Every year, thousands of people in Texas become victims of sexual abuse, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). These individuals endure immeasurable amounts of physical and emotional pain and suffering. Sadly, many victims lose their sense of agency and trust for others. The laws in Texas protect people of all ages from the evils of sexual abuse. In the name of justice, the guilty party can face criminal charges and civil suits.
If your parent or family member was the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, a civil suit may help to cover medical costs and other losses. Consider a Fort Worth sexual abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call us at (800) 842-6336.
Examples of Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault
If you suspect your loved one has experienced sexual abuse in the care of a nursing home facility, you may wonder what steps to take. If you have not already, be sure to alert your local authorities. These cases are often complicated, but do not let that deter you from pursuing justice.
Whether the abuse is ongoing or an isolated incident, all sexual abuse involves a lack of consent. In a nursing home environment, many residents do not have the mental faculties to give proper consent. Some residents fail to remember their abuse or cannot effectively communicate what is happening. In a nursing home environment, sexual abuse can occur in a multitude of ways. The perpetrator may or may not have used threats, force, or weapons. Some examples:
- The deliberate touching of a victim’s private areas, such as the genitals or breasts, for sexual gratification
- Exhibitionism or “flashing” an unsuspecting victim
- Taking photos or filming the victim without clothing
- Showing the victim pornography
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
When families make the difficult decision to place their loved one into a nursing home, sexual abuse may not be a concern. Sadly, the sexual abuse of elders is not well-researched and not discussed frequently. There are many barriers to studying sexual abuse in nursing home communities, as they may not report, remember, or recognize these assaults.
Adults living in nursing homes often have health conditions that make it challenging to communicate effectively. There are also elements of shame and embarrassment that discourage reporting. For this reason, families may not be aware that the abuse is happening.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Warning Signs
Whether you are certain of nursing home sexual abuse or suspicious, there are some warning signs. Victims may have symptoms or might not. If you see these physical and emotional indicators, be sure to contact a Fort Worth sexual abuse lawyer. It can be difficult to handle this on your own.
Many nursing home residents are vulnerable due to their inability to consent and resist their attackers. Some signs of abuse are more visible than others, so keep detailed notes of your observations.
- Injuries in private areas like genitals, anus, and breasts
- Reporting pain in private areas
- Bruises or bleeding on or around private areas
- Testing positive for sexually transmitted diseases
- New displays of crying, anger, or panic, especially around a specific caretaker
- Not participating in their favorite activities
- Not eating or drinking
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 842-6336
Nursing Home Sexual Abusers
Unfortunately, the ones who are supposed to keep your loved one safe may be the ones who cause such deep pain. Many people visit or work in and around nursing homes, and it is the nursing home’s job to keep your family member safe. Sexual abuse may be perpetrated by many individuals, including:
- Staff members
- Other residents
Fort Worth Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Sexual Abuse Settlements
Nationwide, more and more perpetrators are facing the consequences of their actions. As a result, victims are seeing their abusers behind bars and getting financial settlements more often. The national discourse about rape, sexual assault, abuse, and harassment empowers victims to speak up. Shining light upon this dark issue helps to stop abusers from harming more victims; your loved one might be able to help others by coming forward. They may also receive financial compensation for their medical bills, pain, and suffering.
Your lawyer can help you prove liability, and in some cases, the fault may be in the hands of the nursing home facility. Finding a facility liable may help your family member secure a settlement. Many of sexual abuse cases settle outside of court. This is because both sides prefer to avoid the time and additional cost of a jury trial. Settling also avoids some of the public embarrassment and further trauma for the victim. However, if the case goes to trial, your lawyer will guide you through the process.
Statute of Limitations
Time is of the essence when helping your elderly parent or family member file a sexual abuse lawsuit. First, there is a time limit on how long your loved one has to file a claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations is five years for an adult’s sexual assault, per Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.0045(b). Exceptions to this time limit may apply, depending on the circumstances of your loved one’s case.
Also, nursing home residents’ health is fragile. It is complicated for many nursing home residents to pursue a claim independently, and they do not have time to waste. As their advocate, you are their champion, helping them seek justice. The sooner you file, the better.
Your attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation. In a recent case, your lawyers may have an easier time locating key players, witnesses, and information. Even if some time has passed, do not let that discourage you from helping your loved one file.
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Get Help Today
In any sexual abuse case, it is never a victim’s fault. Sexually abused victims in nursing homes deserve respect, dignity, and justice. Call to discover how a Fort Worth sexual abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. We fight for the justice your parent or loved one deserves. Plus, there is no up-front cost, and if we do not win, your loved one pays nothing.
You may wonder if your loved one even has a case. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and set up a free initial consultation. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336.