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There has been an ongoing goal across the country to improve living conditions for residents of nursing homes. Ohio has even gone so far as to enshrine a patients’ bill of rights into law. But a potential lawsuit against a nursing home is a far more complicated matter than simply alleging that a resident’s rights were violated.
Ohio treats allegations of nursing home abuse as medical malpractice due to the medically detailed nature of many of these lawsuits. Because of this, all lawsuits must meet a specific set of legal requirements to be successful.
A Fremont nursing home abuse lawyer could work with residents and their families to investigate allegations of abuse or neglect. Let an experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney hold negligent nursing homes responsible for their behavior.
Ohio Revised Code 3721.13 codifies the protections that residents of nursing homes around the state enjoy. These include:
A violation of any of these rights can form the basis for a nursing home abuse lawsuit. However, allegations of general mistreatment can be just as powerful. Fremont nursing home abuse lawyers work with residents and their families to examine the facts behind the abuse to determine the potential for a lawsuit.
Ohio law concerning nursing home abuse is interesting in that it requires these allegations to be filed as a medical malpractice suit. This places extra burdens upon the plaintiff to both start their claim and to argue it in court.
First, Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 10(D)(2) requires that all complaints that allege personal injury due to malpractice be accompanied by an expert witness affidavit.
This statement must affirm that the expert has examined the facts in the case, that in their opinion the facts constitute malpractice, and that the expert is generally aware of the state’s definition of malpractice.
As stated above, any violation of the patient’s bill of rights would be malpractice but the culmination of other abuses can also form a claim.
For example, if a patient develops bedsores from not being turned in bed, this can certainly be considered malpractice. Additionally, so can a lack of medical care in general or the administration of improper medication.
These complex questions lead to the second requirement: that the plaintiff’s case is presented by an expert witness at trial. This expert testifies as to the factual basis for the claim, as well as to their medical opinion as to how these facts lead to the plaintiff’s injuries.
It may seem like commons sense that not turning a patient will lead to bedsores, but questions of proper medication use and dosage are only answerable by an expert.
Finally, all nursing home abuse claims in Ohio are subject to a strict statute of limitations. This time limit does not allow plaintiffs to bring their cases to court if more than a year has passed since the injuries were discovered. Ohio Revised Code 2305.113 is the current statute concerning this matter. An experienced Fremont lawyer could help to further explain deadlines in nursing home abuse cases.
Abuses and neglect committed against the elderly are among the most heinous acts imaginable. These people are often unable to fend for themselves and make easy targets for the lazy or predatory.
Ohio law allows the patients or their guardians to file medical malpractice suits against nursing homes to recover damages that result of physical injury or death.
Fremont nursing home abuse lawyers possess a knowledge of the law and the relationships in the medical community to properly pursue these claims. Do not allow abuses of your loved ones to continue, contact Fremont nursing home abuse attorney today.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC