legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
El Paso Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Texas is known for being one of the country's worst nursing home abuse and neglect rates. Nursing homes should be a safe place for seniors, but all too often are a place of danger and mistreatment.
National data estimates that yearly, around one million Americans are victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. The number of cases reported is likely just a fraction of the total, as many victims are afraid to speak up about the abuse they suffer.
Are you a victim of nursing home neglect and abuse? The affiliate Texas personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC represent injured victims harmed through negligence or abusive behavior by others.
Call our El Paso 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 your nursing home abuse lawyer from our affiliate law offices concerning elder abuse remains private through an attorney-client relationship.How Bad Is Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse in El Paso?
The National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimates that as many as 5 million elders are abused annually in the United States. Out of those nursing home abuse cases, only one in 14 is reported to authorities.
The NCEA defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
The state’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) operates the Adult Protective Services (APS) program to investigate elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation reports.
In 2017, the APS program received more than 70,000 hotline calls. Out of those cases, the agency investigated more than 27,000 complaints.Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home neglect and abuse are serious issues that go unreported. If you are a family member or friend of someone who is living in a nursing home, it's essential to be aware of the different types of abuse and neglect that can occur.
Knowing what to look for and being vigilant can help protect your beloved family member from harm. Nursing home abuse involving the disabled and elderly can take several different forms, including:
- Physical abuse – Inflicting physical pain or injury on nursing home residents is abusive behavior. Physical abuse typically involves shoving, hitting, biting, choking, shaking, slapping, kicking, burning, or harming the patient.
- Emotional/psychological abuse – Inflicting mental pain or distress on disabled and elderly patients can cause lasting harm. Emotional abuse could result from yelling, humiliation, threats, or terrorizing the victim.
- Sexual abuse – Non-consensual sexual contact or activity of any kind with a nursing home patient is sexually abusive behavior. Sexual abuse might involve rape, fondling, oral sex, and forcible sodomy.
- Financial exploitation – The unauthorized taking of money or property from a resident for someone else's financial gain is abusive. Financial abuse might involve using the victim's ATM card, credit card, or checks without permission. It could also involve tricking the victim into signing a power of attorney or will.
- Neglect – Failing to provide adequate food, water, medical care, daily basic needs, or protection from health and safety hazards is considered neglectful behavior. Nursing home negligence could also involve failing to help the victim with activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, and using the restroom.
If you see a loved one suffering, report it to the police or Adult Protective Services immediately. When seeking compensation for damages, our affiliate attorneys can help your loved one seek justice if they have suffered from any of the above forms of negligence or mistreatment.Less Apparent Signs of Negligence: Preventable Bedsore, Medical Mistakes, and Falls
In addition to the more obvious signs of nursing home negligence and abuse, there are also less apparent ones. For example, bedsores are a common problem in nursing homes and can signify neglect.Preventable Pressure Sores
Bedsores (pressure wounds, pressure sores, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) occur when a person is confined to a bed or chair for more than 90 minutes without readjusting their body weight, putting pressure on their skin. The extended time with enough force can cause the skin to break down, leading to an open wound that is susceptible to infection.
Bedsores should be treated promptly and appropriately to avoid serious complications. If you notice that your loved one has bedsores that seem to be getting worse or are not healing properly, it may signify nursing home negligence and elder abuse.Stages of Bedsores
Wound care specialists and medical providers categorize bedsores to describe skin and underlying tissue damage. These stages include:
- Stage I - At this initial stage, the skin appears reddened, feeling warm to the touch. The damage to the skin is apparent by blanching the area by pressing on it with a finger. This stage is also known as “pressure area,” “skin injury,” or “partial thickness skin loss.”
- Stage II - The damage to the skin at this stage appears as a shallow open wound or an ulcer with a red-pinkish wound bed. The center of the sore may appear yellow due to pus or another drainage. This stage is also referred to as “partial thickness skin loss.”
- Stage III is characterized by a deep wound with a crater-like appearance. The bottom of the wound may appear yellow due to pus or other drainages. The surrounding tissue may be swollen and painful. This stage is also called “full-thickness skin loss.”
- Stage IV - This is the most severe stage of bedsores, in which the damage extends to the muscle and bone. The wound may appear black or purple due to dead tissue. The surrounding tissue may be swollen and painful. This stage is also referred to as “full-thickness skin loss.”
- Unstageable - Many times, there are substantial amounts of necrotic (dead) skin and debris inside the open wound, making it challenging to accurately determine the extent of the damage.
Having an experienced legal team of attorneys to help fight for your loved one can be overwhelming. A corporate nursing home lawyer will defend the abuser so that the facility doesn’t pay any damages or fines. Don’t be intimidated. Contact our attorneys to seek justice for your family.Avoidable Medical Mistakes
Another less obvious sign of negligence is when a nursing home resident suffers from medication errors or other preventable mistakes. Medication errors can include:
- Giving the resident the wrong drug
- Administering the medication at the wrong dose or wrong time
- Failing to monitor the resident’s reaction to the medication
If you notice that your beloved family member is experiencing side effects from their medications or they seem to be worsening, it may be a sign of negligence. Gather evidence, and report what you know if you ever see any of the following:Preventable Falls
All falls in a nursing home can be prevented with proper supervision and safety precautions. A nursing home resident falling and getting injured could be a sign of negligence. The staff was not following the patient's care plan formulated through comprehensive assessments upon admission to the nursing home and at least once every three months after that.
Protocols to ensure patient safety and avoid falling include:
- Regular assessment of the patient’s fall risk factors
- Identifying and removing any hazards in the patient’s environment
- Implementing a toileting schedule to prevent accidents
- Ensuring that the patient’s bed is at the proper height
- Using bed and chair alarms
The improper use of physical restraints is also a form of elder abuse and negligence. Medical providers are only to use physical restraints when less restrictive measures have failed, and a physician must prescribe them according to law.
The use of physical restraints should be documented in the resident’s care plan. Any use of restraint not recorded in the care plan could indicate elder abuse. An El Paso nursing home abuse lawyer from our affiliate law offices can help your family seek justice. Call our Texas personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.Hire an El Paso Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve a Personal Injury Claim
Do you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or negligence? Are you seeking justice and financial compensation to recover your damages. An El Paso nursing home abuse lawyer from our law offices can help.
Contact our personal injury lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation with an affiliate lawyer from our law offices. Our legal team of affiliate attorneys will have the knowledge and experience required to take on any El Paso attorney fighting against your case.Our Nursing Home Lawyer
Our attorneys accept all nursing home abuse cases through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures that our injured nursing home residents do not pay any upfront fees until their nursing home attorney resolves their case through negotiated settlements or jury trial awards.
Our affiliate nursing home abuse lawyers serving El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, Corpus Christi, and other cities throughout the state provide legal representation for disabled and elderly patients harmed in nursing homes statewide.Resources: