legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
San Bernardino Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Putting a disabled or elderly loved one in a nursing home is never easy. However, most San Bernardino families have no choice but to entrust their loved ones to institutions with the people, facilities, and technology to provide the care and attention they need.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes operate at optimal standards of care. In San Bernardino County, around 34% of nursing homes are deemed below average according to Medicare ratings.
Many substandard nursing homes are rife with cases of neglect and abuse. Thousands of nursing home residents suffer mistreatment at the hands of the people supposed to care for them. This mistreatment often leads to injuries, pain, mental trauma, and early death.
If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in their San Bernardino nursing home, our California affiliate personal injury lawyers can help you recover the financial compensation your family deserves.
Contact the affiliate nursing home abuse attorneys (800-926-7565) at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information our clients share with our lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is the intentional mistreatment of a patient residing in a nursing home, resulting in physical, mental, or financial harm. On the other hand, nursing home neglect is the failure to provide for a resident’s physical, emotional, and social needs, causing that person harm or an increased risk of injury.
Over 90% of nursing home residents are 60 and above, making elder abuse the most common type in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The law defines elder abuse as the knowing, intentional, or negligent act that causes harm to an older adult.
Unfortunately, the rates of elder abuse in the US are rising as the older populations grow. According to the National Institute of Aging (NCOA), as many as 5 million older Americans each year suffer elder abuse. Nursing homes and other senior care facilities are among the places with the highest prevalence of elder abuse.
In 2022, the World Health Organization reported that 2 in 3 nursing home staff members admitted to committing elder abuse. And with the growing aging population, nursing home abuse is a growing public health issue.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. The most common ones include:
- Physical Abuse: The deliberate use of physical force against a resident, inflicting pain and injury. Physical abuse includes but is not limited to slapping, kicking, pushing, and restraining without a medical reason.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse: The infliction of mental anguish, pain, or distress upon a resident through verbal or non-verbal actions. Mental or emotional abuse can include threatening, isolating, intimidation, humiliation, and verbal assault.
- Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact with a nursing home patient, such as touching, coerced nudity, verbal harassment, and rape.
- Financial Abuse: The unauthorized or illegal manipulation of an elderly person’s resources could be financial abuse that includes but is not limited to forging checks, making unauthorized credit card transactions, stealing valuables, and providing unnecessary services.
- Neglect: The failure to provide a resident’s needs, such as food, water, medical treatment, clothing, hygiene, and safe living conditions. It may be intentional or unintentional. Nursing home negligence resulting in neglect increases a patient’s risk of injury, disease, and mental distress.
The rates of abuse among nursing home patients are higher in facilities with the following problems:
- Unqualified or Poorly Trained Staff: Employees with substandard qualifications or training are more likely to commit nursing home negligence, whether intentional or not.
- Understaffing: Some nursing homes and assisted living facilities hire fewer employees to save money or increase profits. However, this often leads to higher rates of neglect since there are not enough employees to care for all residents. Furthermore, understaffing creates high-stress environments, which may increase the risk of abuse.
- Poor Management: Nursing home staff members may not be able to provide proper care to all residents if management is operating at substandard levels. Similarly, management may be unable to mitigate nursing home negligence due to a lack of resources.
Contact local San Bernardino law enforcement and remove your family member from the nursing home if they display the following warning signs:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, and other injuries
- Broken bones
- Signs of confinement or restraint (e.g., bruised wrists)
- Broken eyeglasses
- Sudden change in behavior
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Being extraordinarily withdrawn or non-responsive
- Unusual behavior usually associated with dementia (e.g., sucking, rocking back and forth)
- Unexplained injury around the breasts, anus, or genitals
- Unexplained genital infections
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Sudden onset of sexually-transmitted diseases
- Unexplained transactions on bank accounts or credit cards
- Unexplained disappearance of belongings
- Forged signatures on financial documents
- Untreated health problems (e.g., bedsores)
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Poor personal hygiene
Remember that elder abuse can mimic the signs of dementia and other degenerative diseases. If you are unsure whether you see signs of abuse or illness, take your elderly family member to a doctor outside their San Bernardino nursing home.Effects of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to severe consequences for victims and their families, including:
- Physical injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Worsening of existing health conditions
- The loss of quality of life
- Monetary losses
- Untimely death
Victims and their families can file personal injury claims to recover financial compensation for nursing home neglect and abuse. If your loved one was a victim of mistreatment in a San Bernardino nursing home, contact our nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as possible.
A San Bernardino nursing home abuse attorney can help you:
- File a claim against the nursing home
- Gather evidence to prove liability
- Negotiate the settlement value
Nursing home neglect or abuse may be the act of a single person or multiple people. Perpetrators can be:
- Nursing home employees (nurses, doctors, orderlies, sanitation crew, etc.)
- Other nursing home residents
- Nursing home operator or owner
Proving the fault of your loved one’s nursing facility is necessary to be able to file a claim. The following forms of evidence can be helpful in your San Bernardino nursing home abuse case:
- Photos and videos of your loved one’s injuries
- Surveillance video evidence of the abuse
- Pictures of unsafe living conditions
- Medical records, including psychological evaluations
- Proof of fraudulent transactions or checks, in the case of financial abuse
- Witness accounts from nursing home staff or other residents
- Expert testimony
In many elder abuse cases, victims cannot testify due to physical or mental limitations. Nevertheless, hiring an experienced attorney can help you build a strong case even if your loved one cannot provide a statement.
The value of a nursing home negligence case will depend on the extent of your damages, which could include:
- Medical Bills could include the costs of treating your loved one’s injuries and mental trauma caused by the mistreatment, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, and emergency transportation.
- Disability typically includes the expenses associated with living with a disability (if your loved one becomes disabled from the abuse), including mobility aids, rehabilitation, loss of quality of life, etc.
- Pain and Suffering: Financial compensation for your loved one’s mental anguish, physical pain, and emotional distress.
- Lost Income: Wages and other income lost by the family caring for an injured victim harmed by neglect or abuse.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Financial compensation for your loved one’s reduced independence and enjoyment of life as a result of the mistreatment.
- Wrongful Death involves legal compensation for the consequences of a resident’s wrongful death, including funeral and burial costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income (if the deceased person contributed to the family).
A free case evaluation from our experienced attorneys in San Bernardino County can help you estimate the settlement value that your family deserves.
Statute of Limitations in California
San Bernardino residents have two years to file a claim within the date of the incident or discovery of the injury. If the injury showed up later, the claim filing deadline is extended another year.
The statute of limitations may differ in certain cities or counties. Talk to a nursing home negligence attorney in San Bernardino County to ensure you file your case promptly.
Handling Insurance Companies
After you file a claim against a San Bernardino nursing home, the facility’s insurance company will reach out to offer a settlement. If the value is too low, do not accept it. You can no longer sue the facility for additional damages if you receive the payment.
Talk to a San Bernardino nursing home lawyer before signing any document from the insurance company. Similarly, do not give recorded statements or sign over any document to the insurance company without consulting a lawyer first.Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in San Bernardino County
Most nursing home neglect and abuse cases settle out of court to avoid extensive litigations and legal fees. A San Bernardino nursing home abuse attorney will help you negotiate the settlement value to ensure your family receives fair financial compensation for your damages.
However, if negotiations are unsuccessful or the defendant denies responsibility, your lawyer could file a civil lawsuit. When this happens, the judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide on a verdict.
Factors Affecting Nursing Home Abuse Verdicts
Verdicts vary from case to case. Generally, these are some of the factors that may influence how much your family receives as compensation:
- The Extent of Your Loved One’s Injuries: Juries typically award more significant verdicts to cases wherein the resident suffered severe, life-altering injuries, such as spinal cord trauma, severe traumatic brain injuries, and lacerations that require surgery.
- Precedence: If resolved cases are similar to yours in San Bernardino County, past verdicts may influence juries to lean a certain way.
- Jurisdiction: Cities and counties treat nursing home abuse cases differently. Thus, filing a claim in San Bernardino may yield a different verdict than when you file in another city.
- Evidence: The amount of evidence you have can affect the total value of your claim. You may have difficulty receiving adequate financial compensation if there is insufficient evidence.
- Wrongful Death: Verdicts are more significant for abuse cases that result in death.
Do you suspect that your loved one or another resident in the nursing home is suffering from mistreatment? Call the San Bernardino Police Department (SBDP) immediately. You could also report the abuse to Adult Protective Services (APS). Every California county has its own APS agency.
Call emergency services (911) if you believe your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger. Otherwise, remove your family member from the premises for the time being.
If San Bernardino police find enough evidence of egregious mistreatment in the nursing home, they could file criminal charges against the at-fault parties.Preventing Nursing Home Mistreatment
Families of disabled or elderly individuals in San Bernardino County can avoid exposing their loved ones to mistreatment by choosing nursing facilities carefully.
The California Advocates For Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) offers services that help families find quality nursing facilities in San Bernardino County. CANHR also advises on how to take legal action against an abusive or neglectful San Bernardino nursing home.
Families in the San Bernardino area can also call the California Department of Aging (CDA) to receive information on elder abuse.
The Department of Health Services Licensing and Certification Office investigates suspected mistreatment cases in San Bernardino nursing homes.Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Bernardino Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Has your loved one exhibited signs and symptoms of abuse? Do you suspect that their San Bernardino nursing home caused harm to them? If so, let Nursing Home Law Center, LLC help you seek compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
Our affiliate nursing home abuse attorneys protect the legal rights of nursing home patients all across San Bernardino County. Our affiliate attorneys remain committed to serving as legal advocates for elderly and disabled victims statewide.
Call our Southern California lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use this form for a free case evaluation.
By scheduling a free consultation, you can speak with one of our skilled attorneys to discuss how you can take legal action against the perpetrators of neglect or abuse.
All information our clients share with our network of attorneys remains confidential. We accept all care home neglect cases through contingency fee arrangements, meaning you don’t have to pay for our services unless we recover financial compensation for you.