legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Covington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It is challenging for many families to admit their loved ones to nursing homes where they can receive the care and attention they need. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide proper care to these vulnerable patients. Worse, some residents suffer injuries and mental trauma due to the malicious actions of others.
Did you or a loved one suffer harm from nursing home neglect or abuse? If so, the affiliate Kentucky personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center could help you recover fair financial compensation for your family’s losses.
Call our Covington nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation. Any sensitive or confidential information you disclose will remain safe under an attorney-client relationship.What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes physical, psychological, or financial harm to a resident. It can result from negligence, carelessness, or malicious intent of employees, visitors, or other residents.Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of action that causes harm to a person aged 60 and above. It can occur in any relationship with an expectation of trust, such as in a caregiver relationship.
Since over 90% of nursing home residents are senior citizens, elder abuse is the most common type of mistreatment in nursing homes.State and Federal Nursing Home Abuse Laws
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act defines what services nursing homes and other residential care facilities must provide residents and establishes standards for these services. This law aims to protect the legal rights of nursing home patients, including:
- Freedom from abuse, neglect, or mistreatment
- Freedom from physical restraints
- Accommodation of physical, psychological, medical, and social needs
- Participation in resident and family groups
- Be treated with dignity
- Exercise self-determination
- Communicate freely
- Participate in one’s care plan review and be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or status change in the facility
- Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
The Kentucky government also incorporated these rights into Kentucky Regulatory Statutes.Most Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Familiarizing yourself with common forms of abuse can help you prevent it from happening to your loved one. Nursing home abuse can occur in many ways, including:Physical Abuse
Physical assault or abuse involves the deliberate use of force against a resident, causing physical pain, injury, or impairment. It includes but is not limited to:
- Restraining without medical reasons and physicians order
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Broken bones
- Unexplained physical injuries (e.g., cuts, burns, bruises)
- Broken eyeglasses
- Restraint or grip marks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Psychological abuse, also known as mental or emotional abuse, involves verbal and non-verbal acts that cause psychological harm to a nursing home resident, such as:
- Verbal abuse (e.g., cursing)
- Geographical or social isolation
Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Poor mental health
- Being extremely withdrawn
- Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
- Bouts of anger
- Difficulty sleeping
Sexual assault or abuse is any non-consensual sexual act done to a resident, including individuals who cannot give valid consent (e.g., a mentally-disabled patient). It can take many forms, including but not limited to:
- Verbal sexual harassment
- Touching or groping
- Coerced nudity
- Explicit photography
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Reluctance or refusal to be touched
- Unexplained bruises around the breasts or genitals
- Genital infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Refusal to be alone with specific individuals
Financial abuse is the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of a resident’s personal property, including money and assets. It can occur in many ways, including:
- Stealing valuables
- Using credit cards without permission
- Manipulating bank accounts
- Forging signatures
- Cashing checks without permission
- Charging unnecessary nursing home services
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
- Unexplained transactions on credit cards
- Missing belongings
- Forged signatures on financial documents
- Inconsistencies in financial records of the facility
- Sudden changes in financial habits
Neglect occurs when nursing home staff fails to provide a patient’s basic needs, including food, medication, clothing, personal hygiene, and medical care, creating or increasing the risk of harm to a patient.
Signs of Neglect
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Poor mental health
- Lack of medical aids (e.g., eyeglasses, walkers, hearing aids)
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Incorrect dispensing of medication for the patient
- Inappropriate clothing for the climate
- Dirty clothing or bedding
Some nursing home residents are more vulnerable to mistreatment than others, including:
- Patients with physical or mental disabilities
- Patients with special needs
- Patients with access to an abundance of wealth
- Dementia patients
- Women and children
- Patients in understaffed nursing facilities
- Patients isolated from their loved ones
Many nursing home abuse victims suffer severe and long-term consequences from the mistreatment, including:
- Severe injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Emotional distress
- Financial losses
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced family or social ties
- Increased risk of illnesses
Elderly residents suffer the worst due to increased physical and mental vulnerability. Physically abusing or neglecting an older person can easily lead to severe injury, illness, and even death.Causes of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Mistreatment is more likely to occur in poorly-performing nursing homes with the following problems:
- Underqualified and Improperly Trained Staff: Disabled and elderly residents need a particular type of care. Therefore, nursing home staff members lacking qualifications and training may be less able to care for residents properly.
- Understaffing: Nursing homes need enough staff members to care for all their residents. Unfortunately, understaffing is a massive problem in the US, creating situations where abuse and neglect are more likely to happen.
- Poor Management: Lack of accountability, supervision, and organization can promote abusive or neglectful behavior among staff members. Poor management may also lead to disgruntled employees who may retaliate by abusing residents.
- Underreporting: Many nursing home abuse cases remain unresolved due to underreporting, even though it’s required by law. Without proper action on negligent nursing homes, injustices against patients are more likely to continue.
If your loved one is in a nursing home with these issues, consider transferring them to a facility with more labor and resources to provide quality care to all residents.How to Report Nursing Home Abuse
Call the police to report known or suspected abuse in a Covington nursing facility. But if you think your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger, call 911.
You can also contact the following Kentucky agencies:
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Cabinet for Health and Family Services
- Office of Attorney General
- Office of Inspector General
State and local governments may revoke or suspend the licenses and certifications of negligent Covington nursing homes. In addition, local law enforcement may file criminal charges against individuals found guilty of violence against disabled or elderly residents.
After you file a formal report to proper authorities and remove your loved one from the potentially dangerous situation, hire attorneys.Filing a Covington Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Nursing home laws require nursing homes to protect all their residents from mistreatment. Failure to prevent nursing home residents from suffering harm at the hands of employees, visitors, or other residents may serve as grounds for a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Did you or a loved one experience abuse or neglect in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or long-term care facility? If so, you have the legal right to seek compensation for unnecessary pain and suffering.Who Can File a Case?
Victims of nursing home abuse can take legal action on their own. If this is not possible, their family members can file a personal injury case against the facility on their behalf.
If the victim dies directly from the mistreatment, their surviving family members can pursue damages through a wrongful death case.The Role of Your Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Hiring a skilled lawyer is the key to recovering fair compensation from a negligent Covington nursing home. Aside from being your personal representative, your Covington nursing home abuse attorney will help you:
- Determine who is at fault
- Establish the liability of at-fault parties
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Handle all claim-related paperwork
- Negotiate settlement values
- File your case in civil court, if necessary
Our nursing home abuse lawyers will help you determine who is at fault for the injustices against your loved one. In many cases, claims are made against multiple parties, such as:
- Nursing home staff members
- Other residents
Nursing home administrators could be liable for abuse, neglect, or mistreatment in their facilities, even if only a single employee or resident is responsible.Evidence
Substantial evidence is crucial for personal injury cases that involve negligence. Your nursing home abuse attorney will help you collect documents to prove the liability of the at-fault nursing home, including:
- Photos of your loved one’s injuries
- Medical records
- Psychological evaluations
- Incident reports
- Police reports
- Witness accounts from employees, visitors, family members, or other nursing home residents
- Expert testimony
Ask your Covington nursing home abuse lawyer about the evidence you need to collect during your free case evaluation.Damages
Nursing home abuse victims and their family members could seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for the cost of treating your loved one’s physical injuries and mental trauma, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, surgery, emergency transportation, etc
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your family member becomes disabled from the mistreatment. These damages may include loss of quality of life and mobility aids.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for non-economic damages, including bodily pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for your loved one’s reduced quality of life, which may manifest in loss of enjoyment in daily activities, decreased independence, reduced societal ties, etc.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies from the mistreatment. These damages typically include funeral and burial costs, medical treatment, the grief of loved ones, etc.
- Punitive Damages: Monetary awards on top of compensatory damages, aiming to punish negligent nursing homes for their actions or inaction.
Many personal injury claims settle out of court to avoid expensive legal fees and drawn-out trials. However, not all claims are successful.
Your attorney will negotiate the settlement value on your behalf. However, if negotiations are unsuccessful or the nursing home refuses to take responsibility, it may be in your best interest to file a civil lawsuit.
If your case goes to civil court, a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide if the defendant should pay you in compensation. Your attorney will walk you through your legal options if your case needs to go to court.The Statute of Limitations
Kentucky residents have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit according to Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.140(1)(a). The judge may grant an extension to exceptional circumstances, e.g., if the victim is of “unsound mind.”
Filing a lawsuit as soon as possible is crucial. The court may refuse to hear your case if you miss the deadline. Even if you try to file a lawsuit, the defendant could file a motion to dismiss, which will likely be granted unless there are rare exceptions in your case.
Talk to an attorney to see how much time you have left to file your lawsuit. If exceptional circumstances in your case could grant you an extension, they will guide you accordingly.Hire an Experienced Covington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Your Case
The abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of a disabled or elderly resident is against the law. Unfortunately, too many negligent nursing homes get away with it.
Don’t let your case go unresolved. If you or a loved one suffered nursing home abuse, take legal action with the help of an experienced attorney. The Covington nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC are ready to fight for your legal rights and recover fair compensation for you and your loved ones through litigation or an out-of-court settlement--whatever it takes.
Contact our offices at (800) 926-7565 for a free case evaluation. All sensitive information our clients share with our nursing home abuse lawyers will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.
Our affiliate attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency basis, meaning our services are free unless our lawyers recover financial compensation for our clients.Resources: