legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Peoria Arizona Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
According to the US census, 18% of people in Arizona are aged 65 or older, which is slightly higher than the national average. Many of these senior citizens settle in places like Peoria, where communities cater to the needs of older adults.
Peoria is a central suburb in Phoenix that houses more than fifty nursing homes. Nursing home residents are disabled and elderly individuals who need special care and attention, which their families cannot provide.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes meet the needs of their residents. Sometimes, nursing home residents even suffer intentional harm from the people who are supposed to be keeping them safe. Nursing home abuse or neglect is a serious problem quickly becoming a national public health issue, and our attorneys are working tirelessly to protect victims’ legal rights.
If your loved one was the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, our affiliate Arizona personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you seek the justice your family deserves.
Call our Peoria nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use this contact form to schedule a free consultation. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team will remain protected under an attorney-client relationship.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act or failure to act by a caregiver that causes physical and psychological harm to a nursing home resident.
Perpetrators of nursing home abuse can be staff members, visitors, and fellow residents.Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) classifies elder abuse into seven different types. Five types apply to seniors in nursing homes (as well as disabled individuals of all ages), including:
Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force against a resident, resulting in pain, injury, or impairment. This type of abuse includes but is not limited to kicking, punching, slapping, pinching, and burning.
Signs of Physical Abuse:
- Unexplained injuries (e.g., bruises, cuts, burns)
- Broken bones
- Signs of trauma (e.g., rocking back and forth, withdrawn behavior)
- Broken eyeglasses
- Strange or fearful behavior around specific persons
Mental or emotional abuse is the infliction of psychological harm on a patient. It involves the intentional use of verbal and non-verbal actions to manipulate, hurt, or frighten a person; influence their thoughts and actions, or harm their well-being.
Psychological abuse includes but is not limited to verbal assault, confinement, intimidation, humiliation, and constant criticism.
Signs of Psychological Abuse:
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Strange behavior around specific people
- Being extremely withdrawn or non-communicative
- Mental health disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety)
- Sudden weight loss
Sexual abuse is using bodily force or verbal threats to conduct unwanted sexual contact with a resident. It includes but is not limited to non-consensual touching, verbal sexual harassment, forced nudity, and rape.
Signs of Sexual Abuse:
- Unexplained bruises around the breasts or genitals
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Torn or bloody clothing
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Suddenly being reluctant to engage in physical affection
- Sudden onset of genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Financial abuse or exploitation is illegally manipulating or controlling a resident’s resources. It includes forging checks, using credit cards without authorization, stealing valuables, and other forms of monetary fraud.
Signs of Financial Abuse:
- Unexplained transactions on bank accounts or credit cards
- The sudden disappearance of valuables
- Sudden changes in financial habits
Neglect is the intentional (active) or unintentional (passive) failure to provide a patient’s basic needs, including adequate nutrition, medical care, water, proper hygiene, shelter, and clothing. Nursing home neglect often causes physical and emotional harm to residents, especially those entirely dependent on others for their needs.
Signs of Neglect:
- Untreated physical conditions (e.g., bed sores)
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Malnourishment and dehydration
- Improper clothing for the weather
- Worsening of existing health conditions
- Changes in behavior
- Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
The signs of abuse and neglect are not always obvious, such as broken bones or other physical injuries. In some cases, mistreatment will manifest through changes in behavior or personality. With that in mind, you must pay attention to your loved one’s demeanor whenever you visit.
Elder mistreatment may also mimic common signs of dementia or other degenerative diseases, such as rocking back and forth, mood changes, aggression, and difficulty sleeping. If you are unsure if your loved one is a victim of abuse or exhibiting signs of dementia, consult a specialist.Nursing Home Residents With Higher Risk of Mistreatment
Most nursing facility patients are not entirely safe from mistreatment, regardless of the quality of their facility. However, a resident has a higher risk of abuse and neglect if they are:
- Mentally or physically disabled
- A woman or child
- Not visited frequently by family
- Entirely dependent on others for their needs
- In an understaffed nursing home
Elders are especially at risk for complications from severe injuries, such as broken bones or head trauma. If your elderly loved one sustained injuries while in a nursing facility, remove them from the premises as soon as possible.Effects of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Nursing facility mistreatment leads to many adverse effects on victims including:
- Pain and bodily injury
- Emotional distress
- Worsening of existing conditions
- Loss of quality of life
- Changes in family and societal ties
- Monetary losses
- Wrongful death
Residents are more at risk of suffering abuse or neglect if the following problems are present in the facility:
- Underqualified or poorly trained staff members
- Underpaid staff
- Disgruntled employees
- Poor management
- Lack of resources (e.g., equipment, medical aids, space)
If you notice these issues in your loved one’s facility, try to transfer them to another nursing home where they can receive quality care.Reporting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Peoria
If you think that your loved one or another resident is suffering mistreatment in their nursing facility, contact the Peoria Police Department for help. The police will investigate your suspicions and--if they find enough evidence against the perpetrator--may file criminal charges.
You can also contact Arizona’s Adult Protective Services (APS) or local ombudsman programs in Peoria to report the mistreatment of your loved one.
Contact emergency services if you think your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger.Filing a Peoria Nursing Home Abuse Case
According to the law, nursing facilities owe residents a standard duty of care. Thus, any harm to a resident resulting from carelessness, maliciousness, or negligence may be subject to a claim or lawsuit.
Family members of abused residents can hold negligent nursing homes accountable by filing a personal injury claim with the help of a lawyer.
Perpetrators of abuse or neglect against nursing facility patients may include:
- Medical staff (e.g., nurses, doctors)
- Other staff members (e.g., sanitation crew, security personnel)
- Fellow residents
- Nursing home administrators
Even if only a single staff member is responsible for the abuse or neglect, the nursing facility could be held liable for failing to prevent abuse within their facility.
In some abuse or neglect cases, multiple parties are held accountable for mistreating nursing home patients. A free consultation with one of our Peoria AZ nursing home abuse lawyers can help determine who should be held liable for your particular case.
Proving the liability of your loved one’s nursing home will require strong evidence, such as:
- Photos and videos of your loved one’s injuries
- Medical records, including psychological evaluations of your loved one
- Incident and police reports
- Video evidence of the mistreatment, if available (e.g., security camera footage)
- Witness accounts from staff members or other residents
One of our abuse and neglect attorneys will tell you what evidence you need to collect during your free consultation. Your attorney will also help you gather these forms of evidence if you cannot do it alone.
Filing a personal injury claim against your loved one’s nursing facility can help your family recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for the cost of treating your loved one’s physical injuries and trauma, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, surgery, and emergency transportation.
- Disability: If your loved one becomes disabled from abuse or neglect, you could recover your losses from medical treatment, mobility aids, and rehabilitation therapy.
- Pain and Suffering: Legal recompense for your loved one’s physical pain and mental distress.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Payment for your loved one’s reduced independence, loss of enjoyment in daily life, decreased societal ties, etc.
- Wrongful Death: If your loved one dies from the abuse or neglect, you could recover the costs of the funeral and burial, your family’s grief, your loved one’s medical treatment, etc.
- Punitive Damages: Legal recompense paid in addition to compensatory damages to punish the defendant’s harmful behavior against your loved one and other residents.
Settlement values vary from case to case, depending on the type and extent of the damages. A free consultation with our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers will help you estimate a fair settlement amount for your family’s damages.
The Role of Peoria Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Taking legal action against a negligent nursing home may be difficult without the help of an attorney. That said, hiring a skilled attorney to handle your nursing home abuse case is often crucial to obtaining a fair amount.
A nursing home lawyer can help you:
- File a claim against the at-fault parties
- Gather evidence to strengthen your claim
- Negotiate settlement values
- File your case in court, if needed
Most cases of nursing home abuse and neglect settle out of court. However, if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful or the nursing facility denies accountability for their negligent actions, your lawyer could take the case to a civil court.
If this happens, a judge or jury will hear both sides of the story and determine a verdict. Your attorney will serve as your legal representation during litigation and present evidence to prove the defendant’s liability.
The Statute of Limitations in Arizona
Arizona residents have two years from when the injury or mistreatment was discovered to file a personal injury case. If injuries appear later, victims have one year from the date of discovery to file a claim.Contact a Peoria Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Case
Every nursing home resident should receive proper care and attention. If a nursing home fails to give your loved one adequate care or causes deliberate harm to them, your family has the legal right to pursue damages.
The Peoria nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help your family recover financial compensation through litigation or out-of-court settlement. Our affiliate Arizona team of accomplished attorneys has extensive experience handling cases involving abuse and neglect in nursing homes throughout Central Arizona.
Contact our Peoria, AZ law offices at (800) 926-7565 or through the online contact form to schedule a free consultation. One of our attorneys will discuss your particular legal matter and walk you through your legal options.
All information concerning your nursing home abuse case will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship. We handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning there are no upfront fees. We collect payment only if we win your case.
Look here for additional information on Arizona laws and nursing homes.