Nursing Home Lawyers
Millions of families across the United States rely on nursing home facilities for sick and elderly relatives. These facilities are designed to be safe and effective for providing residents with the care and consideration they need. Although many nursing homes function without any problems, many residents inside these facilities are abused or neglected every year.
Being abused or neglected can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing. When patients are not adequately cared for, they can suffer mentally, physically, and financially. For this reason, it is crucial that they seek legal guidance as soon as possible. If you are being abused or neglected, or your loved one was or is mistreated inside a nursing home, it is crucial that you reach out to a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible.
The nursing home lawyers at The Medical Negligence Group are dedicated to helping victims and their families get the justice and compensation they deserve. Our attorneys investigate claims, gather documents and evidence, and fight aggressively to ensure the legal rights and best interests of claimants are protected. Contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to see how we can help you.
Statistics Surrounding Nursing Home Abuse
Although we rely on nursing homes to provide safety and comfort to our loved ones, more than 5 million elders are abused each year in these facilities. Alarmingly, studies find that one out of every ten elders over the age of 60 has been abused while in a nursing home facility. Some studies believe that nearly 25% of all residence have experienced some form of physical abuse while in care facilities.
Reports from the National Center for Victims of Crime show that between 5% and 10% of nursing home abuse reports are made regarding physical abuse, while 60% are made in reference to verbal abuse. Another 14% of reports made by victims are in reference to neglect.
Only one in every 14 instances of abuse are reported. The majority of cases go undetected. Not only does a lack of reporting prevent authorities from stopping patients from being abused, but it deprives them of the ability to prevent abusers from targeting several patients. Many abuse victims are unaware of the legal options available to them. For this reason, the majority of cases go unaddressed. It is crucial that victims reach out to a nursing home lawyer as soon as possible to protect their legal rights and explore legal options available.
When is a Nursing Home Liable for Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing homes are required to provide an acceptable standard of care to patients. When these facilities are unable to adequately care for patients, when they abuse patients, or when patients are subjected to neglect, they may be left to face nursing home abuse lawsuits. Victims and their families are able to obtain compensation to help alleviate some of the financial burdens and non-economic damages they experience as a result of abuse or neglect. Some recoverable damages in nursing home abuse cases include compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
When nursing homes fail to provide adequate care for patients, they can be held liable. Some of the grounds for filing nursing home neglect and abuse claims include:
Negligent Hiring Processes: It is imperative that caretakers inside nursing homes are qualified to provide care for patients. Nursing homes are required to verify the employment and academic credentials of workers and to make sure they have no criminal records for abuse. When nursing homes are negligent in the hiring process, they can be held liable for any injuries or damages workers cause.
Understaffing: Reports from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the average number of caretakers per patient is one staff member for every 1.64 residents. If nursing homes fail to employ a reasonable amount of caretakers, residents may be neglected. Not having an appropriate amount of staff members available to tend to patients can cause a drastic decline in the care they receive. This can create an agitated and stressful environment, which translates into an unsafe environment for residents. Some of the ways not having an adequate amount of workers onboard can impact care include:
Inadequate Training: It is imperative that all staff members at nursing home facilities are qualified and trained on how to properly handle disabled or disobedient residents and provide them with the level of care they need and deserve. When caretakers and other staff members are not adequately trained, nursing homes can be held liable.
Third-Party Responsibility Claim: Nursing homes are responsible for the care and safety of patients. For this reason, they can be held liable for any abuse patients receive by third-parties within the residence. If another resident or a guest attacks a resident, the nursing home can be held responsible for failing to provide a safe environment.
Breach of Statutory/Regulatory Rights: Residents in nursing homes are entitled to dignity, autonomy, and privacy. When staff members fail to provide these rights to patients, they can be held liable.
Medication Errors: There are many instances where patients are deprived of the medications they need to treat their illnesses and injuries. When patients are not provided the right dosage or the proper medication, they can suffer irreversible injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries and damages as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact our nursing home lawyers as soon as possible to see how we can help you.
Nursing Home Cases We Handle
The nursing home lawyers at The Medical Malpractice Group are well-versed in recognizing nursing home neglect and abuse. Our team fights to ensure the legal rights of victims and their families are protected so wrongdoers can be held legally accountable for their actions. Some claims we handle for nursing home abuse victims include instances involving:
Physical Abuse: Physical abuse involves battery and other types of physical contact that cause pain. Some instances include the excessive use of chemicals or restraints and force-feeding patients.
Emotional Abuse: This form of abuse refers to instances where patients are verbally degraded, threatened, isolated, insulted, or have sarcastic remarks made toward them. Mental abuse is also referred to as emotional manipulation, which can take place when staff members deceitfully take advantage of residents for their own advantage. An example includes cases where residents are manipulated into overlooking other forms of abuse out of the fear that they will not be bathed, fed, or taken care of.
Sexual Abuse: This type of abuse involves residents being tricked into unwanted sexual contact and cases where patients are too weak to defend themselves or unable to give consent. This type of abuse can come from residents, visitors, strangers, staff members, or even family members.
Financial Abuse: This form of abuse occurs when caretakers exploit their position and misuse funds, property, and other assets owned by the patient. Some examples may include paying bills late, using funds for their own benefit, cashing checks without consent, forcing patients to provide signatures so caretakers can gain access to the money or property, and taking the position of power of attorney for self-gain. Other instances include signing a will, contract, or other legal documents.
Neglect: Nursing home patients who are neglected show signs that they are not being provided with adequate care. Some types of negligence include failing to help with personal hygiene; the failure to provide the right food, clothing, and shelter; the failure to give medications, address health and safety hazards; and failing to address unsanitary conditions.
Gathering evidence of abuse is imperative for proving your case while suing a nursing home for negligence. Contact our nursing home lawyers as soon as possible to see how we can help you.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse takes many shapes and forms. Given the fact that signs of nursing home abuse are often overlooked as indicators of old age, it is imperative that families recognize signs of mistreatment. There are numerous types of nursing home abuse that can take place. Each kind of abuse comes with its own set of symptoms. Some common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bedsores that indicate neglect
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Unexplained bruises and bleeding
- Acting emotionally withdrawn
- Being silence or acted fearful around caretakers
- Bruises on or around the genital areas of patients
- Unexplained infections or diseases
- Experiencing physical discomfort
- Sudden and unexpected financial difficulties
- Bills that are not paid by the elder
- Changes or modifications in the patient’s will
- Changes in the designated power of attorney
Although nursing home abuse occurs fairly often, the majority of cases go on without any claims being filed. Many patients become too disgusted or ashamed about what is happening to them, which causes them to act withdrawn rather than come forward and tell their families about their experience. It is crucial that families are able to recognize these and other signs of abuse to ensure their loved ones receive the justice they deserve.
The Medical Negligence Group Can Help You
Although millions of Americans rely on nursing homes for care, we continue to see numerous victims suffer debilitating injuries as a result of abuse or neglect. At a time when patients are supposed to be able to relax and enjoy their twilight years, it is disheartening to know that they are being mistreated by the people they entrust with their health and safety. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect while in a nursing home, it is crucial that you reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
The nursing home lawyers at The Medical Negligence Group have extensive experience fighting to protect the legal rights of victims after being harmed by reckless and negligent medical professionals. Over the years, our attorneys have helped people across the country recover favorable verdicts for their medical malpractice claims. Our team fights to protect the legal rights of those harmed and get them the compensation they need and deserve. The Medical Negligence Group stops at nothing to ensure the legal rights and best interests of victims are protected. Contact our medical malpractice attorneys at your earliest convenience by calling (410) 220-6609. Schedule a free case evaluation with our team to discuss legal options available for you.
Gershon, Willoughby & Getz, LLC25 Hooks Lane Suite 304, Baltimore, Maryland 21208