Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Information
The unfortunate truth is that older people living in nursing home facilities are vulnerable to physical and/or psychological abuse or neglect on the part of their caregivers, the very people to whom their well-being is entrusted. Whether nursing home abuse falls into the category of neglect or an intentional act of abuse, the nursing home and/or caregiver can be held responsible for any injuries sustained as a result of the abuse or neglect. A nursing home can be held liable for negligence if the injured resident or his or her loved ones can prove that the conduct of an employee or an ongoing practice at the facility caused the injuries. Some examples of negligent behavior leading to a civil lawsuit include:
- Failure to keep the premises reasonably safe
- Negligent supervision of residents
- Negligent hiring of an employee who engages in abuse or neglect
- Failure to provide adequate medical treatment
- Failure to maintain adequate health and safety policies
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
- Unexplained wounds, cuts, bruises or welts in various stages of healing
- Falls, fractures or head injuries
- Failure to report injuries to loved ones
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Residents who are agitated, extremely withdrawn or non-communicative
- Unusual or sudden changes in behavior
- Wanted to be isolated from others
- Unexplained or unexpected death of the resident
Nursing Home Abuse Research
Nearly two million Americans live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and federal nursing home regulations state that residents of nursing homes have “the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.” Unfortunately, because many nursing home residents are elderly or ill and unable to protect themselves, nursing home abuse remains a serious problem in the United States, one that is significantly underreported, either due to caregivers’ lack of awareness or adequate training on detecting abuse, or nursing home residents’ reluctance or inability to report the abuse. According to current statistics, more than two million cases of nursing home abuse are reported each year, and almost one out of every 10 elderly individuals suffer some form of elder abuse. Sadly, these numbers grossly understate the problem of nursing home abuse in this country.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Could Help
- Medical bills
- Hospital visits
- Ongoing care
- Pain and suffering
- Physical therapy
- Therapy or counseling
- Over-the-counter or prescription medications
- Funeral expenses
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are many different kinds of nursing home abuse, and just as many possible contributing factors that may lead to the abuse or neglect of elderly nursing home residents, including: poorly qualified or inadequately trained staff, understaffing, staff with a history of violence, the isolation of residents at a nursing home facility, and the reluctance of abuse victims to report their injuries out of fear or embarrassment. While physical abuse is typically the most obvious type of nursing home abuse, the abuse of elderly nursing home residents can take on a variety of forms, including:
- Physical abuse – The use of physical force or violence that causes bodily harm, pain, injury or impairment to a nursing home resident.
- Psychological/emotional abuse – Any action by a caregiver that causes psychological distress or emotional pain to a nursing home resident.
- Sexual abuse – Any unwanted sexual conduct against a nursing home resident, including manipulating or coercing an elderly individual into undesired sexual contact, or engaging in sexual contact with an elderly person who is unable to consent, due to a medical condition.
- Financial abuse/financial exploitation – A nursing home owner or caregiver improperly or illegally using a resident’s funds, assets or property, including cashing a resident’s checks without permission, forging a resident’s signature, or stealing a resident’s money.
- Neglect – A caregiver neglecting the needs of an elderly individual, possibly resulting in bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, and other serious injuries.
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