If your loved one experienced nursing home abuse, you may have questions about how to proceed legally. Along with moving your loved one to a different facility, you may wonder how long the abuse went on at the previous nursing home and how you may hold the facility and staff members responsible. Your legal options will depend heavily on whether you can prove your loved one suffered losses as a result of the nursing home abuse or neglect.
After reporting the nursing home abuse to the appropriate authorities, you may decide to take legal action to seek the compensation that your loved one deserves to cover ongoing medical expenses, therapy, pain and suffering, and the costs of moving to a new facility. The sooner you discuss the possibility of legal action, the more time you will have to build a case.
If you plan on taking legal action, consider discussing your case with a Riverside nursing home abuse lawyer. Getting help can give you time to focus on helping your loved one overcome what happened to them while your legal team gathers evidence and files the necessary motions. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your potential case with a member of our staff.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse may occur through several different actions or failures to act, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some forms of abuse leave visible signs, while others may take a deeper level of investigation to find. Remain vigilant and look for these signs of nursing home abuse, even if you don’t immediately suspect abuse of your loved one:
- Physical abuse: Physical abuse refers to any type of physical damage. Bedsores and bruising comprise a couple of signs of physical abuse, especially if staff members cannot explain their presence.
- Neglect: Neglect refers to the type of abuse where caregivers ignore or leave seniors untreated. You can spot neglect in seniors that have bad hygiene and missed dosages of medications.
- Psychological abuse: Psychological abuse refers to any form of damage done to a person’s mental state. This occurs when caregivers treat seniors poorly, isolate them, or otherwise degrade them.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse happens when a facility or caretaker takes money from seniors. They may use seniors’ credentials to access bank accounts or other financial holdings without permission or proper justification.
The different types of nursing home abuse have their own unique signs. If you begin to notice any of the signs of nursing home abuse, consult a Riverside nursing home abuse lawyer on how to proceed.
Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse
Research has not fully uncovered the extent of nursing home abuse in the U.S., but the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) stated almost a third of all nursing homes in the country received citations for abuse or neglect, which directly violates the standard of care required of each nursing home and caretaker.
Researchers are looking into the prevalence of nursing home abuse, which should help officials address the problem. Abuse may even continue if no one watches for it or moves to stop it. Watch over the care of your loved ones and seek help when you believe abuse or neglect occurred.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Riverside, call (800) 794-0444
Possible Liability for Nursing Home Abuse
The key to moving forward with litigation to stop abuse involves determining who bears responsibility for that abuse. Your lawyer may help you determine a liable party and take the appropriate legal action. The nursing home may classify as a liable party in cases where the facility did not take steps to protect seniors.
It can be difficult to determine who is liable in cases involving elder abuse in residential long-term care settings since seniors usually receive care from a team of providers. After securing the safety of your loved one, you can consult our team to see how a Riverside nursing home abuse lawyer can help you pursue a claim or lawsuit.
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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse may leave signs that you can observe if you are watching carefully. Signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bruises: A senior under quality care should not have unexplained bruises or continual bruising.
- Bedsores: Bedsores only develop when seniors remain in one place for too long, making this a possible sign of neglect.
- Bad hygiene: Nursing homes provide hygiene assistance. Seniors with poor hygiene may suffer from neglect.
- Fear: Seniors that show fear toward other residents or their caregivers may have suffered physical or psychological abuse.
- Avoidance: Seniors that consistently avoid other people may also show signs of abuse.
- Depression: In facilities, staff members provide seniors with social and mental stimulation. While depression may occur naturally, prolonged depression may indicate neglect or other forms of abuse.
- Unexplained injuries: Seniors with unexplainable injuries may have experienced abuse. Any injury that occurs in a nursing home requires further review. Unexplained injuries should raise your suspicion of abuse.
- Missing money/assets: Any unexplained disappearance of money or assets may signal that someone is taking cash from seniors without their permission.
When you suspect abuse or neglect in the nursing home that houses your elderly loved one, you have a right to report it and take legal action.
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Riverside Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
If someone you love sustained injuries in a nursing home, they could be eligible for financial compensation. Injuries can be debilitating, and drastically change one’s life. Even minor injuries can create unwanted medical bills, doctor appointments, physical therapy, and a great deal of inconvenience. In more serious cases, a nursing home injury can lead to permanent physical or mental impairment, disability, and even death. If your family member is hurt, it is important to understand the legal options. There is a Riverside nursing home injury lawyer available to discuss your situation and help walk you through the next steps. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your claim today.
Living in a Nursing Home
As we get older, we may find ourselves needing assistance with the daily activities we once took for granted. Even getting dressed and maintaining your hygiene can be difficult without help. Nursing homes can be a great option for aging adults for a variety of reasons. They offer care at all hours of the day, medical assistance from trained staff, social opportunities, and boarding. It is easy to see why living in a nursing home is appealing for aging adults or others who lack the ability to live independently.
Sometimes injuries happen in even the safest of nursing homes. Nursing home injuries are prevalent but avoidable. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to hold the liable party or parties accountable for their wrongful acts.
Common Nursing Home Injuries
One of the most common types of injury in a nursing home is falling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of nursing home residents fall each year, a significantly higher rate than those of the same age living outside of nursing homes. While younger people generally recover easily from simple falls, these events can be devastating for the elderly population. Many experience long-lasting injuries from falls. In severe cases, falls can be fatal. Other common injuries one might experience while living in a nursing home include:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Bruises and contusions
- Over or under-medication
Fractures and broken bones can result from falls but can happen for a variety of reasons. These are life-threatening injuries for the elderly.
Bruises and contusions usually occur due to physical contact in a certain area. The elderly population is also more prone to bruising, and this type of injury can occur with even slight contact.
Bedsores are generally the result of immobility, with friction on the same part of the body causing sores to emerge.
Nursing home residents are also likely to face the risk of infection due to close living quarters and a weakened immune system.
Medication administration is a big responsibility of the trained staff in nursing homes. Each resident requires a different regimen. If medications are not properly administered, it can have adverse effects.
If your loved one suffered a nursing home injury, it is important to get help immediately as their health could be at risk. You may also want to consider legal help in the aftermath of their injury. A Riverside nursing home injury lawyer can help you understand your family’s options.
Why Nursing Home Injuries May Happen
Nursing home residents are vulnerable to injury in several ways. As you age, your body and mind deteriorate. A limited mental capacity can lead to confusion and a lack of judgment in decision making. Physical declines such as difficulty keeping your balance, decreased bone density and muscle mass, and longer recovery periods also contribute to more injuries among the elderly. These are among the many reasons the elderly and those living in nursing homes experience injury.
Staying Safe in a Nursing Home
Preventing nursing home injuries is important, as any injury at an older age can prove to be a serious threat to a person’s health. Below are tips for injury prevention in a nursing home:
- Keep an eye out for slippery surfaces, hazards, or other physical elements that create a dangerous environment.
- Make sure that your family members understand their medicine dosage and be sure protocol is being followed.
- Your loved one should do their best to avoid sitting or lying in the same position for an extended period of time.
- Regular exercise if they are able and maintaining a healthy diet are also important steps.
Taking Action Following a Nursing Home Injury
The most important thing you can do in the event of any injury is get help. Your loved one’s health should be your priority. Following a nursing home injury, you might also decide to consider taking legal action on a family member’s behalf. In some cases, there is financial compensation for medical expenses and other damages available to victims.
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Riverside Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
Nursing homes have a responsibility to maintain their residents’ quality of life and keep them safe. In the event that a facility fails to uphold its duties, and your loved one suffers on its watch, they may qualify for compensation related to their injuries.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team. Having a Riverside nursing home accident lawyer on your side enables you to focus on caring for and protecting your loved one. Let us take care of the legal side of the process.
Potentially Recoverable Compensation
When the failure to provide proper nursing home care causes an accident with injuries, the facility may have a responsibility to cover some of the expenses, which may help you to get better care for your loved one. Several examples of recoverable compensation include:
- Hospital bills: Any bill from a hospital or medical facility received as a result of your loved one’s injuries.
- Ongoing medical treatments: The cost of medical treatments may also qualify for coverage.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering can range in compensation amounts based on a judge’s discretion and the severity of the incident.
The amount and type of recoverable compensation may vary based on the case.
Nursing Home Accidents Stemming From Neglect
Nursing home accidents often happen as a result of neglect, or the failure to provide adequate supervision. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, in some instances abuses in long-term care facilities lead to an accident or significant physical injuries. These nursing home accidents do not occur because of a patient’s current medical conditions or overall health, but injuries suffered may affect a resident’s health going forward.
Types of Injuries in Nursing Home Accidents
Not all nursing home accidents stem from abuse or neglect. Other types of nursing home accidents remain possible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these include:
- Broken bones: Broken bones pose a severe threat to a senior’s mobility and overall health as they may not heal properly from broken bones.
- Bruises: Bruises can result from a variety of injuries and require monitoring to ensure that they do not lead to more serious complications.
- Falls: Falls can lead to minor or major injuries, depending on the circumstances. Severe falls can lead to broken bones, brain injuries, concussions, spinal damage, and more. According to the CDC, falls frequently occur in nursing homes.
- Concussions: Concussions require serious treatment and can become a more serious medical risk if a resident experiences successive concussions.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries can lead to death or disabilities, especially if the affected party does not receive treatment. Medical attention may extend for a long period to help patients recover.
- Spinal damage: Serious injuries can result in spinal damage, which may cause partial or full paralysis.
Additionally, other accidents and injuries can occur, with medication dosage for example. You can schedule a free consultation with a Riverside nursing home accident lawyer to learn more about your legal options.
Nursing Home Responsibilities
Facilities must take necessary precautions to prevent accidents. If an accident does occur, the facility must document the incident and take steps to address the problem. If the facility proves negligent in its responsibilities, it may bear liability in a personal injury case.
Steps Toward Legal Action
Taking legal action may help you and your loved one handle the long-lasting impacts of elder abuse as defined by the National Institute on Aging. Your family may recover compensation for the nursing home accident while holding the facility responsible. First, you can file a formal complaint or incident report at the facility, as well as with authorities. This documentation may later prove useful to support a legal case.
Next, you can consult with a Riverside nursing home accident lawyer to discuss the next steps within the legal system. A lawyer may help you navigate the stressful and time-consuming process of filing and defending personal injury cases. Working with a nursing home accident lawyer who finds the evidence needed to support your legal case and files the correct legal motions means you will have more time to help your loved one seek medical treatment and overcome their injuries.
Statute of Limitations
The Illinois statute of limitations for nursing home accident cases is open for two years from the date that you discover the incident, or from the date when a reasonable person would have known about the accident. This may seem like a lot of time to file a lawsuit, but waiting too long may limit your legal options.
Start the legal process for your nursing home accident case as soon as possible, as this may provide time to gather evidence and secure witness testimony. Over time, employees and caregivers may transition to new roles at other nursing homes and may not clearly remember the specifics of your loved one’s situation. These factors can make it more difficult to get the evidence you need to support your legal case.
Get Help from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse violates the standard of care all providers must give their residents. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation with a member of our legal team. We want to answer any questions about your potential nursing home abuse case.