When individuals require long-term medical care, that care is typically entrusted to a nursing home or assisted living facility. But many people are hesitant about sending their loved ones to a nursing home for fear that they may be neglected. With more than 700 substantiated cases of abuse or neglect in Clark County nursing homes and assisted living facilities in 2019, those fears may be warranted. Even more concerning, the National Center on Elder Abuse reports that for every case of abuse and neglect reported, another five cases go unreported.
Nevada has several laws designed to protect patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These laws ensure that every nursing home is a safe and sanitary environment. If you suspect a loved one is being neglected in their nursing home, you may be wondering what options you have. Answer questions like what constitutes neglect, what to do if you suspect nursing home neglect, and how De Castroverde Personal Injury & Accident Lawyers can help you with your nursing home neglect claim.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect in Nevada?
Under Nevada State Law, neglect is defined as the intentional or unintentional failure of a nursing home facility or its staff to provide food, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene services, or medical care necessary for an older or vulnerable’s physical or mental health person.
Nursing homes in Nevada must provide a certain standard of care that includes providing a safe, comfortable, and sanitary environment to its residents, providing 24-hour access to medications, treatments, proper nutrition, and specialized healthcare, and maintaining programs for infection control and the prevention of bed or pressure sores.
Nursing homes that fail to meet the standard of care can be held liable for neglect and responsible for any losses the resident and their relatives incurred, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property loss.
What Are Some Common Causes and Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?
Some of the most common causes of nursing home neglect include a lack of adequate training of facility staff, improper or lack of proper maintenance of the facility and equipment, ineffective policies and procedures, and administrative misconduct, such as fraud and abuse.
Many of these causes may not be easily observed when visiting your loved one in a nursing home. However, signs of neglect can present in your loved one or how they are being cared for at the facility. Signs of neglect include:
- Unexplained weight loss or other evidence of malnutrition or dehydration.
- Untreated bed or pressure sores.
- An unkept living environment that includes stained bed sheets or clothing.
- Lack of personal hygiene.
- Extended or frequent isolation.
- Restraint marks, welts, or bruises.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect?
If you suspect your elderly loved one is being neglected in a nursing home, you have several options. First, report your concerns to the facility’s administrator and follow up to ensure that they address your concerns. If the suspected neglect does not stop or the situation does not improve, you can contact one of the following State government and advocacy agencies to investigate your concerns:
- Nevada Long Term Care Ombudsman: This organization accepts and investigates reports of elder neglect in nursing home facilities.
- Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division: This organization receives and investigates reports of neglect of persons 60 years or older throughout the state.
- Nevada Elder Protective Services: This organization investigates, intervenes, and remedies situations where older people are at risk of elder abuse and neglect.
Whether you report your concerns to the facility administrator or the appropriate government or advocacy agency, contact an experienced nursing home neglect attorney to discuss your options. A knowledgeable Las Vegas nursing home neglect and injury attorney can help you evaluate your case, identify who may be liable, and determine the next steps to protect your loved one and maximize your compensation.
What Information Should You Gather to Show Nursing Home Neglect?
The following information or evidence can help prove nursing home neglect:
- Medical records that show physical harm, injury, or changes.
- Statements of witnesses.
- Photographs or videos.
- Reports and complaints made to government or advocacy agencies.
- Expert testimony.
- Correspondence you received from the facility.
Does Nevada Limit or Cap Damages in Nursing Home Neglect Cases?
While there is typically no limit to the amount of compensatory or economic damages you can receive in a personal injury case such as a nursing home neglect claim, Nevada personal injury law may impose damage caps or limits on the number of damages that you can recover for your noneconomic losses, depending on the type of claim you file.
If you file a nursing home neglect claim, NRS 41.1395 allows you or your loved one to recover two times the actual damages incurred. If the neglect involves medical malpractice, your noneconomic losses are capped at $350,000, and punitive damages are capped at $300,000 if compensatory damages are less than $100,000 or three times the compensatory damages if they are greater than $100,000.
How De Castroverde Accident & Injury Can Help You with Your Nursing Home Neglect Case?
Our attorneys understand that every personal injury case is unique and complex. At De Castroverde Accident & Injury, we handle each case with professionalism, extensive knowledge of Nevada personal injury law, and dedication. Regardless of your type of personal injury, our experienced Accident & Injury Lawyers handle every step of your nursing home neglect claim process, including:
- Helping you understand your legal rights and options and maximizing your damages.
- Handling all correspondence with government and advocacy agencies, the nursing home, and their lawyers.
- Filing your claim with the court.
- Obtaining necessary evidence for the case.
- Get compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages associated with your nursing home neglect case.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation. We are available 24 hours, seven days a week. Our bilingual, knowledgeable, and dedicated team of legal professionals and support staff have provided high-quality, aggressive, and dependable personal injury law representation to Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, and Summerlin residents since 2005.