If your loved one received injuries due to a home health care provider's negligent actions, contact a personal injury lawyer for representation. Home health care is designed to help people who need additional medical, physical and personal assistance after they leave the hospital to recuperate at home. But if a home health care worker does injure your loved one, an attorney can protect your loved one in the following ways.
Investigate the Extent of Your Loved One's Physical Injuries
If your loved one shows signs of physical injuries, an attorney needs to find out how your family member received the injuries and to what extent. Your loved one's injuries may be signs of elderly abuse and neglect. The most effective way to know if your loved one experienced any type of physical neglect is to have physicians examine them.
Doctors generally perform physical exams of patients who show signs of physical neglect. One of the most common issues with elderly neglect is the formation of bedsores. Bedsores develop when the skin over bone tissue breaks open and becomes infected. Patients who lie in one position for long periods of time can develop multiple bedsores if they have fragile skin, poor circulation or some other medical condition that weakens the skin. To protect patients from bedsores, doctors order hospital staff to reposition them every two hours to keep their skin clear and healthy.
If your loved one developed sores because a caregiver didn't follow doctor's orders, the worker is negligent in their care. But to prove that the caregiver was negligent, an attorney needs more information about the caregiver. One of the things the attorney may do is investigate the caregiver's previous job history and criminal records to see if they have issues with neglect and abuse.
If the caregiver has abuse and neglect charges in the past, an attorney will want to know why the agency didn't know about them. If the agency didn't run a background check on the caregiver, it can also be negligent in your loved one's case.
After verifying your loved one's physical neglect, a personal injury attorney will also look into other forms of elderly abuse.
Investigate Your Loved One's Psychological Abuse
Your loved one can develop psychological problems that hinder their ability to get well. However, unlike physical neglect, psychological abuse isn't easy to spot. To diagnose psychological abuse in your loved one, an attorney may request that they seek psychiatric evaluations. But if your loved one is too afraid to complete the evaluations properly, specialists may ask you questions about your loved one's mental state prior to home health care, such as:
- Does your loved one change how they interact with you and other people during visits and when did the changes occur?
- Does your family member develop anger issues when you ask them how they feel?
- Does your loved one deny that the caregiver abuses or neglects them when you ask them about it?
After obtaining answers to the questions above, a personal injury attorney presents the case to the home health care agency's insurance provider for compensation. You should understand that the insurance company may take its time to review the physical and psychiatric evidence of your loved one's abuse and neglect. The insurance company will most likely investigate your family member's case on its own before making a decision.
If the insurance company denies your loved one's case, because it believes the caregiver did nothing wrong, an attorney can present the case to personal injury court. But in most cases, the insurance company settles the case to avoid going to court.
If you have questions about your loved one's case and want more information, call or email an attorney today.