Nursing Home Abuse Claims: FAQs
Common Questions About Nursing Home Abuse
If you have concerns about the care your elderly loved ones receive, or suspect abuse, it is only natural to have questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive at Siegel Law. For more information, do not hesitate to call us at (562) 645-4145.
1. Do I Have a Case?
Without knowing the details, it is really impossible for us to say whether you have a case or not, so the best way to find out is to call and tell us about your situation. In general, however, the strength of a civil case depends on the evidence you have to support a claim of negligence and how it has made the facility (or a staff member) liable for injuries to your loved one. Evidence is vital, so if you see physical marks on your elderly relative, or other warning signs, take pictures and document what you see and hear as precisely as possible.
2. Is There Anything I Can Do?
If you suspect that abuse has occurred, know that you are not alone and do not have to suffer in silence. Trust yourself and follow your instincts. First of all, contact the California Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services (APS). This is a government agency specifically charged with licensing, certifying, and overseeing nursing homes and similar facilities. They are in charge of investigating reports of abuse, so making a report to them is the best place to start.
Once you have contacted them, call us at Siegel Law. We have years of experience handling these kinds of cases and will sit down with you for free and help you understand your options going forward. It is easy to become overwhelmed in this situation, which is why we offer guidance to those who need it.
3. Do You Charge Upfront?
The answer is no. Siegel Law take all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that our clients owe the firm nothing for expenses unless they are awarded a monetary settlement or we receive a favorable verdict at trial. All expenses will be deducted from the settlement or jury verdict. Not a dime will be taken out of your pocket.
4. What Are Pressure Sores?
Pressure sores, also called bed sores and pressure ulcers, are a common sign of nursing home abuse or neglect. They are caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin, typically near areas where the bones are close to the skin: the hips, back, elbows, and ankles. When pressure sores first show up, they’re just skin irritation. With prompt treatment, they typically have no lasting effects. When not treated quickly, however, later stages can result in serious damage not only to skin but also to muscle and bone.
The greatest tragedy of pressure sores is that they are relatively easy to prevent. Regular movement of a person restricted to a bed or wheelchair can help avoid pressure sores. Someone who must remain in bed should be moved about every two hours, and use of a pressure-reducing mattress can help. A proper diet, cleanliness, and daily exercise all help prevent pressure sores and eliminate the serious harm that can accompany them.
5. What Other Nursing Homes Do You Recommend?
Choosing the right nursing home for your loved ones is a personal (and tough) decision. It is something you must decide on your own, or with the rest of your family. With that in mind, however, there are a few resources you can use to help with the decision.
The Health Facilities Consumer Information System provided by the state of California lets you search for different types of health facilities, including nursing homes. This site is a great place to start.
The Health Facilities Consumer Information System also lets you search for complaints against said facilities. You can use this tool to check on any homes you might be considering and see if complaints have been filed against them.
The Medicare website also provides a tool for finding nursing homes. While this may not be as focused as the information provided by the California site, it is still a good place to look for options available to you.
Remember, if you suspect any form of elderly abuse or negligence has occurred, trust your instincts and call us at Siegel Law, (562) 645-4145.