Shoving, slapping, and pinching are all words you never want to hear when discussing an elderly loved one’s treatment in a nursing home. Sadly, too many older adults living in nursing homes have experienced physical abuse by their caregivers.
According to Arizona State University’s (ASU) Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, a survey of staff from 10 nursing homes found that about one in six people said they were physically abusive to a resident during the previous 30 days. This statistic is alarming and unacceptable. No one should abuse elderly people.
If you believe your loved one is being abused, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here for you. We can help you take legal action to stop the abuse and punish the perpetrators. An Austin physical abuse lawyer can help you with a lawsuit against the nursing home and the staff who hurt your loved one. Call our offices today at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.
Be an Advocate for Your Loved One
A nursing home resident might not tell anyone they are being abused for various reasons, including:
● Fear of punishment
● Feelings of self-blame
● Cognitive conditions that prevent them from reporting abuse
● Believing they are helpless or that they cannot trust the authorities
For these reasons, family members of nursing home residents need to know how to spot abuse.
Recognizing the Signs of Abuse
Physical violence often leaves evidence on the body, such as bruises, scratches, bite marks, or other injuries. If your loved one was pushed, they might suffer from broken bones, fractures, or head injuries. Physical abuse can also include rough handling, force-feeding, or spitting on a resident.
The signs of sexual abuse may also appear on the body. This type of abuse can also cause physical and psychological damage. Sexual abuse can include rape, molestation, harassment, and coercion. If your loved one is being physically or sexually abused, they might show signs of trauma and fear.
Not all abuse is physical. The signs of psychological abuse may be harder to read. Threats, humiliation, social isolation, and verbal harassment can cause real emotional harm. Your loved one may start to suffer from insomnia, depression, or listlessness. They also may seem lonely, sad, or disengaged.
Abuse can also be the absence of care. This is called neglect. When you place your loved one in a nursing home, you expect facility staff to meet their needs adequately. A resident who is experiencing neglect might not receive the help they need to stay healthy.
Neglect can be the failure to reposition bedridden residents, provide food and water, or assist with bathing, toileting, and other tasks. If your loved one is quickly losing weight, appears dirty or unkempt, or has bedsores, you may want to consider neglect as a possibility.
Financial abuse may not harm the body, but that does not mean it is not damaging. Stealing from a nursing home resident is a betrayal of trust. It may result in financial consequences for the victim, like not having enough remaining assets to pay for their care. Financial abuse may be happening if you notice missing belongings, changes to financial documents, or suspicious banking activity.
Taking Action to Protect Your Loved One
You can consult with an Austin physical abuse lawyer if you think your loved one is being abused. An attorney can help you take steps to remove your loved one from harm. If possible, they will interview your loved one and record anything they can recall about what they have suffered. Your attorney can use this information to conduct further investigations into your claims. They also might be able to collect testimony from others who witnessed abuse or were themselves abused.
A lawyer can use eyewitness reports and other evidence, such as medical records and photographs of your family member’s injuries, to prove they were abused. A lawyer will attempt to show that the nursing home is liable for your loved one’s suffering. They can help you seek awards for:
- Mental anguish
- Psychological trauma
- Physical pain
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitative therapies
- Relocation to another nursing home
Injuries caused by physical abuse can be fatal. If your family member died due to abuse or neglect, you could sue for wrongful death. This type of lawsuit allows you to recover the costs of their medical treatment and burial and funeral expenses. You could also receive awards both for the suffering they endured and your suffering over their death.
Give Pintas & Mullins Law Firm a call today so that we can review the details in your situation and help you determine the next steps to take in your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Physical Abuse Lawyer serving Austin, call (800) 794-0444
The Law Is on Your Side
Texas takes the rights of the elderly seriously. Texas Human Resources Code §102.003 entitles all residents aged 60 and older to a life free from exploitation, neglect, and abuse, no matter where or with whom they reside. Texas Health and Safety Code §242.001 specifically addresses nursing home conditions.
Once again, it guarantees freedom from physical and mental abuse. It also mandates that nursing home facilities provide residents with quality care. Violations of the law can result in revocation of the nursing home’s license and criminal charges against the perpetrators.
If you want to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 establishes a two-year window to take action. An attorney can help you meet the deadline for filing your case.
Do Not Let Physical Abuse Go Unpunished
Reach out to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to start working with an Austin physical abuse lawyer on your case. We will work to hold the people who hurt your loved one responsible and seek to get the financial awards your loved one deserves. Call our offices at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.