Bruises are common and can occur for a wide range of reasons. In the case of an elderly nursing home resident, bruises may be a sign that the individual has been abused or neglected. Many people do not realize how common nursing home abuse and neglect are. Cases often go unreported or get covered up to protect a facility’s reputation and profits.
Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable members of society since they are unable to care for themselves and are often completely dependent on their caregivers. Residents who have been mistreated may be reluctant to report it due to fear of retribution.
Senior citizens who are unable to communicate are especially at risk. Individuals who want to commit abuse often see the most vulnerable people as easy targets and think that their actions will go unpunished.
If you have reason to believe that your loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, a San Francisco bruises attorney may be able to help your family seek justice. For more than 30 years, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has been helping clients across the United States hold those who committed elder abuse and neglect accountable. Call our office to discuss your case with a member of our staff and to learn how we may be able to help.
A Bruised Nursing Home Resident May Be a Sign of Elder Abuse
Some individuals bruise more easily than others. Age and overall health can affect how easily and how much a particular individual bruises. An older person or someone who is in poor health will likely bruise more easily than a younger, healthy person.
Bruises on a nursing home resident may indicate that he or she is a victim of abuse, which might include hitting, slapping, pushing, and shoving. The perpetrator could be a staff member, a fellow resident, or a visitor.
Understaffing is a common problem in nursing homes. Qualified staff are often hard to find and retain, and many facilities experience high rates of turnover. That can leave employees working long hours and struggling to handle the needs of multiple patients who have serious health problems. A staff member who feels stressed and overwhelmed may abuse a patient in a moment of frustration. In some cases, abuse is more systematic. For example, employees may restrain patients without valid justification to make them easier to control.
Many cases of nursing home abuse involve assault by one resident against another. A person who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may lash out in anger or frustration at another resident. The person who committed the assault may not understand the consequences of the action or that it is wrong and may not remember it after the fact. If a facility is understaffed, employees may fail to take action to protect residents and may not respond to abuse if it occurs. They may not be aware of abuse if bruises are not in places where they are clearly visible and if the victim does not report the incident.
Bruises may also point to sexual abuse by a staff member, another resident, or a visitor. If you have noticed bruising on your family member’s genital area or thighs, he or she may be a victim of sexual abuse.
In some cases, bruises are evidence of neglect. For example, if a facility is understaffed, employees may not take a resident to the bathroom when needed because they are busy caring for other patients. A senior citizen who has difficulty walking may try to go to the bathroom without assistance, fall, and suffer bruises, and possibly other serious injuries, such as head trauma or broken bones. Not helping a nursing home resident with walking and toileting are examples of neglect, according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect, a San Francisco bruises lawyer may be able to help your family seek justice. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your legal options with a member of our team.
How to Figure out If Your Family Member Is a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you visited a relative in a nursing home and noticed one or more bruises, that may be a sign that your family member has been abused or neglected. Bruises do not automatically mean that your family member has been mistreated, but they should be cause for concern and should prompt you to ask questions.
If your loved one can communicate, ask him or her to explain what happened. Ask your relative’s roommate and other residents if they know what caused the bruises. Ask staff members and managers to explain how your family member was injured, how the injuries were treated, and what was done to address the underlying cause of the incident. Inconsistencies or attempts to dodge questions could be signs that your loved one may have been abused or neglected.
Bruises may not be in places where you will see them right away, or they may have faded between the time of an incident and the day of your visit. You may notice other signs of abuse in your loved one’s behavior and demeanor, however. If your relative seems withdrawn, anxious, or angry, he or she may have suffered abuse. Pay attention to whether your family member’s behavior is different in general or whether he or she acts differently around a particular individual.
For a free legal consultation with an bruises lawyer serving San Francisco, call (800) 794-0444
Get Help from a San Francisco Bruises Attorney if You Suspect Any Form of Mistreatment
If you have reason to believe that your family member has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you can file a report with the facility, your local police department, and the appropriate state agency. A San Francisco bruises lawyer may also be able to help you pursue financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit and may take the case to court, if necessary.
Our law firm has represented residents of long-term care facilities across the United States and their families in personal injury cases. We work to hold accountable those who abuse and neglect nursing home residents, as well as those who fail to investigate or actively try to cover up mistreatment.
Clients who take legal action against those responsible for nursing home abuse and neglect do not just seek justice for their loved ones. They work to promote systemic change to protect other vulnerable people from similar forms of mistreatment.
You may think that your family could not afford to hire a lawyer to file a suit against a nursing home. Many other victims and their families share that concern. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works on a contingency model, which means that clients do not have to pay us anything unless we obtain a financial award on their behalf.
Your family has a limited amount of time to act. The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is two years, according to the California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1. Contact our law firm today to discuss your loved one’s injuries with a member of our team.