When a loved one needs medical or other attention that the family cannot provide, a nursing home is often the only solution. Although many people will spend hours researching to identify a fit facility, the resident may still receive subpar care, which can have vast repercussions. We entrust our family members to a team of professionals who we believe are skilled and caring. Unfortunately, in many instances, this trust is violated, and our loved one suffers the consequences. If your elderly family member or loved one experienced mistreatment in an assisted living facility, a compassionate Greene County nursing home abuse lawyer could help you seek justice. It is best to speak about your legal rights and options with a seasoned personal injury attorney.
The State of Mississippi takes nursing home neglect very seriously. The Vulnerable Persons Act of 1986 (the Act) aims to root out maltreatment and protect citizens subject to neglect, exploitation, and abuse. The Act defines abuse as intentionally causing physical injury or emotional distress to a vulnerable individual; the harm may include unlawful confinement, deprivation of essential services or goods, and sexual abuse per Miss. Code. Ann. § 43-47-5(a). One incident or successive events can constitute abuse under the Act.
The mistreatment of nursing home residents is more common than anyone would like to admit, so family or guardians must always be on the lookout for signs that something is amiss.
Every visit at a residential facility is an opportunity for family members to ask questions and carefully observe the level of care provided.
If a family member or guardian suspects neglect, abuse, or unsatisfactory care, their first recourse should be to discuss the matter with the care facility’s administration. Often, this will resolve the problem. When it does not, families may need to resort to taking legal action. Retaining legal counsel familiar with residential home abuse may be prudent in achieving a successful resolution.
Mississippi requires families pursuing nursing home abuse cases to file their claims in a timely manner. Most complaints must be filed within three years of discovering the abuse per Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. If the family wishes to file a medical malpractice case, they must initiate the case within two years of discovering the harm.
Mississippi Code Annotated § 11-1-60 allows claimants to recover economic and non-economic damages, with a $1 million cap on non-economic damages (the law caps non-economic damages in healthcare injury cases at $500,000). If the responsible party’s behavior is particularly heinous, the court may also award punitive damages based on that party’s net worth.
Complicating this already difficult situation is that many nursing home contracts contain an arbitration clause that requires the parties to abide by the decision of a neutral, third party and forego the judicial system. Greene County lawyers focused on nursing facility neglect can help with this process as well.
Discovering that your loved one experienced neglect or abuse while residing in a care facility is troubling and confusing. A Greene County nursing home abuse lawyer understands your distress and will work with you to find the right resolution for your family member. Please do not hesitate; call us today to help you protect and advocate for your family.