Due to the fact that long-term care for the elderly is typically extremely expensive (well over $5,000 per month in many jurisdictions), the vast majority of residents go through most, if not all, of their assets in a matter of months and then become eligible for federal Medicaid benefits. This process is known as "spending down." Indeed, the cost of over 90% of nursing home residents is paid by Medicaid. As such, almost all nursing home facilities receive Medicaid funds.
Any facility which accepts Medicaid funds must also abide by government regulations setting minimum standards for the care of residents in such facilities. Many of these regulations are promulgated by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and are administered through the states. HCFA regulations set guidelines for the evaluation, care and treatment of residents, aimed at maximizing the quality of each resident's daily life and minimizing abuse and neglect. Notwithstanding the requirements of HCFA, substandard care of residents has become an increasingly growing and troubling problem.
Many of the institutions that provide long-term care for the elderly are owned by for-profit corporations. In an effort to maximize profits, many institutions have cut back on staff or hired less qualified workers for lower salaries in an attempt to decrease costs.
Too often, elderly or disabled residents of long-term care facilities are not getting the attention they require and sometimes have to compete with dozens of other residents for the attention of too few staff. As a result, all too often residents who require assistance in activities of daily living (ADL) such as feeding, bathing, toileting, walking, etc., are not receiving adequate care. Such neglect can lead to disastrous consequences such as debilitating falls, the development of painful and immobilizing decubitus ulcers, malnutrition and sometimes death.
The Sugarman Law Firm takes swift legal action to compensate nursing home resident and their families for injuries resulting from neglect or inadequate care. We believe that it is only in this way that the quality of care for all residents can be assured.
If you feel that you or a loved one have been victimized by medical malpractice while in the care of a senior citizen facility, Sugarman Law Firm stands ready to investigate and pursue all available civil damage remedies. Please contact us [email protected] We always welcome telephone calls and you will be able to speak to an attorney experienced in nursing home malpractice litigation.
Nursing Home Abuse Neglect or Malpractice May Include
- Bed Rail Entrapment
- Head injuries cause delayed or undiagnosed bleeding in the brain
- Bed Sores causing serious injuries or death
- Broken Bones
- Physical Abuse
- Wrongful death
- Medication errors causing serious injury
- Fall Injuries
- Negligence by:
- Nursing Assistants
As a result of multiple examples of horrendous care of elderly patients in nursing homes (also called skilled nursing facilities), the California legislature added statutes to the law in medical malpractice to provide added protections for elderly or dependent adults. Families of patients who die as a result of negligent care in a nursing home can sue for damages for the pain and suffering experienced by the decedent before death. In all other types of wrongful death cases, the family cannot collect any damages for such pre-death pain and suffering. However, the recovery for pain and suffering in a nursing home or elder abuse claim is limited to a maximum recovery of $250,000. This maximum recovery is separate from a claim for wrongful death that also has a maximum recovery of $250,000. In addition, if there is clear and convincing evidence of neglect (which is more than negligence) then the plaintiff may recover both punitive damages and attorney fees. The legislature added these additional potential recoveries as an incentive to nursing homes to improve the level of care, and the legislature determined that one effective way of improving care is to allow plaintiffs to pursue punitive damages where the evidence supports neglect.