Nursing home abuse and neglect cause serious physical, mental, and emotional injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured, then you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, or other losses. Our law firm is working with nursing home lawyers, who have experience with these types of lawsuits, and there are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to call us toll-free or submit a contact form online.
According to government statistics, almost 1 out of every 3 nursing homes were cited for abuse violations and 1 out of every 10 of these facilities were cited for violations that caused injuries to residents. These statistics are appalling and they represent the even more appalling reality that every year residents are beaten, insulted, and molested by those charged with caring for them. On top of these abuse allegations, nursing home residents also face the danger of living in a facility that is understaffed and undertrained. If you or a loved has been injured by such abuse or neglect, then you should talk to a nursing home lawyer, who can help you seek the justice you deserve.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse describes an intentional act by an employee, staff member, or another resident that causes injury. This type of behavior can result because an elder care facility does not properly screen employees before they are hired or it does not have adequate safeguards in place, such as security cameras. These facilities also have a duty to prevent residents from abusing each other. Additionally, abuse may not be readily apparent because residents may be scared to report their injuries or may lack the capacity to file a complaint. Abuse can take any of the following forms.
- Emotional Abuse: May be caused by humiliation, insults, threats, and isolation. Extreme changes in emotional disposition or mood may signal this type of abuse.
- Financial Abuse: Occurs when residents have their property stolen or are unduly influenced for financial gain. Family members should notice the disappearance of personal items and unusual transactions.
- Mental Abuse
- Physical Abuse: May be evidenced by bruises, burns, cuts, or physical restraint.
- Sexual Abuse
Understanding Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect occurs when an avoidable mistake injures a senior citizen. In many cases neglect occurs because elder care facilities place profits over patients. Cutting corners in the amount of staff on a shift or the training that staff receives can lead to devastating injuries.
- Aggravated Injuries: Negligence by employees may aggravate preexisting conditions. Additionally, the failure to provide adequate care may increase the risk of injuries and the severity of injuries. For example, a malnourished resident has a greater likelihood of falling and any fall will be particularly severe because of his or her emaciated condition.
- Bedsores and Pressure Sores: Bedsores are the tell-tale sign of neglect. They occur when residents have remained stationary in bed for unreasonable amounts of time.
- Dehydration and Malnutrition: As people grow older a doctor may order them to follow a specific diet and medicinal routine. If the staff does not follow the doctor’s orders, then the resident may become dehydrated and malnourished.
- Diagnostic Error: Staff must recognize when a resident’s health is in crisis and contact the appropriate doctors and nurses to attend to the resident. Also, attending medical staff has a duty to prevent a delay diagnosis or misdiagnosis.
- Falls: The appropriate safety equipment should be provided throughout the facility such as handrails. Staff must use care when moving residents.
- Infection and Sepsis
- Suffocation: Over the course of 20 years the FDA determined that there were 480 deaths related to strangulation or suffocation in hospital and nursing home beds.
- Unsafe and Unsanitary Conditions: Employees must keep rooms and hallways clean. Additionally, bedding, clothing, and towels need to be washed regularly in order to prevent the spread of disease.
Red Flags and Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Family members and loved ones should be able to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect. Common red flags include the delay or refusal of personal access to your loved one during normal visiting hours. Also, notice whether nursing home employees give you privacy or continually monitor your visit. This type of secretive behavior may indicate that employees are trying to cover up or hide an incident. Family members should also take note of their loved one’s physical and mental condition as well as the state of their living conditions. Rapidly deteriorating physical or mental health may be an indication of neglect. Additionally, dirty bedding, clothing, and poor hygiene suggests that your loved one is not receiving the attention and care they deserve.
Do You Need Legal Advice Concerning Your Nursing Home Injuries?
If you or a loved one has been injured by abuse or neglect, then you should talk to an attorney about your rights. We work with some of the more experienced nursing home lawyers, who handle these types of cases, and there are no legal fees unless you receive a settlement or award. Feel free to submit a contact form online or call us toll-free anytime.