Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
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Nursing home negligence is a type of medical malpractice defined as the abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of a resident in a nursing home or long-term care facility. Nursing home abuse takes on a variety of forms – including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, neglect, negligent care, as well as financial exploitation. Federal health and safety regulations, as well as state statutes, are in place to protect vulnerable residents from abuse. However, a recent congressional report found that one nursing home of every three was cited for an abuse violation in a two-year period. Nearly 10 percent of these violations were serious enough to cause physical harm to the residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of serious injury or death. The likelihood is that far too many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported. Family members and loved ones must keep a watchful eye for warning signs of nursing home negligence.
At the Locks Law Firm, our talented and knowledgeable nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys serve clients throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. A nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer can evaluate your nursing home negligence claim. Contact our New Jersey, Pennsylvania or New York offices today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse may take on a variety of forms. If you or a loved one in the care of a nursing home or long-term care facility has been abused or neglected, our compassionate trial attorneys can help you obtain compensation and hold the responsible party liable for their actions.
Any deliberate application of physical force that causes injury, pain, or impairment can be considered physical abuse. This may include hitting, striking (with or without an object), pushing, punching, slapping, pinching, kicking, tripping, and burning. Particularly susceptible to injury, elderly residents who are physically abused can be catastrophically injured.
If an individual has committed a non-consensual sexual act with an elderly patient, they can be liable for sexual abuse. This includes coerced nudity, exposure, sexually explicit photography, pornographic material delivered to the patient against his or her will, unwanted touching, unauthorized "peeping," and of course all types of sexual battery, which is the harmful or offensive unlawful touching of another person.
Emotional abuse can be defined as any type of act (nonverbal and verbal) that is designed to inflict emotional anguish and suffering. Typical examples of emotional abuse include threatening an elderly patient, demeaning or embarrassing a patient, treating a patient like a child, intimidation, and harassment. It may also include non-verbal acts such as isolating an elderly patient from fellow patients or family or ignoring a patient. Any type of emotional abuse is a violation of the responsibilities of the health care provider and it may be possible to file a nursing home abuse claim against the liable party.
Neglect and Abandonment
If nursing home staff members fail to fulfill their responsibilities to a patient and, as a result, the patient suffers harm, the staff members can be held liable for nursing home negligence. Nursing home neglect is categorized as a failure by health care providers to afford patients with the basic necessities of life, including food, water, clothing, personal hygiene, a clean and safe living environment, and comfort.
The unauthorized use of elderly patients' personal funds, assets, or property is considered financial exploitation. This may include cashing an elderly patient's check by forging a signature, abusing Power of Attorney rights, coercing an elderly patient to sign documents that provide access to funds, or stealing cash from an elderly individual. Any type of unauthorized financial exploitation is illegal and it may be possible to bring a civil complaint against the responsible party in order to obtain compensation.
Contact a New Jersey, Pennsylvania or New York nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at the Locks Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation and evaluation of your nursing home negligence claim.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Because nursing home abuse is often committed by trusted authority figures, many victims are often afraid, unwilling, or unable to report it. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation reported to the authorities, five more incidents go unreported. These despicable acts of neglect and mistreatment continue despite the passing of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 by the federal government. For this reason, it is important that loved ones are familiar with the warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Nursing home neglect includes:
Failure to assist in personal hygiene
Failure to provide appropriate food, clothing, and shelter
Failure to provide appropriate medical care
Failure to prevent or treat malnutrition and dehydration
Failure to prevent falls
Failure to take measures to prevent pressure ulcers, also known as bedsores
Signs of nursing home abuse or neglect include:
Development of pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bedsores
Excessive and/or rapid weight loss
Broken bones and/or unexplained falls
Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
Unexplained or unexpected death
Injuries resulting from restraint or lack of restraint
If you suspect a loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence, our attorneys, serving New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, can help. Contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today to schedule a free, confidential consultation. You may be entitled to recover compensation for economic damages (including past and future medical expenses and other out-of-pocket expenses), non-economic damages (including inconvenience, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, and pain and suffering), and physical impairment and disfigurement (including compensation for scars or physical disability as a result of the injuries you have sustained) through a lawsuit.
Contact a Locks Law Firm Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, it is important to immediately document and report the problem. At the Locks Law Firm, our nursing home negligence attorneys can examine your potential case and help you through the process. Contact our Pennsylvania nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at the Locks Law Firm today to schedule a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. An experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer at the Locks Law Firm can help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.Do I have a case? Free Case Evaluation