Information on Arkansas Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawsuit Case Values
When you depend upon a nursing facility to care for someone you love, abuse or neglect of your loved one can be a heartbreaking breach of trust. Nursing home abuse and neglect is a tragic, but unfortunately common, occurrence in the U.S. As many as 5,000,000 elderly people experience some type of abuse each year, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.Types of Abuse & Neglect Found in Arkansas Nursing Homes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 1.4 million people are currently living in 15,600 nursing homes in the United States. Nearly 70% of these are operated as for-profit facilities. According to Medicare data, almost 37% of the facilities were deemed to be below average by surveyors. This can lead to tragic consequences. Some of the most common types of abuse and neglect in Arkansas nursing homes include:
- Physical Harm: This may be an act perpetuated by nursing home staff, other residents, or visitors to a facility.
- Unknown Fractures: When staff fail to get assistance or needed lifting equipment, patients may be dropped, suffering serious injuries. However, any fracture occurring at a nursing facility is cause for concern. In addition to the underlying circumstance, many patients suffer from serious medical complications following a broken bone.
- Sexual Assaults: Facilities have a responsibility to screen staff and residents who have a history of aggressive behavior and sexual assault.
- Medication Errors: Facilities have a responsibility to provide the correct medication and dosage as prescribed by the resident’s physician. When errors are made, patients may sustain complications or even death.
- Untimely Death: A sudden, unexpected death should always be examined to determine if there are factors involving the patient’s care that contributed to the death.
You may be wondering how you can prevent the neglect or abuse of a loved one in a nursing home. Some signs of neglect or abuse include: (1) bedsores, a clear sign of neglect; (2) repeated falls or drops without safeguards implemented; (3) choking, particularly in a patient with difficulty swallowing or a limited diet; (4) dehydration or malnutrition; and (5) wandering, with no safeguards preventing patients with dementia from leaving a facility.How Much Is My Case Worth?
If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected in an Arkansas nursing home, you may wonder if it’s worth the hassle of a lawsuit.
Every case is different, and the value of each individual case will, of course, depend on the facts and circumstances, as well as the severity of the harm or injury to the patient. But frequently lawsuits may help to change nursing home practices and procedures, as well as help pay for additional medical treatment needed as a result of the abuse or neglect.
Some things that may be used to determine the financial value of the case in both nursing home negligence and wrongful death are:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering of the patient and family
- Disfigurement or disability
- Loss of income
- Loss of normal life
- Survival damages, in the case of wrongful death
The total amount awarded will depend on the extent of the injury and can also be affected by Arkansas rules, such as shared fault rules, that limit the amount of compensation that can be recovered. Arkansas follows the “modified comparative negligence rule.” This means that if a plaintiff is found to be partially negligent with respect to their injuries, damages can be reduced proportionately. Fortunately, in Arkansas there are no caps on damages recovered in a medical malpractice suit.
Some additional factors may affect the value of an Arkansas nursing home abuse and neglect case, including the age of the patient; the ongoing conduct of the facility; whether an insurance company in engaged in negotiations; and family care and involvement. Generally, younger and healthier patients may recover more than an older patient with multiple chronic illnesses. Similarly, a family that is more involved in the care of an elderly patient will generally be better received in court.
You can review some of our more specific case settlements as well.
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected in an Arkansas nursing facility, please contact us. We can help you determine if you and your loved one might be entitled to relief under Arkansas law.