Kansas Nursing Home Abuse Laws
Kansas Cap on Damages
The state of Kansas caps non-economic damages for personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death awards at $250,000. This means that even in the most horrific cases, such as gross negligence that causes the need for amputation or results in a gruesome death, the most a victim could recover for their pain and suffering is $250,000.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In actions for wrongful death a claimant may recover compensatory damages, including non-pecuniary. The recoverable losses include pecuniary losses; non-pecuniary loss; the cost of medical care; future pecuniary loss; mental anguish, suffering or bereavement; loss of society, companionship, comfort or protection; loss of marital care, attention, advice or counsel; loss of filial care or attention; loss of parental care, training, guidance or education; and funeral expenses. The state of Kansas limits recovery on non pecuniary loss at $250,000. There is no limit to amount of pecuniary loss that may be recovered.
Attorney’s Contingency Fees
The Kansas ethical code of conduct provides that an attorneys fee must be reasonable. In cases for nursing home neglect and abuse, the vast majority of retainer agreements provide that the attorney’s fee will be paid on a contingent basis. Under a contingent fee agreement, an attorney is paid a percentage of any settlement or award obtained for the client. In Kansas, contingent fee agreements are required to be in writing and must set forth the method by which the attorney’s fee is to be determined. It should include the percentage that the lawyer will accrue in the event of settlement, trial or appeal. Additionally, the agreement must detail the expenses to be deducted from any recovery. The Kansas ethical code require that expenses shall be deducted before the contingent fee is calculated.
Nursing Home Laws and Regulations: Preventing Abuse
In 1987 the US Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act which mandated minimum quality of care allowed in nursing homes certified to receive payment from Medicare or Medicaid for care provided to residents. Under the Act, states may have stricter regulations than those required by the federal government but they may not have less strict regulations.
The state of Kansas enacted rigorous adult home care statutes to protect and promote the rights of seniors that reside in nursing home and assisted living facilities. Kansas law requires that nursing homes take proactive steps to assures right rights of residents are protected. It requires each nursing home to adopt and enforce written policies that ensure each resident is protected from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Moreover, the regulations provide that each nursing facility is administered in a manner that assures each residents attains or maintains the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being in accordance with a comprehensive assessment and plan of care.
Under Kansas home care statutes, at the time of admission each nursing facility is required to conduct a comprehensive assessment of a resident’s needs. Thereafter, facilities must examine each resident at least once every three months to assure continued accuracy. Based on the resident’s assessment, facilities must develop a comprehensive plan of care for each patient. The care plan should be prepared by an interdisciplinary team including the attending physician, a registered nurse with responsibility for the care of the resident, other appropriate staff, and with the participation of the resident and the resident’s family to the extent practicable.
All medical care and treatment must be given under the direction of a physician authorized to practice in Kansas and must be provided promptly as needed.
Nursing homes are required to provide proper treatment and services to ensure that each resident’s abilities in activities of daily living improve or are maintained except as an unavoidable result of the resident’s medical condition. This includes maintaining each resident’s ability to bathe; transfer and ambulate; use the toilet; eat; communicate; dress and groom. If a resident is unable to perform activities of daily living he/she must be provided the necessary services to maintain good nutrition, grooming, and personal and oral hygiene.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. The legal statutes, laws and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.
Image via Flickr via Nicolas Raymond