The preponderance of technical and legal aspects forces plaintiffs to seek assistance of a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer in Kentucky to fight their claims against state long-term care facilities. Even many of these victims suffering due to the fault of are unaware of the basic procedure to lodge their complaints with state authorities. The biggest concern is that despite hundreds of abuse and negligence complaints, prosecution in awfully lacking and punitive action is rare.
High Number of Nursing Home Neglect Complaints
A report prepared by the ombudsman admits that 87.74% of complaints made against care centers in 2013 were found to be genuine and at least one in every three incidents has direct evidence to corroborate the injustice. More than 900 complaints were filed with the Office of the Inspector General citing nursing home negligence in Kentucky in 2014, a five percent jump over 2013. Advocacy groups and Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers estimate that over 6,000 seniors annually met the same fate at such centers.
The most common complaints include:
- Physical abuse
- Willful negligence
- Passive behavior
- Sexual and financial exploitation
- Medical negligence
- Resident-to-resident abuse
What Makes Prosecution Difficult
- Lack of Awareness: Some believe that they have completed their duty by admitting senior members of the family to a nursing home. We forget their vulnerability, their inability to speak or complaint, and their old age. Infrequent visitations also rarely allow us a chance to look at any sign of symptom of abuse or negligence.
- Lack of Evidence: The biggest problem in prosecuting a care center is direct evidence. While elderly residents are often unable to name the perpetrator, it is difficult to find out the real culprit. However, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer help you gather evidence against any Kentucky care center and indict it.
- No records or reports: According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, almost 50% of nursing homes fail to comply with reporting provision when a resident is abused abuse by their staff or strangers. Many even have no “documentation supporting compliance with the reporting requirements while a third had no appropriate policies and procedures for reporting allegations and investigation results.”
- Procedural difficulties: Notwithstanding Kentucky being cited for maximum fines for nursing home neglect, procedural bottlenecks continue to prevent criminal prosecution. There were many instances between 2006 and 2009 when cabinet citations failed to reach the attorney general’s office, which is also debarred from prosecuting without the permission of local prosecutors. Such stumbling blocks frustrate plaintiffs fighting without support from a nursing home abuse lawyer in
- Multiplicity of agencies: Despite the detail procedure in place, enforcement agencies are rarely informed about abuse, negligence, or death of residents. Multiplicity of responsibilities lead to confusion among state agencies, such as attorney general’s office, adult protection services, and the inspector general, over criminal prosecutions and one blames the other.
Due to difficulties in criminal prosecution, there are rare instances of nursing home employees being sentenced to jail. At best, financial fines are imposed and some plaintiffs were successful in extracting damages through civil actions with support from an expert nursing home abuse lawyer in Kentucky.
A recent report by the Families for Better Care ranks Kentucky ahead of 49 other states in penalties imposes for nursing home neglect. With just about 280 long-term care facilities, the state is well ahead of second-placed Texas, which has over 1,200 such centers. In 2014, the American Health Care Association claimed that nursing home abuse and neglect payouts in Kentucky were highest among all US states.
If you have reasons to believe that a resident is subject to abuse at a nursing home in Louisville, Kentucky or elsewhere, please contact us or call on 1-866-447-0150 to discuss the best course of action.