Nursing home abuse takes many forms, and it is important for family members to have a comprehensive overview of this societal issue before enrolling loved ones in a facility. Knowing how abuse occurs, the legal rights of loved ones and how to report abuse can empower family members to take action if it is ever necessary in an abusive situation. First off, nursing home abuse can occur in the physical, mental, verbal or sexual forms. Nursing home neglect also can impact residents, and it refers to a lack of adequate care that causes harm in the lives of nursing home residents. Residents can develop bedsores or ulcers due to a lack of movement, improper transitions or improperly trained staff.
In Utah, over one-third of all nursing homes have deficiencies in the professional standards, food sanitation and in maintaining a safe environment for nursing home residents. In 2008, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco found that over 21 percent of all nursing homes provided unnecessary drugs to patients. Unnecessary drugs can be referred to as “chemical restraints,” and they are used as a way to control the behavior of residents. It is illegal to administer drugs to nursing home residents as a way to sedate their behavior or try to control their movements. If you discover that your loved one has been forced to consume chemical restraints, then you should get in touch with Utah nursing home abuse lawyers today. Utah nursing home abuse lawyers are available to investigate your loved one’s case and protect him or her.
Nursing Home Injury laws in Utah
In Utah, there are nursing home injury laws in place to protect the rights of residents. Family members have a total of four years to file a nursing home negligence case within the time of first discovering an injury on a loved one. For a medical malpractice case, the time period is for two to four years. Family members may only obtain non-economic damages in medical malpractice actions for up to $400,000. For a wrongful death case, family members only have a limited time of two years in which to file a claim. This means that if your loved one has died from abuse or neglect, then you should speak to nursing home injury lawyers as soon as possible to file your claim. One can only receive up to $400,000 for non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims.
The two statutes that are in place to protect the legal rights of residents are the Adult Protective Services Act and the Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult Act. For individuals who have engaged in the abuse of a vulnerable adult, there may be a felony charge if the abuse has been intentional. If a vulnerable adult was exploited in a negligent or reckless manner, then a worker may be guilty of a misdemeanor charge.
Fight for the Legal Rights of Your Loved Ones
It is essential to fight for the legal rights of your loved one when you have discovered that he or she has been victimized in an abusive situation. No loved one should have to suffer from physical abuse or exploitation due to the elder rights law in Utah. If your loved one has suffered from injuries in an abusive situation, then he or she may be entitled to receive a large sum of compensation. A loved one may be able to receive compensation for the following types of injuries:
- Broken or fractured limbs
- Abrasions and open wounds
- Severe scratches or burns
- Major concussions
- Wrongful death arising from an injury
If you are unsure of whether a loved one qualifies for compensation, then you should get in touch with a nursing home injury lawyer today. Nursing home injury lawyers are available to provide an assessment of your case.
Talk to Utah Nursing Home Injury Lawyers Today
You can call one of our Utah nursing home injury lawyers to receive immediate assistance for your case and learn about elder rights law in Utah. Know the types of legal claims that may be available to you with the help of a nursing home lawyer. Our attorneys are available to help families throughout Utah in areas such as:
- Salt Lake City
- St. George
- West Jordan
- West Valley City
You may be eligible to file a negligence claim, or a nursing home lawyer may be able to settle your claim outside of court.
Nursing Home Negligence
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 4 years with Discovery Rule. (Utah Code Ann. §78B-2-307)
- Medical malpractice – 2 years with Discovery Rule, but no more than 4 years from the date of the alleged act, omission, neglect, or occurrence. In foreign object cases, suit must be filed within one year from the date the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the object. These limitations also apply to minors under eighteen. (Utah Code Ann. §78B-3-404)
- Noneconomic damages in medical malpractice arising after July 1, 2002 are limited to $400,000, adjusted annually for inflation. (Utah Code Ann. §78B-3-410)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 2 years with Discovery Rule. (Utah Code Ann. §78B-2-304 – Within two years)
- Noneconomic damages in medical malpractice arising after July 1, 2002 are limited to $400,000, adjusted annually for inflation. (Utah Code Ann. §78B-3-410 )
- Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult – Penalties (Utah Code Ann. §76-5-111.1)