legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Yuma Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Known as the “Sunniest City on Earth,” Yuma is one of the top travel destinations in Arizona. It is home to over 200,000 people; 13% are seniors and 7.4% with a disability under 65.
Nursing homes cater to the elderly and disabled residents of Yuma, and they are required by law to give all patients the care and attention they need to thrive. Unfortunately, not all nursing facilities in Yuma reflect the sunny quality of the small city, and some nursing home residents suffer from mistreatment and neglect.
If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, the affiliate Arizona personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you seek financial compensation for their pain and suffering.
Contact our Yuma nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 to schedule a free consultation. Our nursing home abuse lawyers will help you recover your family’s losses and hold negligent parties accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
All information you share with our legal team during your case evaluation will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes bodily or psychological harm to a resident. On the other hand, neglect is a form of mistreatment involving a staff member's failure to provide for a patient’s basic needs.
According to the law, elder abuse is the mistreatment of a person aged 60 and older. Over 90% of nursing home patients are senior citizens, making elder abuse the most common form of nursing home abuse.Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Mistreatment in nursing homes and long-term care facilities can occur in many ways, including:
Physical abuse is any deliberate act that causes injury or trauma to a resident. It includes but is not limited to actions such as kicking, slapping, burning, pinching, and shoving.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Unexplainable injuries (e.g., bruises, cuts, burns, sprains)
- Broken bones
- Signs of restraint (e.g., bruised wrists or ankles)
- Broken eyeglasses
Mental or emotional abuse involves verbal or non-verbal acts to inflict psychological harm on a facility resident. Perpetrators commit mental or emotional abuse to control the thoughts and actions of a vulnerable person; strip their dignity, or undermine their feelings of independence and self-worth.
Mental or emotional abuse can involve intimidation, constant criticism, humiliation, gaslighting, and verbal assault.
Signs of Psychological Abuse
- Sudden changes in behavior or personality
- Being withdrawn or non-communicative
- Strange behavior around certain people
- Loss of self-esteem
- Mental health disorders
- Unexplained weight loss
Sexual abuse involves non-consensual sexual contact with a resident through force or intimidation. It includes but is not limited to unwanted touching, verbal sexual harassment, forced nudity, sodomy, and rape.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Unusual injuries around the breasts or genitals
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Sudden changes in behavior or personality
Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide a patient’s basic needs, such as food, water, clothing, and medical care, resulting in harm to the neglected person. Nursing home neglect can be intentional (e.g., when a staff member refuses to provide food to a difficult patient) or unintentional (e.g., when a patient is not bathed enough due to a lack of employees).
Indicators of Neglect
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Poor hygiene
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Inappropriate clothing for the weather
- Untreated medical conditions (e.g., bed sores)
- Untaken medication
- Unexplained weight loss
Financial abuse is the misuse or theft of another person’s money, assets, or belongings through intimidation, coercion, or deception. Financial exploitation may involve manipulating bank account information, making unauthorized transactions on credit cards, and stealing valuables from a patient’s room.
Who is Most at Risk?
Indicators of Financial Exploitation
- Unexplained transactions on bank accounts or credit cards
- Sudden changes in financial habits
- Missing belongings
- Fraudulent signatures on financial documents
- Lack of financial records in the facility
All nursing home residents can become victims of mistreatment. However, these groups are more vulnerable:
- Elderly people who are entirely dependent on others for care
- People with disabilities
- Women and young children
- Patients who do not get frequent visits from family
Nursing home abuse is often the result of multiple factors, including:
- Understaffing: When there are not enough staff members to care for all residents, mistreatment is more likely due to high-stress environments and a lack of workforce.
- Poorly Trained or Underqualified Staff: Employees who are not adequately trained may be unable to care for residents with special needs.
- Poor Management: A lack of organization or proper management can lead to mistreatment due to disgruntled employees and inadequate supervision.
- Lack of Background Checks: Nursing facilities that don’t conduct proper research on the people they hire may risk their residents suffering from mistreatment.
The effects of mistreatment on nursing home residents and their families include:
- Bodily injuries
- Worsening health conditions
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of quality of life
- Monetary losses
- Wrongful death
Report known or suspected nursing facility mistreatment to the Yuma Police Department. Contact emergency services if you think your family member is in immediate danger or in dire need of medical care. Remove them from the premises until you can contact a legal team.
You can also contact:
- Department of Health Services
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Area Agency on Aging
Yuma city law enforcement may file criminal charges against perpetrators if the mistreatment is egregious. According to the law, the punishment for abusing an elderly person can range from fines to prison time.Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Residents and their families can hold negligent nursing facilities accountable by filing personal injury claims. If your loved one suffered mistreatment in their nursing home, a Yuma nursing home abuse lawyer could assist you with your case.
Mistreatment can result from the actions or inaction of:
- Nursing facility employees
- Other residents
In most cases, nursing facilities will be held liable even if only one person or another resident is responsible for the mistreatment. All nursing facilities are required by law to ensure the safety and health of their residents, and failing to prevent mistreatment may serve as grounds for a claim or lawsuit.
You will likely be able to determine who should be liable for your loved one’s mistreatment during your free case evaluation.
The following forms of evidence may be necessary to prove the liability of responsible parties in personal injury claims:
- Photos and videos of your loved one’s injury
- Medical records
- Psychological evaluation
- Financial records, in case of financial exploitation
- Witness accounts from staff members or other residents
- Expert testimony
Video evidence may also serve as infallible proof in your case. However, the law forbids putting surveillance cameras in patient rooms without the consent of its occupant and if the room has multiple patients. Check the surveillance law in Yuma County if you plan to put cameras in your loved one’s room.
Our lawyers will tell you what evidence you need to collect during your free consultation.
You may be able to include the following damages in your claim:
- Medical Bills: Payment for medical care of your loved one’s trauma or injuries, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, therapy, and emergency transportation.
- Disability: Payment for disability-related costs if your loved one becomes disabled from the mistreatment. These costs may include mobility aids, therapy, rehabilitation, etc.
- Pain and Suffering: Legal recompense for your loved one’s pain and mental anguish.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for the decrease of your loved one’s enjoyment of life after the mistreatment.
- Wrongful Death: Legal recompense for funeral and burial costs, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and your family’s grief from your loved one’s death.
- Punitive Damages: Payment in addition to compensatory damages used to punish defendants for their harmful behavior.
A free case evaluation with one of our attorneys will help you determine the extent of your damages and how it may affect the value of your settlement.
The nursing facility may offer you a settlement after filing a personal injury claim. You can no longer sue for additional damages if you accept the payment. However, the law may permit certain circumstances, e.g., when the victim is a minor at the time of the injury.
If negotiations are unsuccessful or the facility denies responsibility for the mistreatment, you could file a lawsuit under civil law. A judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and determine a verdict.
Ask our lawyers about the implications of filing a civil claim during your free case evaluation.
The Statute of Limitations
Unless there are extraordinary circumstances in your case, the law states that you have two years from when the mistreatment or injury is discovered to file a claim. If injuries appear later, you have one year from the date of discovery to file a claim. (ARS 12-542)
Our attorneys will assist you with filing a claim within the statute of limitations. Our legal team will provide information during your free consultation if you are unsure when to file a claim.
The Role of Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Legal representation is crucial to recovering compensation for your disabled or elderly loved one. Your legal team can help you:
- Prove the liability of at-fault parties
- Determine the extent of your loved one’s injuries
- Gather evidence to support your claim
- File your claim within the statute of limitations
- Negotiate settlement values
- Handle legal paperwork
- Take your case to civil court, if necessary
You can further discuss the role of your legal team during your free case evaluation with Nursing Home Law Center, LLC.Schedule a Free Consultation With a Yuma Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
According to the law, nursing home residents deserve the best possible care from nursing facilities and their constituents. If your disabled or elderly loved one does not receive the level of care they are entitled to--or suffers malicious actions from others--you have the right to seek legal compensation.
The skilled attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, work tirelessly to give victims of nursing home abuse the justice they deserve. We help families recover fair financial compensation through litigation or out-of-court settlements and hold negligent nursing facilities accountable for their actions.
Contact our affiliate nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or through an online contact form for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys will assist you in your case and serve as legal representation throughout the process.
All sensitive information you share during your free consultation will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship. Our lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our services unless we win.
Look here for additional information on Arizona laws and nursing homes.