Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing Home Care Abuse, Injuries and Wrongful Death
When entrusting your loved ones to nursing home care, you expect that the facilities will be properly staffed, care will be responsive and the professionals will ensure residents’ health, well-being and security. Unfortunately, with cost-cutting and a focus on profits, many nursing homes are accountable for serious injury, even fatalities caused by negligence.
At Hal Waldman and Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, our nursing home abuse attorneys are experienced in complex cases involving nursing home negligence and abuse. In addition to his legal experience, Hal Waldman has owned and operated a nursing home and personal care home in Pennsylvania for over 40 years.
Investigations in Medical Abuse at Pennsylvania Nursing Homes
Our nursing home abuse attorneys will initiate an immediate investigation to document the facts and circumstances of your case. We will review medical records, contact witnesses and work with medical professionals to build evidence for your case. After an injury or fatal accident, it is important to consult an experienced Pittsburgh nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Our legal team has the experience, dedication and professional network to effectively handle your claim and maximize compensation.
Our Pittsburgh nursing home abuse attorneys are experienced in cases involving:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Abuse of mentally challenged victims
- Elder abuse
- Failure to provide care
- Decubitus ulcers
Tips for Finding the Right Nursing Home in Pittsburgh
It’s crucial to take the time to find the right facility for your elderly loved one. You not only need to find one that is financially suitable, but one that provides the specific medical services your loved one needs. Before enrolling your loved one in any nursing home, take the time to do your homework.
First, look at reviews for the potential nursing home. You should check out the testimonials posted on their own website as well as reviews on third-party sites. It’s not uncommon for businesses to load their testimonial pages with only favorable reviews, so third-party sites may have more balanced review scores. See if you notice any common trends among negative reviews that could indicate systemic abuse in the nursing home.
When you visit a nursing home to judge it in person, look carefully at the cleanliness and organization of the facility as well as the demeanor of staff members and other residents. Talk to the staff to find out how long they have worked at the facility, any problems they notice with the facility or grounds, and see if you can ask other residents a few questions. Finally, before agreeing to send your loved one to a nursing home, make sure the home is in compliance with all applicable regulations and certification standards. You should also inquire about the nursing staff and their availability per resident.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It’s crucial to pay close attention to your loved ones who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. If you notice any changes in an elderly loved one’s behavior, be sure to investigate them fully to ensure they are not indications of abuse. It’s also important to remember that nursing home abuse takes many forms, and not all of them will have visible signs.
One of the best indications of nursing home abuse or neglect is changes in your loved one’s behavior. If he or she seems nervous, fearful, or depressed during your visits, try to encourage a conversation to find out why. It’s also a good idea to keep tabs on your loved one’s financial records, if possible. Financial abuse in nursing homes is unfortunately very common, and many nursing home employees have lost their jobs and faced criminal charges for stealing from the people in their care, writing checks to themselves, or stealing residents’ identities to apply for credit cards.
Physical forms of abuse are more apparent, but they may not be as simple as a bruise, scrape, or broken bone. Physical abuse also includes neglect, and some residents may not realize what is happening to them over time. Pay close attention to your loved one’s weight, color, and overall mood for signs of neglect.
Speak to a Pittsburgh nursing home abuse lawyer if you need advice on proving possible abuse, especially if your loved one suffers from dementia or other situations that will make it harder for them to testify against the nursing home.
Taking Action Against Nursing Home Abuse in Pittsburgh
If you suspect your elderly loved one is facing abuse or neglect at his or her nursing home, it’s crucial to gather evidence and build a case so you can remove your loved one from the dangerous situation and hold abusive parties responsible for their actions. The more evidence you can gather the easier it will be for our nursing home abuse attorneys to build a strong case.
Try to talk to other nursing home residents about their feelings about the nursing home. If they seem afraid or hesitant to talk, it could indicate systemic abuse in the nursing home affecting multiple residents. Talk to staff members as well about their feelings and observations. Some employees may overlook employer impropriety out of fear of speaking up and losing their jobs. Candid conversations with nursing home staff can be very enlightening, so pay close attention to employees who seem uninterested in their work or hesitant to discuss complaints with the facility.
Protecting Your Rights at Nursing Home Facilities
Nursing home abuse lawyers from our firm have extensive experience working with the families of victims and understand how difficult these cases can be. We are also dedicated to holding individuals and organizations responsible for the injury and damage caused to innocent victims. Our firm offers free consultations and takes our nursing home negligence cases on a contingency basis so there is no risk in contacting us to discuss the facts of your case. We will handle your case with the compassion, dignity and dedication it deserves.
Know Federal Nursing Home Laws
There are a few federal laws you should know when it comes to investigating nursing home abuse. If you notice anything that is out of line with the following laws, be sure to contact your Pittsburgh nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible:
The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA)
The NHRA became law in 1987 as part of the 1987 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. The NHRA exists to protect the rights of nursing home residents and ensure they receive the “highest practicable” quality of care. The NHRA protects nursing home residents from abuse and neglect, provides the right to privacy, free communication, and the ability to voice grievances without fear of retaliation. The NHRA also allows nursing home residents to participate in family and social gatherings, participate in their own care plans, and receive dignified treatment from nursing home staff.
The Older Americans Act
The Older Americans Act, enacted in 1965, provides several programs aimed at improving the lives of elderly Americans. This includes services such as meals-on-wheels, nutritional support programs, in-home medical care, transportation, legal services, and elder abuse prevention programs.
Federal Requirements for Nursing Home Staff
Federal law requires nursing homes to have at least one Registered Nurse on duty for at least eight hours a day, every day. Nursing homes must also have a licensed nurse on duty 24 hours a day and hire enough staff to manage the day-to-day operations of the facility. Nursing homes must provide at least 75 hours of training to nursing aides, but there are no strict requirements for staff numbers. This means if a nursing home meets the bare minimum federal requirements, the average nursing home resident could only expect about 20 minutes of time with a nurse each day. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, the optimal amount of nurse time for each resident is one hour with a licensed nurse and three hours with nursing aides.
Free Case Evaluation with Our Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
To discuss your case with our Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorney, call us at 412-338-1000 or use our online contact form.