Our Blogs

Are Nursing Home Residents Still at Risk for Abuse?

Written by Berkowitz

Legal Assistance for Elderly Abuse Victims

elderly man in a wheelchairThere are state and federal safeguards in place to provide quality care to those entering into nursing homes. But, these rules tend to fail to hold nursing homes accountable to their patients, families, or even according to the law. One issue is the arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts, which require consumers to settle their disputes over products/services through private arbitration rather than a traditional lawsuit. Corporations use forced arbitration because it tilts the odds in their favor (overwhelmingly might we add). While arbitration protects the nursing home and its owners, it denies justice to those who have been injured or even die because of negligence and abuse in nursing homes.

A recent New York Times article highlighted the ongoing issues facing injured parties and nursing home abuse – specifically focusing on the issue of arbitration. Force arbitration, according to the article, is problematic with nursing home disputes. These claims forced into arbitration typically involve dehydration, broken limbs, bedsores, and even untreated pain or illnesses.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have issued proposals, but none of them have recommended a ban on pre-dispute arbitration. Instead, they simply condone these forced arbitration clauses and require that nursing homes take legal steps to explain and disclose all clauses within their agreements to prospective patients. They must ensure that people understand what they are signing prior to following through with the contract. By allowing people to still enter into these agreements, the government has not done much to protect those who are abused from seeking compensation.

Can an Attorney Help with Nursing Home Abuse?

If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, do not assume that you have no options because of a binding arbitration clause. Even if you are forced into arbitration, an attorney can represent your case and ensure that the favor tilts in your way with the arbitrator – not the corporation trying to protect themselves from a suit.

Nursing home abuse is still a very real threat to aging and invalid individuals in the state. By hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer, you can prove neglect and put these practices to an end. An attorney can help you file your claim against nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and even long-term care facilities when abuse or neglect occurs.

Some types of claims attorneys can help with include, but are not limited to:

  • Malnutrition and Dehydration – This is one of the most common types of nursing home abuse/neglect claims filed. Malnutrition and dehydration leads to severe weight loss, kidney and organ failure, and a whole host of other medical problems.
  • Bedsores (Pressure Sores) – Also referred to as “pressure ulcers,” these sores are a sign of neglect and common amongst bedridden patients. When they are left untreated and allowed to become infected, it can lead to even more serious health problems.
  • Falls – When patients are not properly monitored, they can suffer falls. These falls can result in serious injuries and, for some, life-threatening complications.
  • Physical Abuse – Unfortunately, physical abuse occurs in nursing homes. Because of their physical dependence, individuals in these facilities are unable to protect themselves; therefore, they are at higher risk for abuse from their caretakers.

Berkowitz and Hanna LLC – Your Trusted Resource for Nursing Home Abuse

If your loved one has been abused or neglected, turn to the nursing home abuse attorneys at Berkowitz and Hanna LLC. We work as your advocates to hold those responsible for their unacceptable behavior and ensure that you are compensated for injuries, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Call us or contact us online to get started.