Unfortunately, nursing homes don’t always provide patients with the level of care they need. If your loved one was harmed by either nursing home abuse or neglect, our Stamford, Connecticut nursing home negligence lawyers are prepared to fight for you. Never let instances of abuse or neglect go unreported. Contact Casper & de Toledo today. But even before you call a lawyer, make notes about the events at issue and be certain to photograph and videotape your loved one’s injuries.
Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Lawyer in Stamford, Connecticut | Here for You & Your Loved One
Connecticut Law provides for a Nursing Home Patients Bill of Rights that is codified in Section 19a-550 of the Connecticut General Statutes. Combined with federal requirements found in Section 483.10 et seq of the Code of Federal Regulations, nursing home patients and family members have many significant rights that relate to the quality of care, staffing requirements, use of restraints, and use of medication. Additional information may be found on the Medicare website. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, contact a Stamford, Connecticut medical malpractice lawyer from Casper & de Toledo today.
What to Do if Your Loved One Is a Victim of Nursing Home or Assisted Living Abuse
It is important to recognize that incidents of poor treatment or abuse in a nursing home or convalescent facility in Connecticut may give rise to claims of medical malpractice, elder abuse, violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practice Act, and various other claims.
Violations of the standard of care also occur in assisted living situations including Memory Care Unit injuries.
If you or a loved one has been or is currently being victimized in a nursing home or memory care facilities in Connecticut or elsewhere, it is important that you immediately take the following steps:
- Secure the safety of the patient
- Register a timely complaint with the administration of the facility
- Take detailed notes
- Request that an outside physician pays a visit to the patient
- Photograph the patient’s condition, including fractures, bruising, soiled conditions, decubitus ulcers, etc.
- Contact the Department of Health
- Contact the local police
- Contact an attorney
- Save all paperwork from the facility, including contracts, invoices, promotional literature, and brochures
- Obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the abuse or maltreatment including patients, family members of other patients, and staff
What to Know about Nursing Home Negligence
If you or your parents or grandparents are in a nursing home, it is probably because you associate such facilities with care and attentiveness. That is why nursing home negligence is such a serious problem. Many patients residing in nursing homes or memory car facilities are unable to communicate instances of abuse or neglect because of physical or mental disabilities, or simply because they have no one to tell.
Nursing home negligence can be very serious, causing significant health problems and even death among victims. Examples of nursing home negligence include failing to provide adequate food or water, failing to provide appropriate hygienic care, overmedicating patients, using physical restraints unnecessarily, pressure sores, injuries from neglect during patient transfers, and physically or sexually abusing residents.
Depending upon the injuries involved, these items are among those that a comprehensive investigation of a nursing home neglect case should examine: budgeting for food, patient care per day (determines the adequacy of staffing), the length of time devoted to each patient during the day, and adequacy of provision for nutrition. In some instances, it is necessary to investigate the services of the institution’s professional dietary staff to determine whether the dietician is institution-based or is an outside contractor with much more limited resources. And as to dietary services, it should be determined whether or not the patient is receiving sufficient attention from a professional dietician.
As previously stated, many of the illnesses and injuries in a nursing home or memory car facility can be prevented. Patients are injured from falls and may be the victims of medication errors, with results like sepsis, infection, pneumonia, operative site infection, delayed healing, and pressure sores. Adequate staffing can prevent many of these conditions. Sepsis can be prevented, but if not prevented, it can be recognized early enough to be adequately treated. Adequate staffing and proper use of physical therapy can prevent falls and pressure sores. Aspiration pneumonia may be prevented with the use of a speech pathologist and/or a professional dietician.
The Complexities of Bringing Lawsuits against Nursing Homes in CT
Another major problem in dealing with nursing homes is often referred to as ‘corporate shell games;’ you see one name on the building’s face, only to learn that an outside company is managing the nursing home because the owners seek to distance themselves from responsibility. If you try to create a flow chart for corporate responsibility, often you find a complex interwoven relationship between the holder of the nursing home license, the management company, a holding company, related corporations, limited liability companies, and limited liability partnerships. To determine the entities responsible for the operation of the nursing home, it is often necessary to examine licensure files and Medicaid cost reports. To identify the real parties in control, it is sometimes necessary to examine loan documents to determine commonality.
Another problematic issue that arises in suing a nursing home is the inadequacy of insurance. Often, a nursing home is insured with a PAC Man insurance policy. That means that the money that is consumed defending a case reduces the amount of coverage that is available for the injured nursing home resident. It is ironic that insurance companies, the medical industry, and the pharmaceutical industry are always lobbying to reduce the attorney’s fees that an injured person can pay, yet here is a system that is calculated to reduce benefits by what is paid to a lawyer.
Investigation of nursing home abuse or injury cases often leads us to explore such other documents as:
- nursing home survey forms
- nursing home survey files
- state survey files
- offsite survey preparation worksheets
- surveyor notes and worksheets
- complaint forms
- complaint form investigation reports
Dietary Food Service Policies & Procedures
We will also look at the State Operations Manual and the industry guide known as the “Watermelon Book,” which are among our resources to interpret cases.
Closely aligned with issues of nursing home neglect are issues pertaining to elder abuse. While elder abuse in the community may occur in a range of settings that is much broader than nursing homes and assisted living/memory care unit settings, those institutions are like a petri dish for vulnerable people. An interesting exposition of developments in this area can be found in Lachs M, e tal., Bringing Advances in Elder Abuse Research Methodology and Theory to Evaluation of Interventions. J Appl Gerontol. 2021 Nov:40(11): 1437-1446.
Contact a Stamford, Connecticut Nursing Home & Assisted Living Negligence Lawyer
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home or assisted living negligence, this form of medical malpractice needs to be reported immediately and the personal injury lawyers at our Stamford, Connecticut office may be able to help. It is important that you seek help both for your own situation and for the other residents. Contact Casper & de Toledo today and fight for your loved one’s rights!