When you check your elderly relative or vulnerable loved one into a nursing home or assisted care center, you want to be able to rest assured that they are living in a safe and healthy. Under state and federal regulations, Minnesota nursing homes have a legal duty to provide their residents with such an environment, ensuring that they receive high quality care and respect. Yet, tragically, far too many assisted living facilities fail to live up to this basic responsibility.
Nursing home abuse is a very serious problem in our state. According to data provided by the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC), there were 51,408 reports of suspected nursing home abuse or neglect submitted in the 2016 fiscal year alone. As the MAARC data shows, nursing home abuse comes in a variety of different forms. Some of the most common examples include:
If your family member or loved one is in a nursing home or assisted living facility and you believe that they are being mistreated in any manner, you need to know how to take action to protect their health and safety. Here, our Minneapolis-St. Paul nursing home abuse attorneys provide an overview of how you should report nursing home abuse or neglect in Minnesota.
Prior to 2015, there were 169 county and local phone numbers that were used as ‘common entry points’. State residents were expected to find the correct local number to report the suspected nursing home abuse or neglect. Thankfully, as of July 1st, 2015, the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) serves as the single place for Minnesotans to report abuse. You can report abuse to MAARC 24 hour a day, 7 days a week. Your options to file your complaint are:
Your Complaint Will Be Investigated
After receiving your report, MAARC will be in charge of making sure that it gets referred to the appropriate investigative agency. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, your nursing home abuse report may be handled by:
From there, your complaint could take several different directions. In some cases, state or local law enforcement officials may need to get involved to handle a potential crime. In other cases, all legal action will be civil. Regardless, it is imperative that you and your loved one are represented by a qualified attorney throughout the proceedings.
If your elderly parent or vulnerable loved one has a primary care doctor, an assigned social worker or any type of elder patient advocate, you should reach out to them to discuss your concerns. These professionals may be able to provide useful guidance on your loved one’s medical condition, as well as guidance on how to care for them going forward.
Though, this comes with a very important caveat. The family members and caretakers of nursing home abuse victims should not seek advice from anyone that is connected to the assisted living facility in question. This includes facility owners, managers, employees or any other representative. At this point in time, these individuals may not be reliable and they may not be looking out for your best legal or financial interests. Going forward, your best option is to seek independent advice from qualified professionals.
Emergency situations require immediate attention. There is absolutely no time to wait for your complaint to make its way through the bureaucracy. You should never take any chances with the health and safety of your vulnerable loved one. If you feel that they are in immediate physical or psychological danger, please not hesitate to call 911. With emergency matters, it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Once you are confident that your loved one is being properly cared for and attended to, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.
If your loved one was injured by a negligent nursing home or assisted living facility, they are entitled to full and fair compensation for any damages. While reporting the incident to Minnesota state authorities is a very important first step in the process, it will not by itself be sufficient to get your loved one the financial compensation that is owed to them under the law. You need to hire an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to review the unique circumstances involved in your case in order to determine exactly what needs to be done to hold the nursing home or assisted living center fully accountable for their misconduct.
At Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm, our compassionate nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are standing by, ready to fight for the legal rights of your loved one. We help elderly people and vulnerable adults get the quality care, attention and respect that they deserve. If your loved one suffered an injury due to nursing home abuse, or worse, has passed away from abuse, we will help you hold the negligent facility liable.
For a free, fully confidential legal consultation, please give our legal team a call today at (763) 225-2695 or reach out to us through our website. Our law firm is based in Plymouth, MC, and we represent nursing home abuse and neglect victims throughout the greater Twin Cities metro area, including in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Coon Rapids, Bloomington, Burnsville, Maple Grove and Minnetonka.