legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Louisiana Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawsuit Case Values
Millions of Americans rely on nursing homes, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that nearly two million residents receive care in nearly 16,000 facilities across the country. Most of these facilities, as many as 70%, operate as for-profit businesses. This means they have a professional duty to ensure adequate patient care and uphold safe hiring practices to ensure staff members do not pose safety risks to residents.
Luckily, Louisiana ranks number 1 in the country for the lowest occurrence of elder abuse and exploitation complaints, according to a nation-wide study. However, Louisiana ranked very low in nursing home quality and available resources for elders, and many types of elder abuse still occur in Louisiana.
Types of Abuse and Neglect Found in Louisiana Nursing Homes
- Physical Abuse
This may include direct physical abuse such as hitting or slapping as well as excessive force during repositioning or lifting of residents.
- Sexual Abuse
This can include rape, sexual battery, forcing the viewing of pornographic materials, or taking sexually explicit pictures of a resident.
- Injuries and Illness From Inadequate Care
Nursing home staff who fail to properly account for individual patient needs and medical conditions, such as properly monitoring patients with dementia prone to wandering, may also result in serious injuries to residents.
- Medication Errors
Caregivers must be sure to follow a prescribing doctor’s orders and administer the correct medications in the correct doses to patients.
- Financial Exploitation
Stealing cash, valuables, or a resident’s personal information for the purposes of committing financial fraud can have devastating consequences. A recent audit shows increasing financial exploitation of elderly in Louisiana, and a lack of coordination in various government departments. The audit calls for new legislation and better organization to help prevent these cases.
- Injuries and Illness From Neglect
Some patients may require regular repositioning or turning to prevent bedsores. Residents may also develop an illness from dirty clothes, bed linens, and living quarters. An elderly woman in Louisiana perished due to bedsores and filthy conditions from neglectful caregivers.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
It is vital for any loved one of a nursing home resident to stay vigilant for signs of abuse or neglect. Louisiana state law requires anyone with knowledge of elder abuse or neglect to report it immediately to Adult Protective Services (APS).
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Dirty facilities. This is an indication the nursing home has failed to provide a sterile environment for residents.
- Unexplained injuries. Ask nursing home staff about any sudden bruises or other wounds that appear suddenly.
- Sudden personality changes. An elderly person suffering abuse may appear withdrawn, distracted, or depressed during your visits with him or her.
- Repeat falls. This is an indication the nursing home has failed to account for the victim’s individual falling risk.
- Bedsores. If a nursing home resident develops bedsores, staff members failed to properly reposition him or her on an acceptable schedule.
As a part of the Nursing Home Virtual Visitation Act, a new law permits patients and their families to install cameras in their rooms. The cameras are voluntary, but will help families keep track of their loved one’s care.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
Several factors determine the value of a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. The first issue is economic damages, such as the cost of necessary additional medical expenses resulting from abuse or neglect. The family may also lose income due to time spent caring for an abused or neglected loved one. Other factors that may also come into play include:
- The age of the victim. Younger victims tend to receive more recovery since they generally have longer life expectancy than older victims.
- The overall health of the victim. A victim in relatively good health who experiences a sharp decline due to abuse or neglect will likely receive substantial recovery.
- The extent of the abuse or neglect. Overt and intentional abuse will not only lead to more significant recovery for the victim but also more severe penalties for the offender.
The financial recovery possible is only one potential benefit of a successful nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. These cases often effect real change in the nursing home industry and may even contribute to the passage of new legislation to protect other nursing home residents.
If you believe your loved one experienced abuse or neglect in a Louisiana nursing home, contact us today and we will help you determine your grounds for legal action against the responsible parties.