Unfortunately, we live in a time when people of all varieties will prey on the elderly. From nursing home assistants that are careless or neglectful to home invaders looking for an easy target, it seems like everyone has something against the older people in your family. A personal injury claim for an elderly adult will often involve assault, medical malpractice, or abuse through neglect.
In any of these situations, an experienced personal injury attorney in Henderson, Nevada can help you take civil action so your family member can begin their recovery. With the limitations placed on the elderly, a victim may experience medical malpractice in a facility and, through their health insurance, be left in that same facility or be placed in further danger through aggravated or vengeful staff members.
Reporting Abuse and Contacting Authorities
While not everyone has formal training in identifying neglect, most people can quickly spot elder abuse. Personality changes, regression, and withdrawing from the people around them are the signs that families will often spot in abused elders.
You should always report abuse to not only the local Henderson police but also the elder’s services. The state of Nevada has an Aging and Disability services program, which contains an Elder Protective Services department. That department is responsible for accepting claims of abuse and investigating them.
Contacting the right authorities is the very first step in getting a claim started. You may have criminal charges along with the findings of these authorities as well as civil charges to file on behalf of the victim.
Involving an Attorney in Your Personal Injury Claim for an Elderly Adult
Personal injury attorneys will handle everything from the assault of an elder through to medical malpractice. What happens in these cases with the elderly is often neglect, which still falls under the personal injury umbrella. When nurses or even maintenance staff are neglectful, it can cause severe injury in the elderly.
Not properly cleaning a wound, changing bandages after surgery, or handling a colostomy bag can lead to life-threatening conditions. That would result in you needing to involve an attorney. At that point, you would be looking for compensation from the trauma, the necessary medical care to correct the damage from the neglect and to sort out the living situation.
Medical Malpractice and Similar Personal Injury Claims
As mentioned above, medical malpractice or negligence is often the biggest factor in cases that involve elderly persons. When you’re working with this type of case, you’ll need a power of attorney, proof of your connection to the older adult, and proof or evidence of the damage from the malpractice or assault. Those claims will need someone to not only handle the case but to manage and issue subpoenas to collect evidence that may include employee records, video surveillance, and medical files.
In that line, personal injury claims involving elderly adults are not simple or straightforward. Going to an attorney after you alert the authorities is the first major step in filing a claim for your loved one. What you will need to do is determine the liable party and the extent of the damage. Then you’ll need help in sorting out who is responsible for what damages. For example, an employer may be partially responsible, but a third-party may also be responsible for not reporting the abuse sooner.
Understanding Power of Attorney and Filing a Claim for an Elderly Adult
When working in a legal capacity for someone else, you’ll need to go through and pursue a power of attorney. This document may be something that wasn’t a major concern or priority before, but you can work in a legal capacity for this person and take charge of a claim that they may not want to handle alone.
Start Out With a Consultation at Nettles Morris
Personal injury law firms in Nevada aren’t all the same. What you’re looking for when you’re handling a claim for a disabled adult is someone that will go through the power of attorney process and understands adult disabilities. It may be that the elder in your family is too incapacitated to handle a case. Or, they may be so traumatized from the event that they simply can’t handle the further trauma of the case.
That doesn’t mean that your family can’t seek out the justice and compensation necessary to correct the damage done through the attack or neglect. From nursing home neglect to direct assaults against disabled, elderly adults, you’ll need a passionate and analytical legal representative. Contact Nettles Morris to begin discussing what happened to the elder in your family and how you can take action against the responsible parties.