Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision. You want them to have the independence and life they once had, but understand that due to advancing age and medical ailments this is not possible. Unfortunately, Detroit nursing home abuse does happen, and it’s important to know your rights and be able to identify injuries and signs of abuse.
Nursing homes in metro Detroit and throughout Michigan are charged with providing a safe environment. Residents have a right to a dignified existence, with communication and medical services available inside and outside the nursing home facility. These rights are protected under both state and federal law and regulation.
When these rights are violated, and an injury results, the injured individual and their family can be entitled to compensation. This compensation stems from the negligence of the health aide, resident nurse, doctor or other nursing home employees who created an unsafe environment leading to the injury. A dedicated and experienced Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer and law firm near you can help put the pieces back together during a miserable situation.
Michigan Nursing Residents Have Basic Rights Under the Law
Under state law, Michigan Public Act 368 of 1978 section 333.20201, a nursing home or skilled nursing facility must adopt a policy describing the rights and responsibilities of residents and patients admitted to the health facility or agency.
These rights and responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- A patient or resident cannot be denied appropriate care based on race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual preference, or source of payment.
- A patient or resident is entitled to confidential treatment of medical records and personal records. The patient can refuse to release this information to a person outside the health facility except as required by law or transfer to another facility.
- To the extent feasible, a patient or resident is entitled to privacy in treatment and caring for personal needs with consideration, respect and dignity.
- A patient or resident s entitled to receive adequate and appropriate care, and to receive information about his or her medical condition, proposed course of treatment and prospects for recovery.
- A patient or resident is entitled to refuse treatment to the extent provided by law and to be informed of the consequences of that refusal. However, this refusal can give the facility the ability to terminate care upon reasonable notice.
- A patient or resident can present complaints or recommend change in services on behalf of himself or herself to employees of the nursing home or health facility. These complaints can be made without fear of discrimination or retaliation.
- A patient or resident is entitled to know who is responsible for providing his or her direct care, to receive information concerning their health needs and available alternatives.
- A patient or resident is entitled to have private communications with his or her doctor, physician’s assistance, registered nurse, his or her attorney or any other individual of his or her choice.
- A patient’s civil liberties shall not be infringed and the nursing home or health care facility must encourage and assist in social, religious, and community group at the patient’s discretion.
- A patient or resident is entitled to be free from mental and physical abuse.
- A patient or resident is entitled to be free from physical and chemical restrains, except to those authorized in writing by the attending physician, physician’s assistant or by a registered nurse and some other narrow exceptions.
What Happens if a Detroit Nursing Home is Guilty of Abuse or Neglect?
When a nursing home facility fails to meet the above standards, and the patient is injured because of this breach of duty, then the resident can obtain money compensation for their injuries. This is accomplished through a lawsuit filed in court against the nursing home.
Nursing home cases in Detroit and Michigan are very fact specific. They require a law firm with extensive knowledge in how nursing homes operate and function.
Usually, experts will need to be hired by the Michigan nursing home abuse attorney to prove the nursing home failed to meet its standard of care under the law. These experts can explain to a judge or a jury what the nursing home failed to do, why it failed to act correctly, and how those failures resulted in the injuries the resident sustained.
In addition to civil liability, nursing homes can be penalized and face fines instituted by the state of Michigan or the federal government. These penalties are public record. For example, Medicare lists penalties and fines paid by nursing homes in Michigan. It may be worth searching this database and others before your loved one enters a specific nursing facility.
What are Common Nursing Home Injuries in Michigan
Nursing home injuries can vary and occur in different ways. Some are minor while others can be very severe and life threatening.
As the Michigan nursing home bill of rights says, a nursing home resident in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids or anywhere in the state is entitled to receive “adequate and appropriate care.”
This means the nursing home must provide the minimum standard of care established under the law. When this does not happen, injuries can occur. These injuries can include:
- Broken hips, broken legs and broken bones due to falls that occur when a patient is not properly watched or left alone.
- Broken bones and traumatic brain injury when the railing meant to keep a resident in bed fails, resulting in a fall to the ground.
- Bedsores and decubitus ulcers. Bedsores occur on areas of the skin under pressure from lying in bed or sitting in a wheelchair for a prolonged period of times. They are also known as pressure ulcers. Typically, bedsores develop on the back and buttocks. However, they can be found in other areas such as the tailbone, elbow, hips and ankles. They are very painful and can lead to surgery, infection and even death.
- Malnourishment leading to weight loss, dizziness, fatigue, and dehydration.
- Medical errors. This can happen in different ways, such as a doctor or nurse failing to communicate properly in the management of care. This can lead to inaccurate treatment.
- Medication errors. Examples of medication errors occur when a doctor, registered nurse or physician’s assistant prescribes the wrong medication, an incorrect dosage or mixes medications together that are harmful.
Detroit, Michigan Nursing Home Injury Lawyers
Detroit nursing home abuse and neglect cases are not simple. They require an experienced, aggressive, and compassionate law firm with lawyers who know how to prove negligence and that the negligence led to the horrible outcome the patient had.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm have been protecting patients and their families injured in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility for over 40 years. Let us help you obtain the justice and the compensation your loved one deserves.
Call our office anytime at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free consultation.