Unfortunately, Michigan is known for being a state with constant problems in regards to nursing home neglect and abuse. Every year, it seems that professional standards and the quality of care in Michigan nursing homes continue to worsen. From the development of bed sores on patients to instances where the personal belongings of patients are stolen, there are clear cases in which the legal rights of residents are violated in Michigan every day.
If family members suspect that these types of events are happening in a loved one’s nursing home, then now is the time to act. Now is the time to get in touch with a Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer to receive additional help in pursuing a claim against a nursing home. A nursing home lawyer can document any evidence of abuse or neglect, interview key witnesses in a nursing home and file the legal documents necessary to get your case started.
Know the Nursing Home Laws in Michigan
Even though nursing home abuse is a widespread problem in Michigan, there are several statutes in place to help control this problem. The Michigan laws that set forth sanctions for nursing home abuse are the Adult Protective Services Act, the Abusing, Mistreating or Neglecting Patient Act and the Task Force on Elder Abuse. Under these acts, any medical worker with a reasonable suspicion that an elderly person is being abused must report the abuse to law enforcement. A person is required to report the abuse within 2 hours of first noticing the abuse. He or she must not wait any longer than 24 hours to report any suspicions of abuse.
It is clear that the law imposes an obligation on individuals to immediately report abuse when they suspect that it exists. In nursing homes, workers and other individuals may try to avoid fulfilling this legal obligation out of a fear of being fired, seeing a reduction in their paychecks or suffering from some other retaliation. This is why it is so important for family members to step up and get in touch with a Michigan nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Abuse may go unreported for months at a time. If a lawyer is working on your case, then it is likely that abuse will be ended and the appropriate parties will be held accountable. A lawyer will also know how to proceed in dealing with individuals who failed to report any instances of abuse.
Protect Your Loved One by Filing a Report
It is crucial that family members file a report even if they only suspect that abuse is impacting a loved one. Family members do not need to have any actual proof that abuse is occurring. The law was designed in a manner to provide broad protection to nursing home residents. A person who has an honest belief that abuse is occurring will not be penalized for filing a report with law enforcement agencies.
The management in a nursing home also has an obligation to respond to any concerns that you have about abuse or neglect. You should take careful notes of the actions taken by management to deal with your report. If no actions are taken, then this may be additional evidence that you can use in filing a lawsuit against the administrator of a nursing home.
It is also important to speak with a loved one about your suspicions of abuse. A loved one is likely in a vulnerable state of mind, so he or she may not respond, may become emotional or may be offended and embarrassed at your questions. Just know that this is normal behavior for someone who has been victimized in an abusive situation. One may also resort to denying that abuse has occurred as a means of blocking traumatic events from the memory.
Speak with Michigan Nursing Home Lawyers Now
You can talk to Michigan nursing home lawyers about your concerns at anytime. Nursing home lawyers have experience in handling the concerns and questions of family members in this difficult situation. We have lawyers available to help you throughout Michigan, in areas such as:
Your concerns will be appreciated and respected by lawyers in Michigan who specialize in handling nursing home abuse cases.
Nursing Home Negligence
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 3 years with Discovery Rule. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5805 – Injuries to persons or property; limitations)
- Medical malpractice – 2 years from act or omission that forms the basis of the claim or 6 months from discovery, but no more than 6 years after the act or omission. If claimant is a minor under age eight, SOL period begins to run on minor’s tenth birthday or within 2-year SOL, whichever time period is greater. If case involves injury to the reproductive system of a minor under age thirteen, then SOL period begins to run on minor’s 15th birthday or within 2-year SOL period, whichever is greater. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5805; Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. 600.5838a)
- Noneconomic damages are capped at $280,000 unless plaintiff is hemiplegic, paraplegic, or quadriplegic due to an injury to the brain or spinal cord, or where the plaintiff has permanently impaired cognitive capacity rendering him incapable of making independent, responsible life decisions and permanently incapable of independently performing the activities of normal, daily living, or the plaintiff has had permanent loss or damage to a reproductive organ resulting in the inability to procreate, then non-economic damages shall not exceed $500,000. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.1483 – Action for damages alleging medical malpractice; limitation on noneconomic damages)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 3 years from date of wrongful act giving rise to the cause of action (Occurrence Rule). The wrongful death saving statute can extend either the two-year or six-month period; if injured person dies before statute runs, the personal representative may sue within two years after being appointed so long as the suit is brought within three years after the statute expires. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5805 – Injuries to persons or property; limitations; Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.5852 – Death before period of limitations has run or within 30 days thereafter; commencement of actions)
- Medical malpractice claims require 182 days prior written notice of claim during which SOL is tolled. (Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §600.2912b)