legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
How to Find a Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm?
Do you suspect your loved one is being abused in a nursing home? The sooner you act on your suspicions, the better your chance for success in court against negligent staff members and facility management.
So don't let another day go by without acting! Learn about your legal options surrounding elder law.
At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates serving nursing home residents who have been victimized by negligence and abuse.
Contact the nursing home abuse lawyer at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form today to schedule a free case review.Nursing Home Abuse
It is crucial to take immediate action if you have any reason to believe that your loved one is being mistreated or neglected. Nursing homes are required by law to provide their residents with safe and adequate care.
Unfortunately, many of these facilities fail to meet this standard. As a result, more than a third of all nursing home residents experience some form of abuse each year. You can help them get the justice they deserve by finding an experienced attorney specializing in elder abuse cases today!Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2 million people live in nursing homes. Unfortunately, the dreadful revelation that aged adults suffer injury or abuse from the very caregiver or nursing home staff in charge of them is true.
Nursing home abuses are sometimes due to negligence on the part of the nursing home management. Nevertheless, injuries and abuse can also be attributed to the deliberate actions of nursing home caregivers.
These injuries can result in trauma, medical emergencies, or even sudden death. Nursing home abuse is a widespread dilemma due to specific issues like limited supervision, understaffing, stress, and improper training.
Undeniably, these factors can contribute to the nursing home staff's negative reaction to people they care for or acting nonchalantly in urgent situations. Luckily, some actions can be taken for such injustice inflicted in a nursing home.
First, since the elderly cannot retaliate or fight back, their loved ones should take the first step by reporting the abuse to proper authorities like law enforcement, Adult Protective Services (APS), or a nursing home attorney.Types of Nursing Homes Abuse
The elderly, infirmed, and disabled are often at the mercy of their caregivers, often overworked, underpaid, and frustrated, working long hours under challenging conditions.
Neglect is often the most common form of nursing home abuse in understaffed facilities or ones that fail to provide adequate care for their residents. Understaffing is a systemic problem that can lead to neglect or mistreatment of residents.
For instance, some nursing homes fail to provide the appropriate care for their patients with chronic conditions like dementia (e.g., memory loss), Alzheimer's disease (e.g., brain disorder), stroke, paralysis, and Parkinson's disease (e.g., neurological disorder). In many of these cases, the staff is often too busy or distracted with other patients to provide basic care for the residents in need.
In addition, nursing homes' failure to comply with certain health and safety regulations can also contribute to negligent behaviors by their staff members. For example, a lack of supervision has been associated with increased chances of injury and accidents by the elderly.
Unfortunately, some nursing home staff members take advantage of their residents for their benefit, like embezzling the patient's money or taking valuable items.Verbal Abuse and Threats
Abusive remarks and threats made to vulnerable senior citizens can greatly affect their well-being and emotional state. Nursing home abuse like this can also be referred to as verbal elder abuse.
For instance, some caregivers may insult or threaten the seniors with bodily harm if they misbehave or act out of line under their care.
Furthermore, nursing homes and assisted living facilities often employ "Resident Advisors" (RAs) to keep watchful eyes on their residents, sometimes intimidating them. Abusive language and actions made by the RA towards a resident will be reported back to the lead nurse or administrator for disciplinary action.
Conversely, if a nursing home fails to reprimand an RA for their misconduct, it is typically due to either understaffing or neglect.Physical Abuse
Physical abuse of nursing home residents is unique. It involves physical harm inflicted on their bodies by striking them, shaking, burning, suffocating them, infecting them with germs, biting, scalding, etc.
Unlike verbal abuse, which can be reported immediately to proper authorities, physical elder abuse is more convoluted and can be easily dismissed as "playful" or "physical therapy."
For example, a nursing home caregiver may try to help an agitated patient by helping them sit on their bed. Unknowingly, the caregiver's rough treatment causes the senior citizen to fall and break a hip. In this situation, the physical assault is due to simple negligence on behalf of the caregiver.
Physical signs of elder abuse include unexplained cuts, bruises, lacerations, burns, hair pulled out by its roots (i.e., traction alopecia), and fractures, to name a few.Sexual Abuse
The scourges of sexual abuse often involve inappropriate sexual behavior without consent. For example, a defenseless older adult never agreed to sexual activity during their stay in the nursing home.Psychological Abuse
Typically, psychological harm is done to the elderly that affects their mental and emotional well-being. For example, when a nursing home staff is improperly trained, they can result in easy frustration and a short temper.
They only cope by taking out their anger and frustration at the elderly by being mean. Mental and emotional abuse could be in the form of verbal abuse or deliberate isolation from others, including their family members and loved ones.Emotional Abuse
Many nursing home residents are victims of belittling, humiliation, disrespect, and inappropriate talk, leading to emotional abuse. In addition, the abuser might help others through yelling and screaming, shaming, and humiliating residents.
Making fun of the elderly by treating them like children is not uncommon. By doing this, nursing home staff can use isolation as a punishment for those who do not follow their demands or orders.
Often, the elderly resident would complain about such behavior, but no action was taken due to a lack of evidence. The surest way to prove it is by having an audio or video recording.Financial Abuse
Generally, financial exploitation occurs when the caregiver mismanages or steals the nursing home resident's funds, money, cash, or belongings. Some of these older adults have dementia, and this is seen as an opportunity to rob them.
However, sometimes these actions are done with the intent of helping the elderly. For example, a new member of their caregiver family decides to purchase something valuable and might offer to pay for it using the resident's money.Signs of Physical and Emotional Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are supposed to be safe places where the elderly can live out their golden years. Unfortunately, that's not always the case.
Detecting abuse starts with picking up clues during visitations. For example, some elderly residents are intimidated or threatened into silence, knowing that these caregivers are in charge of their medications and feeding.
Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse will help prevent further harm and take the right actions to get justice, holding the abuser accountable.Physical Abuse
This kind of abuse is usually easy to recognize. The warning signs should be apparent whenever visiting. For the elderly, frail, and disabled, any form of physical assault could cause significant damage to their health.
Common examples of physical abuse and neglect include:
- Broken Bones
- Skin burns, scratches, cuts, bruises, and other injuries
- Malnourished look or weight loss
The effect of psychological abuse may not be seen immediately. Still, over time it will become pronounced when you notice a change in the resident's behavior, like flinching at sudden movements, seeming fearful in the presence of a caregiver or another resident, and experiencing sleepless nights.
Common indicators of psychological abuse include:
- Suicidal Ideation
- Drug Abuse
- Low Self Esteem
- Sleep disorder and paranoia
Sexual abuse is prevalent for all ages but is not often easy to diagnose without clear and personal monitoring. Common signs and indicators that someone has been sexually abused include:
- Physical or verbal evidence of inappropriate and unnecessary physical contact
- Diagnosed infections and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Tears and bruises on the genitals
- Bleeding from the genitals
Any sudden and unexpected change in the resident's power of attorney might be cause for alarm. Typical indicators of financial exploitation among the elderly, disabled, and infirmed include:
- Unexplainable credit card activities
- New bank account
- Sudden unexpected charges
- Missing personal belongings
In the absence of evidence suggesting abuse, it is left to the loved ones or whoever is responsible for the older adults to look out for some inappropriate behavior from the staff. Take note of unpleasant attitudes, disrespect, disregard, or negligence of the caregiver.Procedure for Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
A nursing home abuse attorney has the immediate legal authority to file a formal claim against the abuser providing medical care, hygiene assistance, or financial help.
For example, personal injury lawyers could ascertain that:
- The facility should be responsible for their care
- The facility negligence breached their duty of care
- This negligence caused injury or death
- The injury or death amounted to financial damages
These elements need to be backed up by the attorney; this might prompt the facility to make an offer to settle outside court. Call our national law firm for a free legal consultation to discuss filing a nursing home lawsuit.Deciphering a Nursing Home Abuse Case
According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, every nursing home resident has the right to be free from abuse, neglect, mistreatment, physical/chemical restraint, and any form of corporal punishment.
Several variables and questions that relate to the candid realities and circumstances of the case will determine the chances of winning and how much settlement will be acquired. Here are some questions that may influence the timeline to reach a nursing home abuse settlement.
- What is the nursing home's response to the charges? Does it acknowledge that the abuse happened? Is the facility willing to cooperate with those involved regarding the charges? Did the nursing home make documentation and evidence concerning the abuse or neglect available when requested?
- Did the abused resident receive a medical examination, and did the facility show interest in nursing home abuse? Are the injuries confirmed by medical experts providing professional medical advice, and do they agree the harm suffered resulted from the nursing home abuse or neglect?
- Did the nursing home abuse or neglect occur in plain sight? Did the nursing home abuse cause any harm or serious injuries? What harm was caused? What kind of nursing home abuse transpired? Identify if it is physical, psychological, sexual, or financial.
- Is the nursing home proposing a settlement offer, and are they willing to acknowledge that the abuse prevailed while the resident was in the facility? Data shows that about 95% of all nursing home facility cases and wrongful death lawsuits are resolved through negotiated settlements.
If the case does not have evidence or proof, the nursing home abuse attorney will likely negotiate to settle outside court with the facility. However, to settle, the facility must first acknowledge that they were negligent.
If the negotiations fail, the nursing home abuse attorney will have to prove their case in court.Can Nursing Home Abuse Victims Seek Compensation?
Nursing home abuse victims may seek compensation, but they need to prove the injury was caused by negligence, and not all injuries can be compensated monetarily.
However, should an older adult die after being abused in a nursing home, the negligent facility and caregiver could be held accountable for murder as a criminal offense and held financially accountable through civil action.
The settlement amount is usually calculated by figuring out the lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering.
Nursing home abuse can be financially draining to the victims when they need to seek medical treatment or are forced to stay in a facility for a long time. Therefore, it is best to consult with nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as possible after the incident.Categories of Claims
All state legislatures have enacted statutes of limitations that restrict the time limits victims can file a nursing home neglect lawsuit or compensation claim. Typically, claims are filed according to the laws in the state where the abuse happened.
A nursing home abuse lawyer with a comprehensive understanding of tort law can use the rules and regulations to identify all defendants involved in the harm to ensure that they participate in the settlement or civil trial. For example, many nursing home abuse cases are built on mistreatment, neglect, or abusive behavior by caregivers or the facility, including:
- Personal Injury:Personal injury law strives to deliver financial compensation to the nursing home residents who went through abuse from a negligent nursing home provider. Familiar types of nursing home personal injury claims involve discrimination, improper care, and assault.
- Medically Ill-equipped:Facilities that take care of senior citizens must meet the standard of medical care required by law. These types of nursing home false medical qualification cases stem from wrong diagnoses or dosage errors.
- Wrongful Death:Wrongful death is categorized as a personal injury case involving careless treatment of injuries that caused the death of a resident. Nursing home preventable death can result from several negligible causes under personal injury and ill-equipped medical cases.
Once the first step is taken and proper authorities have been contacted, families of the abused resident can decide on taking legal actions. Therefore, it's vital to comprehend every abuse case aspect before filing a claim.
Most likely, the senior citizen will need to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer if the claim is complicated and there are multiple defendants. If the nursing home abuse lawyers and facility refuse to negotiate or have overwhelming evidence, the cases should be taken to court.Using Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys to File a Claim for Compensation in Court
Nursing home abuse lawsuits can be complicated, especially when various defendants are involved in the case. Victims of elder abuse need to hire nursing home abuse lawyers to present evidence and prove responsibility.
The extensive process may include:
- Documenting the incident:As soon as a nursing home abuse lawyer is on board, their primary step will be to document the incident and gather evidence of what happened and any elder abuse involved. Gathering evidence might be hard if the resident has died because there are strict rules about obtaining autopsy results.
- Keeping all records:It is likely necessary to provide all of the victim's records to prove a case. These records should include medical reports, court documents, and bills.
- Securing witnesses: Witnesses who can support a nursing home abuse claim are essential to holding the defendants accountable.
- Preparing for trial: If the nursing home abuse attorneys and the other parties involved cannot agree, it is time for a civil trial.
Attorneys working on behalf of their injured parties (plaintiffs) might be able to prove that the skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility was negligent for failing to retain qualified and well-trained staff to ensure every resident's needs were met.What a Nursing Home Abuse Trial Looks Like
Resolving nursing home abuse lawsuits can take some time since they are usually complicated cases. The nursing home abuse lawyers will use the time preparing for the trial by acquiring necessary documents and getting witnesses ready to testify.
During the trial, several aspects are taken into consideration, including:
- Examining the evidence: With the help of elder abuse medical experts or other witnesses, the nursing home abuse lawyers have the chance to present the evidence of abuse during a trial through videos, photos, reports from police officers and medical professionals, and witness testimonies.
- Evaluating the claim: The court will need to see if a lawsuit can be filed and whether the nursing home provides the proper standard of care.
- Verdict: The judge will review the nursing home abuse law giving instructions to the jury. After deliberation, jurors will provide a verdict by determining if negligence occurred and if it led to an injury.
Nursing home abuse lawyers are aware of the complicated process that family members have to go through. Therefore, the emotionally and financially draining process can be simplified by hiring a seasoned attorney.Preliminary to the Lawsuit
Before filing a lawsuit against the nursing home, investigate the situation before making any allegations and find enough proof to help the case. Take pictures of the victim before arrival at the nursing home and after thorough investigation to identify who is responsible for the abuse and encourage the older adult to speak out.
Be sure to:
- Maintain proper documentation of the abuse's duration of stay in the facility
- Take photographs of the resident's bruises or other injuries
- Document when the abuse began
- Obtain medical records, including bills incurred from medical treatment administered due to the abuse on the victim
To attain success in any nursing home abuse lawsuit, prove direct negligence and abuse like a caretaker turning their backs on the residents in times of desperate need, financial fraud, and verbal assault. In addition, a display of mental and emotional abuse when an older adult has a sudden behavior change indicates fear of a certain caregiver.The Aftermath
After all necessary actions and steps have been taken, the best way to move forward will be to find a more reliable and genuine nursing home without hesitation.
Working through the healing process can be difficult and might require help from a professional therapist. Still, it will be easier once the abused resident is placed in a comfortable and safe environment.What Is the Average Cost for Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers?
The average cost of nursing home abuse and neglect can be expensive. It can include medical bills, loss of wages, and additional costs to take care of the victim.
The total cost of abuse for each family will be different based on their case circumstances, but it is possible to make a rough estimate. Most personal injury attorneys handle nursing home abuse cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning they typically take 33.33% of the amount negotiated during a nursing home neglect settlement.
Should both the plaintiff (injured party) and defendants (responsible parties) fail to agree, your lawyer will likely file a nursing home abuse lawsuit and take the case to court.
When this occurs, they typically require 40% of how much is won in a jury verdict because of the extra time and costs associated with conducting a trial, presenting evidence, hiring expert witnesses, and building a case for a successful outcome.
When you sign your contingency fee agreement, you will know exactly what percentage you will pay for your nursing home abuse attorneys. But first, you will discuss your claim's merits and filing a nursing home abuse and neglect case during a free case evaluation.Finding and Hiring a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
Are you or a family member suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse? Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer because of the injuries suffered at a nursing home or in a nursing facility?
When you have been injured in a nursing home, it can be challenging to find legal help. At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our nursing home negligence attorneys can provide immediate legal advice, counsel, and representation to stop the inappropriate behavior against your loved one.
Our legal team accepts every personal injury neglect case and wrongful death lawsuit through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures that you pay nothing until your nursing home negligence case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award. If we do not win, you do not pay.
Call our nursing home abuse attorneys at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free legal case review. All confidential or sensitive information you share about the nursing home employees or facility remains private through an attorney-client relationship.Resources: