Legal Action

Nursing home abuse is never justifiable, and victims should seek the legal counsel of an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer. Whether you are seeking justice for nursing home malpractice, abuse, negligence or wrongful death, hiring an experienced nursing home lawyer to handle your litigation is key. Legal action against a nursing home can be a very effective remedy, and there are attorneys and law firms all over the country that are educated and experienced in this area of the law. If you choose to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit against a nursing home, you need to educate yourself on the laws surrounding your case and remain organized every step of the way.

State Court Civil Litigation

Another remedy that one can seek is civil litigation. You have the power to hire an attorney and take a nursing home to state court. The most common lawsuits filed against nursing homes involve abuse, neglect, and wrongful death. Taking a nursing home to court is a serious matter and one that requires tedious preparation.

What to do before finding an attorney

Do your own legal research:

  1. Make yourself knowledgeable of all state and federal nursing home regulations.
  2. Find and learn your state’s abuse, neglect, and wrongful death laws.
  3. Research the records of other complaints and/or lawsuits that have been filed against this or any other local nursing home.

Assemble and organize your evidence

  1. Write a summary of your complaint/case against the nursing home.
  2. Document the details and dates of your case against the nursing home.
  3. Communicate with friends and family who could serve as eye witness testimony.
  4. Obtain the cooperation of the victim’s Power of Attorney, who alone has the power to demand health care and nursing home records.
  5. Go to the family doctor or local hospitals to obtain the victim’s recent medical records and the medical records dating back to the time of the alleged incident.
  6. Obtain the CNA’s daily reports and flow charts from the Nursing Home.
  7. Be sure to utilize any copies of substantiated complaint forms from the Division of Licensing and Certification.
  8. Date and organize all of your evidence so that it can be easily deciphered by you and your legal team.

Finding the right attorney

Find a knowledgeable attorney

  1. Make sure you find an attorney that is knowledgeable in nursing home law.
  2. If you don’t know where to look for a lawyer who is experienced in nursing home law, seek the advice of local nursing home reform activists.
  3. Find an attorney who uses a team of investigators who will gather evidence and go right to the source of the problem, the nursing home itself.
  4. Keep yourself involved and aware of the status of your case. If you made yourself knowledgeable of your state and federal nursing home laws, you won’t feel lost or left out of the loop.

Federal False Claims Act, qui tam provision

Another remedy that involves the court system is a utilization of the qui tam law. The federal government provides available funding to nursing homes in the form of Medicare and Medicaid. Nursing homes that receive such funds must comply with a list of federal regulations on the quality of care they provide. The Federal False Claims Act specifies that if anyone has proof or suspects that a facility such as a nursing home is receiving federal funds without adhering to the federal regulations, then they have permission to sue the nursing home on behalf of the federal government. If the nursing home is found guilty, then the suing party can claim 25-30% of the funds returned to the government.

No matter what route you choose to take, filing a lawsuit against a nursing home facility is a procedure that requires patience, dedication, and organization. You should never try to rush into a courtroom scenario. Take the time to educate yourself on the nursing home laws and regulations surrounding your case, and organize all of your records and evidence into a legal portfolio that is easy to discern. When finding an attorney, do your homework in order to find one who is knowledgeable in nursing home law. After all, the nursing home is going to have lawyers, and you can be sure that they are familiar with the state and federal nursing home regulations. Our country is plagued by cases of nursing home malpractice, abuse, and negligence, and victims should seek the legal counsel of experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers.