Nursing home neglect and abuse is a sad reality for millions of the elderly across the country, resulting in serious injuries and even death. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be difficult to prove, especially if the victim is suffering from dementia or other cognitive disabilities. Fear can play a factor as well – the victim may think no one will believe them and is afraid that the abuse will increase in retaliation for speaking up.
As cameras get smaller and less expensive, many people are beginning to use them in their homes and cars for general surveillance. You may be considering using a camera to protect a loved one who is living in a nursing home. The idea is similar to parents using a “nanny cam” to keep an eye on babysitters. But, before you turn to technology, you should speak with a Cincinnati nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer if you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect.
What the Law Says About Video Recording in Nursing Homes in Ohio
While ten states allow the use of video cameras in nursing homes, the law in Ohio is unsettled. Currently, a proposal to expressly allow the use of video cameras is pending in the Ohio state legislature. Referred to as “Esther’s Law,” it was the result of the horrific abuse suffered by an elderly woman that was uncovered when her son placed a video camera in her room. While the law would require notification to the nursing home before placing the camera, in addition to posting notices in the room, it would also provide important protections to the elderly.
So, What Can You Do Now?
While Esther’s Law remains in limbo, that doesn’t mean placing a camera is necessarily illegal under current law. However, any evidence obtained may be susceptible to challenge, which can undermine the strength of your personal injury lawsuit. There are important legal factors that should be considered before turning to video surveillance:
- You are placing a camera on private property owned by someone else.
- If the camera also records audio, you may run afoul of Ohio’s wiretapping laws, which require the consent of at least one of the parties being recorded.
- If your loved one has a roommate, the camera may raise legitimate privacy concerns.
While cameras can provide powerful evidence of abuse and neglect, using them without understanding the potential legal issues and pitfalls can also jeopardize the basis of your case. An experienced Cincinnati nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima can help you gather the evidence you need to hold the nursing home accountable.
Speak with a Cincinnati Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today
Cases alleging nursing home abuse and neglect can be almost impossible for non-lawyers to pursue. Even if the abuse or neglect is being caused by a single employee, nursing homes fear being held liable for providing adequate supervision or keeping other protections in place. As a result, they will likely refute even the slightest hint that your loved one is suffering at the hands of their caregivers.
Fortunately, getting the help you need is only a phone call away. At Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, we hold negligent nursing homes accountable and help our clients’ loved ones get the care they deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 513-496-0134 to discuss how we can help.