What are Nursing Home Lawyers?
Nursing home lawyers are lawyers who specialize in issues pertaining to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other types of medical facilities which provide care to the elderly. These legal specialists are interested in promoting patients' and residents' rights. They can work directly with care facilities along with insurance companies to make sure that the needs of their clients are being met and that the law is being followed.
One of the largest areas of concern for nursing home lawyers is neglect and abuse. Elderly people are extremely vulnerable to abusive behavior which include include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, along with neglect, and abuse can occur to the wealthy and the poor alike. In addition to being a basic violation of human dignity, elder abuse can also cause a decline in quality of life, and threaten the patient's physical well being. Neglected patients, for example, may be more prone to developing dangerous infections.
If family members suspect that a loved one is receiving poor care at a nursing home, they can retain a nursing home lawyer to investigate, and potentially file suit. Elders can also retain their own lawyers to combat the abuse and neglect they experience. Such suits can result in a settlement for the victim or the family, and they also draw attention to the issue of elder abuse and neglect. Nursing home lawyers thereby directly contribute to reinforcement of the law by drawing the government's attention to violations, and they may also make policy recommendations to lawmakers to address elder care issues.
Nursing home lawyers can also work with insurance companies to make sure that their patients receive the benefits they are entitled to. Denial of insurance claims is a common problem for people in long-term assisted care, and it can be difficult to fight a denial of a claim without experience with the insurance industry. A nursing home lawyer can use his or her knowledge of the law and the case to push an insurance company to pay out on a claim or provide more benefits, reducing financial stress related to elder care.
The cost for hiring nursing home lawyers varies. Some law firms specialize in health care or elder care issues, and they may cost more than general law firms, but they also have more skills and experience. Other lawyers integrate elder care issues into part of their practice, and may charge less. When looking for an attorney, potential clients may want to ask around to see if someone they know has had experiences which would lead them to recommend a particular lawyer or firm, and it's also a good idea to ask a potential lawyer about his or her qualifications, experience, training, and success rate.
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