What Happens If I Suspect Nursing Home Negligence In New Mexico?

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Rachel Berenson - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Rachel Berenson

Located in Albuquerque, NMBerenson & Associates PC

Albuquerque, NM
Phone: 505-243-4400
Fax: 505-243-4405

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They spent their lives caring for those around them, but now the elderly are facing off against nursing homes with limited personnel, dismal care, and ultimately, low standards. A visit to an ailing loved one might bring a mix of emotions, but it should never prompt suspicion or anger. Unfortunately, those are becoming quite prevalent.

Seeking out justice for nursing home negligence is unfortunately tricky business. One would hope it would just be a case of pointing out a problem and seeing justice follow. But in cover ups and excuses, nursing homes find reasons that run the gamut as to why certain problems aren’t theirs. They’ll claim a patient had bedsores before they came to their location, or that the patient is aggressive and won’t take their medication. Long story short: No one should take on a nursing home by themselves. 

One of the best things that a loved one can do is get the proper documentation and make complaints to the right people. Gather information such as:

  • One’s relationship to the person admitted to the care center
  • What led to individual being placed in nursing home or rehab center
  • How often one has been able to visit the loved one
  • Specifics on the conclusion as to the negligence
  • All senses observation (seeing, smelling, hearing, touching) of the negligence
  • Obtain any medical documentation about the negligence
  • If needed, a death certificate, the autopsy report
  • The ambulance transcription if the subject was taken to the hospital

Something that is very important to keep in mind is that the waiting game is part of the process. Ambulance records can be quick to send out. Hospital records can take two to three months. It’s all about staying persistent.

Additionally, a case is all the stronger with documentation of medical attention. So even if an orderly punches a patient, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it becomes a case. It might be horrific to hear about, but if the patient doesn’t require a doctor, then the level of damage isn’t significant enough.

Or let’s say that the level of damage brought on the passing of a loved one. Because they wouldn’t be able to sign a HIPAA release, a wrongful death estate would need to be opened.

I Just Want To Confront The Workers Themselves. Is That Okay To Do?

That is definitely not advisable. Report nursing home negligence to the Department of Health. Bring it to the attention of a legal professional. If one confronts nursing home staff, they have that much more time to tip each other off and try to form a cover up as fast as possible. 

If The Workers Cover Things Up, How Will I Be Able To Prove Anything?

In nursing home negligence cases, nursing experts are oftentimes brought in. While yes, nursing home workers are on their home turf, and can probably improvise, there’s only so much they can do to evade an expert. 

No matter what kind of abuse occurs, seeing a beloved family member mistreated at the hands of a nursing home brings up a lot of anger and frustration. While it might be tempting to take matters into one’s own hands, getting an attorney who specializes in nursing home neglect and can fight for the elderly is a great step forward.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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