Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys In Little Rock, Arkansas
The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that seniors are mistreated in approximately one-third of nursing homes in the United States. Both the federal government and the state of Arkansas have laws and regulations governing how nursing homes and assisted living facilities are to be maintained and operated, but many times, staff members can do things – or fail to do things – that cause tremendous harm, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
If you have a loved one in a nursing facility in or around Little Rock, Arkansas, and you suspect negligence or abuse has taken place, contact Cortinez Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys will review the circumstances with you and advise you of the proper steps to be taken. We will fight aggressively to protect the rights of you and your loved one and seek an immediate remedy.
Cortinez Law Firm proudly serves clients not only in Little Rock but also in Conway, Benton, Bryant, Cabot and all of central Arkansas.
If you suspect abuse, contact us.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
When we hear the word abuse, we often equate it with physical harm – but in a nursing home environment, abuse can cover a whole range of physical, sexual, mental and emotional transgressions, including neglect and ignoring the needs of a resident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “neglect is the failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs. These needs include food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care.”
Physical abuse might show up in a bruise or other bodily sign, but it might not. It could result in mental and emotional harm that isn’t evident on the surface. Typical incidents of physical harm include pushing, kicking and hitting.
The use of physical restraints can also be abusive. According to the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care, restraint is “any device or instrument used to limit, restrict, or hold patients under control, not including safety vests or other instruments such as bed rails used for the safety and positioning of patients.”
Emotional abuse results in harm to an individual’s psychological well-being. Examples include yelling at residents, taunting them or isolating them from friends and family.
Sexual abuse is also possible. In fact, a 2017 report by CNN on nursing home sexual abuse found that more than 1,000 facilities across the nation had been cited for mismanaging sexual abuse cases.
Laws Governing Nursing Homes
Federally, the Nursing Home Reform Act governs any facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid funding. The law requires that these homes “must provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care.”
In Arkansas, nursing homes and other care facilities are licensed and regulated by the Office of Long Term Care. The regulations require all nursing homes to be licensed and to develop and implement policies and procedures to prohibit, investigate and immediately report any incident of:
- Alleged or suspected abuse or neglect of residents
- Accidents, including accidents that result in death
- Unusual deaths, including deaths from violence
- Unusual occurrences
- Exploitation of residents or any misappropriation of resident property
What To Do If You Suspect Neglect Or Abuse
If you suspect neglect or abuse, you can file a complaint with the Arkansas Office of Long Term Care by phone, fax, email or mail.
In addition, Arkansas law requires that suspected abuse or neglect of an adult 18 or older be reported to the local law enforcement agency where the incident took place. Many people might be a bit hesitant to do this without some proof of abuse or neglect, but the statute does say “suspected.”
You should, of course, bring up your concern with the administrator of the facility, who is required to investigate under the terms of the facility’s license. You should also seek out legal counsel to pursue other remedies, including possible compensation for any medical or other expenses that result.
Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys Serving Little Rock, Arkansas
If you’re looking for legal help after nursing home neglect or abuse, our attorneys at the Cortinez Law Firm can help you seek justice and hold those who caused harm responsible. Contact us immediately with the details of the incident, and let us look into your case and provide you with your best options, including a lawsuit if appropriate. You can call us at 501-574-3244 or reach out to us online. Cortinez Law Firm proudly serves clients throughout central Arkansas, including Little Rock, Conway, Benton, Bryant and Cabot.