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Everything You Need To Know About Nursing Home Abuse Cases

By February 12, 2021No Comments
Elder abuse is hard to quantify. It is greatly underreported and much of it goes undetected. However, some research suggests that 10% of older adults have experienced abuse, including sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. Much of this abuse is perpetrated by family members, but nursing home abuse is also a significant problem. If your loved one is in a nursing home and you suspect that their caregivers are abusing them, you may want to consider contacting an attorney. Read on to learn more about finding an effective nursing home abuse lawyer. Document Abuse If you suspect that your loved one is being abused by their caregivers, document anything that leads you to suspect this. Signs to look for include: Bruises and unexplained wounds Bedsores Malnutrition and dehydration Bruising around the genitals Unexplained infections or illnesses Physical discomfort Depression and withdrawal If your loved one has unexplained injuries, be sure to document them and take pictures if possible. Keep a detailed record of everything that is happening. Try to visit your loved one at different times to see how they are being cared for on different shifts. Your attorney will also investigate the abuse, but if you have this information, you will make their job easier and help them know where to start. Look for Attorneys Who Specialize in Nursing Home Abuse If you suspect abuse and have documentation, research attorneys who specialize in nursing home abuse. There are many general practice firms who may take on these cases, but not all personal injury cases are created equal. An experienced abuse attorney understands the state laws and standards pertaining to nursing homes and assisted living facilities and knows how to negotiate with nursing home and their insurance companies. Consider Their Track Record Not only do you want an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, but you also want one who is successful at winning their cases. When you consider a potential attorney, research their track record and the settlements they've been able to win for their clients. An attorney with trial experience is also important, as your case may go to trial if your insurance company does not offer a settlement that you believe is fair. Ask your attorney about their trial experience and how many cases they've taken to trial. What to Expect from an Abuse Lawyer When you hire a nursing home abuse lawyer, you can expect that they will fully investigate your allegations of abuse. They'll use your documentation as a start and then investigate further. They may interview witnesses, including current and former employees of the nursing home or assisted living facility. They'll also review any records that the nursing home as well as medical records and any other relevant documents. Once your lawyer has established your case, they will communicate with the nursing home on your behalf and attempt to settle the case or file an administrative complaint. If this is unsuccessful, they may file a lawsuit and negotiate with the insurance company or take the case trial if you cannot settle. Do You Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer? if you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated, don't delay in contact an abuse lawyer. If an older adult is in a facility that is abusing them, you need to protect them and other residents. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are experienced in personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse cases.

An estimated 1.3 million elderly people live in a nursing home in the US. Unfortunately, many of them have experienced abuse at the hands of one or more members of the nursing home staff.

It’s important to understand that there are laws in all 50 states that protect the elderly from abuse, and this includes nursing home abuse. 

If you’re concerned that you or a loved one are the victim of nursing home abuse, it is time to work with a nursing home abuse attorney.

First, let’s talk about what constitutes nursing home abuse and what kinds of treatment violates the law. Keep reading to find out more about nursing home abuse cases.

How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?

On average, an estimated 5 million elders are abused each year. More than a third of nursing home residents have reported seeing or hearing of elder abuse occurring in the nursing home where they live. Why is this so common?

Unfortunately, many nursing homes do not adequately screen or train their employees. Oftentimes, there are not enough staff members around to attend to patients or assess the treatment the patients are receiving. Nursing home residents tend to be in a more vulnerable position mentally or physically, making it difficult for them to defend themselves or speak up when abuse does occur.

What Treatment Is Considered Abusive in a Nursing Home?

What kinds of treatment are considered abusive in the context of nursing home living? The law specifies several different types of abuse that are explicitly illegal. Let’s take a closer look.

Physical abuse

If a staff member is knowingly and/or purposefully causing physical harm to a resident, this is abuse. This may include pinching, hitting, kicking, pushing, or scratching. It can also include the performance of improper and risky medical procedures.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse includes any knowing and/or purposeful attempt to intimidate, hurt, or manipulate someone on an emotional level. Emotionally abusive behaviors include, but are not limited to, screaming, taunting, or isolating a resident. Emotionally abusive behavior can cause new or worsening symptoms of poor mental health.

Neglect

Neglect occurs when a resident in a nursing home is not attended to properly. If their physical and emotional needs are not being met, this generally falls under the category of neglect. 

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse refers to any unwanted sexual activity. Regardless of how severe this kind of abuse is–whether it causes serious physical harm or not–it is illegal and should always be taken seriously.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse often occurs when a resident has trouble managing or keeping track of their money. This is often the case for individuals in cognitive decline. There have been reported cases of nursing home staff members stealing thousands of dollars from their residents.

Do You Suspect That You Are Dealing With a Case of Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is a serious issue. Unfortunately, it is prevalent enough that if your loved one is staying in a nursing home, you should stay alert for signs of abuse at the hands of staff members. Do you suspect that you are dealing with a case of nursing home abuse? Contact Beltz & Beltz for a consultation and legal representation.