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Families and residents can now sue nursing homes for neglect

When you and your family make the difficult decision to place an elderly relative in a nursing home, you may be worried about the care they will be receiving. You have every reason to be concerned. There have been many reports all across of America of people being abused and neglected by their caretakers. If you find yourself in that situation, there is now a way for you to fight back against those responsible for the mistreatment of your loved one.

A new rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allows nursing home residents and their families to file wrongful care lawsuits against residential facilities. In the past, many families and residents were forced to go to arbitration instead. The results of these cases were kept behind closed doors, leaving the public in the dark, even when the arbitrator ruled against the home. The new rule bans arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts. Through litigation, nursing homes can now be held accountable for any wrongdoing and the public will know which homes to keep their loved ones away from.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know if your loved one is being abused or neglected. Experts advise families to carefully observe the resident's behavior. If the resident appears more aggressive or irritable than usual, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Also, even if a patient has dementia or another illness affecting their mental capacities, take their accusations seriously. Investigate further and ask questions.

Once you have a basis for a claim against the nursing home, you may want to go to an attorney for further assistance in filing your claim. If a court finds that the home is guilty of abuse or neglect, your family and the resident may recover damages for the pain and suffering endured and other expenses.

Source: Fox Business, "Signs of Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse," Casey Dowd, Oct. 17, 2016

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
1164 Victory Blvd.
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Phone: 347-286-1937
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