Kentucky ranks near the bottom nationally in the quality of care it provides to the elderly and frail in its nursing homes, according to Families for Better Care. The resident advocacy group gave Kentucky a “D” in its latest annual nursing home report card and ranked the state No. 40 nationally. Unfortunately, neglect of nursing home residents’ basic rights and needs is simply far too common within the state.
If your loved in a nursing home who has suffered harm due to neglect, contact Becker Law Office to receive a free consultation. We can investigate your family member’s case and help you to assess your legal options. Our firm serves clients in Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee as well.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home “abuse” is the term used to refer to the intentional harm of nursing home residents. A staff member hitting or sexually assaulting an elderly resident or stealing the resident’s money or possessions would be examples of abuse.
Neglect is different. At its core, it is a type of carelessness or complete disregard for residents’ health and safety. It may be either intentional or unintentional misconduct.
Examples of nursing home neglect include the failure to:
- Provide proper nutrition (food and drink that meet the resident’s dietary needs)
- Assist the resident with maintaining body hygiene and grooming
- Change the resident’s bed sheets and pillowcases on a regular basis
- Properly handle patients who need assistance with walking, bathing or other activities
- Monitor the patient’s health and get proper medical attention if problems arise
- Provide proper medication as prescribed to the resident
- Supervise the resident and keep track of his or her whereabouts
Where these and other forms of neglect exist, residents face the risk of suffering catastrophic injuries and physical and mental pain and suffering. Residents may suffer bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, fall injuries, heart attacks or strokes. Some may die from neglect.
What Can You Do About Nursing Home Negligence in Kentucky?
If you suspect neglect of your loved one in a Kentucky nursing home, you can anonymously report the case to local law enforcement as well as the following agencies:
- Adult Protective Services at (800) 752-6200
- Office of the Inspector General at (502) 564-7963
- Office of the Attorney General at (877) 228-7384
- Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman at (800) 372-2991.
You should also contact an attorney with experience in this important area of the law. You may be able to file a legal claim based on the violation of your loved one’s rights as a nursing home resident and the harm he or she has suffered.
To prevail in a nursing home negligence claim, you would need to establish that the nursing home:
- Owed a duty of reasonable care to your loved one (Kentucky law actually provides an extensive list of the duties that nursing home operators owe to patients and families)
- The facility failed to fulfill this duty of care
- The nursing home’s breach of its duty caused your loved one to suffer harm
- The harm was an actual physical or mental injury
An attorney with experience investigating nursing home neglect cases will know how to collect the evidence that is needed to establish these basic elements of a legal claim. This evidence may include medical records, reports, e-mails, video footage and witness statements.
What Can You Recover in a Nursing Home Neglect Claim?
If a valid nursing home negligence claim is established, the victim and his or her family may recover damages that compensate for:
- Actual (or compensatory) damages such as the costs of medical treatment
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Wrongful death damages, including funeral expenses and loss of consortium
- Punitive damages (that are aimed at punishing and deterring wrongdoers)
A Becker Law Office attorney will thoroughly prepare your case for settlement and seek a full recovery on behalf of your loved one and your family. We make sure to prepare each nursing home neglect case as if it is heading to court in order to give us leverage in negotiations.
Contact Our Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys
Becker Law Office wants to help you to stop the mistreatment of your loved one and play a role in forcing Kentucky nursing homes to provide the care that elderly and frail residents deserve. To schedule a free discussion of your suspected nursing home neglect case, call (502) 333-3333 or contact us online today.
Sources / More Information:
- Rights of Residents – Duties of Facilities – Actions, KY Rev Stat § 216.515
- Kentucky Scores ‘D’, Ranks 40th in Nursing Home Care, Families for Better Care