Senior citizens are susceptible to abuse, and those in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to mistreatment. Elderly physical abuse can lead to long-term and permanent health problems—as well as death.
Physical abuse is illegal and devastating for the victim and their family members. Suing abusers and the facilities that hired them can protect the community and help compensate victims for damages.
You should speak to a Louisiana physical abuse lawyer if you suspect someone is physically abusing your loved one. Speak to a team member about financial compensation for personal injury in a nursing home by calling Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 today.
Nursing Home Physical Abuse Lawsuits
The idea of someone hurting our spouse, parent, or grandparent is unfathomable. Yet, incidences of elder abuse happen every day.
There are many forms of physical abuse. Health care workers and caregivers can intentionally and unintentionally cause harm to the people we care about. Violent physical abuse can include the following:
● Hitting, punching, and kicking
● Causing blunt trauma with objects
● Burning or cutting
● Pushing, shoving, or tripping
● Pulling hair and pinching the skin
● Applying too much pressure to their body
A nursing home may use restraints for residents prone to wandering. However, the excessive use of physical or chemical restraints can be more harmful than helpful.
Physical abuse also includes neglect. Without the staff to move them, residents with mobility issues can develop sores and bruises if left in their beds or chairs. Likewise, urine and feces can cause skin rashes and infections if left unattended.
Neglect can also mean failure to provide medical treatment or care. For instance, dehydration and malnutrition can occur if staff members refuse to give residents water or nutritional meals. Failure to provide medical treatment can include withholding medication or not meeting with a physician when necessary.
Know When it is Appropriate to File a Lawsuit for Elder Physical Abuse in Louisiana
Louisiana has one of the shortest time limits to file a lawsuit for physical abuse. Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §9:5628 states that you need to file within one year of the abuse.
The sooner you file, the faster your lawyer can start working on your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more about filing a lawsuit in Louisiana.
Your Louisiana Physical Abuse Lawyer Can Establish Who the Responsible Parties Are
While it may be clear that the abuser is liable for any mistreatment, the nursing home may also be responsible. Nursing homes must follow several state and federal laws regarding care and treatment, as stated in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 42 §483. Failure to uphold these laws can result in fines and other penalties. Some federal rules facilities need to comply with include the following:
● Having an adequate number of staff members to care for residents
● Having a registered nurse on-site eight hours a day
● Employing a qualified dietitian
● Serving meals with nutritional sufficiency
● Ensuring a resident receives frequent medical care
Nursing homes must provide residents with a safe and clean environment, as well as assistance and supervision to prevent injuries and accidents. The court will hold the facility responsible if it failed to deliver adequate and proper care via qualified caregivers.
Financial Rewards for Damages that You Could Fight to Recover
Although money cannot undo the damage caused to your family member, it can help you recover. Physical abuse can have long-term effects, physically and mentally. Your parent, spouse, or grandparent may need more direct care following mistreatment.
Compensation from a civil lawsuit for physical abuse can pay for any medical treatment and care the abuse necessitated. This includes therapy and care for mental anguish.
You may also be able to seek payment to relocate your family member to a better facility. If your loved one died due to the abuse they suffered, you can sue for compensation for burial and funeral costs.
You may be able to seek compensation for the pain and suffering of your family member or yourself.
Evidence Will Be Necessary to Prove Your Case
Because it is not always clear how a nursing home resident became injured, evidence is crucial. Video recording and pictures of the abuse occurring (or of the injuries themselves) can show who is responsible—and the extent of the abuse.
Similarly, photos of the nursing home’s unsafe environment can be helpful. Medical records and other health care documentation can illustrate ill-treatment, especially regarding internal injuries or other unseen damages.
If you do not know who the abuser is, it can be beneficial to keep a log of the injuries and their occurrences. Your lawyer may be able to investigate further based on this information. For instance, your representative may legally request records—through a subpoena—of documentation needed to support your case, such as employees’ work logs.
Testimony from eyewitnesses, other residents, and their families can reinforce the charges. If the abuse happened to other residents, the court may demand stiffer penalties.
How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help Your Family
Your lawyer will act and fight for compensation on behalf of you and your loved one. They will work with you to strengthen your case and guide you through the legal process.
A Louisiana physical abuse lawyer will argue against the defense’s statements. Physical abusers will use many defenses to avoid being held responsible for their actions. Some defendants may claim they were doing their job when:
● Bathing a resident with water that was too hot or too cold
● Moving a resident too roughly
● Force-feeding a resident
● Restraining a resident to their bed or a chair
● Brushing their hair or teeth with excessive force
Since physical and mental abilities can deteriorate with age, the nursing home’s defense attorney may claim that injuries resulted from something else, such as from a fall or a reaction from medication.
To find out more about filing a nursing home physical abuse lawsuit, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336.