According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), elder abuse occurs commonly throughout the United States. The organization reports that about 1 in 10 adults aged 60 or older experiences abuse, but authorities only become aware of an estimated 1 in 14 cases, according to one study. Some of the risk factors for elder abuse include social isolation and cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Older adults who suffer abuse have a 300% higher risk of death than those who do not.
If your parent, spouse, or other family member lost their life due to abuse or neglect in a nursing home, a Fort Worth death lawyer could pursue financial recovery from the liable party on your behalf. Call the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336 to schedule your free case evaluation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care describes nursing home abuse as inflicting intentional harm on a resident. Nursing home staff can commit many types of abuse in several ways, all of which can inflict serious trauma on the victim.
- Physical: Pushing, hitting, spitting, shoving, rough handling, force-feeding
- Psychological: Humiliating, berating, threatening, ignoring
- Sexual: Sexual coercion, forced intercourse, unwanted touching, or other sexual activities
Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing home residents have a right to receive quality care and live without the threat of abuse. If your loved one suffered abuse in a Fort Worth nursing home, you can report the abuse to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Definition and Examples of Neglect
Neglect in a nursing home setting involves the failure of staff to provide for a resident’s needs in a way that could lead to the resident’s harm or their failure to respond to a potentially harmful situation to protect the patient. Examples of neglect include not helping a resident with:
- Eating or drinking
- Using the toilet or changing undergarments
- Handwashing and other personal hygiene
- Calls for assistance
Nursing homes are responsible for maintaining residents’ health and safety to the best of the staff’s ability by providing for all their needs in a manner that ensures their dignity and quality of life. If you lost a loved one as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, a Fort Worth death lawyer could help you hold the facility accountable. Contact the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm legal team with details about your case. Call us today to set up a free consultation.
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Consequences of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home staff must provide around-the-clock care efficiently and respectfully, as residents often cannot function on their own. Residents may also have medical concerns that require urgent assistance, as immediate and long-term consequences of abuse and neglect can prove injurious or even fatal.
Potential consequences of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes include:
- Breakdown of skin and muscle
- Mental health concerns
If you placed a family member in a nursing home with the reasonable expectation that they would provide exceptional, professional care, and your loved one lost their life as a result of the facility’s failure to do so, you may qualify for compensation.
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Families May Find It Challenging to Notice the Signs of Abuse
Depending on the type of abuse or neglect the resident suffers, families may find outward signs of it challenging to spot. Mistreatment often occurs behind closed doors, so loved ones may not witness it as it occurs. If the victim has a disability or health condition that makes it difficult for them to communicate their concerns to family members, this could make them more vulnerable to abuse or neglect. Some signs to watch for include:
- Sudden withdrawal or isolation
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
- Unresolved or unattended medical issues
Abuse and neglect play a significant role in the development and spread of dangerous infections, as well. When facilities fail to properly care for a patient or mitigate the spread of bacterial and viral illnesses, residents can suffer serious health consequences, including death.
The journal Aging Health states that more than 1.5 million people live in 16,000 nursing homes throughout the United States, which experience a total of more than 2 million infections per year. Infections lead to a higher risk of rehospitalization, extended stays, and mortality. If you lost a loved one as the result of an infection in a nursing home, a Fort Worth death lawyer could help you build your case against the liable facility.
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Seeking Compensation for Your Loss
The types of damages you may qualify for and the amount you may receive vary based on your case’s specifics and the extent of your financial losses. Compensation for your claim may include recovery for:
- Bills for medical and nursing home care
- Mental and/or physical pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs
If you find that the facility also misappropriated the victim’s financial resources, you could receive compensation for those damages, as well. A lawyer can assess the value of your total damages and help you pursue fair financial awards in your case.
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Texas Statute of Limitations on Nursing Home Death Cases
Families who lose loved ones because of someone else’s negligence have a certain time, known as a statute of limitations, during which they can file a wrongful death action for damages. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §71.001, certain family members can usually file their lawsuit within two years from the date of their loved one’s death. The time limit part of the law can be found in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003.
The law also determines who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit, such as the decedent’s spouse, children, and parents. If the decedent has no surviving spouse, children, or parents, extended family members may have the opportunity to file a claim.
Our lawyers can help you determine if you can file a wrongful death claim, calculate how much time you have left to do so, and move forward with your case right away to help you avoid missing the filing deadline.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to Get Started on Your Case
If you trusted a nursing home to care for your loved one and their failure to do so resulted in your loved one’s death, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help you pursue the financial recovery you deserve and advocate for you every step of the way. Contact us today at (800) 842-6336 to get started on your free case evaluation with our legal team.