Columbus Nursing Home Lawyers
Strong advocacy for Ohio nursing home residents who suffer harm due to abuse or neglect
Many seniors choose to live in nursing homes for health reasons or for social companionship reasons. Parents, aunts, uncles, and other elderly nursing home residents deserve to live the best lives possible. Nursing home residents and their families have the right to expect that nursing homes will properly care for every resident’s safety and enjoyment of life. When nursing homes put their profit ahead of the security and health of loved ones, they deserve to be held accountable. At Soroka & Associates, LLC, our Columbus nursing home lawyers want to help.
How can our Columbus nursing home lawyers help?
- What are the different types of nursing home abuse?
- What are the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect in Columbus?
- Who is liable for nursing home abuse/neglect in Columbus?
- What kinds of nursing home cases do you take?
- How much is my Columbus nursing home case worth?
- What is the Nursing Home Bill of Rights?
- Who is my local Ombudsman?
- Do you have a Columbus nursing home lawyer near me?
Nursing home abuse is any type of injury to a resident caused by unacceptable conduct by the staff or the nursing home.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are four types of elderly abuse. Our Columbus nursing home lawyers understand how to hold nursing homes liable for each type of abuse.
Physical abuse involves the use of force, restraints, or other actions that cause bodily harm, illnesses, pain, or other injuries. Examples include slapping, punching, hitting, burning, kicking, and the use of physical or chemical restraints.
Emotional abuse includes verbal or nonverbal conduct that is meant to cause fear, distress, anguish, intimidation, and harassment of a resident. Examples include yelling, insults, failing to let a resident see family and friends, bullying, threats of punishment, and demeaning actions such as photographing residents and using them to humiliate a resident.
Financial abuse involves the illegal or improper use of a resident’s financial possessions, including money, personal property, benefits, and assets for the benefit of someone other than the resident. Examples include theft, forgery, pressuring a resident to sign a power of attorney or change his/her will, unauthorized use of a credit card, and taking retirement benefits such as Social Security retirement checks.
At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus nursing home lawyers also file claims against nursing homes if their care or lack of care doesn’t meet acceptable nursing home practices. There are federal and Ohio nursing home guidelines and nursing home best practices that must be followed.
Nursing home neglect includes:
- Failing to provide the resident with proper nutrition, clothing, and shelter
- Not giving each resident the proper medications in the correct dosages at the correct time
- Not checking regularly for bedsores
- Failing to recognize and respond to the signs of stroke or other illnesses
- Failing to protect seniors from falling
- Failing to provide an individualized healthcare plan for each patient
Family, friends, and anyone who cares for a Columbus nursing home resident should look for the following signs of abuse or neglect when they visit or speak with their loved ones:
Signs from an examination of your loved one
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Not bathing or other signs of a lack of hygiene
- Cuts, bruises, abrasions, broken bones, scarring, and other signs of physical abuse
- Bladder and bowel pain or discomfort
- Untreated infections
- The use of physical or chemical restraints
- Lack of participation in community activities
- Indications your loved one isn’t receiving or taking their medications
Signs from an examination of the nursing home
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Bed bugs
- Indications that a resident could easily fall, such as a lack of railings in bathrooms
- Residents who can wander unsupervised
- Easy access to medications
Families and friends need to be especially attentive if a loved one has dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or any other cognitive disorders because these seniors can’t describe what’s happening which makes taking advantage of them much easier and makes understanding their signs of abuse and neglect much harder.
At Soroka & Associates, our Columbus nursing home attorneys consult with you and your loved one to understand what happened and what physical, emotional, sexual, or financial injuries have occurred. We understand the relevant rules and regulations. If you have a case, we can explain what your next steps should or could be.
Nursing home abuse and neglect are often due to understaffing, lack of training, overworked staff, failure to honor the rights of residents, and failure to follow standard nursing home protocols.
The defendants may include:
- The nursing home owners, operators, managers, and administrators
- The nursing home staff
- Medical personnel
- Anyone, such as third-party vendors and visitors, with access to the nursing home who may have caused harm to your loved one
Depending on the circumstances, you may need to file a:
- Personal injury claims if your loved one suffered any type of physical, emotional, sexual, or physical harm due to Columbus nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Wrongful death claims on behalf of close family members if a loved one died due to Columbus nursing home abuse and neglect.
Most residents in nursing homes have a limited life expectancy. That makes every day they have left more valuable. Your lawyer can demand compensation for the resident’s current and future medical bills and daily physical pain and emotional suffering. You can also seek damages for any financial damages and for your loved one’s inability to enjoy life’s pleasures. In cases of abuse, you could be entitled to punitive damages.
If a loved one died, wrongful death damages can include compensation for the funeral and burial costs, any outstanding medical expenses, the loss of financial support and inheritances your loved one would have provided, the loss of the guidance and companionship your loved one would have filed, and the mental anguish of the eligible beneficiaries.
There are federal and state laws that provide specific rights for nursing home residents. Many of these rights are set forth in the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. Nursing homes that bill Medicare or Medicaid (most do) must comply with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services checklist of rights and protections as a nursing home resident. Ohio has its own nursing home bill of rights.
Some of the key rights in these laws include the right to privacy, have visitors, communicate with others, be free from physical and chemical restraints, be treated with dignity, review one’s care plan, be free from discrimination, participate in activities, and get proper medical care.
An essential right under these laws and regulations is the resident’s right to speak with counsel and file complaints against the nursing home.
Ohio, like the other US states, has a separate agency called the Ohio Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman, which is dedicated to receiving and investigating nursing home complaints. The nursing home will try to reach some sort of agreement if a resident is being harmed due to abuse and neglect. The agency does not decide the merits of disputes or award damages. You need to consult with an experienced Columbus nursing home lawyer to file a formal complaint.
According to the Ohio Department of Aging the Long-Term Care Ombudsman for Ohio is located at
- AARP Foundation Columbus. 1393 E. Broad St., Ste. 105, Columbus, OH 43205
- VANTAGE Aging Columbus. 4300 E. Broad St., Ste. A, Whitehall, OH 43213
Soroka & Associates meets clients at our Columbus Ohio office located at 503 South Front Street, Suite 205. We’re happy to answer any questions about directions you may have. We can also arrange for a phone or video consultation.
Seek guidance about your nursing home abuse claim from an experienced injury lawyer
Nursing home residents should treasure each day with family, friends, and other nursing home residents. They have the right to trust the staff is well-trained and the nursing home is constantly looking out for their well-being. We fight for seniors when that trust is broken. At Soroka & Associates, we are seasoned personal injury lawyers who want to help you and your loved one. Please call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients in Columbus and throughout Central Ohio.