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Austin Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home mistreatment can be extremely harmful to the disabled and elderly residents in these facilities. The harm can cause physical injuries, psychological trauma, and even death in some wrongful death cases.
A nursing home resident might become agitated and restless, leading to worsened health conditions. Additionally, the staff may be unable to provide the necessary, proper care and attention when residents are being abused.
Were you or a loved one mistreated while residing in a nursing home? The affiliate Texas personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC are advocates for protecting our clients' legal rights.
Contact our Austin nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.The Devastation of Nursing Home Mistreatment, Abuse, and Neglect
Many families face the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home facility when they can no longer care for themselves. When they entrust the care of their disabled or elderly family member to a nursing home, they expect them to be treated with the utmost respect, dignity, and compassion.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Our law firm has represented many nursing home abuse victims and their families throughout Texas. Each affiliate nursing home abuse attorney at our law offices has seen firsthand the devastation that mistreatment in Texas nursing homes can cause.
Common signs that residents are being mistreated could include:
- Physical injuries, such as bruises, cuts, broken bones, and head trauma
- Bruising in the genital area
- Psychological trauma
- Emotional distress
- Missing valuables
Nursing home abuse can occur when there is a lack of supervision of the staff and residents. Anyone with access to their environment could harm the victim.
Nursing home staff members, visitors, family members, friends, and other patients who engage in this behavior can be held accountable through the civil justice system. Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers to discuss how we can help.Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Statistics
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), there are approximately five million elder abuse cases yearly in the United States. Unfortunately, this number is likely much higher because many cases of mistreatment in nursing homes go unreported.
In Texas, the 2010 Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Prevention Study found that:
- 1 in 10 patients in nursing homes reported being abused
- 1 in 25 residents reported being hurt by non-consensual sexual acts and assault
- 2% of nursing home residents in nursing homes reported being harmed by physical abuse
- 5% of nursing home residents reported being victims of emotional/psychological abuse
- 9% of patients in a long-term care facility reported being neglected
- 1% of people in nursing home facilities reported being harmed by financial abuse
Various types of abuse and mistreatment occur in nursing homes, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, mistreatment, and financial exploitation.
Physical abuse could involve physical force that results in bodily injury, pain, or impairment, including slapping, hitting, punching, kicking, burning, or using restraints.
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact or activity, including rape, sodomy, molestation, and unwanted touching or fondling.
Emotional abuse is verbal or nonverbal mistreatment that results in psychological trauma, such as verbal assault, threats, intimidation, isolation, or ridicule.
Neglect is the failure of staff to provide residents with the necessities of life, including food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, medical treatment, and nursing home care.
Financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of a nursing home resident's money or property for someone else's benefit. Financial abuse could involve forged checks, unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts, and using credit cards without permission.Preventing Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
According to the US Health and Human Services (HHS), staying aware of the environment where your beloved family member lives and the quality of care could help to prevent abuse. Make sure to:
- Visit often and at different times of day
- Pay attention to changes in their appearance or behavior
- Review their medical records that might list the resident’s health concerns
- Know who has access to their room and belongings
- Keep an eye out for bruises, cuts, bed sores, poor hygiene, or other injuries
- Monitor the nursing home residents’ financial statements
- Trust your instincts and take action against the nursing center or assisted living facility if you suspect something is wrong.
If you have any concerns about mistreatment, contact our office to speak with an experienced Austin nursing home abuse lawyer. Our nursing home abuse lawyers can help you understand your legal options and take action to protect your loved one's rights.Reporting Nursing Home Mistreatment
Reporting mistreatment or neglect will usually stop the mistreatment immediately and protect the victim's safety and well-being. The steps involved in reporting:
- Contact the Austin nursing home administrator to voice your concerns about mistreatment harming your loved one
- File a complaint with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
- Call the local Ombudsmen who can investigate the complaint and help resolve the issue.
- Contact the Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) to make a report of suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation at the nursing center or assisted living facility. APS will send an investigator to look into the matter.
- Call local law enforcement to investigate if a crime like physical abuse, sexual abuse, or theft has been committed.
You can also contact an experienced Austin nursing home abuse lawyer from our law offices to discuss your legal options and help you take action to protect your loved one's rights. Call us for a free no-obligation consultation.Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim: What You Should Expect
If you and your family decide to file a nursing home abuse claim citing mistreatment, it is crucial to understand what you can expect. Generally, the following will happen:
- An attorney will be assigned to represent you, the victim, and your family.
- The nursing facility will be notified of the pending legal action.
- A process called "discovery" will begin, in which both sides will exchange evidence and information.
- Both you (the plaintiff) and the defendants (possibly the nursing home and abuser) will meet during a settlement negotiation meeting to determine if the case can be resolved.
- If the case does not settle, it will go to trial. A trial will take place in which a jury will decide the case's outcome.
Data on Texas nursing home abuse cases reveal that over 95% of all compensation claims and civil lawsuits are resolved through negotiation. During this process, the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff an acceptable sum to drop the case.Mistreatment Led to Our Loved One's Death: What Can We Do to Get Justice?
Do you suspect mistreatment or negligence led to your loved one's death? Qualifying family members could file a nursing home abuse lawsuit citing wrongful death to seek justice.
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the family (plaintiffs) would argue that the nursing home or abuser caused their loved one's death and are entitled to damages.
However, to win a wrongful death lawsuit, the family or their attorneys must prove that the nursing home or abuser acted negligently or intentionally and caused your loved one's death. Possible abusers could include nursing home staff, visitors, friends, employees, and other residents.
Resolving the case could result in compensation to recover damages, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial benefits
- Medical expenses related to the decedent's injuries or illness
- Pain and suffering of the victim before their death
- Loss of companionship, love, and support for loved ones
- Punitive damages (in some cases)
A successful wrongful death lawsuit could also lead to changes in the nursing home's policies and procedures to help prevent future mistreatment from occurring.
Have you lost a loved one due to nursing home neglect? Contact our office today to speak with an experienced Austin nursing home abuse attorney who can help you understand your legal options and take action to protect your rights. Call us for a free consultation.Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer to Resolve a Nursing Home Physical Abuse or Neglect Case
Do you suspect abuse or believe someone else's negligence, substandard medical care, or mistreatment led to your loved one's injuries or death? The nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you and your family take legal action.
Our Austin nursing home abuse attorneys have extensive experience handling personal injury cases in Texas and can help you understand your legal options. We will also work diligently to build a strong case on your behalf to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Contact our affiliate law offices at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Our nursing home abuse lawyers do not charge any upfront fees and only get paid if we win your case.Resources: