Information On California Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawsuit Case Values
Nursing home abuse and neglect is far too common in the U.S. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, as many as 500,000 elders experience some type of abuse each year. When you discover that a loved one has been harmed in a nursing facility, it can be a serious breach of trust.Types of Abuse & Neglect Found in California 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. In California alone, there are 1199 nursing homes regularly monitored through inspections, surveys and investigations of formal complaints. Government inspectors found serious deficiencies and violations at 306 (26%) of California facilities providing substandard care. This can lead to tragic consequences.
Some of the most common types of abuse and neglect in California 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.
The best way to prevent the abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home is to pay attention and to be aware of the hallmarks of neglect and abuse. Some common signs include: (1) bedsores, a clear indication 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 in California?
If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected in a California nursing home, you may wonder if filing a lawsuit will change anything or be more hassle than it’s worth. Of course, every case is different, and the value of each individual case depends on the facts and circumstances as well as the severity of the harm or injury to the patient. But a lawsuit 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 vary depending on the extent of the injury. Any award amount can also be affected by California laws that limit the amount of compensation that can be recovered, such as the California Tort Claims Act, shared fault rules, and medical malpractice damage award caps in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act.
Some additional factors may affect the value of a California 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 read about more specific California case settlements on our website:
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected in a California nursing facility, please contact us. We can help you determine if you and your loved one might be entitled to relief under California law.