Nursing and Care Home Neglect Claims
If your family member or loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of nursing and care home staff, we can help you to secure compensation. We understand how distressing this could be for you, but we will guide you throughout the legal process, offering no win, no fee advice at every stage.
Our solicitors will fight your corner every step of the way to secure justice and compensation for the suffering your relative has experienced. We will do everything possible to hold negligent care home staff accountable.
Ramsdens’ care home solicitors are an award-winning team based across Yorkshire, with offices in Leeds, Huddersfield, York and more. We are widely recognised for our practical and helpful approach - and we will help you to get the support you need at this time.
Contact us today to discuss making a care home neglect claim in a free consultation by calling 01484 821 500, or complete our online enquiry form, and we will get back to you.
What legal options do I have if my loved one has been neglected in a care home?
If you are concerned about the quality of care that your loved one received in their nursing or care home, you can report the lack of care to the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which will take steps to investigate the issue.
You may then be able to make a compensation claim for care home negligence. By doing so, you may be able to secure compensation that could help your loved one with any medical or mental health issues they have incurred due to the negligence, or any other financial losses. To make a claim, speak to our expert care home claims solicitors today.
Our care home solicitors have represented clients in claims arising from:
- Injuries caused by residents being left unattended;
- Pressure sores caused by a lack of movement;
- Slips, trips and falls; Failure to provide adequate food and water;
- Medication mistakes;
- Ignoring a resident’s clear needs;
- Failing to maintain certain standards of personal hygiene and cleanliness.
We have experience in securing apologies, admissions of wrongdoing and compensation for families who have been affected by care home neglect. We act on behalf of victims, as well as their family and loved ones - we will work tirelessly to ensure lessons are learned and improvements are made.
No matter how you or your loved one has been affected, our solicitors can help you to consider your next steps, and whether making a care home neglect claim is the best approach for you.
Who is at fault for my loved one's injury?
Staff at care homes and nursing homes have a duty to all residents to make sure they are kept safe, comfortable and unharmed. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and cases of both intentional and unintentional neglect occur on a regular basis. At Ramsdens, we aim to ensure your loved one is in safe hands when you are not there.
If you have concerns about the treatment your loved one has received while in a care or nursing home, we recommend that you speak to a solicitor about pursuing a claim for neglect.
Am I eligible to make a nursing or care home neglect claim?
It is very important that elderly people feel comfortable, relaxed and safe in their nursing and care homes. Sometimes, you may be able to ask them directly if they are happy with the level of care they are receiving; however, some relatives may not have the capacity to tell you if they are suffering from neglect.
When an elderly person suffering from an illness such as dementia suffers neglect at the hands of nursing or care home professionals, it can lead to serious injury and often death.
In other cases, an accident within a nursing or care home can cause severe pain and distress for your relative, but some incidents can result in life-changing injuries.
If you have suspicions of malpractice or abuse within a nursing care home where a family member or friend is staying, you should consider contacting a nursing and care home solicitor to find out what you may be able to do to help.
Can I file a care home negligence claim on behalf of my loved one?
If your family member or loved one is unable to pursue a claim themselves due to their physical or mental condition, you can act as their representative or 'litigation friend'. A litigation friend is someone who can bring a claim to court on behalf of another person who lacks the capacity to do so.
Can I file a care home neglect claim if my loved one has passed away?
You can file a nursing or care home neglect claim even if your loved one has passed away, as long as you can demonstrate that the nursing or care home's negligence contributed to their death or caused them to suffer before their passing.
Can you claim compensation against a nursing home for care home abuse or negligence?
If a resident has suffered harm or injury as a result of poor care, abuse, or neglect, they, or their family acting on their behalf, can seek compensation by pursuing a legal claim. Compensation can help to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses incurred as a result of the abuse or negligence.
To make a successful claim, it is essential to gather evidence supporting the allegations, such as medical records, witness statements, photographs, and any relevant documentation. To do so, you should seek legal advice from a solicitor experienced in care home abuse and negligence cases - such as those at Ramsdens Solicitors - who can guide you through the entire process and build a strong case for you.
What types of damages can I recover in a care home negligence claim?
In a nursing or care home negligence claim in the UK, you may be able to recover various types of damages, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. These damages are typically categorised as either general damages or special damages:
- General damages - these compensate for the non-economic losses suffered by the victim as a result of the negligence, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life. The amount awarded for general damages depends on the severity of the harm, the duration of suffering, and the impact on the individual's life.
- Special damages - these compensate for the quantifiable financial losses incurred by the victim or their family due to the negligence. Some examples of special damages include:
- Medical expenses - costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care for injuries or conditions resulting from the negligence.
- Additional care costs - expenses for any additional care or support that your loved one may require as a result of the negligence, such as home adaptations, mobility aids, or private care services.
- Loss of earnings - if the victim or their family has lost income due to time taken off work to address the consequences of the negligence, this loss may be recoverable as part of the claim.
- Funeral expenses - in cases where negligence has resulted in the death of a loved one, the cost of the funeral may be included in the claim.
How is the value of care home negligence claims determined?
The value of nursing and care home negligence compensation is determined by considering both general damages and special damages. The specific circumstances of each case and the extent of the harm suffered by the victim will influence the overall value of the claim. Here is a brief overview of how general and special damages are evaluated:
- General damages: These damages compensate for the non-economic losses suffered by the victim, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. To determine the value of general damages, factors such as the severity and duration of the harm, the impact on the individual's daily life, and any long-term consequences are considered. Guidelines, such as the Judicial College Guidelines, can be used as a reference to estimate the appropriate compensation for specific injuries or harm.
- Special damages: These damages compensate for the quantifiable financial losses incurred by the victim or their family due to the negligence. The value of special damages is calculated based on actual costs and financial losses, which may include medical expenses, care costs, loss of earnings or funeral expenses.
Our experienced solicitors will assess the value of your nursing or care home negligence claim by considering all the relevant factors involved and by gathering the necessary evidence to support your case. It is important to ensure that all damages are accurately quantified to maximise the potential compensation for your loved one.
What is the process for filing care home negligence claims?
Filing a nursing or care home negligence claim involves several steps. While the process may vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case, the general procedure typically includes the following stages:
- Gather evidence - collect and document all relevant evidence, including medical records, photographs, witness statements, and any communication with nursing or care home staff or management. This evidence will be crucial in building a strong case. Some evidence you will be able to gather on your own, but a solicitor will help you to identify and obtain other sources of evidence that you may not have considered, or may struggle to access.
- Seek legal advice - consult a solicitor experienced in care home negligence cases to discuss your situation and assess the strength of your claim. They can provide guidance on your options and help you understand the likelihood of success.
- Letter of claim - your solicitor will send a letter of claim to the nursing or care home, or its legal representative, outlining the allegations of negligence, the harm suffered by your loved one, and the compensation being sought.
- Exchange of evidence - both parties will exchange evidence and documentation, including medical records, expert reports, and witness statements. This process, known as 'disclosure', allows each party to understand the other's position and the evidence supporting their case.
- Negotiation - your solicitor will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant, which may involve several rounds of offers and counteroffers. Many cases are resolved at this stage, without the need to go to court.
- Issuing court proceedings - if a settlement cannot be reached, your solicitor may recommend issuing court proceedings.
- Case management - the court will manage the case, setting deadlines for each stage of the process and arranging any necessary hearings.
- Trial - if the case proceeds to trial, both parties will present their evidence and arguments to a judge, who will then make a decision on the case - your solicitor and, if appropriate, appointed barrister will be able to represent you in court by speaking on your behalf. The judge will determine whether the nursing or care home staff or management were negligent, and if so, the amount of compensation to be awarded.
- Appeal - in some cases, either party may choose to appeal the court's decision if they believe there has been an error in law or procedure. Appeals are subject to strict time limits and specific grounds, so it is essential to seek legal advice if you are considering an appeal.
Throughout the process, your solicitor will represent your or your loved one's best interests and provide guidance on each stage of the claim.
How long do I have to file a care home negligence claim?
There is generally a three-year time limit for filing care home negligence claims, known as the 'limitation period'. This time limit typically begins on the date of the incident or the date when the victim or their representative became aware of the negligence, whichever is later.
However, there are some exceptions to this general rule:
- Mental capacity - if the victim lacks the mental capacity to pursue a claim, the limitation period may not start until they regain capacity or, in cases where capacity is unlikely to be regained, it may not apply at all.
- Under 18 years old - if the victim is under the age of 18 at the time of the negligence, the three-year time limit begins on their 18th birthday, giving them until their 21st birthday to file a claim.
- Court's discretion - in exceptional circumstances, the court may decide to allow a claim to proceed even if it is filed outside the three-year time limit. However, this is rare and should not be relied upon.
It is crucial to act promptly if you suspect nursing or care home negligence, as gathering evidence and building a strong case can take time. Speak to our experienced care home negligence claims solicitors as soon as possible to discuss your options and ensure that your claim is filed within the appropriate time frame.
What evidence is needed to support nursing home claims?
To support a nursing home claim, it is important to gather various types of evidence that demonstrate the negligence or abuse that has occurred and the harm it has caused to the victim. Your solicitor will help you to identify and gather these sources of evidence:
- Medical records pertaining to your friend or loved one's condition over the course of the negligence and their needs, including those from the care home and any external healthcare providers. These records can help to establish the nature and extent of the injuries or illnesses suffered as a result of the negligence.
- Witness statements from anyone who has witnessed the alleged negligence or abuse, such as family members, friends, other care home residents, or staff members.
- Photographs of any visible injuries, unsanitary living conditions, or hazards within the care home that may have contributed to the negligence. Incident reports that the care home may have documented relating to the negligence.
- Communication records of any correspondence or conversations with care home staff, management, or external healthcare providers regarding the alleged negligence. This can include emails, letters, and notes from meetings or phone calls.
- Expert reports from medical or care experts to establish the standard of care that was expected and how the care provided fell short of that standard. Your solicitor can help you identify and engage relevant experts.
- Financial records of financial losses such as medical expenses or loss of earnings. Gather relevant documentation to support these claims, such as receipts, invoices, or payslips.
It is crucial to start collecting evidence as soon as possible, as some types of evidence may be more difficult to obtain or lose their relevance over time.
Why choose Ramsdens Solicitors?
You can rest assured that your nursing or care home neglect claim will be handled with conscientiousness sensitivity. We have a strong reputation with more than 150 years in this field. We are confident that we can provide you with the support you need.
Ramsdens Solicitors is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers and the Law Society Personal Injury Panel, meaning we are a reputable and well-respected firm within this sector.
- A free consultation
- No win, no fee representation
- Early home visits
- A friendly, confidential service
- Fast responses to all communication
- Specialist solicitors to deal with your claim
Can I make a no win, no fee care or nursing home claim?
All of our care and nursing home negligence claims are handled on a no win, no fee basis. Our primary aim is to support you and ensure you get the compensation you deserve without financial risk.
'No win, no fee' is a term commonly used to describe what is technically known as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) - an arrangement between the client and the solicitor that stipulates that the client will not have to pay their solicitor's fees if their compensation claim is unsuccessful.
The primary advantage of a no win, no fee agreement is that it allows individuals access to justice without the immediate worry of legal costs. It means that if you do not win your case, you will not have to pay your solicitor's fees, providing a safety net and peace of mind.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor's fees will typically be recovered from the other party. However, a success fee may be deducted from your compensation. This fee will be a percentage of your compensation and is capped by law. All these details will be outlined clearly in your CFA before proceeding with your claim.
Before initiating your claim, we will explain everything about our no win, no fee policy, ensuring you understand the process, any potential costs and what compensation you might be entitled to.
What should I look for in a care home negligence solicitor?
When seeking a care home negligence solicitor, it is essential to find a legal professional who has the right skills, experience, and qualities to handle your case effectively. The personal injury team at Ramsdens Solicitors is made up of specialist experts in the various different fields of personal injury, and can satisfy the criteria for reliable care home solicitors.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a solicitor:
- Experience - look for a solicitor who has a proven track record in handling abuse and personal injury cases. They should be familiar with the relevant laws, regulations, and procedures and have a history of successful outcomes in similar cases.
- Specialist expertise - choose a solicitor who specialises in care home negligence or personal injury claims. This ensures that they have the in-depth knowledge and understanding required to handle your case effectively.
- Communication - a good solicitor will communicate clearly and effectively, keeping you informed throughout the process and explaining complex legal matters in a way that you can understand.
- Empathy and understanding - dealing with care home negligence can be emotionally challenging. Find a solicitor who is sensitive to your situation and demonstrates empathy and understanding towards your loved one's experience.
- Accessibility - your solicitor should be easily accessible, responding promptly to your queries and providing regular updates on the progress of your case.
- Reputation - research the solicitor's reputation, looking for testimonials or reviews from previous clients. This can give you an insight into the quality of their work and the level of client satisfaction.
- Fee structure - discuss the solicitor's fee structure and ensure that it is transparent and clearly explained. Many care home negligence solicitors work on a no win, no fee basis, which means that you only pay legal fees if your claim is successful. Ramsdens Solicitors operates on a no win, no fee basis for all of our personal injury claims.
- Professional accreditation - check if the solicitor is a member of any relevant professional organisations, such as the Law Society, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), or AvMA (Action against Medical Accidents). Membership in such organisations can indicate a commitment to high standards of practice and ongoing professional development.
What should I do if I suspect my loved one is being neglected in a care home?
If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected in a nursing or care home in the UK, it is crucial to take prompt action to ensure their safety and well-being. Here are some steps you can take:
- Talk to your loved one - gently ask them about their experiences and listen carefully to their concerns. They may be hesitant to speak up due to fear of reprisal, so it is essential to provide a safe and supportive environment for them to share their feelings.
- Document your concerns - keep a detailed record of any incidents or signs of neglect, including dates, times, and descriptions of what you have observed. Take photographs if appropriate, and maintain a record of any communication with the care home staff or management.
- Speak to the nursing or care home staff - raise your concerns with the staff members responsible for your loved one's care. They may be unaware of the issue, and discussing it with them may lead to immediate improvements.
- Escalate to management - if the issue persists or you are not satisfied with the response from the nursing or care home staff, escalate your concerns to the care home manager or senior management.
- Contact the appropriate authorities - if your loved one's situation does not improve, or if you suspect abuse or serious neglect, you can report your concerns to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
- Seek legal advice - if you believe that your loved one has suffered harm due to care home negligence, speak to our expert care home claims solicitors. We can provide guidance on your options and help you decide whether to pursue a claim for compensation.
- Consider alternative care options - if you believe that your loved one's safety or well-being is at risk in their current care home, explore the possibility of transferring them to a different care home or arranging for alternative care.
Throughout this process, it is essential to keep your loved one informed and involved in decision-making, as much as their condition allows. Their safety, comfort, and well-being should be the primary concern. We will help you with this by maintaining transparency throughout the course of your claim.
FAQs about nursing and care home neglect claims
What is nursing home negligence?
Nursing and care home negligence refers to a situation where nursing or care home staff or management fail to provide an adequate level of care to its residents, resulting in harm, injury, or distress. This can involve acts of commission, where inappropriate or harmful actions are taken, or acts of omission, where necessary care is not provided.
Nursing and care home negligence can lead to serious consequences for vulnerable residents, who often rely on care providers for their basic needs and well-being. Examples of nursing and care home negligence include inadequate staffing, poor training, medical negligence, neglect of personal hygiene, and failure to prevent or address abuse. In the UK, nursing and care home staff and management have a legal duty to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents, and failure to do so may lead to legal repercussions.
What are common signs of care home negligence?
Warning signs of neglect in a nursing or care home include the sudden appearance of bruises and cuts and emotional signs, such as the elderly person acting out of character, suffering from weight loss or deteriorating personal hygiene.
With offices across Yorkshire, we can provide our services across the entire county. To find out if you can make a care home neglect compensation claim, call us for free on 01484 821 500
, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or submit your claim online
and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.