Should I Call an Attorney Before I Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse has become a major and frightening issue across the United States. The people who are in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are there because they need specialized care. In some cases, they are not able to care for themselves, while in other cases their needs are beyond the resources of their family members. Many are suffering from dementia or other impairments that prevent them from being able to speak out when they are being abused or neglected: others are too intimidated to ask for help.
If you have a loved one residing in one of these facilities, you need to remain vigilant at all times, watching out for any of the telltale signs that they are being victimized. You also need to know what to do when something seems wrong, and who you can turn to for help. If you are wondering who you should contact first, the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help. Though you may think you should call an attorney before reporting suspected nursing home abuse, that is not necessarily the right thing to do.
The first and most important step you need to take if you believe that somebody is in immediate danger is to call either the local police or 911. But if the situation is not as urgent, there are other people who may be more appropriate and more helpful. The Administration on Aging suggests contacting your local Adult Protective Services Agency – your state government’s website will likely have the number available.
The agencies that address issues of elder abuse are prepared to take immediate action to provide assistance and protection to people who may need it. They will ask a number of questions in order to determine how urgent the situation is, as well as what resources are available to assist with the care of the victim. The will generally assign a caseworker to the case. This person will investigate the charges, and where intervention is needed they will take action.
In addition to Adult Protective Services, others who may be contacted for assistance include local law enforcement, state ombudsman programs that can intervene regarding nursing home facility concerns. Though you may be interested in pursuing justice on behalf of your loved one, your first concern should always be to ensure their safety. That is why you would turn to an agency first. After your loved one is safe, that is when you should turn to an attorney to seek justice.
At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we have successfully worked on behalf of many nursing home abuse victims, making sure that the poor treatment that they have been subjected to is addressed and that they are compensated for the damages that they have suffered. If you suspect that your loved one is being harmed, take all necessary steps to ensure their safety. Then call us to learn about the legal assistance and advocacy we can provide.