Get Legal Help With a Nursing Home Abuse Issue
As a family member of an elder in a nursing home, you might have noticed that your loved one's condition seems to keep getting worse. You're not sure if it's due to natural causes or what's going on behind closed doors. Perhaps you saw something alarming or dangerous that may be related to nursing home neglect or abuse. You may be wondering if there is such a thing as a nursing home abuse case. You may wonder what you can do about it to help get your loved one to a safer place.
Older adults often spend their retirement in nursing homes, where they expect rest and relaxation. Nursing homes should be a place of safety for the elderly. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of cases of nursing homes abusing their elderly residents. Elder abuse can involve:
- Acts of physical violence
- Maliciously restraining the elderly
- Stealing from nursing home residents
This article provides information on elder abuse and how to obtain legal help. Learn more at our Nursing Home Abuse FAQ.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured by Nursing Home Abuse?
Anyone who has been injured or affected by nursing home abuse knows it can be a traumatic experience. But you can respond, regardless of whether the injury was caused by negligent medical treatment or abusive caregivers. When you witness or suspect staff member neglect, you have the right to take legal action against any person, company, or entity responsible.
Warning signs of nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence include evidence of:
- Physical abuse, such as bedsores, pressure sores, ulcers, broken bones, weight loss, and malnutrition
- Emotional abuse, including mistreatment of residents with intellectual disabilities
- Sexual abuse, including genital ailments or sexual assault
- Financial abuse, such as financial exploitation of the elderly
Signs of neglect by nursing home facility staff members can also include medication errors or medical malpractice. These may result in serious injuries or even wrongful death. Some types of nursing home abuse are more subtle. It can be understaffing at a long-term care facility, resulting in unexplained injuries to helpless residents.
Parties liable in nursing home abuse can include:
- Assisted living facilities
- Healthcare workers
- Nursing home staff
- Nursing home administrators
- Insurance companies
- Government agencies
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Federal law requires that nursing homes must protect and promote the rights of their residents. A violation of these rights could constitute nursing home abuse. Some common abuses include:
- Lack of respect: The elderly should be treated with dignity and respect by all staff. They should be allowed to create their own schedule and determine their own activities. They should also be able to decide what they want to eat and what time to sleep.
- Abuse: The elderly should be free from any physical, verbal, or sexual abuse from nursing home staff. Economic abuse could also be applied to the elderly's property and finances.
- Restraints: The elderly should not be restrained physically or medically with drugs as a punishment or for the convenience of nursing home staff.
- Fear: The elderly should be allowed to complain to nursing home staff without the fear of retaliation or punishment.
It's important to ensure that a victim of nursing home abuse receives assistance before it is too late. This includes adequate medical care and access to a personal injury attorney. An attorney can help them review their legal options.
Legal Claims Involving Nursing Home Abuse
The elderly and their loved ones can file nursing home abuse lawsuits to receive a verdict for financial compensation. Each state has different age requirements for elder abuse, but generally, the required age minimum is 60 to 65.
Negligence is a common legal claim associated with nursing home abuse. For a successful claim, the plaintiff must show that the nursing home's conduct failed to meet a reasonable standard of care, like that expected by a nursing home. For example, they may show evidence that the home failed to protect a resident's safety and well-being, such as by failing to feed them.
Another claim could be based on federal or state statutes (laws). For example, the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires that all nursing homes receiving Medicare or Medicaid support provide a safe environment for their residents. Many states have far more stringent rules and disclaimers that nursing homes must follow.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has suffered abuse in the nursing home setting, you have legal options. An attorney can explain what you can expect at every step of your personal injury case. Some nursing home neglect attorneys even provide free case evaluations to help you understand your legal options.
Your lawyer can take action, like researching the law, reviewing medical bills and records, and interviewing witnesses. They can also assist with:
- Collecting records
- Conferring with expert consultants
- Planning legal strategy
- Negotiating with insurers and opposing counsel
These strategies are all aimed at strengthening your position and ensuring you a fair recovery.
Contact an Attorney About Nursing Home Abuse Issues
When deciding how to handle a potential nursing home case, there are many routes you can take. First, you should make sure your loved one is safe. Make sure you've alerted the proper authorities to any suspected abuse or neglect by nursing home staff members. Next, you'll want to know the law in your state. Know any possible claims you may be able to bring against the responsible party. Learn more by contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer today. Because they are personal injury lawyers, some nursing home abuse attorneys may provide free case reviews.
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected.