Nursing home abuse is a major problem that often goes unnoticed or misunderstood. A 2021 study published by Nursing Home Abuse Justice showed that at 24.3% of residents suffered abuse or neglect while in an old people’s home.
Similarly, the National Library of Medicine reports that 10% of nursing homes in the US were cited for abuse violations that caused residents to suffer actual harm or placed them in immediate danger of serious injury or even death.
Are you concerned about the well-being of your parents or loved ones in a nursing or long-term care facility? A good attorney can help you and your loved one assess the situation, figure out what happened, and hold those responsible accountable.
If you think your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse, please read on
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs when a patient is harmed or neglected by caregivers and staff at a nursing home. Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, and abandonment.
Residents in old people’s gomes are especially vulnerable to elder abuse because they often have limited mobility and communication skills. Some types of abuse may not be easily recognizable, such as psychological and emotional neglect.
These abuses are a silent and ongoing problem that robs the elderly of their self-respect, security, and even their lives – and it continues to grow as the nation’s population ages.
According to the National Council on Aging, approximately five million older Americans are abused each year, with an estimated annual loss of $36.5 billion by financial abuse victims.
What Are the Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
The forms of abuse that occur at assisted living facilities are varied and include physical, emotional and sexual abuse; neglect; financial exploitation; self-neglect; and abandonment.
This type of abuse involves hitting, slapping, punching, kicking or otherwise harming a resident. Physical abuse can also include restraining a resident against their will or denying them the ability to move freely within the facility.
Emotional abuse causes feelings of fear, anxiety and/or depression in a nursing home resident.
Emotional abuse can include harassment, intimidation, name-calling and yelling at a resident or making them feel worthless by refusing to let them speak with family members or friends on the phone. It can also include withholding information about a resident’s condition or family members from them so they feel isolated and alone in their situation.
Sexual abuse occurs when an employee or another resident touches or fondles a nursing home resident in a sexual way. Sexual abuse can also occur when the resident is forced to look at pornography or watch others engage in sexual activity. In many cases, sexual abuse is not reported because the victim may be afraid of being hurt further if they tell someone about what happened.
This occurs when a nursing home fails to provide adequate supervision for residents or leaves them unattended for an extended period of time. For example, if a resident is unable to walk without assistance but there are no staff members around to help him/her get from one place to another safely, this could be considered abandonment.
Financial exploitation in rest homes occurs when someone steals or misuses money belonging to another person who lives in the facility. For example, if a resident’s property is missing but there is no evidence that it was stolen by someone else living at the facility, financial exploitation may be occurring.
Neglect of the basic needs of a resident
Neglect occurs when someone fails to provide adequate care for another person because they don’t have the resources or knowledge needed to do so properly.
Mistreatment by other residents
Many instances of nursing home abuse involve mistreatment by other residents. These may include physical and sexual abuse, as well as emotional abuse.
This is when a patient does not take care of themselves properly (such as bathing) and endangers their health because they don’t want anyone else touching them or helping them get dressed.
How to Identify Good Lawyers for Nursing Home Abuse
When it comes to nursing home abuse, you need to know that you’re working with a lawyer who has the experience and resources to help you. There are many things to look for in a nursing home abuse lawyer, but some of the most important are:
A good attorney will be specialized in this area of practice. The best attorneys have had years of experience representing victims of nursing home abuse and can handle even difficult cases with ease. Besides, not all attorneys are familiar with the laws governing nursing homes, claims procedures and other issues that come up when handling these types of cases.
Look for attorneys who specialize in nursing home abuse cases and have experience winning them. A simple way to gauge this is by looking at the number of cases they have won versus those that were lost or dismissed. You may also want to do a quick Google search for the search term “nursing home abuse lawyer near me” to see reviews and undertake your own background checks.
Good track record
A lawyer with a good track record will likely be able to win your case, but there are no guarantees in litigation — even for the best attorneys. Consider talking to other people who have hired this attorney before, so it’s easier for you to evaluate their claims about their skill set and overall performance in courtrooms across the country.
Work ethic and availability
It’s important that your attorney is available when you need them. If they are busy working on another case or traveling out of town, then they’re not available for you when you need advice or assistance with your case. A good attorney will always return phone calls promptly and respond quickly whenever they have new information for their clients.
You should never feel pressured into accepting unfair terms from an attorney or law firm because they might not take your case otherwise. A good attorney will explain their fees upfront so there are no surprises later on down the road when you receive a bill from them after having won the case.
What Types of Cases Do Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Handle?
Nursing home abuse cases involve allegations of neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation and other forms of elder abuse.
In addition, nursing home residents depend on their caregivers for basic necessities, including food, shelter and medical care. So, when a nursing home fails to provide these necessities or care for its residents, families may be able to pursue legal action against the facility.
There are different types of nursing home abuse lawsuits a good lawyer can file on your behalf:
Physical abuse occurs when a nursing home employee or resident physically harms one or more residents in some way without good cause or justification for doing so (e.g., hitting someone with an object like a cane). This kind of abuse can cause severe physical injuries such as broken bones and lacerations.
If you suspect that an elderly person living in a nursing home has been physically abused by another resident or staff member, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer immediately to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Nursing home neglect
Long-term care facilities are responsible for providing residents with proper care and supervision. The failure of operators of these old folks’ homes to do so can lead to serious injuries or even death.
For example, if a nurse fails to administer necessary medications or provide adequate supervision of residents, this could result in a resident being injured by falling downstairs or hurting himself while wandering around outside his room unsupervised by staff members.
This type of lawsuit focuses on how the nursing home should have acted differently in order to prevent injuries from occurring. Negligence claims usually focus on whether the nurse or doctor was properly trained and supervised by the facility’s administration.
In such cases, it may be possible for your nursing home neglect attorneys to help pursue compensation through a claim against the nursing home’s owner or staff members who failed to provide adequate care or supervision. A firm of lawyers nursing home neglect can help determine if this type of claim applies in your case and if it will lead to compensation.
Sexual assault and rape
Nursing home residents are often elderly and vulnerable, which makes them easy targets for sexual predators. This type of behavior can be especially devastating to the victim because they may have no idea what is happening until much later on.
If you suspect that an elderly family member was sexually assaulted in a nursing home, contact an experienced nursing home lawyer today to help investigate your case.
Nursing homes are supposed to be safe and comforting places for seniors. Unfortunately, many assisted living facilities have become dangerous environments where abuse, neglect and even death are not uncommon.
People who have been injured or killed while residing at a nursing home deserve justice from those responsible for their care. If your loved one died because of medical malpractice or neglect at a nursing home, get in touch with a good nursing home abuse lawyer to help you file a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.
How A Good Lawyer Can Help You
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue, and it can have devastating consequences for the health and well-being of patients.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible. This is because laws vary from state to state and some states have strict time limits on when victims can file claims.
A good lawyer will be able to help you navigate these legal issues in order to get compensation for your injuries. Here are some ways that an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help:
Undertake investigation and help you determine if you have a case
The first thing that an experienced attorney will do when you come forward with your claim is to investigate your case. They’ll gather evidence and speak with witnesses who were present during the incident(s).
They’ll also contact police reports if applicable and review medical records related to your injuries. This investigation will determine if there’s enough evidence for you to pursue a claim against the facility or individual responsible for causing your injury.
Coordinate with medical professionals
The attorney may also work closely with medical professionals who are treating your loved one. This can include doctors and therapists who may be able to offer insight into what happened during their stay at the nursing home. The attorney will also make sure that any relevant medical records are collected and sent over to them so they can review them with their client(s).
File your claim
If it looks like there’s enough evidence for you to file a claim, then they’ll help guide you through the process of filing suit with the appropriate court or agency based on where you live. This involves filling out paperwork with them and filing it with the state so that they can begin investigating your case.
They’ll also be able to help you file any necessary paperwork with Medicare and Medicaid so that your medical bills are covered by these programs. You can also have a lawyer represent you at any settlement negotiation meetings or hearings.
- The lawyer will also help with other aspects of your case, including:
- Reviewing medical records and interviewing witnesses;
- Interviewing family members and caregivers;
- Representing you at depositions (meetings where a witness is questioned by someone else); and
- Collecting evidence from other sources that might help prove your case.
If you (or your loved one) have been injured…
If you or your loved one has been injured in a nursing home, your attorney can file a personal injury claim on your behalf. This means that they’ll work with experts and investigators to look into what happened and determine how much compensation is due from those responsible (like the nursing home). They can also help you get medical treatment for injuries sustained during the abuse or neglect as well as for any long-term effects of abuse or neglect.
Nursing home abuse cases often involve a lot of paperwork, so it is important for victims to have an attorney who can help them navigate discovery. This includes reviewing documents, taking depositions and testifying in court proceedings.
Negotiate a settlement
Sometimes the best way for a victim to recover damages from the nursing home involved in their case is through settlement rather than going to trial. A good lawyer will know how much money should be offered by each side and how much should be accepted as part of any settlement agreement.
Go to trial if necessary
Some nursing home abuse cases do go to trial because no settlement can be reached or because one side refuses to settle out of court despite having enough evidence against them. This is why it is important that you hire an attorney who knows how to take such cases all the way through trial if needed.
Prepare for negotiations
If your case goes to trial, then you’ll need to prepare yourself for negotiations with those representing the defendant. An experienced lawyer will know how much they can realistically expect from their client’s case so that they don’t go too far over what’s reasonable or acceptable when negotiating with opposing counsel.
A Good Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Make All the Difference
Selecting good neglect lawyers is essential if you are going to successfully pursue your claim following the incident. You will want to find an experienced and reputable law firm that knows both the legal system and how nursing homes operate.
It’s also important your lawyers are familiar with how insurance companies operate and how they are likely to respond to the injuries that you or your elder loved one has suffered, which means a good elderly care attorney should be able to anticipate any roadblocks that might arise as you attempt to obtain compensation.
The law firm you choose can make all the difference in your recovery process. When you have a nursing home liability case, the last thing that you need is an attorney who isn’t invested in your case. You want an attorney with a proven track record of success and the resources to see it through.
Frequently Answered Questions
What is nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse is the mistreatment or neglect of a resident by an employee or family member of a nursing home. This can include hitting, punching, pushing or kicking; sexual assault; and other forms of physical victimization. It also includes neglecting to provide basic needs such as food, clothing and medical care.
What are some signs of nursing home abuse?
Signs of nursing home abuse can include unexplained injuries; unexplained weight loss or gain; changes in behavior; sleep disturbances; physical symptoms such as bed sores, dehydration or malnutrition; and disorientation.
Do I need a lawyer if I think my loved one has been abused at a nursing home?
Yes! If your loved one has been victimized by any form of elder abuse — including physical, emotional, psychological or financial — you should consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases. An attorney can help ensure that appropriate action is taken against those responsible for hurting your loved one
How much does it cost to hire a lawyer?
There are many factors that go into determining how much an attorney will charge for their services. The type of case being handled — personal injury or wrongful death — will play a role in determining how much money is charged by an attorney. Additionally, some attorneys will charge more than others because they have experience handling such cases.