Is your loved one being abused? Sadly enough, 10 percent of seniors over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse in one form or another. It gets worse: only 25 percent of seniors ever report their abuse to the nursing home neglect lawyers. Are you considering hiring lawyers for elderly abuse? If your elderly loved one is a victim, you need to get help from a nursing home abuse attorney. Read this complete guide to know more about your legal options!
How to Know Your Elder Is Being Abused
If your family member has been hospitalized due to elder abuse, you are not alone. But how do you know that your family member is being abused in the first place?
Let us explain.
Putting your grandparent or your parent into an assisted living facility can be a difficult decision to make. Even though senior caretakers are supposed to take care of our elders, occasionally, they end up abusing them instead.
The reality is that senior care neglect and abuse is becoming a true epidemic in this country. While elder abuse can include mocking, poking at, or spitting on older patients, it can also extend to the following types of physical mistreatment:
- Broken or injured bones
- Bloody or torn clothes
- Inexplicable cuts and bruises
Not only that, but emotional senior abuse can include red flags such as:
- Terrorizing older patients
- Isolating older patients from other activities or residents
- Ignoring older patients
- Humiliating older patients
- Intimidating older patients by threatening and yelling
Patients who suffer abuse in nursing homes often pass away sooner than their well-cared-for counterparts. Yes, you read that right. This includes those seniors who don’t have chronic or life-threatening conditions.
Want to learn how to spot the signs of elder abuse?
We have the answers that you are looking for below!
Spotting the Signs of Elder Abuse
From financial extortion to physical violence, senior home neglect and abuse is much more common than you think. To spot the signs of abuse, you need to become familiar with noticing things such as:
- Dehydration and malnourishment
- Unclean and unsafe conditions of living
- Soiled bed linens or clothing
- Improperly administered medications
- Medications that are not administered at all
What about elder patients who are being abused financially?
Shockingly enough, this is the most popular type of “non-physical abuse” that can occur to seniors in elder care homes. For example, this kind of abuse can include everything from:
- Stealing an elderly patient’s identity
- Authorizing money transfers or withdrawals
- Forging signatures
- Stealing belongings, checks, and money
- Misusing the elder patient’s credit cards, accounts, or checks
Unfortunately, one of the most common schemes to trick elders out of their cash is announcing that the patient has won a so-called prize. Telling seniors that they will benefit from an illegitimate investment opportunity or a fake charity is financial senior abuse too.
Nursing Home Abuse Vs. Neglect: What is the Difference?
What is the difference between nursing home abuse and neglect?
Allow us to help. To determine if your loved one is being abused at their senior home, it is all about the caretaker’s intention. Since senior neglect in nursing homes is very passive, the courtroom will have to look at what the caretaker did not do, as opposed to what they did do to an elder victim.
In addition to this, you have to take a look at who the perpetrators of senior abuse are. The person responsible for the abuse can extend far beyond the common caretaker. That means that elder abuse can even occur from another older resident of the senior home.
Each state has its own laws and distinctions between abuse and neglect, which carry varying maximum and minimum punishments.
What is the real deal about senior negligence?
Negligence happens when someone’s lack of action hurts another resident. For cases of senior home neglect, the perpetrator has to be fully responsible for the victim’s care. Negligence requires a perpetrator to fail to meet their contractual duties to the victim.
This can include a nurse who neglects to give a patient the proper medication. Unlike abuse, caretakers who neglect senior patients may not even have a clue that they have caused harm. Whether it is abuse, neglect, or negligence, you have to take the nursing home in question to court immediately.
What Is an Attorney for Elder Abuse?
You might be wondering: what are elderly abuse attorneys?
It is the responsibility of attorneys to the help of families of elders receive monetary compensation if their loved one was harmed by other residents or staff members at their nursing home.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with nursing homes, they exist to take care of elders who can no longer take care of themselves. Of course, nursing home caregivers are supposed to give elders the best care that they can. Despite this fact, that is not always the case.
Sometimes, nursing home staff choose to hurt seniors rather than protect them, violating them in the following ways:
- Physical violence
- Emotional harm
- Financial extortion
The result is this – destitute, emotionally scarred, personally injured, or even deceased senior victims.
Do you think that your loved one has passed away in a nursing home under suspicious circumstances?
If that is the case, then we highly recommend that you contact an elder abuse attorney right away. That is because they have the skills, knowledge, and experience to assist elders with receiving the monetary compensation that they deserve.
In case you did not know, elder abuse and neglect go hand in hand. For this reason, most elder abuse attorneys take on cases of senior neglect too. Even though these cases are not exactly alike, their results are surprisingly similar.
Many elder abuse attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that they will not even get paid until they win your case. Plus, there are usually not any fees to pay upfront either.
What does a senior abuse attorney do?
What Elder Abuse Attorneys Do
When it comes to elder abuse attorneys, they will typically meet up with the victim, if possible, or their family to see if the attorney can help the family. If you do not know what to expect during this first meeting, we can help.
Your elder abuse lawyer will sit down with you to talk about subjects such as:
- The elderly victim’s physical and mental capabilities
- The elderly victim’s nursing home history
- The overall factors of the abuse allegation
Once this step is completed, your senior abuse attorney will recommend the best legal action to take. Then, your lawyer will follow the statutory procedures to seek compensation on behalf of the elder victim. If a lawsuit is ultimately filed, the victim’s family and the victim become what is known as plaintiffs of their case.
What happens when a senior home abuse case is filed?
Your senior abuse attorney will attempt to convince the jurors that:
- The senior home was legally obligated to take care of the senior via a signed contract
- The senior home did not meet the senior’s needs, either harming the senior through violent acts or pure negligence
- Due to their negligence, the senior victim has suffered from permanent, long-term, or serious injuries
After the elder abuse attorney is convinced that they can accept the case, they will proceed with the statutory requirements to bring the claim, and if necessary, file a lawsuit against the senior home’s residents, employees, or managing company. Naturally, the people who the lawsuit is filed against will become known as the case’s defendants.
Now that the elder abuse case is filed, your specialized attorney will start investigating and gathering evidence and facts to build a solid case for their victim.
What is the point?
Answer: to gain monetary compensation for the victim and their families for the damages that they have experienced.
How Do Elder Abuse Attorneys Help?
Are you asking yourself, how do elder abuse attorneys help?
Besides financially compensating families and their loved ones, holding the senior home responsible for elder abuse and neglect is a top priority as well.
On top of that, elder abuse attorneys can make the lawsuit process a lot simpler for victims and families that do not have the skills to deal with legal processes alone. As if that is not enough, attorneys can also help by gathering information for the case, which includes the following documents:
- Photographic evidence
- Witness statements
- Medical records
Once your lawyer collects all the necessary evidence, they will officially file a claim and let the defendants know that they are going to be sued with the proper documents.
The next step is that your abuse attorney will help you to navigate state and federal laws. For those of you who are unaware, various laws determine where, when, and how your lawyer can file elder abuse claims in court.
Most importantly, it is the job of your senior abuse attorney to give victims a better chance to win in court. Since most senior nursing homes are governed by large companies that can pay for quality defense attorneys, teaming up with a top-notch attorney will give victims much better odds at receiving compensation.
What else do elder abuse lawyers do?
If you have not heard of the “discovery phase,” it is the part of the legal process when teams organize and collect evidence to create a bulletproof case. This process can involve certain witnesses taking the stand to make a testimony for each side of the courtroom.
Expect your lawyer to help with negotiating settlements, commencing trials, and resolving lawsuits.
Working With Your Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse?
One of the first things that you should do is figure out how to work with your elder abuse attorney to bring justice to your family.
When meeting with your attorney, be sure to be as open and transparent about the case as you can, no matter if it hurts or helps the claim. Besides this, gather all of that evidence that is available to you, including the timeline and the history of the senior’s abuse.
Research your senior abuse attorney’s history. Be sure to look for past evidence of successful cases that they have won against abusive or neglectful senior homes. If not, you might want to find someone else with a more impressive background in the courtroom.
When it is all said and done, have patience with your abuse attorney. That is because these types of proceedings can take time, resulting in a very slow legal process. Above all, make sure that you are working with an abuse attorney that you can trust. In the long run, that is what really matters.
How much does it cost to work with a senior abuse attorney?
You will know that you are with an experienced lawyer when they do not charge any fees upfront to work with you. As we mentioned above, even the most qualified elder attorneys only get paid when you do.
However, once you win, you will normally pay your lawyer a percentage of the recovery from your trial verdict or your settlement. Disclaimer: laws for nursing abuse lawyers change from state to state.
Get an attorney that knows your states’ laws!
Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Feel like your loved one is being abused?
From emotional and physical abuse to financial extortion, it is your job to take action now.
If you do not know where to begin, hiring a reliable nursing home abuse attorney should be your first step. After reviewing their background, consulting with them and providing additional evidence is a great idea too.
What happens next?
Your nursing home attorney will take your family member’s case to trial. Fortunately, having an experienced lawyer by your side will increase your odds of winning.
What is the bottom line? Hire a nursing home abuse attorney today.
Are you looking for reliable nursing home abuse lawyers? Contact us for a free case evaluation!