legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Dallas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Many families in the Dallas area face the unfortunate reality that they can no longer provide the care and assistance a loved one needs because of advanced age, disability, or illness. They usually have no other option than to place a loved one in a nursing facility to ensure they receive optimal care for their medical and personal hygiene needs.
However, nursing homes are not always safe places for the disabled and elderly. Facility residents are often mistreated in many forms, which include being neglected and abused by caregivers, visitors, family members, friends, and other patients.
Is your disabled or elderly loved one suffering abuse living in a Dallas nursing home? The affiliate Texas personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC advocate for justice for injured victims such as your family member harmed by the negligence or the use of behavior of others.
Call our Dallas 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.Abuse and Neglect: A Serious Concern for Every Nursing Home Resident
Elders and the disabled requiring expert medical care deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The nursing home staff should be held to these standards, and when one of them breaks this trust, they must be held accountable for their behavior.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), as many as 5 million elders are abused each year in the United States. The NCEA further reports that only one in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities, which means the actual number of abuse and mistreatment incidents is likely much higher.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that nursing home patients have experienced abuse at a rate of 44 out of 1,000 residents.
The problem of nursing home abuse and neglect is serious, and it is only getting worse as the baby boomer generation ages. According to the National Institute on Aging, there are more than 40 million Americans over the age of 65, and that number is expected to increase to more than 55 million by the year 2030.Texas Statistics on Nursing Home Mistreatment
In Texas, the number of nursing home residents is expected to grow from 685,000 in 2020 to 1.3 million by 2030, an increase of nearly 90%.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) investigates allegations of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
In 2019, DFPS received more than 25,000 complaints of abuse and neglect, an increase of nearly 5% from the previous year. Of those frequent complaints, more than 8,000 were substantiated, and nearly 1,900 resulted in criminal charges being filed.
The sad reality is that as our population ages, the number of nursing home residents will continue to rise, and so will the number of abuse and neglect cases.How You Can Detect Mistreatment in Dallas Nursing Homes
Many facilities fail to act responsibly on any reported nursing home neglect, abuse, or mistreatment to avoid legal liability. Many cases of general mistreatment go unreported.
However, documentation of formal complaints reveals the many signs of nursing home neglect, abuse, and mistreatment that include:
- Physical abuse could involve any physical force, including hitting, slapping, shoving, kicking, or using restraints on a nursing home resident.
- Sexual abuse is any sexual contact or activity between a nursing home staff member and a patient without the patient’s consent. Sexual abuse might involve rape, sodomy, fondling, inappropriate touching, or any other sexual activity forced upon the victim.
- Psychological/Emotional abuse is any behavior that results in mental or emotional trauma to a nursing home resident. Emotional abuse might involve yelling, name-calling, making threats, isolating the victim from other residents or activities, or any other behavior that causes fear, anxiety, depression, withdrawn behavior, or psychological harm.
- Financial abuse is when a nursing home staff member or another individual, including a visitor, employee, or another patient, uses the resident’s money or property without the resident’s consent. Financial abuse might involve cashing the resident’s checks without permission, stealing the resident’s money, using the resident’s credit cards without permission, or coercing the resident to sign over power of attorney.
- Neglect occurs when a nursing home staff member fails to provide the resident with the necessities of life, such as food, water, clothing, or medical care.
- Abandonment is when a nursing home staff member leaves a resident alone in a public place or fails to return the resident to the nursing home after an outing.
Not all signs of improper treatment in nursing facilities are apparent. However, some warning signs identify that the resident is receiving substandard care, including:
A change in behavior – Elder abuse can result in the resident becoming withdrawn, depressed, or anxious due to the mistreatment at the nursing home facility.
Facility-acquired Pressure Ulcers (bed sores) – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulators state that all pressure sores (bed sores and pressure ulcers) are preventable if the staff follows skincare protocol. Failing to stop the progression of a pressure wound might be considered medical malpractice.
Poor recordkeeping – If a nursing home is not keeping accurate records of the resident’s medications, medical appointments, or nutrition, it may be a sign that the staff is not providing proper care.
Unsanitary conditions – If the nursing home is dirty or cluttered, it may be a sign that the staff is not properly cleaning or caring for the residents.
Unexplained bruises, broken bones, or other injuries – If the resident has bruises, broken bones, or other injuries that cannot be explained, it may be a sign of mistreatment.
Other indicators that something is wrong include:
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Frequently being admitted to the emergency room
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Missing personal items and belongings
- Unauthorized credit card charges and bank transactions
- Medication errors and missing drugs
The quality of care a nursing home resident receives is strongly influenced by their family's involvement in that patient's life. Visiting frequently, being involved in their care, and knowing the staff who work with them on a daily basis can help identify potential problems early on.
Families who suspect that their disabled or elderly loved ones are the victims of mistreatment can take steps to stop what is happening, including:
- Talk to your loved one about what is happening. Many mistreated victims are afraid to speak up because they think no one will believe them or they may face retaliatation. Let them know that you are there for them and will take action to protect them.
- Document what you see. Keep a record of any injuries, changes in behavior, unexplained mood changes, or anything else that seems unusual. This documentation will be important if you decide to take legal action.
- Talk to the nursing home staff. If you have concerns about the way your loved one is being treated, talk to the nursing home staff. If they are unwilling or unable to address your concerns, you can file a complaint with the Texas Department of Health and Human Services.
- Contact an experienced Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer. Experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers from our affiliate law offices can help you investigate what happened, hold the responsible parties accountable by taking legal action, obtaining monetary recovery, and the justice your disabled or elderly loved one deserves.
Any fall-related injury suffered by a patient with other medical issues can create significant health issues, compromising their well-being. Even though federal and state regulators require that every nursing home staff members provide adequate supervision and follow established care plans, patients are severely harmed by falling.
The Medical Director (MD) and Director of Nursing (DON) employed by the medical facility must ensure that a personalized care plan is created for every patient upon admission and updated at least once every three months. The care plan should also assess the resident's fall risk when living in safe conditions at the facility.
Unfortunately, falling accidents occur too often in Dallas nursing centers and assisted living facilities for various reasons, including:
- Wet surfaces
- Inadequate lighting
- A lack of supervision
- Under trained staff members
- Cluttered hallways and rooms
- Missing bed rails
- Improper foot care
- Malnutrition-related weakness
- The use of unauthorized restraint
- Psychoactive medications and sedatives
Is your elderly or disabled loved one at risk of falling in the Dallas facility? There are steps any family member can take to protect their loved ones from falling in the facility, including ensuring that the facility staff has developed a fall prevention plan that might include:
- Routine visual care, checkups, and new prescription eyewear when required
- Placing the resident in a rehabilitation program or therapy conditioning
- Installing an alert system that notifies staff when the resident needs help or is in distress
- Proper maintenance on walkers, wheelchairs, and other assistive equipment
- Ensuring that the resident wears proper-fitting footwear
- Removing slipping hazards from the residents an environment
- Prescribing sedatives and psychotropics at the lowest possible dose to minimize side effects
Nursing home abuse is defined as a lack of care provided by nursing home staff, caregivers, workers, and employees to ensure that the resident's needs are being met. Abuse in nursing homes can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial in nature.
Neglect is defined as the failure of a nursing home staff member to provide proper care to a resident that results in an injury or the deterioration of their health. Negligence can also occur when a nursing home staff member fails to provide the necessary assistance to a resident so that they can perform activities of daily living.
Some examples of negligence include:
- Failing to provide adequate supervision
- Not providing proper medical care
- Failing to properly monitor a resident's health condition
- Developing urinary tract infections due to not using the bathroom regularly
- Failing to provide the necessary assistance with activities of daily living
Has your loved one suffered abuse in a Dallas long-term facility? Our affiliate Dallas personal injury lawyers can investigate the abuse and help you get the financial recovery your loved one deserves.
You might be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Medical expenses
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages
Being compensated for your damages is not automatic. You, or your nursing home abuse attorneys, must prove the four elements of civil tort law, including:
- Duty: The nursing facility owed your loved one a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty: The facility breached its duty of care.
- Causation: The breach of duty caused your loved one's injuries.
- Damages: Your loved one suffered damages as a result of their injuries.
Proving these elements can be challenging, which is why you need an experienced Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer on your side. Our Dallas nursing home abuse attorneys have the experience and resources needed to investigate the abuse and get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Schedule a free consultation today with our affiliate Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers to learn more about how we can help you.Discuss Your Nursing Home Abuse Claims with a Personal Injury Lawyer During a Free Consultation
Are you or your loved one a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? If so, you might be entitled to be compensated for your injuries.
Our personal injury lawyers can provide legal representation on your family's behalf to ensure you receive justice and financial compensation for your damages. A Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm will investigate the claim, gather evidence, and build a successful case on your behalf while you and your family focus on healing.
We accept all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay only after we have secured financial compensation for you through a negotiated claims settlement or jury award. Call a Dallas nursing home abuse attorney at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.Resources: