It’s a difficult choice to move your loved one into a nursing home. You do your research and find a nursing facility that appears to provide quality care and medical treatment. Placing them in another person’s care can feel stressful and overwhelming, however, and, unfortunately, sometimes that fear is justified.
Abuse occurs in nursing homes with alarming frequency. According to the World Health Organization, approximately one in six people aged 60 years and older have experienced some form of abuse in a community setting. You never expect your own loved one to be the victim of abuse, but when you suspect abuse is occurring, it’s important to seek help.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., our experienced Alpharetta nursing home abuse lawyers understand how devastating it is to learn someone you love suffered in an environment where they should have been safe. We will help you take steps to ensure your family member’s safety. Then, we’ll fight for the justice your loved one deserves and work hard to recover the maximum financial compensation available.
If your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, call us today at (855) 465-4407 to find out more about our legal services and how we can help.
Nursing home abuse occurs when an elderly resident of a nursing facility suffers some type of harm, whether emotional, physical, sexual, or financial. The staff members are supposed to create a safe environment for their patients and provide medical care when necessary. If they fail in their responsibilities, they could be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Five types of abuse could happen in nursing homes. Each has the potential to cause severe injuries or fatalities. There are warning signs you should look for if you believe your loved one experienced any type of abuse listed below.
Physical abuse is the use of physical force, which causes bodily injury or death. Punching, kicking, and any action that could lead to physical harm is abuse. Common signs that a nursing home resident is the victim of physical abuse include:
Emotional abuse is the intentional cause of fear, pain, or distress. If you think your loved one is suffering from emotional abuse, it might be challenging to notice the warning signs. This form of abuse doesn’t typically lead to physical injuries. It only affects the victim emotionally or psychologically.
The symptoms that might indicate emotional abuse include the following:
Emotional abuse usually takes the form of these behaviors:
Sexual abuse occurs when one person uses physical force, coercion, threats, or other means to engage in sexual acts with another. Older adults in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to this type of abuse. If they have a mental or physical disability, they’re even more at risk.
Some warning signs that might indicate your loved one was the victim of sexual abuse include:
Financial abuse doesn’t occur as often as the other forms of abuse. Although rare, it’s something you should be aware of. Most often, staff members will take advantage of patients they know are in excellent financial standing. They might illegally gain access to bank accounts or make unauthorized ATM withdrawals.
Warning signs include:
Neglect is the failure to meet someone’s needs or keep them safe. When a nursing home staff member doesn’t provide adequate care, your loved one could suffer the consequences. Neglect could take many forms and cause debilitating injuries to the victim. For example, a nurse who leaves an elderly resident alone in a wheelchair for hours is exhibiting neglect.
The most common warning signs include:
There are multiple reasons for nursing home abuse. They’re all preventable; however, many facilities don’t follow federal regulations set by the Nursing Home Reform Act. These regulations are supposed to protect nursing home residents’ rights and provide a guideline for staff.
Some of the most common reasons for abuse and neglect include:
If a nursing home doesn’t have enough nurses, assistants, and other staff members, the patients suffer. Staff can’t check on all their patients promptly or adequately diagnose a medical problem. They’re overworked, and that can lead to neglect. A patient who needs assistance walking to the bathroom might try to do it on their own if multiple requests go unanswered. They could fall and get seriously hurt as a result.
Understaffing can also result in elder abuse. Staff who feel frustrated with their long hours and minimal pay might take out their anger on the residents. That could lead to physical or emotional harm.
Unfortunately, nursing homes will cut costs by hiring nurses without properly vetting them. Instead of performing thorough background checks, they’ll hire any applicants that can fulfill schedule requirements. If staff members don’t have enough experience, they won’t know how to interact with patients or provide the right type of treatment for specific medical issues.
Sometimes caregivers in nursing homes don’t perform their jobs well because of mismanagement or lack of management. There should be adequate supervision of all staff members to ensure everyone is following federal and state laws. Employees should also get access to training and education programs, so they’re able to perform all their job duties correctly. Lack of training and supervision can result in nurses who skip crucial steps or make mistakes while providing medical care.
If your loved one sustained injuries and you suspect it’s from nursing home abuse, you should take immediate action. You want to keep them safe and protect their rights to financial compensation. To ensure you’re able to hold the nursing home or specific staff member liable for their actions, follow each step below.
If you want to sue the nursing home or specific individual who abused your loved one, you’ll need to follow the state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two years. That means you have two years from the date of the abuse to pursue legal action. If two years pass, you’ll lose your right to compensation for this matter.
Under particular circumstances, you could push back the deadline for filing a lawsuit.
At Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., we understand how you’re feeling. This has been a traumatic experience for your loved one, and you want the person responsible for the abuse to pay for their actions. When you hire us, we’ll fight hard for justice and pursue the maximum monetary award available.
We care about our clients. You’ll never feel ignored or abandoned while we’re working on your case. We’ll maintain open communication and provide frequent status updates. Our legal team will provide services you can depend on.
We work on contingency, so you won’t have to pay us up front to represent you. We don’t expect payment unless we secure an insurance settlement or reach a favorable jury verdict. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
If your loved one suffered injuries in a nursing home and you want to pursue legal action against the negligent party, call us at (855) 465-4407. We’ll schedule a free consultation with one of our Alpharetta nursing home abuse lawyers.