Although the majority of caregivers are trustworthy and professional, elder loved ones in Tulsa and other parts of Oklahoma can still fall victim to nursing home abuse and other malpractices. One injustice that often goes unnoticed is emotional abuse—but that does not mean you cannot bring this type of abuse to justice.
Emotional abuse is not always easy to detect because it does not usually leave physical scars, which can make it difficult to prove your case in court. A Tulsa emotional abuse lawyer can help file a lawsuit against the nursing home staff who wronged your loved one. Call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse cripples a person’s emotional and mental well-being. It can overlap with physical abuse, sexual abuse, or practically any deed that can damage the victim’s psyche. An abuser can do this verbally, non-verbally, or both at the same time. Some common examples of emotional abuse include insulting, threatening, or humiliating the victim. The abuser can also neglect their daily needs or keep them in confinement.
Emotional abuse can cause a lot of damage to nursing home residents because it breaks the trust that the elders and their families place on their caretakers. They are also often in the caretaker’s watch for long periods, which can make it hard for them to find help. Abused elders can experience intense depression, anxiety, stress, or even suicidal tendencies. These effects can intensify if the elder has mental conditions that affect their thinking and behavior, such as dementia.
Because emotional abuse is not as apparent as physical abuse, it may take a while before you realize your loved one is a victim. But some signs are common among nursing home victims, including sleeping problems, improper nutrition, or acting withdrawn and confused. An abusive nursing home staff member may make excuses to prevent the elder from meeting with their loved ones. They might also forbid the elder from socializing with other residents.
Oklahoma Laws Regarding Elder Abuse
Any act of abuse, neglect, and exploitation by caregivers are crimes in Oklahoma. According to Section 21-843.1 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the state will charge any violators with a felony. Verbal abusers can receive a jail sentence of up to one year or a $1,000 fine. They may also get both punishments.
Unfortunately, emotional abuse may entail more than harsh insults. It can also involve physical acts, forced confinement, or financial exploitation, such as depriving elders of basic needs or threatening them for cash. These actions can lead to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. If emotional abuse also includes sexual acts, the caretaker can receive a sentence of 15 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
Anyone above the age of 62 in Oklahoma also falls under the protection of Section 22-991a-13 (known as the Elderly and Incapacitated Victim’s Protection Program and Section 22-991a-21, which aims to punish abusers further by enhancing their sentences. For example, the court may also include community service or add additional penalties.
The Protective Services for Vulnerable Adults Act also orders anyone who suspects or has evidence of elder abuse in nursing homes to contact their Department of Human Services county office or other local authorities. Oklahoma’s elder abuse reporting guidelines state that you should report as soon as you discover the abuse. Purposely failing to do so is a misdemeanor and can land you a one-year jail sentence or a fine of up to $1,000, per Section 43A-10-104v1.
For a free legal consultation with an emotional abuse lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
How a Tulsa Emotional Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Emotional abuse cases can get complicated quickly because there are many possible factors at play. This type of abuse may also include actions that can affect the elder’s health and result in a personal injury.
The Tulsa emotional abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can review Oklahoma’s elder protection laws to figure out the full scope of your case and explain the statutes to you in further detail. To discuss your case with a member of our team, please call us today.
If you or your elder loved one pursue a claim and win the lawsuit, some of the damages that you may be compensated for include:
- Medical expenses for any health issues the abuser caused
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income or other finances due to exploitation
- Psychiatric or psychological therapy bills
If you have any difficulty with compiling proof to help determine the extent of recoverable damages, a Tulsa emotional abuse attorney can provide the resources to make it easier. A lawyer can also improve your chances of winning the claim and getting a fair settlement.
Statute of Limitations
Like other U.S. states, Oklahoma lawsuits must be within the statute of limitations (Section 22-152). In general, abuse cases have a three-year deadline. This timer will pause if the defendant is away from the state, but an emotional abuse case may involve other claims with different time limits.
A Tulsa emotional abuse lawyer can help ascertain your deadline and then assist you with building your lawsuit so you can submit on time.
Tulsa Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We Help Bring Abusers to Justice
All forms of abuse—even emotional— can cause pain and suffering to anyone, including our elderly loved ones. If your senior family member suffered from nursing home abuse, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is here to fight for you. We have been handling nursing home elder abuse and neglect lawsuits across the United States since 1985.
Our Tulsa emotional abuse lawyers can provide you with legal support and guidance throughout this ordeal. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation.