Nursing home abuse and neglect is a major problem throughout the United States. What’s worse, the victims who suffer it are often unable to speak effectively for themselves, either as a result of fear or the physical and cognitive limitations that can progress with age. Families often struggle to understand what legal rights they have and how they can seek justice when their loved one’s ability to understand the situation may be significantly limited.
There are several situations in which a family member may be permitted to bring a lawsuit on behalf of a loved one who has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, even when the victim him or herself is unable to do so. Consider the following:
- A victim’s attorney-in-fact or agent designated in a valid power of attorney may be able to retain an attorney and file suit on his or her behalf if the terms of the power of attorney permit it.
- If the victim has not given power of attorney to anyone, a family member may try to be declared as his or her guardian, and may then take legal action on his or her behalf.
- If the victim has since passed away, the personal representative of his or her estate may file a suit on behalf of the deceased’s legal heirs. This is true even if the victim’s death was not due to the abuse or neglect that precipitated the lawsuit.
While money can never truly compensate your loved one for the pain and humiliation he or she may have experienced, a settlement or judgment obtained with help from an experienced attorney who handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases in North Carolina may help pay for better facilities and could ultimately better your loved one’s quality of life.