Nationwide, nursing home abuse affects a significant portion of the population every year. Over 5,900,000 cases of nursing home abuse were reported in 2010, and it seems that the problem just gets worse every year. Nursing homes in states like Pennsylvania struggle to hire the adequate number of workers to provide the care and treatment that is required for residents under the law. Over 55 percent of Pennsylvania nursing homes do not provide the quality of care required under the law, and over 23 percent of Pennsylvania nursing homes struggle with infection control every year. One of the most devastating instances in which loved ones can be harmed is when they develop an infection or condition like pneumonia as a result of the unsanitary environment of a nursing home. For weak elderly people, a condition like pneumonia can trigger complicated medical issues or even cause death. Stand up for the rights of your loved one if he or she has been subjected to inhumane conditions in a nursing home. Our nursing home lawyers will serve as advocates for your legal case.
The State and Federal Nursing Home Laws
There are several state agencies and laws in place to protect vulnerable nursing home residents in Pennsylvania. Reports of abuse or neglect can be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Adult Protective Services Agency or Long Term Care Ombudsman in Pennsylvania. Any suspicion of abuse or neglect should be immediately reported to one of these agencies. One may even be criminally liable if he or she knowingly fails to file a report of a suspicion of abuse or neglect. Protective services agencies are available to receive reports of abuse or neglect on a 24-hour basis and on all days of the week. There is no excuse to fail in reporting abuse when agencies are ready to help in Pennsylvania.
The governing statute for the protection of nursing home residents is the Protective Services for Older Adults Act. The Act clearly outlines the duty that nursing home workers have to report abuse or neglect. The statute actually states that if one has reasonable cause to suspect that a resident is being abused or neglected, then he or she must immediately make an oral report to an agency. Within 48 hours, one has a duty to file a written report with an agency. Employees who file a report of abuse have immunity under the statute, and employers may not take retaliatory action against employees for filing a report of abuse. This means that employees may not be fired or suffer from a pay cut as a result of filing an allegation of abuse with a government department.
Filing a Report of Nursing Home Abuse for Loved Ones
The main reason employees and family members must report abuse is so that it can end. Loved ones can receive immediate protection and not be subject to any further inhumane treatment. Also, a report of abuse will then trigger the investigation process. The reporting agency will investigate a nursing home and determine whether there are any patterns of neglect or abuse in the facility. One example of a common pattern of abuse or neglect is when a facility administers chemical restraints to patients. This means that workers provides drugs to patients that may have the effect of making them sedated or unable to physically move.
If an investigation reveals that administrators willfully failed to report abuse, then they will be subject to sanctions under the law. These sanctions include a fine of $2,500. An administrator may also be guilty of a misdemeanor and forced to be imprisoned for up to one year. An agency must also file a report with the police if it has knowledge that an employee has willfully failed to file a report of neglect or abuse.
Speak Now with Pennsylvania Nursing Home Attorneys
Speak with our Pennsylvania nursing home attorneys to receive the help that you need for your loved one. Our attorneys are ready to help families throughout Pennsylvania in areas such as:
You can entrust your case with Pennsylvania nursing home lawyers who will do whatever it takes to thoroughly investigate the abuse of your loved one. You deserve to have your claim fully represented in a court of law, and nursing home lawyers will help.
Nursing Home Negligence
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 2 years with Discovery Rule. (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §5524)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 2 years. The SOL period on survival actions begins to run when the decedent and not his representatives could have discovered the injury and its cause through the exercise of reasonable diligence. (42 Pa. Cons. Stat. §5524)
- Protective Services for Older Adults – (Pa. Code Ann. §§15.1-159)