legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Nursing Home Abuse Legal Help
Nursing home abuse is a common yet severely unaddressed problem in the US. Thousands of residents suffer devastating injuries, illnesses, and even death yearly due to abuse, neglect, and mistreatment. And yet, the issue remains widespread in the country’s long-term care facilities.
Fortunately, state and federal laws help protect nursing home residents' rights, health, safety, and welfare. Therefore, victims of abuse or mistreatment can take legal action against negligent facilities through personal injury claims or lawsuits.
Did you or a loved one suffer abuse, neglect, or mistreatment in a nursing home? If so, the personal injury lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, could help you pursue rightful compensation from at-fault parties and obtain justice for the harm they’ve caused.
Contact our affiliate nursing home abuse attorneys at (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is any act that causes or creates a risk of harm, injury, or pain to a disabled or elderly resident. It is often perpetrated by nursing home staff members but can also be caused by visitors and other residents.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, mistreatment can take many forms, including:
- Physical Abuse: Any intentional act that causes pain or injury to a nursing home resident, including but not limited to punching, slapping, pinching, kicking, pushing, and restraining without a medical reason.
- Mental or Emotional Abuse: Verbal or non-verbal actions intended to cause mental or emotional harm to a resident (e.g., fear, anguish, loneliness), such as humiliation, gaslighting, harassment, social isolation.
- Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact with a resident, including but not limited to groping, coerced nudity, explicit photography, verbal sexual harassment, and rape.
- Financial Abuse or Exploitation: The illegal or unauthorized use of a resident’s money, property, and assets for personal gain, e.g., using a resident’s credit cards without permission, forging checks, stealing valuables from a resident’s room.
- Neglect: Nursing home neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide a patient’s basic needs, either intentionally or unintentionally, causing harm to the patient. Neglect may include the deprivation of food, water, medical care, clothing, hygiene support, and social activities.
Physical assault, sexual abuse, lack of proper care, and other forms of mistreatment can lead to significant injuries, such as:
- Head and neck trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Pressure ulcers
- Soft tissue injuries
- Bruises and lacerations
- Untreated medical conditions
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Mental health disorders
- Wrongful death
Furthermore, elder abuse can cause poor quality of life, usually manifested by:
- Reduced independence
- Poor mental health
- Social isolation
- Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
- Lack of hygiene
- Constant pain and discomfort
- Lack of relief from medical symptoms
Several federal laws protect the safety and welfare of older adults in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. One prominent law is the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA), which established residents’ rights and care standards in nursing homes.
Another notable elder law is the Older Americans Act of 1965 (OAA), which ensures adequate care for all seniors. This Act helps adults aged 60 and older:
- Report and take action against elder abuse
- Protect their rights while living in a nursing home
- Access Medicare and Medicaid services
- Find caregiver support
- Access social services for meals, shelter, health care, etc.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO) Program, authorized under the OAA, is another critical nursing home abuse prevention strategy. All 50 states have an LTCO program dedicated to receiving and addressing elder abuse complaints in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care institutions.
The OAA requires LTCO programs to:
- Identify, investigate, and address complaints made by nursing home patients or their proxies
- Educate nursing home patients about long-term services and supports (LTSS)
- Ensure that all residents have easy and timely access to LTCO services
- Represent residents’ interests before government agencies
- Seek administrative, legal, and other solutions to protect residents’ rights, safety, and welfare
- Analyze and recommend changes to laws and regulations concerning nursing home patients' safety, health, and well-being
Nursing home lawsuits arise from abuse and neglect that lead to significant injuries. You may be able to sue a nursing home for negligence if you or a loved one experiences any of the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse, including sexual assault
- Mental or emotional abuse
- Financial abuse or exploitation
- Neglect, whether intentional or unintentional
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
Taking legal action against nursing home negligence can help victims and their families by:
- Providing monetary compensation to pay for medical bills and other expenses
- Holding abusers and negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions (or inaction)
- Offering peace of mind
Additionally, holding abusers accountable can help protect nursing home residents from further mistreatment.What Damages Can You Recover from a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
Nursing home abuse lawsuits help victims pursue the following damages:
- Medical Bills: Out-of-pocket expenses for hospitalization, emergency transportation, surgery, medication, therapy, etc.
- Disability: Mobility aid costs, physical rehabilitation, and other expenses related to loss of mobility and functionality if your loved one becomes disabled from the abuse.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional harm caused by the abuse, including physical pain, emotional trauma, mental anguish, etc.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality or enjoyment of life lost due to the abuse and its physical or mental consequences on the victim.
- Lost Wages: Income and benefits lost by the victim or their family members due to the victim’s injuries.
- Wrongful Death: Funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical bills, loss of companionship, and other related damages if your loved one dies.
- Punitive Damages: Additional compensation awarded to plaintiffs to punish defendants for gross negligence.
Settlements for nursing home abuse cases vary. For instance, a wrongful death lawsuit may be worth more than a personal injury claim due to the gravity of the consequences. Values may also depend on the following factors:
- Victim’s age
- Severity of the abuse
- Severity of injuries and their impacts on the victim’s life
- Facility’s level of negligence
- Settlements or verdicts from past cases within the same jurisdiction
- Skill of the law firm or nursing home lawyer
Seek help from an experienced attorney to determine how much your claim is worth and avoid accepting an unfair payment when you take legal action.How Can You Recover Financial Compensation for Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?
There are two ways to seek justice against a negligent nursing home or skilled nursing facility. First, you or your lawyer can file a claim with the facility’s liability insurance provider, which could lead to one of these outcomes:
- The insurance provider offers you a settlement, and you accept
- You or your lawyer negotiate with the insurance carrier for a better settlement value
- The insurance provider rejects your claim
- Negotiations stall
If you cannot recover financial compensation through an insurance claim, your lawyer could help you file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Once you file the suit, the defendant may try to settle with you out of court in exchange for not taking the case to litigation. Otherwise, the judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides before determining a verdict.
Nursing home abuse cases often end in out-of-court settlements, legally binding agreements requiring the defendant to pay the agreed-upon amount to the plaintiff. However, some proceed to litigation, which is usually more expensive and time-consuming.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers will determine the best way to take legal action for your particular situation. In any case, we will fight for your right to receive fair compensation for the harm caused by the nursing home.How to Get Nursing Home Abuse Legal Help
Legal representation makes legal action against a negligent nursing home more manageable and effective. A nursing home abuse lawyer with experience in similar cases can help you file a claim or lawsuit against the facility and ensure you receive fair financial compensation.
You can receive nursing home abuse legal help by contacting an attorney or law firm specializing in nursing home abuse. Apart from that, consider seeking assistance from the following agencies:
- Local law enforcement (or call 911 if your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger)
- Adult Protective Services (call the National Adult Protective Services at 800-898-4910 to find your local office)
- The Department of Health and Human Services (call (800) 652-1999 to report abuse or neglect)
- Your state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman (go here to find your local LTCO)
- Your state’s Office of Attorney General
- Other nursing home and elder abuse organizations in your area
You can also use the following resources to get information on, report, and help address elder abuse in residential, community, and healthcare settings including:
- National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA): Ensures older Americans live with dignity, independence, and respect, free from elder abuse and neglect.
- Eldercare Locator: Helps connect seniors and their families to senior resources, including programs to help them take legal action for mistreatment.
- National Institute on Aging (NIA): Researches and proposes elder abuse prevention.
- US Department of Justice (DOJ): Studies elder mistreatment issues and implements programs to prevent abuse.
- American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging: Helps strengthen the legal rights of senior citizens by initiating and supporting research, advocacy, education, and training.
States have varying statutes of limitations for nursing home abuse cases, usually under personal injury law. On average, plaintiffs have two to three years from the date of the underlying incident (or its discovery) to file a case in civil court.
Find nursing home abuse legal help as soon as possible. Courts often refuse to hear cases surpassing the statute of limitations unless exceptions apply (e.g., if the victim was legally incapacitated at the time of the abuse), even from experienced nursing home law firms.
Hence, our attorneys will help you take legal action as soon as they gather enough information about your case.What Do Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Do?
Nursing home abuse legal help can make or break your case. It is possible to take legal action without a legal representative, but going against a nursing home with comprehensive liability insurance may hinder you from receiving financial aid for your damages.
A skilled nursing home abuse attorney from a reputable law firm can help resolve your case successfully by:
- Investigating how and why the abuse occurred
- Determining liable parties and establishing nursing home negligence
- Calculating your losses and identifying a potential claim value
- Gathering evidence to support your claim
- Filing a nursing home claim or lawsuit within the statute of limitations
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Taking your case to civil court and representing you during litigation, if necessary
Furthermore, seeking help from a law firm specializing in nursing home lawsuits is crucial. These law firms have more knowledge, expertise, and resources to build a strong case because they have access to the following:
- A network of experienced attorneys specializing in nursing home abuse
- Data from past cases and similar cases from other law firms in the area
- Most recent laws and regulations on nursing home abuse
- A database of resources to aid in case building, including nursing home abuse experts
We recommend gathering the following information before looking for nursing home abuse law firms:
- Information about the nursing home (name, address, type of facility, services provided, etc.)
- Date and time of the abuse (or approximate period if the abuse involved more than one incident)
- The type of abuse and specific events related to it
- Information of abusers (names, job titles, contact numbers)
- The victim’s account of the events
- Photos of injuries
Taking legal action requires viable evidence. You can start gathering proof before contacting a law firm, but doing so could be easier with the legal power of a lawyer. Our nursing home attorneys can help you collect substantial proof of nursing home negligence, such as:
- Medical records
- Nursing home incident reports
- Police reports
- Employment records of abusers
- Surveillance footage, if available
- Witness accounts from nursing home staff members, visitors, and other residents
- Testimony from nursing home abuse experts
- Autopsy reports in case of a wrongful death lawsuit
Abuse, neglect, or mistreatment against an elderly individual is always unacceptable, especially if it is caused by a nursing home entrusted with residents’ health and safety. Fortunately, many law firms focus on nursing home abuse and defending victims’ legal rights.
Did you or a loved one suffer nursing home abuse? Or did you lose a loved one in a wrongful death? Our attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, have the skills and expertise to obtain the justice your family deserves. We can help you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit and hold the facility accountable for its negligence.Free Case Evaluation
Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our lawyers handle all accepted nursing home abuse cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you don’t have to pay our legal fees unless we win your case.Resources: