Physical violence is an act perpetrated against too many of our nation’s seniors. Though abuse goes underreported and under-researched, experts think elder abuse may be as prevalent as child abuse, according to a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Too often, the people who inflict harm on the elderly are the same people entrusted with their care.
Millions of older adults are subjected to abuse every year. Physical and mental health conditions common among nursing home residents may put them even more at risk than seniors living in other settings. If you believe your family member suffered physical abuse at the hands of their nursing home’s staff, hire a Columbus physical abuse lawyer. The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to help you fight for your loved one. Call us at (800) 842-6336.
Recognizing the Signs of Abuse
In order to protect your loved one, you need to understand the warning signs of abuse. Bodily injuries, such as cuts, bruises, broken bones, and burns, are obvious signs of physical abuse, especially if the staff cannot explain how they occurred. Falls and other accidents may also indicate abuse, particularly if they happen frequently.
Physical abuse can leave marks on the body, but it can also manifest in behavioral and emotional changes. If your family member is experiencing physical abuse, they may show signs of trauma, become aggressive, or have difficulty sleeping. Pay attention when your loved one seems afraid of any of their caregivers or expresses a strong dislike for certain staff members.
Verbal and emotional (psychological) abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation may accompany physical abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse includes actions such as belittling, humiliating, isolating, or threatening a resident. Seniors suffering from this type of abuse may become depressed, withdrawn, and suddenly lose interest in things they once enjoyed.
Sexual abuse may leave similar marks on the body as physical abuse. Any injuries concentrated around the genitals or breasts should cause concern. Seniors suffering from physical abuse may also display similar signs of trauma and emotional or behavioral problems as those subjected to physical and psychological abuse.
Neglect is the intentional or unintentional failure to meet a resident’s needs for food, shelter, medical care, hygiene, and health care. Signs of neglect include bedsores, dehydration, malnourishment, and dirty hair, clothing, and fingernails.
Financial exploitation is the illegal and unauthorized use of a resident’s financial assets. Warning signs include missing money or property and changes to official documents, such as wills and life insurance policies.
Ohio is serious about protecting nursing home residents. Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §3721.13 outlines the rights of those living in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Guaranteed rights include:
- Freedom from physical, emotional, mental, and verbal abuse
- Freedom from financial exploitation
- A safe and clean living environment
- Clean clothes and bedsheets
- Freedom from the unnecessary use of physical or chemical restraints
If you have concerns about your loved one’s nursing home, you can file a complaint with the management. If nothing comes from your complaint, it might be time to move your loved one to a new facility, contact the police, and hire an attorney to fight for compensation on their behalf.
For a free legal consultation with a Physical Abuse Lawyer serving Columbus, call (800) 842-6336
Compensation for Your Loved One
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), victims of abuse are more likely to need emergency medical care and hospitalization. The NCEA found that medical costs resulting from abuse amount to more than $5 billion of the country’s annual health expenditures. If your loved one needed treatment because of injuries inflicted by physical abuse, the nursing home should pay for their medical care.
A Columbus physical abuse lawyer can help you fight for compensation for your loved one’s medical bills, as well as reimbursement of the fees they paid to the nursing home where their abuse occurred. A lawyer may also be able to help you recover the costs of relocating your family member to another care facility.
Additionally, an attorney can help you seek awards for your loved one’s pain and suffering. These damages compensate victims for the physical pain, emotional turmoil, mental health issues, and reduction in quality of life caused by the abuse they experienced.
Sadly, sometimes victims of nursing home abuse die because of their injuries. If abuse-related injuries or abuse-related physical decline lead to your loved one’s death, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death suits allow surviving family members to pursue damages on behalf of the deceased. You may be able to win a settlement for the costs of your loved one’s medical bills, burial costs, and other expenses.
If you suspect physical abuse caused your family member’s injuries or death, consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you take steps to protect your loved one, investigate their care, and hold those guilty of wrongdoing responsible.
Assembling a case may take time, and any legal action you take is bound by the statutes of limitations. ORC §2305.10 allows two years to sue for personal injury, and ORC §2125.02 gives a window of two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
A Commitment to Serving Victims
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has more than 50 years of combined experience serving victims. We partner with top attorneys from across the county to provide you with the legal help you need. A Columbus physical abuse lawyer can work to resolve your case.
We do not want your nursing home abuse claim to become a source of stress. You have enough to worry about without fretting over attorney fees. We will take your case on contingency, and we do not get paid unless we win a settlement in your favor. To learn more about how our team can assist you and your family, call us at (800) 842-6336 for a free consultation.