Nursing Home Lawyer Explains the Rights of Nursing Home Residents
There are many instances where patients in nursing homes should seek the help of a nursing home lawyer to ensure that emotional, financial, or physical injuries inflicted by those who are charged with their care are promptly and properly addressed. Patients should always be aware of their rights so that they can speak out when they are improperly cared for. The following article will highlight many of the most important rights that an attorney who specializes in nursing home law can help you enforce.
A Nursing Home Lawyer Emphasize the Following Legal Rights in Virginia
Right to a Dignified Existence
- Is free from mental and physical abuse and free from chemical restraint.
- Except in emergencies, physical restraints except as authorized in writing by a physician for a specified and limited period of time or when necessary to protect the patient from injury to himself or to others.
- Treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of his dignity and individuality
- Not required to perform services for the facility outside of therapeutic care.
- May retain and use his personal clothing and possessions as space permits unless to do so would infringe upon rights of other patients or unless medically contraindicated as documented by a physician.
- May meet with and participate in activities of social, religious and community groups at his discretion unless medically contraindicated as documented by his physician.
Right to be Fully Informed
- You have the right to be of the proposed treatments offered to you and the risks and benefits of each.
- Changes to your treatment plan, or in your medical condition.
- A written copy of the resident rights, and the rules and regulations of the facility.
- Services available at the facility and associated charges.
Rights Upon Transfer
- Transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, or for the welfare of the patient or other patients, or for non-payment.
- Entitled to reasonable advance notice to ensure an orderly transfer or discharge.
- These actions are documented in the medical record.
Rights to Voice Complaints
- Encouraged and assisted in exercising your rights as a patient and voice grievances and recommendations for changes in policy.
- The exercise of these rights should be free from restraint, interference, coercion discrimination or reprisal.
- Right to prompt response from the healthcare facility against which the complaint is registered.
Right to Conduct Financial Business
- A patient may manage their own financial affairs or access to information regarding financial transactions made on his behalf.
- Information about available services and charges for the service.
Right to Privacy
- Confidential treatment of his personal and medical records.
- Right to approve or refuse their release to any individual outside the facility, except in case of his transfer to another health care institution or as required by law or third-party payment contract.
- May associate and communicate privately with persons of his choice.
- May send and receive his personal mail unopened unless medically contraindicated as documented by his physician in his medical record.
- If married, is assured privacy for visits by his or her spouse and if both are inpatients in the facility, is permitted to share a room with such spouse unless medically contraindicated as documented by the attending physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in the medical record.
<h3>Using a Nursing Home Lawyer to Enforce Patient Rights</h3>
If your rights, or the rights of a family member, have been violated, it is important to seek out the help of an attorney. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to compensation for the actions taken by members of a nursing home. Seeking compensation for these injuries not only helps to make you whole, it also ensures that nursing homes will change the behavior that causes damage to those they are supposed to protect. The first step in this process is being educated as to what your rights are as a nursing home resident as outlined above. Next, seeking out an attorney is important when your rights have been violated.
A nursing home lawyer may be able to obtain damages including those for medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, loss of normal life, and attorney fees in certain instances. An attorney can review your case, and discuss what options may exist for you in each circumstance. You will want an attorney who can take you through the whole process including an investigation of the facts, the filing of the claim, and settlement negotiations. It is also possible in some instances to obtain an injunction to quickly put a stop to the behavior.
As a patient who is often at the mercy of those caring for you, it is important to have someone who can help you stand up to these bad practices, and ensure that the rest of your time in a nursing home facility is in line with these rights. This will provide a better quality of life for you and peace of mind for your loved ones.
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