One of the most potent ways to press a nursing home to take reasonable care of its patients is by pursuing a negligence lawsuit. Essentially, a suit is a claim of failure by a nursing home to obey the duties that it owes its patients. If a nursing home fails to provide reasonable care, it may be found negligent if its actions harm a resident.
Abuse or neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities or any facility - comes in many forms. It can include physical abuse or failure to provide food, water, and shelter, so signs of abuse or neglect can differ for different people.
Perhaps even more tragic is that most legal violations involving nursing home abuse are not reported. Victims may fail to make a report because:
They have no practical means of taking action, either due to their condition or a lack of motivation;
They are afraid of reprisal from their abusers, which may include financial, physical, or emotional abuse or even additional instances of neglect; or
They are unaware of their situation due to their age or condition and thus cannot recognize abuse.
By that time, it may be too late. In many cases, abuse can be brutal to notice. Victims may be unable to communicate that they are being harmed and have difficulty grasping the full scope of the situation.
Caregivers at nursing homes play an essential role in their patients' lives. Part of their duties implicates ensuring each patient's health and well-being. This includes providing patients with:
- Safe, clean, and well-condition buildings and grounds
- Proper medical equipment and facilities
- Nutritious meals and snacks
- Access to social services, recreational activities, and events
- Medication for physical or mental problems and emergencies
- Onsite emergency care
Each of these things plays a vital role in a patient's health, especially in cases of abuse. When a nursing home fails to provide each resident with these things, it breaches their care and could lead to injury.
The second form of abuse is the opposite of the first, involving the abuse of employees. Abuses of this kind are often physical, sexual, emotional, or financial. Unfortunately, some seniors become victims of physical abuse, assault, or battery from staff members. When this happens, there will generally be evidence of such on the senior, at least if witnesses are present.
In other circumstances, visitors may notice that their loved one appears depressed, withdrawn, malnourished, or dehydrated, has experienced a sudden increase in weight, witnessed injury or possible elopement, or has witnessed other suspicious circumstances. Don't be afraid to question anything you don't understand or seem suspicious about. Your loved one may be embarrassed, but you must take your concerns seriously and take the appropriate steps to ensure safety.
How do victims and their families find legal help to claim justice from personal injury cases, crimes, or any other civil case?
It is crucial to investigate further when confronted with apparent abuse or neglect. If you can speak to other residents, inquire about them your concerns. If not, communicate with supervisors and other individuals at the nursing home.
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect have options! You can report the incident to the proper authorities or retain an attorney who will follow through on your behalf. A lawyer can also discuss with you and your family whether legal action may be appropriate to pursue compensation for all physical, emotional, and financial damages incurred.
Negligent behavior in nursing homes is a widespread problem that leads to severe, sometimes life-altering injuries. Victims of nursing home abuse like bed sores, broken bones, or malnutrition may have the grounds to file a lawsuit against the nursing home or its employees.
People who were abused in a nursing home may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation. They may be able to sue under specific federal or state statutes or bring a tort action for intentional conduct. Some worse cases will involve intentional acts rather than careless mistakes or oversights. Cases involving particularly egregious conduct could justify a punitive damages award to compensate the victim and punish the offender. Other types of compensation available in nursing home cases include medical expenses, physical suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and support for surviving relatives if the victim passes away.
You or a family member has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect. Perhaps you cannot communicate your needs, or you do not understand the care instructions.
You can report nursing home abuse or neglect or file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the facility. You will need the help of a nursing home abuse attorney to guide you through the complex legal process.
Nursing homes are in the business of taking care of the elderly. Insurance companies are eager to dispose of abuse cases quickly and cheaply, reflected in the low-ball offers that nursing home insurance companies tend to make.
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