legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
St. George Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
No one should ever be victimized by nursing home abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, abuse and mistreatment occur more often than many realize.
Some studies show that one-third of all nursing home patients will be abuse victims during their time in a care facility. The disabled and elderly are most at risk of being mistreated.
Have you or a beloved family member been harmed by mistreatment while residing in a St. George long-term care facility? Our affiliate Utah personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC fight on behalf of injured parties to seek justice and hold responsible people legally accountable.
Contact our St. George nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.Understanding Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), nursing home abuse and neglect are the most common type of abuse in America. Victims of nursing home abuse often suffer in silence because they feel helpless or embarrassed to speak out against their abuser.
Nursing home staff, administrators, and caregivers who engage in abusive behavior can be held accountable for any of your loved one’s injuries. An abuser can be any visitor, friend, family member, outsourced employee, or another patient who can also be held civilly liable for harm suffered from abuse or neglect.National Statistics
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that over 2.1 million adults currently reside in more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide.
Approximately 90% of nursing home patients require help with at least two Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as bathing and grooming. More than one-third of all patients suffer from a cognitive impairment that significantly impairs their decision-making abilities.Utah Statistics
In Utah, over 100 nursing facilities care for close to 12,000 residents. Most of these long-term care facilities participate in Medicaid, a federal and state program that helps low-income adults pay for necessary nursing home care.
According to the Utah Health Policy Project, more than 60% of all nursing home patients depend on Medicaid to pay their bills.
Unfortunately, this leaves many vulnerable individuals at risk of being abused or neglected because understaffed facilities often cut corners to save money. As a result, patients may not receive the quality of care they deserve and are at risk of being harmed by abuse and neglect.
Fortunately, a nursing home abuse attorney will understand these financial restrictions and can complete a free case review and represent your case on a contingency fee basis. An attorney will cover the cost of filing your claim; you only pay if they win your abuse and neglect case.Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines nursing home abuse and neglect as any action or inaction that causes harm to a nursing home resident.
Abuse is intentional harm caused by a caregiver or other individual, while neglecting results from a caregiver’s failure to provide adequate care. Abuse and neglect can be unintentional as well as on purpose.Physical Abuse
Caregivers, employees, other residents, family members, friends, visitors, and others can physically harm patients by pushing, hitting, punching, spitting, and using restraints.
Physical assault is not always easy to spot because abusers often target areas of the body that are not visible, such as the resident’s thighs, buttocks, and genital area. Sometimes, a caregiver may cause physical harm by overmedicating or failing to provide adequate medical care.Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is any sexual contact or behavior without the victim’s consent, placing them in immediate danger. This abusive activity can include rape, sodomy, forced nudity, and unwanted touching. Unfortunately, sexual abuse in nursing homes is not uncommon.
A National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) study found that 4% of nursing home patients had been victims of sexual abuse the previous year. In addition, nearly 10% of residents reported being sexually harassed by staff members, other residents, or visitors.Emotional Abuse
Caregivers and others can abuse nursing home residents emotionally through verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, and social isolation. This abuse often leads to mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and fear.
In some cases, emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse because it can cause long-term psychological damage with severe consequences.Financial Abuse
Financial abuse is the unauthorized taking of a nursing home resident’s money or property by a caregiver or another individual. Financial exploitation includes stealing cash, checks, credit cards, jewelry, and other valuables.
It also includes forging the resident’s signature on financial documents or using their money without permission. Financial abuse is a severe problem in nursing homes because it can leave residents impoverished and vulnerable to further exploitation.Neglect
Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide adequate care, which can include basic needs like food, water, and medical attention.
It can also include failing to assist with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and using the restroom. In some cases, neglectful caregivers may withhold medications or necessary medical treatments.Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Abuse can take many forms, but some signs and symptoms are more common than others. If you notice any of the following signs or changes in a loved one’s behavior, it could be an indication that they are being abused or neglected:
- Bruises, cuts, scratches, or pressure marks
- Broken bones
- Sprains or dislocations
- Open wounds
- Head injuries
- Weight loss or gain
- Soiled clothing or bedding
- Dirty hair or skin (poor personal hygiene)
- Bad body odor
- Untreated medical conditions
- Anxiety or depression
- Isolation from family and friends
- Fearfulness or agitation around certain people
- Sudden changes in appetite
- Unusual mood swings or behavioral changes
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Depression or sudden changes in their emotional state
- Fearfulness or anxiety around specific individuals
- Sudden changes in financial status or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
- Missing personal belongings
If you notice a loved one showing these signs when alone or around a particular resident or caregiver, take them to a safe place to allow them an opportunity to talk. Let that person tell you what happened to them.
After gathering enough evidence, make a report as soon as possible to the appropriate authorities; if you wait, there could be serious consequences.Hire St. George Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Do you suspect abuse or negligence at a nursing home or assisted living care facility harmed your loved one? Did they develop preventable pressure sores or were abused by staff members or other patients? Your loved one and your family have legal rights.
Contact our Utah nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 925-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation with our legal firm to discuss your claim. Our personal injury lawyers accept all nursing home abuse cases on contingency, meaning no upfront fees are paid until our attorneys resolve your claim.What to Expect When Filing a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Case
Our nursing home lawyers have years of experience in holding assisted living facilities and nursing homes legally liable for harming residents through abuse and neglect. Our personal injury attorneys ensure that our clients receive maximum compensation when resolving their abuse or neglect case for the harm suffered by another's actions.
Filing a civil lawsuit or compensation claim is the first step to financial recovery. Under Utah law, our nursing home abuse lawyers must prove the four elements of civil tort law, including:
- The at-fault party had a duty of care to the victim
- The at-fault party breached their duty of care
- The breach of duty of care directly caused the victim's injuries or death
- The victim suffered financial damages as a direct result of their injuries or death
Depending on the severity and extent of the victim's injuries, they may be able to recover economic and non-economic damages. Injury lawyers can advise you and your loved one about how strong your case is. Schedule an appointment with an attorney before your case's statute of limitations runs out.
Economic damages are financial losses that have a specific dollar amount, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Hospitalization costs
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Funeral expenses.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they do not have a set monetary value. These damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, disability, and loss of consortium.
In some cases, a lawyer may advise seeking punitive damages because the at-fault party's actions were particularly egregious or showed a wanton disregard for the victim's safety.
These damages are not meant to compensate the victim but rather to punish the at-fault party for their actions and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.What is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Utah?
Utah has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, including nursing home abuse and neglect cases. This limitation means that you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the incident, or you will be barred from pursuing a monetary recovery.
There are some exceptions to this rule, so it is essential to discuss your case with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer is great to have on your side when getting this processed quickly for your loved one before it's too late.When Nursing Homes are Legally Liable for Negligence or Abuse
Any individual, entity, or business harming a nursing home resident could be held accountable for the victim's damages. The legal responsibility exists even if they are never charged with a related crime.
Many factors could lead to a civil negligence or abuse case against the long-term care facility, including:
- A failure to provide security to ensure everyone's safety
- A failure to follow established hiring practices, protocols, and procedures like running background checks and validating references
- Not developing, implementing, and enforcing safety protocols, procedures, and policies
- Not maintaining adequate staffing to ensure every resident's needs are met promptly.
- Failing to provide sufficient training to staff members
- Not investigating or taking action after an abuse or neglect allegation has been made
- Violating safety and health codes required at every long-term care facility
- Failing to follow state and federal reporting protocols when abuse or negligence is identified
- Failing to notify state agencies of documented complaints
- Not informing family members of any change in their loved one's mental or health status
- Not transporting a resident to a local hospital for treatment if required
- Failing to maintain a safe environment free of accidents and hazards
- Not routinely conducting facility inspections to ensure resident safety
- Failing to maintain hot water at safe levels to prevent water-related burns
- Failing to have an adequate plan in place to deal with evacuation during a fire or other emergency
Was your loved one injured, or did they die due to nursing home abuse or negligence? You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the facility, owner, administrator, employees, or other responsible parties.
You could also file a claim with the state's elder abuse registry, report to local authorities like the police, or submit a formal complaint to the Utah Adult Protective Services agency about your loved one’s injuries or wrongful death. These agencies can investigate the allegations and take action to protect your loved one from further harm.
You should also contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options and whether you are entitled to a monetary recovery for your damages. Our personal injury lawyers can provide immediate legal assistance during your free case review.Hire St. George Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Our Law Firm to Resolve Your Compensation Case
Do you suspect abuse or negligence at a nursing home or assisted living care facility harmed your loved one? Did they develop preventable pressure sores or were abused by staff members or other patients? Your loved one has legal rights, and we have a knowledgeable lawyer to inform you about them.
Contact our Utah nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation with our affiliate team of attorneys to discuss your claim.
Once you contact us and develop an attorney-client relationship, you will have a confidential council about what is best to do for your loved one.
Our personal injury lawyers accept all nursing home abuse cases on contingency, meaning no upfront fees are paid for legal services until your nursing home abuse attorney resolves your claim.Resources: