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December 19, 2023

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Abuse is a common problem among nursing home residents across the country, including those in Lexington, Kentucky. When patients are abused, their families can hire nursing home abuse lawyers to address the situation and advocate for the victims and their families, fighting for compensation to help pay for medical and other expenses. 

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers helps nursing home abuse victims and their families seek compensation from liable facilities. We handle cases involving neglect, negligence, and multiple types of abuse common in Lexington nursing homes. 

While every case is different and requires specialized attention and care, there is a process that you can follow to handle a Lexington nursing home abuse case. 

Read on to learn what to do if you suspect nursing home abuse and neglect, what steps to take if your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, how to make a complaint to the proper authorities, and how to pursue compensation.

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse in Lexington, Kentucky

When you suspect elder abuse in a nursing home facility, the first step is to take action right away. The sooner you act, the sooner you can stop the abuse and get your loved one help.

Begin by addressing your concerns directly with the nursing home. If they fail to address the situation right away, then have your loved one removed from the home and seek medical attention. 

If the abuse is obvious, consider removing your loved one right away and contacting the appropriate authorities. 

At any point, you can contact a Lexington nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer to help you. A lawyer can take action to address the situation with the nursing home facility or begin an investigation to collect evidence for a potential lawsuit. 

Common Signs of Abuse and Negligence in Nursing Facilities in Lexington

Despite suspecting elder abuse, many people are hesitant to act because they are unsure. Here are several signs of abuse that you can look for to reinforce your decision: 

  • Unexplained injuries, including broken bones
  • A sudden increase in injuries
  • Unexplained money withdrawals from bank accounts
  • A spike in credit card use or debt
  • Shyness around other people
  • Scared reactions to being touched
  • Unexplained illnesses
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unexplained changes in behavior
common types of nursing home abuse in Lexington

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Lexington, KY

Aside from removing your loved one from the nursing home, seeking medical attention, and contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer, you should be reporting abuse to the appropriate authorities. You can call the Lexington Police Department to deal with the problem if someone’s life is in immediate danger, but there are other organizations that you should contact, too. 

In Kentucky, the Office of the Inspector General of Kentucky is the first authority to report nursing home abuse. You can reach the Inspector General’s office at (502) 564-7963 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during the week [1]. 

There are also four regional offices of the Division of Health Care where you can report abuse [2]. Use the map on the organization’s website to see which office covers your region. 

Finally, you can file a complaint with the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass [3]. Ombudsmen are responsible for overseeing and resolving problems with nursing homes and are specially trained to do so.  

When to Hire a Lexington Nursing Home Elder Abuse Lawyer

If you may want to seek legal recourse to recover compensation from a nursing home, it is best to hire legal professionals as soon as possible. Kentucky law is known for having a fairly short statute of limitations. 

If you want to file before the deadline, it is important to take action as soon as possible. During a free case evaluation with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, you can learn more about the statute of limitations and how it applies to your case. 

Additionally, filing legal action early has other advantages. For example, the more time that passes between the incident of financial exploitation or physical force against a nursing home resident, the harder it might be to get evidence. Evidence can be lost or destroyed over time. 

Who Is Legally Liable for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Lexington, KY?

Depending on the exact nature of the case, there are different parties that can be held liable for negligence and abuse in nursing homes. Nursing home workers can be held personally responsible for the injuries and trauma that they cause. For instance, if an employee yells at or hits your family member, they can be held responsible. 

However, nursing home administrators can also be held liable for not having enough staff members per shift or failing to maintain a clean and safe environment for residents. Doctors and nurses can be held liable if they fail to give proper medical treatment or the improper administration of prescription medication. 

How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Lexington?

In most nursing home abuse and negligence cases filed in the state of Kentucky, you have one year from the date of the injury or death to file a claim [4]. This applies to personal injury, medical malpractice, and most wrongful death cases. 

If you discover later that something that the nursing home did contribute to your loved one’s death, you might have until one year after that discovery [5]. 

However, it is a good idea to consult with a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer from our team to discuss the specifics of the case, as this extended timeframe is not available in all cases.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Lexington?

There are generally three common forms of damages that a Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney can help you recover in a case against Lexington nursing homes: economic, non-economic, and punitive. 

Economic damages typically relate to actual or projected costs. This includes the medical expenses for ongoing care, moving to other Kentucky nursing homes, legal assistance, expenses not covered by your insurance company, and future costs. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering.

In cases where there is a lot of negligence or outward violence, a judge may seek punitive damages as a way to punish the nursing facility and to attempt to stop nursing home abuse from happening at the long-term care facility again.

How to Prove Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Lexington

Our nursing home abuse lawyers help victims and their families build their cases against the responsible facilities. We use medical records, witness testimony, video surveillance, and the photos and other information that you provide to build your case. 

All of this evidence is used to prove that:

  • Damage was done to the patient
  • The damage was caused by the actions of the nursing home staff, doctors, pharmacists, or the policies of the facility
  • The actions of the nursing home staff were deliberate (i.e., they knew what they were doing was wrong and harmful)
  • The staff did know or should have known that their actions were damaging and what the correct course of action should have been

Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Statistics and Facts

72 of the 277 nursing homes located in Kentucky were flagged for having serious deficiencies [6]. Of those, 14 are in Lexington. The deficiencies cited were for a variety of reasons, including the failure to implement infection control programs, failure to create a hazard-free area, and abuse against residents.

Nursing homes in Lexington, Kentucky, are dealing with severe staffing shortages. At one nursing home, 40 beds sat empty because there weren’t enough staff members to care for them [7]. As a result, the patients at nursing homes suffer because there is no one there to respond to their requests for assistance.

Which Standards Do Nursing Homes Have to Meet in Lexington?

Nursing homes in Lexington, Kentucky, have to meet many standards when it comes to the care that they provide to residents, including basic hygiene, adequate food, and knowledge about available community-based services. Part of these standards include [8]:

  • Nursing home residents are required to have a comprehensive assessment within the first 14 days of admission
  • Under state and federal laws, residents and family members are allowed to provide concerns without the fear of retaliation 
  • Nursing homes must provide you with written information about Medicare and Medicaid benefits as well as the services available at the facility
  • Nursing home residents and their families have the right to look at the most recent state or federal surveys 
  • Residents have the right to choose their own personal attending physician for medical care

Which Agencies Regulate Lexington Nursing Homes?

There are several state and federal agencies that regulate and oversee that residents receive proper care, whether they live in a nursing home or assisted living facility, such as:

  • Office of Inspector General [9]
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Division of Health Care [10]
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [11]

How Often Are Lexington Area Nursing Homes Inspected?

Lexington nursing home facilities are generally required to have an inspection once a year unless they are Medicare and Medicaid-certified. These nursing homes are required to be surveyed every nine to 15 months under federal law [12]. 

However, nursing homes in Lexington are not being inspected as often as the law requires. 73% of Kentucky’s nursing homes have gone two or more years without their yearly inspections [13]. Kentucky is currently having a shortage of nursing home inspectors, so negligent facilities are allowed to operate with little oversight. 

Contact a Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today!

Whether your loved one suffered neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or emotional abuse while living at a nursing home, they could be entitled to compensation. 

Our law firm works on a contingency basis, so there is no charge for the initial consultation or for our legal support until we help you recover compensation. We have helped many other Lexington nursing home abuse and neglect victims get justice.

Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers for a free consultation by filling out our contact form or calling our law firm toll-free at (888) 424-5757. We are here 24 hours a day to help you start your legal case.

Resources: [1] CMS, [2] Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, [3] NHOA, [4] § 413.140, [5] § 413.140, [6] The Lexington Times, [7] WKYT, [8] Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, [9] Office of Inspector General of Kentucky,  [10] Cabinet for Health and Family Services, [11] CMS, [12] Lexington Herald Leader, [13] Skilled Nursing News

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