legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Rio Rancho Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Any disruptive, inappropriate, or hostile behavior in a nursing facility is unacceptable. Do you have a loved one in a nursing home or long-term care center? Many of the victims of nursing home abuse suffered serious violations or harm through physical or verbal abuse, invasion of privacy, or inappropriate sexual behavior.
The affiliate New Mexico personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, provide legal help to many victims of gross negligence injured by those in charge of providing care. Call our Rio Rancho nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) for immediate legal advice.
Schedule a free case review with our lawyers and let us discuss your legal options for obtaining monetary recovery to ensure you are compensated for your damages.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with an attorney on our team remains private through an attorney-client relationship. Let our network of affiliate nursing homes negligence attorneys protect your family's rights if your family member was mistreated, abused, injured, or died unexpectedly from personal injury while living in a long-term care center in New Mexico.Common Signs of Abuse
As a family member of an elderly, infirm, or disabled loved one that is a resident in a nursing home facility or rehabilitation center, you should always be attentive for signs that the nursing home is mistreating your loved one.
There are common signs you can identify that should prompt further actions. They include, but are not limited to:
- Not dressed appropriately for weather conditions
- Low self-esteem
- Diminished eye contact or willingness to interact
- Physical or chemical restraints
- Bruises and marks can show someone is too rough or gripping them too tightly.
- Broken bones or injuries from a fall then could be a result of shoving
- Nursing home resident change of attitude (sudden or not)
- The elderly or infirm patient is fearful, withdrawn, or agitated
- Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
- Mood swings
- Poor hygiene and lack of cleanliness
Often times abuse victims are reluctant to tell others around them they are being abused. They could be ashamed of what’s happening, scared of retaliation, or have issues communicating what they are experiencing.
Additionally, you should pay attention if staff will not leave you alone with your loved one; this could be a sign that they’re trying to prevent your loved one from speaking with you.
If you notice any signs of nursing home abuse, then you should first take your loved one to a safe space. Consider filing a police report and getting a nursing home abuse attorney on your side to help you. A specialized attorney will be helpful in navigating the process of filing a personal injury claim.Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in New Mexico
Data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed that senior citizens experience abuse or neglect in nursing homes. New Mexico nursing home seniors could be victims of abuse and neglect, which can lead to a diminished quality of life or in some cases death.
Physical abuse is one of the most common causes of nursing home trauma. It can happen in several ways; some are easier to notice than others. Below are some examples of nursing home abuse cases that may occur in long-term care facilities:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Scratch or bite marks
- Unnecessary physical restraint
Common examples of financial abuse a patient can suffer in a New Mexico nursing home include:
- Cashing a patient’s check
- Stealing money
- Forcing the victim to sign a financial document against their will
- Taking their belongings without permission
Emotional and Psychological Abuse
If you notice a shift in your loved one’s demeanor, it could be due to trauma brought on by a singular event or ongoing incidents.
Other types of injuries are related to the mental and emotional well-being of a patient. These are typically less apparent and may develop over a long period. If the resident appears:
- Ignoring or neglecting patients
- Verbal abuse, such as constant berating and yelling can lead to humiliation, ridicule, or intimidation
- Isolation from other patients and activities
- Restriction of interaction with family members
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is common. Some signs of non-consensual sexual contact could be:
- Unexplained development of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or genital infection
- Pain, bleeding, or irritation of the genital areas from sexual assault
- Panic attacks from repeated sexual contact
- Problems walking or sitting
If you loved one has suffered sexual abuse such as inappropriate comments, unwanted touching or fondling, or even rape schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer and file a police report.
Neglect can materialize in many forms and usually slowly becomes more unbearable for the elderly individual as time goes on. Some may cause immediate jeopardy to the patient, while other conditions may cause permanent damage. Nursing home abuse and neglect often happen when nursing homes don’t have enough staff or have too many undertrained personnel.
The care facility can often be short-staffed to save the home money, and lack available people to hire, this can sometimes lead to desperately hiring staff to work without a required background check or starting them early hoping for a positive result, or poorly managed nursing homes due to high turnover rates in most facilities.
Neglect can result in:
- Bedsores: These injuries are widespread and can happen when the elderly or disabled resident is in the same spot for too long. When patients are in a bed or chair and have trouble moving on their own.
- No assistance with everyday tasks: When there is a high resident-to-staff ratio, your loved one may not receive the attention they require for day-to-day activities. Some elderly residents need help with daily tasks such as assistance with eating, dressing, bathing, using the restroom, brushing their teeth, drinking enough water, and other essential forms of care.
- Unsanitary conditions: Dirty clothes or bedsheets indicate that someone has not checked the resident, or they are checking in but not taking measures to care for your loved one. Poor hygiene can lead to infections or sepsis, and if left untreated will lead to death.
- Medication Errors: If your loved one takes medication, an overwhelmed nursing home may miss giving the residents the medication doses per the physician’s orders or make a dosage mistake. This can lead to further health complications, more medical expenses, or untimely death.
Bedsores can be painful and lead to life-threatening sepsis. If they’re not treated, it can lead to a patient’s death.
When there isn’t enough staff, this could result in missing meals and snacks, leading to rapid weight loss or malnutrition.
Nursing home neglect can also lead to the resident attempting to help themselves when they are unable to cause a fall and sustaining a serious injury if they are on their own.
Have you witnessed your elderly or disabled relative or loved one hasn’t had a change of clothes? Have you noticed that their teeth or hair haven’t been brushed, or detect an odor from lack of care? If their room is dusty or has messes that haven’t been cleaned up, your loved one could be in a state of neglect.
For any nursing home and care facility located in Albuquerque, the laws are specific to the number of staff members and the type of staff members that need to be on duty throughout the day. This ensures proper and safe care for the residents, prevents elder abuse, and can help reduce the cases of New Mexico nursing home abuse and neglect.
New Mexico nursing homes staff requirements include:
- One Director of Nursing to work full time
- One nursing staff member needs to be on duty at all times, around the clock
- Direct care is performed during staff hours and overseen by the director of nursing, assistant director, or nursing department director
- There should be one staff member for every nine to ten Albuquerque nursing home residents.
People that can be held liable for Albuquerque nursing home abuse:
- People who work directly with patients as caregivers at nursing home facilities in New Mexico (such as nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other staff.)
- Administrators or others responsible for supervising nursing home staff
- Independent contractors who maintain the equipment and necessary services (laundry, housekeeping, etc) used at the nursing homes may also have legal obligations.
The New Mexico Aging & Long-term Services Department (NMALSD) reported that nearly 3,400 long-term care facilities complained to the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program in recent years. This number was higher than the national average.
The following agencies can help you file a complaint against a nursing or long-term care facility, as well as provide you with additional information and support regarding neglect and abuse in a New Mexico nursing home:
- Adult Protective Services
- Aging and Long-Term Services Department
- NM Division of Health Improvement, Incident Management Bureau
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- Office of Attorney General
- Resource Directory
Consumers, family members, and the general public can report nursing home negligence or exploitation directly to the New Mexico Department of Health. Anyone can call a toll-free hotline 505-827-9384 or if you would rather remain anonymous, print and mail a form to their office.
Making these calls alongside a New Mexico nursing home abuse attorney corroborates the events and is a record that can substantiate your case. Our nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to help you make that vital step in securing your loved one is safe.How Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help Your Case
Nursing homes in New Mexico receiving Medicaid or Medicare funds must comply with federal regulations. All residents have “the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.”
Hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer to file your legal action on nursing home negligence holds staff accountable for their actions. In the long run, can potentially stop funding to nursing homes that receive violations from breaking federal law and standard of care guidelines.
Our affiliated nursing home abuse lawyers will analyze medical records and other evidence to see how your loved one's health was affected. Compensatory damages for elder abuse can include:
- Hospital and medical expenses
- Funds for needed resources like assistive devices
- Ongoing medical bills
- Pain and suffering
Having a team of attorneys representing the victim gives them the best chance to receive justice for the nursing home negligence!
Evidence to Prove Nursing Home Negligence
Proving an Albuquerque nursing home abuse or neglect can be extremely difficult because not all abuse leaves visible scars. However, the following are examples of evidence that may be used to prove nursing home negligence, according to our New Mexico nursing home abuse lawyers:
Staff Logs and Medical Records
Staff logs kept by the facility can help to show who was working when an injury occurred or when repeated neglect was happening in the nursing home, as well as how many employees were working at any given time, noting when nursing home neglect occurred if there was or was not required amount of staff scheduled. A specialized nursing home abuse attorney can get this evidence for your claim.
Medical records offer weight to these cases (especially in cases involving elderly physical abuse) because they provide the necessary documentation of the victim’s physical injuries, such as bruises or bed sores.
CCTV Footage and Witness Statements
If the nursing home in question utilizes security cameras, this footage may be used to prove abuse.
Statements may be taken from visitors, medical experts, nursing home employees, or other nursing home elderly residents testifying about the conditions of the nursing home or the quality of the treatment in question.Call a New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, have handled many cases of mistreatment in nursing facilities throughout the Albuquerque area, as it is one of our specialized practice areas. Our reputable Rio Rancho, NM, lawyers fight aggressively to protect our clients' rights, and to hold those at fault legally responsible, and financially accountable to each victim and family member that deserves justice.
Our affiliate lawyers have represented many clients in New Mexico victimized by caregivers and other residents at their care facilities. Our team of dedicated, experienced attorneys provides legal help to stop assisted home abuse and neglect.
Call us today at (800) 926-7565 to arrange a free consultation with one of our award-winning New Mexico nursing home abuse attorneys. Our nursing home abuse lawyers will review your legal options and discuss what we can do for you to ensure the highest chance that your case will succeed.
Our team of experienced nursing home negligence attorneys is committed to aggressively fighting for your loved one's rights. Contact our elder abuse law firm today by calling (800) 926-7565 or through an online contact form to schedule your no-obligation, free consultation for your case review.
The lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, provide a free consultation with immediate legal representation, advice, and counsel without upfront fees. All our nursing home abuse cases in New Mexico are handled on a contingency fee basis where there is never any cost to file a claim.