legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Colorado Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Families that choose to place a loved one in a residential facility expect staff members will provide professional care and support your spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, or child needs.
Attorneys for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Let’s discuss your compensation case during a free consultation. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you hold the nursing home facility or the assisted living facility legally accountable if your loved one has suffered.
All of our elder abuse cases involving an injury at nursing home facilities (and at an assisted living facility) are handled on a contingency fee basis where we receive a legal fee when we are successful in securing a recovery for your loved one.
Call our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys today and let us get to work assisting you.
Colorado Has Some Poorly Performing Nursing Homes
It is horrific to find out that someone you love suffered abuse or neglect after being admitted to a nursing home.
According to Medicare data, of the 225 skilled nursing facilities in Colorado, forty-one facilities or twenty-seven percent were rated below average. In some circumstances, facilities have had ongoing problems that threaten patient safety.
While the actual prevalence of nursing home abuse or neglect remains unknown, experts believe it to be quite pervasive. NCEA and the Centers for Disease Control have concluded that most abuse cases nationwide likely go unreported due to challenges involved in gathering accurate data.
A Colorado Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney Can Help
Was someone in your family injured, abused, neglected, or did they die unexpectedly from mistreatment as an elder home resident at a Colorado nursing home? If so, we encourage you to contact the Colorado personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center today.
Let us begin the process of obtaining financial compensation on your behalf during a free case consultation.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Colorado
Sadly, Denver and Colorado Springs nursing facilities follow the national trend of abusive behavior and negligence. Despite state and federal laws created to protect nursing home residents, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported serious violations and deficiencies at fifty-three (twenty-three percent) of Colorado's 229 nursing facilities, which put elderly residents at risk for severe harm and premature death.
You do not want your loved one to become part of these horrific statistics. Families with loved ones in nursing homes need to be aware of the abuse and neglect that often occur in the safest homes, so they can ensure their elder relatives receive proper care.
Contact a Nursing Home Lawyer if Your Loved One Has Suffered in Colorado
We urge you to contact the Denver nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center for a free consultation.
Our injury lawyers will investigate what happened, and if necessary, get started in filing a lawsuit against those responsible for your loved one's injuries.
Federal Laws Governing Nursing Home Care
The U.S. Congress enacted several laws designed to protect vulnerable elderly residents, which apply to all long-term care facilities in the United States.
- In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act establishing basic standards of care for nursing home residents that promote physical, psychological, and social health, as set forth by their fundamental rights.
- These standards include, among others, the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect; to be granted privacy; to be treated with dignity, and to make individual decisions.
- The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program created a network of advocates for elder home residents in each state who investigate and attempt to resolve specific complaints involving abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident.
State Laws Designed to Protect Patients From Negligent Nursing Home Care
Colorado law also provides specific protections for vulnerable elderly patients. Nursing facility residents are considered "at-risk adults" under Title 26, Section 3.1 of the state code, Protective Services for Adults at Risk of Caregiver Harm or Self-Neglect (CRS 26-3.1-101, 26-3.1-102).
The law defines specific instances of abuse and neglect for which parties might be liable and sets forth requirements and procedures for reporting and investigating abuse claims. The section provides that abuse can occur when an "at-risk" adult experiences:
- Skin bruising or bleeding
- Bone fractures
- Subdural hematoma (brain bleed)
- Financial exploitation
- Swelling of soft tissue
- Unreasonable confinement or restraint
- Subjection to criminal sexual assault or contact including sexually transmitted disease
Further, the statute maintains that neglect occurs when an at-risk adult does not promptly receive proper food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or psychological care.
Nursing Home Abuse Must Be Promptly Reported
The law establishes a comprehensive list of responsible parties who must report observed or suspected abuse or neglect of an at-risk adult to Adult Protective Services (APS) within twenty-four hours. A partial list of these parties includes:
- Health care providers and other medical/hospital personnel
- First responders including hospital emergency staff, fire and police personnel
- Medical examiners and coroners
- Law enforcement officers
- Psychologists and other types of therapists and counselors
- Social workers
- Professional caretakers and home health staff
- The staff of senior centers and state human services providers
- Court-appointed guardians
Once a report is made, APS will investigate the allegations and provide protective services if necessary.
If you suspect that a local nursing facility is violating this law, speak with a Denver nursing home abuse lawyer about possible legal action.
CO Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serve Victims of Pressure Wounds, Falls, and Medication Errors
Neglect Is a Form of Nursing Home Abuse
The nursing facility staff must always provide every patient with a professional level of care. Deviating from that standard could result in numerous dangers to the resident.
The following are some of the most common and preventable consequences of nursing home neglect in Colorado elder caregiving facilities and nationwide, which can all lead to potentially life-threatening personal injury:
- Pressure sores– Physically disabled or immobile patients in nursing homes might be prone to developing pressure sores (also known as bed sores and pressure ulcers) in areas of the body where the patient's weight on a mattress or wheelchair goes unrelieved for an extended period. If not treated promptly, these sores could rapidly deteriorate into a painful open wound, predisposing the patient to bacteria that infect vital organs. In some situations, the complications related to pressure sores might be fatal.
- Negligence– The nursing staff's inattention to the resident's needs usually causes developing bedsores. Given that bed sores are easily preventable with proper training, most cases can be traced to staff negligence. A comprehensive discussion of Colorado bed sore settlements and verdicts can be found here.
- Falls– Aging residents might be at risk of sustaining severe injuries aggravated by medical conditions affecting bone density, motor function, or balance. Falls are the leading cause of death among residents over sixty-five.
How a Care Facility Should Prevent Falls
Elderly nursing center residents have the highest risk for falls than aging persons living on their own. Nursing home facilities must ensure the risk of falls is not compounded by negligence and disregard for safety.
Lack of adequate supervision, environmental hazards such as wet floors, and failure to properly assist a patient getting in and out of a bed or wheelchair are common causes of severe falls in nursing homes.
Mobility-challenged patients rely on a nursing home staff member to help them move safely from place to place.
Nursing home patients are most often dropped during routine transfers that might be the consequence of overworked or poorly trained staff not following safety protocol or using bad judgment.
Patients might sustain bone fractures, brain damage, and other internal injuries resulting from these falls. Our nursing home negligence lawyers have found that these injuries can impair the victims' quality of life in their final years.
Nursing Home Medication Errors
Patients are often placed on increasingly more medications as they age. Over-medication raises the chances they will experience an adverse drug interaction or be injured by a medication error due to negligence or inattention.
Their caregiver might administer medications at the wrong times or frequency, or the doctor might prescribe drugs without verifying their safety.
While the resulting injuries are usually not serious, some patients can suffer catastrophic harm simply because those responsible for their care failed to do their due diligence.
There should be a multi-layered system in place to prevent these errors. Our nursing home injury lawyers examine the chain of responsibility to determine where things went wrong and which parties along the way failed to prevent the wrong medication or dose from being administered to the patient.
Nursing Home Abuse
As disturbing as it is to think about, elderly nursing home residents are uniquely susceptible to abuse of all kinds. They are dependent, vulnerable, and incapable of defending themselves.
Their victimizers might be fellow residents, outside visitors, or even their caregivers. Victims often remain silent out of shame or fear, so you must recognize the signs of abuse to protect those you hold dear.
According to a national study reported by NCEA, over fifty percent of nursing home staff admitted to inflicting physical violence, mental abuse, or neglect on patients within the prior year, with neglect accounting for two-thirds of those incidents.
However, experts believe that resident-on-resident incidents account for most of the abuse occurring in nursing centers and elder care facilities.
If someone you love is physically or sexually assaulted by a fellow resident or employee with a history of abusive behavior, the facility can be held liable.
Attorneys for Your Loved One Who Has Been a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
Did neglect or abuse injure your loved one? If so, the Denver, Colorado nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC can hold the abuser and facility legally accountable and stop the abuse immediately.
Our personal injury lawyers have recovered millions for loved ones impacted by physical abuse, bed sores, sexual abuse, falls, emotional abuse, medical errors, and elder abuse. Allow us to do the same for you.
Contact us for a free review of your case with a Denver nursing home lawyer who can advise you of your legal options.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases
Here are the answers to some common questions that people ask about nursing home care and lawsuits. Should you have additional questions, we welcome you to contact an affiliated nursing home abuse attorney.
What Is Abuse in Nursing Homes?
The National Institutes of Health recognize abuse in nursing centers as a common occurrence where more than five million senior citizens are neglected or harmed each year. Sadly, many cases go unreported to family, friends, and federal/state regulators.
Typically, the victim will have some relationship with their abusive predator, who might be a caregiver, visitor, family friend, or another resident. The extremely vulnerable, like those with dementia or a disability, are most likely to be victimized by abusive behavior that might involve:
- Sexual assault
- Physical contact
- Psychological, verbal, or emotional abuse
- Intentional acts
- Medication error
- Medical malpractice
Why Is There Abuse in Nursing Homes?
The National Institutes of Health identify inadequately trained staff, understaffing, and intentional neglect by staff members as the leading causes of abuse in nursing homes.
Many victims are harmed by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants (CNAs).
Studies show that approximately ninety percent of all nursing centers and assisted-living facilities in the United States are understaffed, where one certified nursing assistant might be responsible for providing care and services to over thirty patients.
Victims are usually harmed by someone they trusted, like a nursing home employee, caregiver, family member, friend, visitor, or another resident.
Can You Sue a Nursing Facility For Lack of Care?
Abused and neglected victims could file a civil lawsuit against the medical team or facility if their negligent or reckless actions caused harm.
In extreme cases, where the nursing staff caused a loved one's death, surviving family members could file a wrongful death case against all those involved.
The victim or family can seek compensation, including:
- Hospitalization expenses
- Medical care costs
- Pain and suffering, grieving, mental anxiety, and emotional harm
- Lost time away from work
- Lost future earnings
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapies, and diagnostic expenses
When Should I Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
One of your first calls when you see signs of abuse should be to an attorney. Your lawyer helps victims of nursing home abuse by first telling you where to report the abuse or neglect.
Then, your attorney would help you prepare a lawsuit seeking financial compensation if your loved one has been injured from the abuse.
Many family members do not know where to turn when their loved one is being mistreated or exploited. An attorney can counsel you through the process.
How Do You Establish that the Nursing Home's Negligence Resulted in a Patient Injury?
Like many personal injury lawsuits, medical records will form the basis of your case along with testimony about the lack of care that the nursing home provided.
The nursing home will almost always try to argue that your loved one was not injured, but instead was suffering from health ailments.
However, with the help of an attorney who can work with medical experts, you can argue that your family member would not have been injured had it not been for the nursing home's actions or inactions.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Handle Your Case
Preventable death from infected bedsores, fall, or other consequence of nursing home negligence occurs when staff members fail to care for the resident adequately. Many nursing home neglect victims are vulnerable individuals who cannot complain to anyone about the improper healthcare they are receiving.
In many cases, the patient suffers severe pain and discomfort before their demise. No patient should ever die from a preventable injury.
When negligence is involved, the surviving spouse, child, or grandchild of the deceased resident must take legal action, including filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible facility. A successful lawsuit often results in a monetary award at trial or settlement out of court.
Do you suspect that your family member died due to the negligent acts of nursing home staff? Contact our law firm today or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.