legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Nashville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Over 40% of nursing homes in Tennessee have been cited for substandard care. Hundreds of nursing home residents suffer abuse and neglect every year instead of receiving the quality care they deserve. And for many victims and their families, the consequences of nursing home mistreatment go beyond physical injuries.
For this reason, the personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, attorneys work tirelessly to defend the legal rights of disabled and elderly individuals in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Has your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in their nursing home? The affiliate Tennessee personal injury attorneys can help you hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. Call our Nashville nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes physical or psychological harm to a resident in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. It can result from carelessness, negligence, or medical malpractice and may be intentional or unintentional.
Elder abuse is a type of nursing home mistreatment against residents aged 60 and above. Since over 90% of residents in care facilities are senior citizens, elder abuse is the most common type of nursing home abuse.Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse of a nursing home resident can occur in many forms, including:
Physical abuse is an intentional act that causes a patient pain, injury, or impairment. It includes but is not limited to actions such as slapping, burning, pinching, shoving, kicking, and physical restraint without medical reasons.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Unexplained injuries (e.g., bruises, sprains, cuts, burns)
- Broken bones
- Broken eyeglasses
- Restraint or grip markings
- Anxiety, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Psychological abuse, also known as mental or emotional abuse, involves verbal or non-verbal acts that cause psychological harm to a resident. It may include regular occurrences of verbal assault, intimidation, criticism, gaslighting, isolation or confinement, and coercion.
Signs of Psychological Abuse
- Sudden changes in behavior or personality
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
- Anxiety or depression
- Frequent crying
- Sleep problems
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact with a patient, such as groping, sodomy, and rape. It may also include forced nudity and verbal sexual harassment. Sexual contact with a person who cannot give valid consent (e.g., a mentally disabled individual) is also sexual abuse.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Unexplained injuries around the breasts or genitals
- Genital infections or sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
Financial abuse or exploitation involves misusing or controlling a patient’s resources. It includes but is not limited to actions like using credit cards without permission, coercing a patient to transfer money to personal bank accounts, stealing valuables from a patient’s room, and forging financial documents for personal gain.
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Unexplained financial transactions
- Missing belongings
- Fraudulent signatures on financial documents
- Lack of financial records in the facility
- Sudden changes in financial habits
Neglect is the willful or unintentional failure of a caregiver to adequately provide a patient’s basic needs, such as regular meals, clothing, medical care, and activity. Nursing home negligence usually increases a person’s health risk and may lead to injury, illness, or even wrongful death.
Signs of Neglect
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Poor hygiene
- Untreated medical conditions
- Untaken medication
- Inappropriate clothing for the weather
- Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
Unless your loved one tells you about the abuse, you may not notice the signs until it’s too late. Signs of mistreatment are not always obvious; sometimes, they mimic mental illness or dementia indicators.
Aside from physical signs, look out for changes in behavior or personality. If your loved one starts acting strangely, watch out for other red flags that may indicate mistreatment. Talk to their primary caregivers and other patients. Consult a doctor about possible signs of mental illness or dementia.
If you think that your loved one is suffering from mistreatment in their nursing home, contact law enforcement as soon as possible and remove them from the premises.Causes of Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents are more at risk of mistreatment if the following issues are present in their facility:
- Lack of employee training or qualifications
- Underpaid staff
- Poor management
Although anyone can become a victim of nursing home abuse, neglect, or mistreatment, the following residents are more susceptible:
- Residents with physical disabilities
- Residents with a cognitive impairment
- Residents with access to wealth
- Women and children
- Patients with additional needs
- Residents with mental illness
Nursing home abuse victims and their family members often suffer significant problems after the mistreatment, including:
- Physical injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced family or societal ties
- Monetary losses
In severe nursing home abuse cases, victims suffer a wrongful death due to the injuries or illnesses caused by the mistreatment. It is common among older adults who are more vulnerable due to their age. Elder neglect and abuse are among the most common causes of premature death in senior care facilities.Reporting Nashville Nursing Home Abuse
You can report known or suspected abuse in a care facility to the Nashville Police Department. However, if you think your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger, call 911.
You can also file a complaint to the following Tennessee agencies:
- Department of Health Division of Health Care Facilities
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Office of Attorney General
- Commission on Aging and Disability
Remove your family member from the premises if you think they suffer abuse or neglect in their care facility. Even if the mistreatment is not yet confirmed, it is better to err on the side of caution.Filing a Nashville Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing homes and other care facilities are legally obligated to provide residents with a safe, healthy environment. Therefore, causing or failing to prevent mistreatment is grounds for a claim or lawsuit.
Your family can take legal action against responsible parties by filing a personal injury claim. In doing so, you could recover the damages caused by your loved one’s mistreatment.
Your nursing home abuse case may involve any of the following parties:
- Nursing home staff members
- Other residents
The facility owner or operator will most likely be held liable, even if a staff member or a visitor caused the mistreatment.
Your family could recover the following damages through your personal injury claim:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for the cost of treating your loved one’s injuries and trauma caused by the abuse or neglect, including hospitalization, emergency transportation, surgery, medication, and therapy.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your loved one becomes disabled from the mistreatment, including the costs of mobility aids, therapy, rehabilitation, and loss of quality of life.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional injuries your loved one endured from the abuse, including physical pain and mental anguish.
- Punitive Damages: Payment on top of compensatory damages used to punish defendants for their harmful behavior.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for funeral and burial costs, predeath medical treatment, and your family’s pain and suffering if your loved one dies from the mistreatment.
Medical Malpractice vs. Nursing Home Abuse
Medical malpractice cases are often confused with nursing home abuse cases. Although they share some similarities, they are not the same in the eyes of the law.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider breaches the standard duty of care they owe to their patient, resulting in injury. Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are brought against entities with a custodial caretaking relationship to a resident, e.g., a caretaker responsible for a resident’s care 24 hours a day.
If a negligent health provider does not have a custodial relationship with the victim, you cannot sue them for nursing home abuse. However, you could sue them for medical malpractice.The Role of Your Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney is imperative to obtaining a fair settlement for your damages. They can help you:
- Explore your legal options
- Determine who is responsible for your loved one’s mistreatment
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate settlement values
- Determine the extent of your damages
- Take your case to civil court, if necessary
Proving the liability of abusive or neglectful nursing home staff, visitors, or other residents requires substantial evidence. Your nursing home abuse attorney will help you gather the following forms of evidence:
- Medical records
- Photos of your loved one’s injuries
- Witness accounts from staff members or other residents
- Incident or police reports
- Expert testimony
Most personal injury claims settle out of court to avoid hefty legal fees or drawn-out trials. Your Nashville nursing home abuse attorney will help you negotiate with the responsible party to recover a fair settlement value for your family’s losses.
However, if negotiations are unsuccessful or the nursing home denies liability for the abuse, your lawyer could file a civil lawsuit. A judge or jury will hear evidence from both parties and decide if the defendant deserves to pay compensation to the plaintiff (victim).
Your lawyer will explain the implications of litigation during your free consultation.
The Statute of Limitations
According to Tennessee Code Section 28-3-104, you have one year from the date of the incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss the deadline and still file a case, the defendant could file a motion to dismiss the case.Hire a Nashville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Case
Nursing homes should provide proper care and attention to all residents, regardless of age, condition, and financial status. Unfortunately, many facilities fail to meet this legal obligation, leading to unnecessary pain and suffering for vulnerable individuals.
Are you or your loved one suffering abuse in a nursing home? The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, could help you recover the financial compensation your family deserves. Our nursing home abuse lawyers have been recovering significant settlement amounts for victims and holding negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions.
Contact our affiliate Nashville office today at (800) 926-7565 or through the online contact form for a free consultation. All information you share with our legal team will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.
We handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our services are free unless we win your case.