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When families move their loved ones into nursing homes or other residential care facilities, they expect that they are competently cared for. Unfortunately, errors made by nurses, doctors, and other staff can result in serious injury or even death for residents.
Typically, a Findlay nursing home abuse lawyer works with the injured resident’s estate to obtain the compensation that they deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse at the hands of a nursing home, you might have many questions including:
Retain a qualified personal injury lawyer who can answer your questions and work with you to hold the responsible parties accountable.
There are many types of facilities that provide long-term care to seniors, adults with disabilities, and patients recovering from severe injuries. Each one offers a different level of care, but they all have a responsibility to keep their residents safe.
A nursing home is a long-term care facility for seniors or adults with disabilities who need help with daily non-medical tasks. Assisted living facilities offer many of the same services as nursing homes. However, they provide a lower level of care and residents have slightly more independence.
Skilled nursing facilities offer long-term medical care. Residents in these homes have access to licensed medical professionals, such as registered nurses and physical therapists. Memory care facilities offer specialized care to those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Regardless of the type of facility your loved one was in, speak with a nursing home abuse attorney if they were neglected by the staff.
In contrast to many other kinds of personal injury lawsuits, nursing home abuse claims are not based on the legal theory of negligence. While the general idea that a person made a mistake that caused an injury remains in place, these claims fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice.
This makes both the filing and litigation of a lawsuit for nursing home abuse far more complex than a normal personal injury case. The statute of limitations, a time limit on how long individuals have to file their claim, can also complicate matters. It is imperative that you file your claim within the first year, otherwise the statute expires, and you no longer have a case.
A basic definition of medical malpractice is when a medical provider’s care falls below the standard of care expected in Ohio. This is a rather broad definition and ultimately, a jury will decide whether the care was sub-par. Because of the grave implications that a medical malpractice claim makes, there is a document, known as an affidavit of merit, that is required for all medical malpractice lawsuits.
This is defined in Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 10 (D) (2) as “The opinion of the affiant that the standard of care was breached by one or more of the defendants to the action and that the breach caused injury to the plaintiff.”
This affidavit is essentially a doctor’s expert opinion that the standard of care received by the plaintiff was sub-par. This requirement makes the time and effort involved in filing a medical malpractice claim far greater than an average personal injury case. A lawyer in Findlay should be familiar with this requirement and can contact doctors to consult on your nursing home abuse case and provide the required affidavits of merit.
While the State of Ohio plays no direct role in the civil matter of medical malpractice, there is a forum for citizens to have their concerns heard. The Ohio Department of Health maintains an office dedicated to the investigation of poor care in nursing facilities.
While this will not prove dispositive in a civil suit, evidence of a government investigation against a particular doctor in a loved one’s case may be admissible as evidence in a trial. An attorney familiar with nursing home abuse claims can help you gather records of this type of investigation.
Whether your loved one was injured due to an employee’s extreme negligence, a Findlay nursing home abuse lawyer can help. The legal requirements for medical malpractice cases are strict and numerous. A knowledgeable attorney should be familiar with these requirements and work to guide you every step of the way.
Your lawyer will take care of everything from investigating the alleged abuse, to consulting with the doctors, to filing the complaint in court, to litigating the trial. The statute of limitations for these cases is only one year after the abuse is discovered so time is of the essence. Contact a qualified lawyer today to schedule a free case consultation.