, at a very high level, a corporate executive has made the decision that nursing home doesn’t need those extra funds, and the nursing home cuts staff. In the end, they cut care and your loved one is neglected or abused. At that point, when we find evidence of that, then we go to the court and we say look, we want punitive damages because this corporation needs to understand this cannot be tolerated. If we couldn’t get punitive damages and it was just compensatory damages, it would just be a cost of doing business.
So if you believe a loved one of yours has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, give us a call at Crandall & Pera Law. We will take a look at the case and give you an honest and educated opinion as to whether that has occurred. Oftentimes it hasn’t, and people are at the end of life and they do deteriorate and die. But if you have any questions, give us a call and we will give you our opinion.
Nursing home negligence is a sad reality in Kentucky. It can be difficult for our aging loved ones to defend themselves or stand up for their rights, especially in the controlled environment of a long-term care facility. Nursing home negligence takes many forms, and proving that a healthcare provider was negligent can be time-consuming and difficult.
The elderly are at higher risk of abuse because they are easy targets. Your frail and forgetful loved one can be the victim of any kind of abuse, ranging from basic neglect to emotional, physical, financial, and even sexual abuse. Protecting you and your family from further harm is our first priority at Crandall & Pera Law; serving justice is our mission.
The experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can be your advocates during a difficult time. Our team of former healthcare defense attorneys and registered nurses can evaluate the circumstances of your loved ones care quickly and effectively.
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, our Kentucky nursing home abuse attorneys can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call our Kentucky legal team at 877.651.7764, or contact us today for a free consultation.