Nursing home neglect and abuse are growing problems all around the country, not just in California. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Understandably, concerned family members want to know how to report nursing home neglect in California. If the person’s health is in danger, you should contact 911 immediately. Otherwise, contact the experienced California personal injury lawyers at Silva Injury Law to learn more about what to do next.
Steps To Reporting Nursing Home Neglect In California
When reporting nursing home neglect or abuse, you need to document the issues as much as possible. Taking photos and keeping a journal of incidents can help during an investigation and potential personal injury lawsuit. Here are a couple of steps to report nursing home neglect.
Contact the Person’s Primary Care Physician
If the problem isn’t severe enough to warrant a 911 call, one option is to start a conversation with your family member’s primary care physician. However, you may not want to go that route if the physician works for the nursing home. Any doctor who is an employee or associate of the nursing home facility is not likely to be objective. You need to find a physician who is independent and will be unbiased in this situation.
File a Complaint with the Appropriate Agencies
The next step is to file a complaint with one or more agencies. Elder neglect can carry criminal charges, so it’s imperative to register a formal complaint. Your initial complaint could be through the California Department of Public Health (DPH). Under California Health and Safety Code Section 1420(a)(1), the DPH should contact you within 48 hours to confirm they have assigned an investigator to review your allegations.
You can also look into other agencies to ensure your concerns get taken seriously. Taking the time to file a complaint not only helps your family member but could also prevent other families from enduring the same neglect or abuse.
Speak with an Our Lawyer
Everyone should take concerns about nursing home neglect and abuse seriously. The best way to ensure that happens is to obtain legal representation. Look for personal injury attorneys with experience handling elder neglect cases.
Who Do You Call To Report Nursing Home Neglect?
The DPH Licensing and Certification offices investigate nursing homes. If you report the claim over the phone, you’ll also want to follow up with a written complaint to ensure a paper trail. You only want to include specific facts. Avoid generalizations or making your own legal conclusions. Potential information to include in your complaint includes:
- Facility details such as name, address, and phone number;
- Name of the nursing home resident;
- Your contact details and relationship to the potential victim;
- A list of dates and times of suspected incidents;
- Your specific complaints;
- Contact information for any potential witnesses;
- Staff names if you know of individual people who could be involved; and
- Any records you believe should be reviewed.
In California, you have several options for reporting nursing home neglect to other agencies:
- Call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for potential elder abuse in a nursing home facility. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline is 800-231-4024. You can also try calling your local police or sheriff’s department.
- Contact your California Assembly Member and Senator. Elected officials need to be aware of what is happening in California facilities.
- The Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA) is another option for any Medi-Cal fraud or complaints of severe neglect or abuse.
Reporting any suspected neglect or abuse is crucial. It’s best to put as many officials on notice as possible. An attorney can help you get your complaint in front of the right people.
Elder neglect has increased, especially during the pandemic. That is why it’s even more important to ensure someone pays attention.
Contact Our Lawyers
If you have concerns about nursing home abuse or questions about how to report nursing home neglect in California, please get in touch with our California personal injury lawyers. We have years of experience helping personal injury victims recover compensation in California, including in cases involving nursing home neglect and abuse. Attorney Michael Joe Silva also worked as a prosecutor for several years. He understands the serious nature of nursing home neglect. With his prosecutorial background, you know you’ll be working with an attorney who has the skills to assist you. Call or contact us online to learn more.
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.