At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we provide aggressive and thorough legal representation for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse in Detroit and throughout Michigan.
Putting a loved one in the care of a nursing home or an assisted living facility is an important decision. You entrust that care facility to protect your family member with the care, treatment and attention they deserve. Nursing homes are required to be staffed by qualified and experienced employees. They must understand the rules, guidelines, and regulations of both federal and state law.
The nursing home injury lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have over 40 years of experience in handling personal injury and nursing home abuse cases when nursing home employees fail to meet these requirements and negligence occurs. We are passionate about fighting for our clients. If you or a loved one has been injured at a nursing home due to the negligence or mistake of an employee at the facility, we will stand up for you and enforce your legal rights.
Types of Michigan Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse and misconduct by nursing home employees and staff members. Abuse refers to situations where the elderly patient’s health and welfare is threatened by another person, like a health aide. Neglect is when the patient does not receive the necessary care, including medication, food, water, closing, bedding and other basic needs. Whether it is nursing home abuse or neglect, in Detroit and Michigan these forms of misconduct occur often.
Physical abuse can occur in different ways. Some are noticed but often they can go unnoticed. Slapping, shaking and punching can often occur but go unnoticed. However, more serious injuries such as bedsores, pressure sores, ulcers, and broken bones from falls can occur when a health care worker or caregiver fails to follow the standard of care and either drops a patient, transfers them wrong, or leaves them unattended altogether.
When a patient is bullied, talked down to, or isolated from their friends and even family members, these are forms of emotional abuse. Other examples include discipline for no reason, taking away recreational activities and removal from the nursing home social dynamic. It is important to talk to your loved ones often to ensure they are being treated properly by staff members inside the nursing home.
Sexual abuse can involve inappropriate touching, intercourse, or other forms of a sexual manner that are not consensual. Signs of sexual abuse can include bruises in the genital areas, sexual transmitted disease, and bleeding from the genital areas or anus.
A variety of factors may cause or contribute to the abuse or neglect of elderly nursing home residents. These factors can include:
- Poorly trained staffed members, including nursing home aides and nursing home managers
- Underqualified staff members who are not trained or have criminal backgrounds
- Too few nursing home aides and staff members to care for all the patients
- Over worked staff members who are frustrated at their employer and take it out on the patients they are charged with caring for
- Failing to maintain the facility and equipment
- Negligent hiring and supervision
Signs of Michigan Nursing Home Abuse
There are typical signs of nursing home abuse. Family members and friends should notice the following:
- Bedsores on the back, buttocks, or legs
- Bruises, broken bones or cuts
- Falls – such as falling out of the bed, falling on the way to the bathroom or in the hallway
- Weight loss from malnutrition or dehydration
- Feces or urine on clothing or bedding
- Drowsiness and trouble speaking due to overmedication
If you notice signs of nursing home abuse, it is vital to investigate the situation. Ask to speak to a supervisor and bring your concerns to the attention of nursing home staff. If they dismiss your concerns, then it may be time to take action. First, you can contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) by calling 855-444-3911. In addition, the Bureau of Health Services Abuse has a hotline at 1-800-882-6006.
Contact the nursing home injury lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm to hold Michigan nursing homes and their staff accountable for abuse, mistreatment, or negligence.
Who are Possible Defendants in a Detroit or Michigan Nursing Home Case?
The most common defendant in a nursing home case is the nursing home itself. However, the plaintiff and his or her family can also sue the individual staff members who were negligent in caring for the plaintiff or inflicted the abuse.
Every situation is different. Sometimes, doctors who failed to properly manage the care of a patient can be named as a defendant. However, these claims are medical malpractice claims and can be different than standard nursing home abuse cases.
What is the Statute of Limitations for a Michigan Nursing Home Lawsuit?
There is a certain amount of time in which a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit against the proper defendants. This is called the statute of limitations. Under Michigan law, a patient injured due to the negligence of a nursing home or nursing home staff member has two (2) years from the date of the abuse or neglect to file a lawsuit. This is identical to the medical malpractice statute of limitations. However, the amount of time to file a lawsuit can vary depending on certain circumstances.
What Damages Can My Family Recover?
Under Michigan law, a plaintiff in a nursing home abuse lawsuit can seek compensatory damages for the injuries the nursing home caused. These damages include:
- The resident’s past and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering, emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- The value of the loss of companionship and loss of society
- Wrongful death
What Defenses Will the Nursing Home Try to Use?
Nursing homes don’t just sit back and accept responsibility, even when they are at fault for causing so much pain and anguish. Instead, nursing homes and their attorneys are notoriously aggressive in attempting to find fault with anyone and anything but themselves in a Michigan nursing home lawsuit. Examples include:
- Blaming the resident for not following orders or listening to instructions
- Alleging the nursing home did follow industry and state guidelines and regulations, and thus was not negligent
- Pre-existing conditions caused the injury, not the act of the nursing staff
- The nursing home abuse or neglect simply did not happen at their facility
To combat these defenses, the injured resident and his or her family must take action. Hiring an aggressive and experienced law firm that handles Detroit and Michigan nursing home cases is extremely important. And doing so as quickly as possible is vital.
Our team of Detroit and Michigan nursing home neglect attorneys will interview eyewitnesses, review medical records, hire experts, and use photographs and video to document what happened and build a solid case of supportive evidence.
Michigan Nursing Home Industry – At A Glance
Most of Michigan’s nursing home facilities are for-profit facilities. The smaller mom-and-pop nursing homes are disappearing and being taken over by larger nursing home chains and corporations. This is true across the state, from Grand Rapids to Traverse City to Saginaw to metro Detroit. These facilities are corporate-controlled with the main goal of turning a large profit. Some of these larger nursing home chains include:
- Medilodge Group
- HCR Manor Care, Inc.
- Trinity Continuing Care Services
- Sava Senior Care
- Evangelical Homes of Michigan
With profit being the main motive instead of patient safety and patient care, nursing homes in Michigan managed by large corporations tend to hire inexperienced and under-skilled aides and nurses, many of whom are overworked and underpaid. This can lead to nursing home injuries like bedsores, fractured hips, and broken bones from falls, sepsis, and even death.
Do Most Nursing Home Cases Settle Before Trial?
Yes. Most nursing home abuse cases in Michigan settle before going to trial. Sometimes they can be settled without even having to bring a lawsuit. By ordering the medical records, hiring the right expert(s), and presenting the situation to the nursing home in a compelling manner, a nursing home injury case can be settled with the insurance company before filing a lawsuit.
Experienced Michigan Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm specializes in nursing home abuse litigation. We are Detroit and Michigan nursing home abuse lawyers and we only represent the injured and their families never corporations. Nursing home injury cases due to negligence involve aggressive investigation about how and why the failure to protect the patient occurred. Explaining this entails a deep knowledge of the nursing home industry and the standard of care.
You will need a team of experts on your side to go up against these large nursing home corporations. The nursing home attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm regularly employ expert witnesses such as nurses and doctors to analyze staffing issues, how the injury occurred and what the nursing home did wrong.
Call our office today at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free consultation. Our team of Detroit nursing home abuse lawyers are standing by, ready to answer your questions. And we never charge anything until we win your case.