legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Vermont Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Nationwide, nursing home abuse is a serious problem that must be addressed more by the public and in the media. ABC News has reported that elderly citizens are abused in one in three nursing homes every year. The abuse that elderly citizens suffer can include untreated bedsores, malnutrition, inadequate sanitation, dehydration, preventable accidents and poor hygiene. It is important for family members to recognize when a loved one may be in an abusive situation in a nursing home facility.
According to statistics maintained by Medicare, there are currently thirty-six nursing homes rated in Vermont based on national averages. This data involves inspections, surveys and investigations into formally filed complaints. The federal agency states that, currently, ten (28%) of these facilities are deemed to provide below average care based on identified violations and deficiencies.
If your loved one was injured, mistreated, abused, or died unexpectedly through neglect while residing at of Vermont nursing home, we encourage you to contact the Vermont nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center. Let our lawyers evaluate your claim for compensation through a free case review.
It is unlikely that nursing home workers will actually make formal reports of abuse when they see it or suspect that it is impacting a loved one. It is up to family members to file a report of abuse and get in touch with nursing home lawyers who can help. With over 45 percent of Vermont nursing homes dispensing unnecessary drugs every year, there is a good chance that your loved one may have been a victim of abuse. Over 19 percent of Vermont nursing homes also have issues with infection control, which indicates that your loved one may have a great risk of developing an infection from unsanitary conditions.
The statistics make it clear that nursing homes are not going to change their ways any time soon. It is up to you to speak with nursing home lawyers who can have an impact on your case and create positive change in the nursing home industry.
Nursing Home Injury Laws in Vermont
In Vermont, there are strict nursing home injury laws in place to provide protections for residents in nursing homes. The Reports of Abuse Act and the Reporting Suspected Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults Act ensure that there are procedures available for reporting abuse, investigating abuse and ultimately holding administrators accountable for this behavior.
The Reporting Abuse Act requires that any individual who knows of or has information of abuse must file a report with law enforcement within 48 hours of becoming aware of such information. The statute also goes to great pains to discuss at length the individuals who have a legal duty to file reports of abuse.
The list of individuals includes employees in caregiving, teachers, case workers, mental health professionals, dentists, psychologists, nursing assistants, medical examiners and other professionals.
Know the Rights of Loved Ones in Nursing Homes
It is important for family members to understand the rights that are also in place under federal law for residents. The rights of nursing home residents have clearly been stated in the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. In this Act, nursing home residents have rights to receive adequate care and participate in the creation of a care plan. The Residents’ Bill of Rights includes the following list of legal rights:
- The right to receive accommodations for medical, physical, psychological and social services
- The right to communicate with others
- The right to make choices about one’s medical care
- The right to be free from abuse, mistreatment and neglect
- The right to be free from physical and chemical restraints
- The right to review one’s care plan
- The right to be treated with dignity
- The right to voice disagreements without discrimination
If you want to learn more about the rights of nursing home residents, then you should get in touch with nursing home lawyers as soon as possible. Nursing home lawyers know also about the types of conduct that are considered to be Vermont nursing home abuse incidents, and they can also inform you with this knowledge. No resident should be the victim of Vermont nursing home abuse, and it is important for a resident to receive compensation if he or she is a victim. Nursing home residents have a right to receive adequate care under the law.
Speak to Vermont Nursing Home Lawyers Today for Help
Call or email nursing home lawyers to receive assistance with your case. You can learn more about the rights that your loved ones have to receive compensation. Our attorneys are available to help Vermont families in areas such as:
- South Burlington
Call a lawyer to learn more about the process of filing a lawsuit or settling a claim outside of court. Nursing home lawyers will help to protect your loved one at all stages of the investigation process and at trial.
Vermont Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers
Vermont nursing facility patients bedridden or confined to a wheelchair are at an increased risk of developing bedsores (pressure sores; pressure ulcers; decubitus ulcers). Without proper treatment including wound dressings, debridement, and antibiotics, the wound can leave permanent damage or cause a fatal infection.
Bedsores are most prevalent in any nursing facility patient who remains idle for an extended period. The wound usually appears when body pressure against an object restricts blood flow circulation to skin and underlying tissue. When the area is deprived of oxygen, reddening, inflammation and skin damage can occur within a couple of hours.
Certain body parts tend to be more affected than others are. Usually, the body’s bony prominences are at greatest risk including:
- The back of the head, shoulders, shoulder blades, spine and sacrum (tailbone)
- The hipbones, buttocks, back of the legs and knees
- The ankles, heels and toes
Preventing a Decubitus Ulcer While at a Skilled Nursing Home or Hospital
Almost every kind of pressure sore can be prevented if the medical team at the nursing facility takes appropriate action when the sore is in an early stage. This requires that the doctors and nursing staff properly assess the skin of the patient during the time of admittance into the nursing home. The evaluation can help develop an effective health plan to ensure that the risk of developing a sore is minimized. An effective plan needs to include:
Detecting any existing pressure sore
Identifying any resident with a higher risk of developing pressure ulcers
Implementing an effective prevention plan to minimize the potential of a pressure sore using turning protocols to readjust the body at least once every two hours
Treat any existing bedsore with effective procedures including debridement to cut away dead or rotting tissue deep in the wound, which can lessen the condition and begin the healing process
This plan of action is especially important for individuals who are bedridden, bound to a wheelchair or incapacitated because of sedation or a coma.
Insufficient Training and Understaffing: An Underlying Reason Patients Develop Bed Sores in Vermont Facilities
Bedsores can be prevented when there is adequate staff to provide proper monitoring, and the medical team has sufficient training in how to avoid the condition. Any developing or existing bedsore needs to be treated immediately with proven protocols and procedures including eliminating the pressure until the wound is allowed to heal completely.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes are understaffed due to limited budgets or the lack of sufficient personnel for hire in the community. As a result, administrators are often left with hiring unskilled caregivers who have not received proper training on skin monitoring and “turning” protocols to ensure the patient’s health is fully managed. The patient can suffer immense pain when they do not have the capacity to readjust their own body weight without help.
What You Can Do Following a Vermont Bed Sore?
If you believe that your loved one is suffering a severe bedsore while a resident in a nursing home, it is essential to consider hiring a Vermont nursing home lawyer who specializes in pressure sore cases. A skilled nursing home attorney can take legal steps to stop the negligence and abuse at the facility immediately. In addition, the law firm can ensure that your loved one receives adequate medical care by skilled personnel trained in handling life-threatening bedsores. The law firms listed below provide these valuable services in cities all across Vermont including:
A Vermont nursing home attorney can file a claim or lawsuit on behalf of your loved one and your family to demand the financial recompense you deserve for your family’s loss, pain and suffering. The money received can offset the expense of medical care needed to help your loved one heal from the injuries caused by the negligence of others at the nursing home.
Fill out the form here to contact an experienced Vermont decubitus ulcer lawyer from the list below. To avoid the need of any upfront fees, your attorney can accept your case on contingency where their legal services are paid from an out-of-court settlement or jury award.
Nursing Home Negligence
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 3 years with Discovery Rule. (Vt. Stat. Ann. Title 12 §512)
- Medical malpractice – 3 years from malpractice or within 2 years of the date the injury was or should have been discovered. If foreign object is not found within the period of limitation, the foreign object action may be brought within 2 years from the date of the discovery of the foreign object. (Vt. Stat. Ann. Title 12 §521)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 2 years with Discovery Rule (Vt. Stat. Ann. Title 14 §1492)
- Vermont Department of Health
- Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living
- Division of Disability and Aging Services
Nursing Home Care State Law
- Reports of Abuse – (Vt. Code Ann. Title 33, §§6901-6941)
- Reporting suspected abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults – (Vt. Code Ann. Title 33, §6903)