Unexplained bruises, cuts, and burns are signs of physical abuse. If your loved one resides in a nursing home and has injuries that cannot be explained, you should look into the facility’s conditions and the actions of the staff.
If abuse is happening, it is illegal. People who hurt the vulnerable and elderly should be punished. You can take action to protect your family member from abuse. An Austin unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer can assist in investigating your family member’s injuries and making those who hurt them pay. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our practice is about helping victims. Give us a call at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.
Laws Exist to Protect the Elderly
Texas Human Resources §102.001 outlines the rights of the elderly. The law provides additional rights, above those granted to all Texas residents, to people aged 60 and older. Among them is the right to live free from physical and mental abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Your loved one’s caregivers should help and protect them. They should not suffer harm at the hands of the nursing home staff you have trusted with their care. Your loved one should not have unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or other injuries. If your family member was hurt in an accident, the nursing home staff should be able to tell you how it happened and how they intend to prevent it from happening again.
If the staff cannot tell you how your loved one was injured, it may mean your family member was not properly monitored, which may constitute neglect. Older adults who need help to move around may experience more falls and accidents if they are not given needed assistance with mobility. Your loved one may injure themselves in an attempt to use the restroom or obtain food or water if a staff member is not available to help them.
Bruises, cuts, and burns are also signs of outright physical abuse. If your family member is being physically abused, they may have other injuries, including fractures and head traumas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical abuse is any kind of physical violence, including kicking, shoving, slapping, and burning.
Nursing Home Abuse Is Not Uncommon
Physical abuse signs are often accompanied by emotional and behavioral changes, especially if your family member is also being psychologically abused. They may seem depressed, frightened, traumatized, or withdrawn.
Financial exploitation is another type of abuse. The law gives older adults the right to manage their finances or appoint someone to do so. If your family member’s money or assets have been misused by the nursing home or the facility’s staff, they have committed financial abuse.
You can report abuse to the authorities. You can make a criminal report with law enforcement. You can also report the nursing home to the Texas Department of Aging and Disabilities (DADS). DADS can investigate allegations of abuse and has the power to revoke a facility’s license. You can call DADS or email them a complaint.
For a free legal consultation with a Unexplained Bruises or Cuts or Burns Lawyer serving Austin, call (800) 842-6336
Abuse Can Be Deadly
Elder abuse can cause a sharp physical and mental decline. According to Texas Health and Human Services (HHS), older adults who are abused have a 300 percent greater risk of fatality than those who have not experienced abuse.
Even minor injuries can cause more serious health issues in older adults. Pressure ulcers, often a sign of neglect, can develop into an infection in the skin, bones, and/or joints. If untreated, this can lead to a life-threatening infection called sepsis. Infection is also a risk for burns, cuts, or any other injury that creates an open wound.
Austin Unexplained Bruises or Cuts or Burns Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
An Austin Unexplained Bruises or Cuts or Burns Lawyer Can Help Pursue Compensation for Your Loved One
If your loved one was abused, you can fight back in civil court. An attorney can help you file a lawsuit against the nursing home and/or its employees. You have two years from the time your loved one was injured to take legal action against their abusers, according to the statute of limitations. You can seek awards for:
● Medical treatment
● Physical pain
● Emotional suffering
● Mental anguish
If your loved one’s injuries resulted in their death, you can sue on their behalf. Once again, the statute of limitations allows you two years to file suit. You can pursue awards your family member would have been owed had they lived, plus the costs of their end-of-life expenses.
To win your case, you will have to prove your loved one suffered abuse. This can be difficult since perpetrators of abuse rarely leave records of their crimes. If possible, assist your loved one in writing down any details they can remember about how they were injured. Take photographs of bruises, cuts, burns, or other marks.
Try to remember and record the details of any conversations you have had with staff or other residents. Make sure to keep a record of all future communications. If your family member received medical treatment, get copies of their records and medical bills. Your attorney can help collect statements from eyewitnesses and experts. Your lawyer will use this evidence to show that the nursing home and its staff failed in the duty of care owed to your loved one.
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Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Is Here for You
We have helped clients from around the country with nursing home abuse cases, so we understand what a devastating time this is for you and your family. The last thing anyone wants when they put their elderly loved one into care is to see them harmed. You need to know this is not your fault. The blame rests with the nursing home and staff members responsible for the abuse.
You can hold them accountable. An Austin unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer can help you stand up for your family member at no out-of-pocket cost to you. For a free consultation and to learn more about how we can take your case on contingency, call (800) 842-6336.