Suppose you have noticed a specific change or sign that indicates they are being abused in the nursing home. The first thing you should do is contact a professional nursing home abuse attorney and let them help make the abusers accountable. Our experienced attorneys will help you and your family get over this traumatic experience.
By teaming with an attorney to make the perpetrators pay, you will also be helping to stop other individuals from going through abuse in the nursing home. It creates enough awareness and ensures that nursing homes hire trained professionals who will do their jobs well. Note that abuse is more than just a physical indicator you can see. It can also include negligence and emotional abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
It is essential to work with a nursing home abuse attorney who is a professional and has been practicing for an extended period and understands the various intricacies of nursing home neglect. They have the skills and experience that will ensure you get compensated for medicals bills and additional expenses. It is also worth mentioning that you do not have to pay any fees. You will only pay your attorney when they win your case. A nursing home abuse attorney can handle several nursing home abuse cases.
What to Do When Your Loved One Experiences Nursing Home Abuse
When family members notice that a loved one is not receiving proper care, ensure you ask them how they are being treated correctly and note this. Collect and go over their medical files, and whenever you notice an injury, take a picture and ensure you also ask their caregiver how they got injured. If you can, talk to the administrator to look into the matter, especially if you suspect that your loved one is being abused. Elder abuse isn’t always easy to detect, so it would also help get a medical screening if there are any injuries, and if possible, move your loved one to another facility.
You will need to report it to the authorities immediately and get in touch with a nursing home abuse attorney if you are sure your loved one is being abused in the nursing home. It would also help to contact Adult protection services and social services about this matter. It is essential to talk to an attorney and let them know everything so they can advise you whether you should file a lawsuit or not.
Your attorney will help guide you on what steps you should take when you file an abuse case. They will also assess the case, see if you have sufficient evidence, and advise you on the way forward when filing a claim. If you want to get the proper compensation and ensure that you win the case, it would be best to work with a professional with several years of experience in similar cases.
Working with an attorney is not as complex or time-consuming like you may assume, and as stated, you only get to pay them when they help you win the case. A professional attorney will make the process stress-free and easy. They can help you in the listed ways:
• Collecting information that is vital to the case
• Filing the case
• Navigating federal laws and state laws
• Giving you a fighting chance, especially when you are up against a large corporation
• Preparing for discovery
• Negotiating a settlement
• Commencing a trial
• Resolving the lawsuit
What You Will Need to Build a Strong Case
Once you have confirmed that your loved one is being abused in the nursing home and contacted an attorney, you need to build a strong case. It is also worth noting that it is in your best interest to work with an attorney instead of filling the lawsuit by yourself.
You must be open and transparent about all the facts involved in the case when you are talking to your attorney and ensure you tell them everything. It would also help to collect all evidence of the abuse from when it started happening and share it with your attorney. When you are dealing with a nursing home abuse case, you need to have supporting evidence that your attorney will use.
It is not always easy to prove that nursing home staff abuse your loved one, especially when there are no injuries. You cannot go into a legal battle without sufficient evidence. Listed below are some of the items you will need to build a strong case when a loved one is abused in a nursing home.
• If the abuse is physical, ensure you take pictures and videos of the injuries inflicted.
• Medical reports backing up your claim
• A list with the names of the people involved in the abuse and any other additional information
• Any documentation that can back up the claim
• Proof of negligence
Proving that your loved one was abused in a nursing home, if there are no signs of injuries, can be challenging. However, with the right attorney, this process can be much easier. If your attorney confirms that you can file the lawsuit, please do. You will be fighting for your loved one to get compensated for going through a hard time, and you will also be helping the nursing facility be more diligent in their responsibilities and duties. You will be ensuring that other older adults do not have to go through the same traumatic experience.
Factors to Consider for Nursing Home Abuse Case Compensation
When you file for a nursing home abuse case, several factors will determine the case compensation. These are covered below.
It is essential to work with a professional and highly skilled attorney who has worked on multiple nursing home abuse cases if you want to be highly compensated. Working with an attorney who has no experience in this case or filling this lawsuit on your own may not build a strong case for you. Chances are, you will lose the case.
Trial or Settlement
Two things can happen when you go to trial for a nursing home abuse case. How much compensation you will receive from the trial can either be positively or negatively be impacted by that trial. There is always a chance that the jury might be on the side of the nursing home, meaning you will not receive any compensation.
With a settlement, your attorney can secure compensation in a short period.
Having strong evidence to support your case can impact how much you get compensated.
The signs of abuse are not always physical, so pay close attention. If you are sure that a loved one in a nursing facility is being abused, ensure that you transfer them and report the matter to the relevant authorities. Call a nursing home abuse attorney who will advise on what you should do about the situation.
We are initiating the fight for change
As far back as 1999, studies showed that 1 in 3 nursing home residents were victims of abuse.
Today, studies reveal that only 5% of residents have never experienced or witnessed neglect. This has been allowed to happen for too long. Enough is enough.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in California
When a family decides to commit a loved one into a nursing home, it is one of the most important decisions that family can make: you are trusting the nursing home with your loved one’s life. Unfortunately, this makes the reality all too problematic: nursing homes and assisted living facilities often do not provide the care they are paid to provide.
Nursing home residents are vulnerable – they are an easy target. Nursing home staff that are guilty of negligence or abuse often believe that the residents’ fragility, forgetfulness, and/or inability to fight back means they can get away with it. Our nursing home abuse attorneys fight to hold them to account.
That is not to say that all instances of negligence are a result of malicious staff. Often, staff are overworked, underpaid, unqualified, and work in high-stress environments. This means mistakes can happen and, ultimately, makes negligence more likely. But these factors are not an excuse — without proper care, nursing home residents’ lives are being put at risk.
We fight against negligent and abusive nursing homes to put your loved ones first.
Identifying Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
According to National Ombudsman Reporting System data, 14,258 out of nearly 190,000 complaints that were reported to Ombudsman programs in 2014 involved either gross negligence, exploitation, or abuse. However, this does not tell the full story:
A 2008 report by the US General Accountability Office showed that this might even be an underestimate.
It was estimated that around 70% of state surveys miss one or more deficiency, and 15% of surveys miss physical harm or the threat of immediate physical harm.
Abuse can lead to emotional and psychological trauma, physical trauma, financial troubles, social problems, medical problems and hospitalizations.
How will you know if your loved one is being abused in a nursing home?
Nursing homes sometimes do their best to conceal the abuse, and often your loved one might be too scared to speak out.
Here are some warning signs to look out for if you suspect a loved one might be being abused in a nursing home:
Nobody deserves mistreatment no matter their age. Bruises, cuts, bedsores, broken bones and various other serious injuries that begin to arise should definitely raise questions.
Unexplained financial transactions
Financial abuse is unfortunately far too common. This may be a sign that nursing home staff are using your loved one’s finances without permission. If financial exploitation has occurred, a professional attorney should be contacted immediately for an initial review.
Unexplained changes in behavior
Abuse can take a psychological toll on the victim and could make them fear social interaction. Common signs of psychological abuse often vary depending on the individual but any abnormalities should not be taken lightly.
Malnourishment or unexplained weight loss
This could be a sign that nursing home staff are not properly looking after your loved one. However, weight loss and malnutrition can also be an indicator or many other naturally occurring illnesses.
Mental health issues
Abuse can be extremely traumatic, resulting in depression or anxiety.
Nursing homes are required to provide proper care to their residents – if your loved one gives off a bad smell that is out of character, or unclean, it could be the result of negligence or improper care
Untrained and careless staff members that are left to tend to an individual’s prescriptions and general medical care can often do a lot of harm. Understaffing can also allow for elevated stress among workers, and even medical malpractice can often go undetected in nursing home facilities but is often a focus of nursing home abuse lawsuits.
What to Do if You Suspect Abuse
Under the law in California, legal action is permitted against nursing homes where abuse has occurred.
So what is meant by ‘abuse’? It can include, but is not limited to, these types:
Nursing homes owe their residents a duty of care. This means the staff must take all reasonable steps, within the scope of their employment, to avoid causing injury to the residents. For example, negligence would occur where a resident of a residential nursing home is not provided with food or drink.
Residents of nursing homes are often vulnerable. That may mean nursing home staff, who are in positions of power, see their residents as easy targets. Emotional abuse may include manipulation, threats to safety, public/private humiliation, insults, and any other steps to cause the resident emotional distress
This occurs where residents suffer injuries to the person as a result of actions by the staff or fellow residents. Some examples of physical abuse would include biting, grabbing, punching, hitting, sexual abuse, pushing, and all other acts that have the potential to result in injury.
Where these instances of abuse have occurred, you must contact our personal injury attorneys to examine your case. You should do this as soon as is reasonably possible, as there may be time sensitive aspects of your case. You should try to note down as many details of the abuse you can, and take any pictures of physical injuries if it is possible. This will help our attorneys to navigate through your claim.
Where abuse has occurred, it is also important to get medical or professional help.
What Damages Can You Be Compensated For?
Compensation can be obtained for losses that are a result of the abuse. These can include:
Compensation to cover medical bills/care;
Compensation for loss of earnings;
Compensation for physical pain and suffering;
Compensation for emotional pain and suffering;
Our nursing home abusee lawyers at JT Legal Group are ready to give you a free case evaluation to assess your options with moving forward and getting compensation for your case.
COVID 19 & Nursing Homes
The global pandemic has ravaged the United States, but it has had a particularly devastating effect on nursing homes: a recent report released by the Federal Government indicated that at least 25% of all COVID-19 deaths across the nation had links to nursing homes.
Generally speaking, long-term care facilities could be held liable where their residents catch and/or pass away from COVID-19.
The answer is largely dependent on the facts of the case. Nursing home professionals, as we have discussed above, owe their residents a duty of care. In this case, that means that they are required to take all steps, within the scope of their employment, to protect their residents from COVID-19.
Negligent behavior may include their staff not wearing personal protective equipment such as masks. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation as you may be able to take legal action for damages.