It can be scary when you get to a point where you have to put a loved one in a nursing home. You are counting on others to take the lead where you cannot and to look after your person as if they were their own. While many nursing home staff are devoted to giving residents the best possible care, there are, unfortunately, some who engage in neglect or abuse and expect to get away with it. If you find yourself in a situation where legal intervention is necessary, knowing how to select the best attorney for nursing home neglect can help you start the process.
Listen to how they speak about the most vulnerable
Have you ever heard someone supposed to represent and/or care for a particularly vulnerable population sound like they could not care less about them? It is disheartening and disappointing.
When hiring an attorney to represent your loved one in a nursing home, pay attention to how they speak about this population. Consider moving on to another attorney if there is any disdain or hate, whether blatant or subtle.
Contact local senior organizations
If your loved one is a senior resident of a nursing home, contact local senior organizations who can put you in contact with an attorney ready to help you with your case of neglect. Your local senior center, Division of Senior Services, or an Area Agency on Aging should be able to provide you with a few recommendations.
Have questions prepared
Write down a list of questions you want to ask the attorney about nursing home neglect. For instance, you can ask how many similar cases they have worked on. To gauge how involved and invested they are in the nursing home area of law, consider asking them what inspired them to get into it in the first place and what similar cases affected them the most.
Another thing you want to pay attention to is how annoyed they get if you pull out a list of questions. You should be able to ask your attorney any question you want without feeling uncomfortable, and they do not make you feel like a nuisance because they know you are trying to protect your loved one.
Do thorough research
Paid attorneys (in part) say all the right words, so do your due diligence even if they provide you with what sounds like fantastic answers to your questions. Having an excellent reputation where clients speak of their commitment and integrity is essential. Dig around on multiple websites, but keep an eye out not only for negative reviews but also ones that are positive yet sound fake.
Find an attorney who knows local laws
Although there are federal laws in place to protect elders, laws can also vary between states and within smaller areas. Find an attorney who knows nursing home neglect laws on a federal, state, and local level so you can count on them to have the deep insight needed to help win the case.
Ask about payment options
As much as you feel the attorney you chose is suitable for the nursing home neglect case, payment options will likely determine whether you can hire them. They can quickly provide you with a breakdown of their payment structure. If it is not financially doable for you, let them know. The attorney may choose to deviate from their usual payment options and work with you, or you may need to find someone else.
A nursing home neglect situation is not something you want to delay handling. Contact Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo as soon as you learn about the circumstances and decide the legal system needs to step in. You do not want to rush to decide, but you do not want to procrastinate. Consider asking a trusted loved one to assist you in expediting the process while lending support.