Nursing home abuse claims can involve physical violence, emotional abuse, neglect, and even criminal violations that can land the perpetrator in jail. Unfortunately, a recent report found that 25 percent of all serious cases of nursing home abuse is not reported to the police. This is troubling because state and federal law requires that anyone suspecting possible nursing home abuse cases reported this to the police.
Families who place their loved ones in a nursing home have the right to expect that the facility will keep residents safe and free from harm. To ensure that residents are protected, some families install cameras to monitor what happens when they are not present. The team at Fetterman & Associates thinks it’s important that you understand the legal implications and admissibility of camera footage in nursing home abuse claims.
Cameras and spy cams have become big business in many industries, but the issue is much more dicey when it comes to nursing homes. While many nursing homes have set up video surveillance in common areas where visitors and patients often congregate, regulations are more restrictive on the placement of cameras in resident rooms.
Most nursing homes don’t allow cameras in resident rooms, because of concerns about privacy related to the actions of a roommate or caregivers. However, if a nursing home allows cameras, you must still adhere to the rules that facility has established for how those cameras can be used.
Currently, five states have passed laws allowing private individuals to install cameras in skilled nursing facility resident rooms. Recently, government officials in Utah passed a law that allows the use of cameras in assisted living facilities.
Other states such as California have not passed a law about cameras in nursing home resident rooms, but they do have guidelines for how facilities must use cameras in assisted living facilities.
The important thing to remember is that before you install a camera in a loved one’s room, you must first check the regulations of the nursing home. Because you signed a contract stating you will adhere by those regulations, placing a camera in the room of a family member living at a nursing home may be a violation that could result in expulsion.
Proving nursing home abuse can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any primary evidence such as unexplained bruises, bedsores, or some other type of physical sign that abuse is taking place. The admissibility of hidden cameras is a thorny issue that can be won or lost on technicalities, which is why you need an experienced legal team behind you when you pursue these claims. Please contact the lawyers of Fetterman & Associates today at 561-845-2510 for a free consultation.
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