A Poor Job of Inspecting Nursing Home Complaints in California
A recent article from the Sacramento Bee alleges that Los Angeles County health inspectors did not thoroughly investigate health and safety claims in nursing homes. Due to the fact that there were so many complaints regarding nursing homes, the health inspectors allegedly established a system during the summer of 2012 to hasten investigations. As a result, both state and federal authorities are investigating the matter because both entities contracted Los Angeles County to do the inspections on their behalf.
The article also mentions that in Sacramento, an organization sued the state of California because of delays in commencing investigations. California state law requires that an investigation typically commence within 10 days, or within 24 hours when the matter involves serious harm or the possibility of death. As the staff of nursing homes changes rather often, these investigations are supposed to be conducted in a timely manner so that there is less worry that information has been remembered incorrectly or simply forgotten or that those involved in the incident may no longer be available.
Why should you get legal assistance?
Unfortunately, the way that Los Angeles County health inspectors allegedly conducted their investigations shows that you cannot be certain that claims will be investigated. An attorney can make sure that your claims are thoroughly examined. Due to the fact that they decided to delay, and in many cases, shorten their investigations in Los Angeles County, people who were victims of abuse in nursing homes did not receive the prompt service they should expect.
The Vulnerability of Elders to Nursing Home Abuse
Elder people can be vulnerable to abuse, especially when they live in nursing homes because they may be constantly dependent upon employees. As the United States population continues to age, those liable to become victims of nursing home abuse will grow as well. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), major studies show that about 7-10 percent of study participants had experienced some type of abuse. The NCEA also mentions that although the reporting of abuse has increased, according to state data from Adult Protective Services (APS), there is still an overwhelming amount of cases of abuse that are undetected and untreated. In 2000, a study of 2,000 nursing home residents demonstrated that 44% had been victims of abuse and 95% of those involved in the survey had been neglected or seen another person be neglected.
The attorneys at the Appel Law Firm LLP have a strong record in handling situations of nursing home abuse. If you know somebody that has a claim against a nursing home, do not wait for the investigators to do their job. There are both civil and criminal penalties that may apply. The attorneys at the Appel Law Firm LLP may be able provide you with guidance about your best option.