legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse is one of the many public health issues the US has yet to overcome. It is a growing problem across many cities, including Las Vegas. Thousands of nursing home residents in the city suffer unnecessary pain and suffering every year, and many face untimely deaths because of nursing home negligence.
Did you or a loved one suffer abuse or neglect in a Las Vegas nursing home? Did these injustices cause significant physical, mental, and financial harm to you and your family? If so, the Nevada nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC in Nevada could help you seek the justice you deserve.
Our skilled attorneys handle all kinds of abuse cases in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior communities, and other residential care settings. Let our legal team affiliates help you recover fair financial compensation for your losses and hold responsible parties accountable.
Call our Las Vegas personal injury lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use this contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private 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 nursing home workers, visitors, or other residents.Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of action that causes physical, psychological, or financial harm to a person aged 60 and above in any long-term assisted living facility. It can occur in any relationship with an expectation of trust, such as in a caregiver relationship.
More than 90% of nursing home residents are senior citizens, making elder abuse the most prevalent type of abuse in nursing facilities.The Rights of Nursing Home Residents
State and federal laws help protect the legal rights of nursing home residents. These laws include:Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987
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
Nevada’s abuse laws are similar; the rights of nursing facility residents mirror the ones outlined in the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. In addition, Nevada enacted a bill in 2011 that establishes specific training requirements for nursing home workers.
Senate Bill 129 requires all nursing care employees, including staff, administrators, and directors, to undergo elder abuse training. This bill also requires the State Board of Health to adopt regulations regarding such training and provides penalties for non-compliance.Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse occurs in many ways, from physical assault to intentional neglect. Families of nursing home residents must be aware of the different types and signs of institutional abuse and neglect. This way, family members can remove loved ones from potentially dangerous situations before it’s too late.
Common types of abuse in nursing homes include:Physical Abuse
Physical abuse involves deliberately using physical force against a resident, causing injury, pain, or impairment. It includes but is not limited to actions like slapping, striking, kicking, burning, pinching, and restraining without valid reasons.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Broken bones
- Unexplained 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 resident. These acts may include verbal abuse, humiliation, intimidation, gaslighting, and geographical or social isolation.
Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse
- Personality or behavioral changes
- Depression or anxiety
- Being extremely withdrawn
- Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
- Difficulty sleeping
Sexual assault or abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact with a resident, including those who cannot give valid consent (e.g., a mentally disabled person). It can take many forms, including verbal sexual harassment, unwanted touching, explicit photography, sodomy, coerced nudity, and rape.
Signs of Sexual Assault or 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 nursing home resident’s funds and assets. It can take many forms, including manipulating bank accounts, stealing valuables, and unauthorized transactions on credit cards.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
- Sudden bank account changes
- Unexplained transactions on debit/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, personal hygiene, clothing, and medical treatment, creating or increasing the risk of harm to a patient. The lack of adequate care may be intentional (active) or unintentional (passive) but is regarded as abuse either way.
Signs of Neglect
- Poor personal hygiene
- Bed sores
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unexplained weight loss
- Untreated medical conditions (e.g., recurring urinary tract infections)
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Inadequate clothing for the weather
- Lack of medical aids (e.g., eyeglasses, walkers, hearing aids)
- Medication errors
Nursing home neglect and abuse do not always manifest in apparent signs. For instance, the signs of sexual abuse are often behavioral, and the physical indicators are usually less noticeable. The same goes for elder abuse, which may mimic dementia or mental illness symptoms.
With this in mind, family members must pay close attention to changes in their loved one’s behavior. Even the slightest inconsistencies may indicate abuse, and it’s up to the family to stop abuse before it gets worse.Who Is Most at Risk?
A significant majority of nursing home abuse cases happen to individuals who are more physically or mentally vulnerable than others, including:
- Patients with mental or physical disabilities
- Patients with additional care needs
- Patients with access to an abundance of wealth
- Dementia patients
- Women and children
- Bedridden patients
Abused or neglected nursing home patients may suffer the following consequences:
- Severe physical injuries
- Untreated medical conditions
- Psychological trauma
- Emotional distress
- Loss of personal property
- Monetary losses
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced family or social ties
- Increased risk of illnesses
- Wrongful death
Nursing home negligence can lead to severe injuries, especially in patients who are already physically compromised. Common injuries related to nursing home abuse include:
- Bed sores
- Head trauma or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones, especially hip fractures
- Bruises and cuts
- Soft tissue injuries (e.g., sprains, strains)
- Spinal cord trauma
Due to the increased vulnerability of older adults, elder neglect and abuse can easily cause severe injuries, illness, and even death.
Elderly residents are also more susceptible to severe consequences to supposedly minor injuries. For an older person, something that a younger person may quickly recover from (e.g., bed sores) can cause impairment, extreme pain, or, in worst cases, death.Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is usually the result of multiple external and internal factors. However, staff-related issues are the most common causes of abuse and neglect in nursing facilities. These issues include:
- Underqualified and Improperly Trained Staff: Lack of proper training, education, and experience can lead to abusive or neglectful behavior, medical malpractice, and gross negligence.
- Understaffing: Most nursing homes suffer staffing shortages, especially government-funded facilities. Understaffing creates multiple problems, including high-stress environments and decreased standards of care, increasing the risk of harm to patients.
- Poor Management: Staff members may become abusive or neglectful if the leadership team operates at substandard levels. Lack of accountability, overscheduling, and toxic work environments are some of the problems resulting from poor management.
- Underreporting: Nursing home staff members must report known or suspected cases of abuse or neglect to the local authorities. Unfortunately, only 1 in 14 cases is reported, leaving many to remain unresolved.
Report known or suspected Las Vegas nursing home abuse to the police. But if you think your loved one is in immediate danger or needs medical attention, call 911. Remove your disabled or elderly family member from the facility until you resolve the issue.
You can also report nursing home neglect and abuse to the following agencies:
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)
- Department of Health & Human Services Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD)
- Division of Public and Behavioral Health
- Office of Attorney General
State and local agencies will investigate your report and deliver appropriate punishments once they prove abuse. Negligent nursing homes may lose their Medicaid or Medicare funding if found guilty of non-compliance with state and federal nursing home regulations. These facilities may also face suspension or revoking of their licenses and certifications.
Additionally, perpetrators of nursing home abuse may face criminal charges for elder abuse. Abusing or neglecting a vulnerable adult can result in a category C felony or a gross misdemeanor. Depending on the extent of the abuse, the punishments for the alleged offender range from hefty fines to imprisonment.Filing a Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Nursing care facilities must take preventative measures to protect residents from abuse or neglect. Failure to do so may translate to non-compliance with the law. Hence, negligent nursing facilities could face legal repercussions for their actions (or inaction).
Did your disabled or elderly loved one suffer abuse in a Las Vegas nursing home? If so, you could hold the facility accountable by filing a personal injury claim.The Role of Your Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
A skilled Las Vegas nursing home abuse attorney can be extremely helpful to your case. Their responsibilities generally include:
- Establishing the liability of at-fault parties
- Filing your claim within the statute of limitations
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Handling all claim-related paperwork
- Negotiating settlement values
- Filing your case in civil court, if necessary
- Filing a separate medical malpractice claim, if necessary
Perpetrators of nursing home abuse may include:
- Staff members
- Fellow residents
Regardless of who is directly at fault for the abuse or neglect of a resident, the nursing home operator will also be liable for its failure to protect its residents from avoidable harm.
Individuals found guilty of abuse may also face additional charges (either a felony or gross misdemeanor) handled by law enforcement.Evidence
Pursuing accountability requires substantial evidence. Your Las Vegas nursing home attorney can help you gather the following forms of proof to build your case:
- Photos of your loved one’s injuries
- Medical records, including psychological evaluations
- Incident and police reports
- Fraudulent financial documents, in case of financial exploitation
- Witness accounts from employees, visitors, or other residents
- Expert testimony
The primary goal of a personal injury claim is to recover financial compensation for your losses, such as:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for your loved one’s medical care following the abuse or neglect, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, surgery, emergency transportation, etc.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your family member becomes disabled from the abuse or neglect. These damages may include loss of quality of life and medical equipment.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries from physical or emotional abuse, including physical pain, mental harm, emotional distress, etc.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for your loved one’s reduced quality of life after the abuse or neglect, 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 due to abuse or neglect. These damages typically include funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, grief, etc.
- Punitive Damages: Monetary awards on top of compensatory damages, aiming to punish negligent nursing facilities for their actions and deter harmful behavior in the future.
During your free consultation, your nursing home abuse attorney will estimate the settlement value you deserve based on your damages and your case’s circumstances.Settlement
After you file a claim against a Nevada nursing home, the facility’s insurance company may offer you a settlement. At this point, you can accept the offer, but you will no longer be able to sue for additional damages.Litigation
Most claims settle out of court to avoid hefty legal fees and lengthy trials. However, this is not always the case. Some facilities refuse to pay the compensation victims deserve, while others refuse to take responsibility for the abuse.
You could file a civil lawsuit against the negligent facility if this happens. Your case will then go to court, where a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and determine a verdict.
Civil lawsuits can be tedious, but your lawyer will guide you through the entire process. Our personal injury lawyers may also pursue damages through other means, such as mediation or arbitration, so that you can avoid litigation.The Statute of Limitations
Nevada's standard statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years (NRS 11.190). Usually, the clock starts running from the date of the underlying incident or its discovery. After two years, you can no longer file a lawsuit unless there are exceptional circumstances in your case.Hire a Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Seek Justice for Your Family
The Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC work tirelessly to defend the legal rights of residents and punish facilities for their negligence.
Did your loved one suffer injuries, mental trauma, or wrongful death from the actions (or inaction) of a nursing facility or its constituents? If so, our personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for his or her rights and ensure your family receives fair financial compensation.
Call our personal injury lawyers at (800) 926-7565 for a confidential consultation with our experienced legal team. All confidential or sensitive information you share during your free consultation will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our services are 100% free unless we win your case.Resources:
- Nevada Legislature - Senate Bill 129
- HHS - Aging and Disability Division - Report Vulnerable Adult Abuse
- WHO - Elder Abuse