When in the care of a nursing facility, that facility has an obligation to protect patients from harm. Every time there is an injury, the patient should receive medical attention and the incident should be documented. Anytime there are injuries that are not documented, this is a sign of abuse in a nursing facility. This is especially true of bruises, cuts, and burns, which are unacceptable at any time.
If a loved one stays in a nursing home and has unexplained injuries, consult a San Francisco unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer to see what your legal options are. You may be able to take legal action to protect your loved one and recover compensation from the facility to cover medical and other expenses. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with our legal team.
Possible Causes of Unexplained Injuries
Unexplained injuries can happen for a variety of reasons. These reasons can include:
- Unknown causes: It is entirely possible that injuries cannot be explained because no one knows where they came from. Sometimes, seniors can have accidents without staff members around, and forget what happened.
- Accidents: While facilities try to minimize the number of accidents, they can happen. This is a problem in facilities that are understaffed. Accidents can happen without staff members around to witness them and reporting on the cause may not be possible.
- Neglect: It is also possible that seniors are being neglected by being left alone for a long time, which opens them up to accidents. The injuries can also be from common problems like bedsores from being left in one place for too long.
- Abuse: Staff members that are stressed can become abusive to the patients. When this happens, there are likely to be several signs of abuse including unexplained injuries.
There are other causes of unexplained injuries not covered on this list. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) researches abuse for elders in and out of nursing homes. There are many potential signs of abuse and neglect, including the ones on this list. Any unexplained injury should be thoroughly investigated and receive medical treatment.
Determining liability in a case that involves nursing home abuse can be slightly complicated. In most cases, the one abusing the patient is held responsible. However, there are cases where the facility has also been held responsible. In these cases, understaffing is usually a concern within the facility.
According to research done at the University of California San Francisco, nursing home understaffing is becoming a major problem across the country. If a facility is understaffed and does not try to resolve this problem, then the resulting abuse and neglect by staff members may cause the facility to be held responsible too.
For a free legal consultation with an unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer serving San Francisco, call (800) 842-6336
Possible Recoverable Compensation
In a case that involves abuse or neglect in a nursing home, a personal injury lawsuit makes it possible to recover several types of compensation that you can recover. These types of compensation include:
- Medical expenses: When abuse and neglect happen, injuries are likely. Any medical costs to treat those injuries can be recovered. You also may be able to recover the costs of seeking a new nursing care facility.
- Restitution: Restitution, also referred to as pain and suffering compensation, is awarded to address the emotional costs of the abuse. It is usually not based on a set of expenses. Rather, it is based on the impact that the situation had on the victim.
- Legal expenses: If a facility is particularly heinous in its actions and a lawsuit is filed, that facility may also have to pay the victim’s legal fees.
There are other types of compensation not covered on this list. Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Consult a lawyer and law enforcement if you think abuse or neglect is happening.
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Statute of Limitations
When you are thinking of filing a lawsuit, there is a time limit that you should be aware of. It is called the statute of limitations and it is a legal time limit for how long you have to file a lawsuit after an event has occurred. Most laws and legal systems have a statute of limitations to protect the defendants in those cases from being accused of crimes that happened so long before the case was filed that proving anything would be difficult.
According to the California Judicial Branch, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date that the injury took place. That means that you only have two years to file a lawsuit against the care provider or the facility. The only exception to this is if the injury was not discovered immediately. In these cases, the statute of limitations is one year from the date that the injury was discovered. It is in your best interest to consult a lawyer, such as a San Francisco unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer as soon as possible.
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Understanding Your Rights
Neglect and abuse can happen anywhere and at any time. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) researches the specifics of elder abuse, and it is becoming a bigger problem than most people realize. Because of this, there are more lawsuits being filed against nursing facilities and care providers.
If you or a loved one is the victim of abuse, you have the right to file a lawsuit against your abuser. This lawsuit can recover compensation to help you address the financial, emotional, and physical burdens created by your abuse.
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Elder and nursing home abuse are growing problems, but no one should have to address them alone. Using the assistance of a lawyer, you may be able to file a lawsuit to hold your abuser accountable and recover compensation to lighten your financial and medical burdens.
If you or a loved one has experienced abuse or neglect, consult a San Francisco unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer to take legal action. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak to our legal team about your case.