Nursing home abuse is becoming a more prominent problem across the country, as more incidents involving seniors are being discovered in nursing homes. While government agencies and law enforcement personnel speculate on the multitude of reasons why abuse is becoming a bigger problem, they are also taking a stronger stance against it to help protect seniors. Taking action to protect a loved one in a nursing home where abuse may be happening can leave you with unexpected financial costs on top of other problems to deal with. Fortunately, you may be able to take legal action to recover some of those costs.
If a loved one experienced abuse in a nursing home, taking legal action may be the right step for your situation. Discuss your case with an Akron nursing home abuse lawyer, for guidance on the legal process and a review of your case. Call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 712-9119 for a free consultation about your legal options and help in determining which steps you should take next.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, several main types of elder abuse are commonly seen, including:
- Financial abuse: There is an increasing number of incidents where nursing home staff access seniors’ financial accounts without permission to take their money. This can also happen in the form of stealing physical assets of value from where they live.
- Physical abuse: Any action that causes physical harm to seniors.
- Emotional abuse: Saying or doing things that are intended to cause emotional stress and discomfort.
- Neglect: Not providing the level of care that is needed to keep seniors in good health. This is becoming a particularly widespread problem in nursing homes because most nursing homes are understaffed for the number of seniors that they have to take care of.
- Sexual abuse: Any type of unwanted sexual contact aimed at seniors.
There are other types of nursing home abuse not covered on this list. As nursing home abuse becomes a more prominent problem, the need to find ways of preventing it becomes more important. There are many organizations dedicated to studying and preventing nursing home abuse. You may also be one of the best options for stopping abuse since you can keep a close eye on your loved one’s care and respond when you see anything strange happening.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Akron, call (800) 712-9119
Liability can apply to several entities in a nursing home abuse case. The care provider that committed the abuse is usually held liable. However, the facility can be held liable as well under certain circumstances. If the facility knew about the abuse and did nothing to stop it, it may be held liable for any damages. Your Akron nursing home abuse lawyer can determine who has liability for your expenses and file the lawsuit accordingly.
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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
One of the most difficult parts of dealing with nursing home abuse is being able to identify it. By its nature, abuse is done in secret. Many victims also do not report it, either out of fear of being removed from the nursing home or out of fear of punishment or retaliation by the perpetrator. Unless you are looking closely and often, you may miss any signs of abuse.
There are specific signs that you can look for to make sure that your loved one is not being abused. Changes in personality where your loved one becomes more timid and afraid of other people can be an indicator of abuse. Because they are being abused, they learn to fear other people or the repercussions of getting their abuser in trouble. This may make them more likely to avoid social situations or be uneasy around other people.
Other common signs of abuse are unexplained physical injuries. Bruises, cuts, and burns can happen by accident, but any injury that a senior receives in the care of a nursing facility should be documented. If the facility cannot explain where those injuries are coming from, that may be a sign that someone is secretly abusing your loved one.
The inability to afford medical care and other necessities may also point to abuse. This is especially true if you monitor your loved one’s financial accounts and notice large amounts of money are disappearing over time with no reasonable explanation. It may mean that someone is accessing their accounts and taking the money out for different uses.
In some cases, the facility may be abusing seniors by providing excessive medical care. This usually happens in the form of overmedication or extensive medical treatments that may not be necessary. Overmedication is an increasingly common problem since medical facilities can control what medications seniors take, and overmedicating may help keep unruly patients under control.
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Statute of Limitations
When you file a lawsuit, there is a statute of limitations that you need to be aware of. A statute of limitations is a legal time limit on the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit after an incident. It is designed for victims to take action sooner rather than later so that evidence can be recovered and situations can be addressed in a timely manner.
According to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.10, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse in Ohio has several parts to it. Essentially, you have three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. If your loved one develops a condition due to abuse, you have one year from the date that you find out about it to file a lawsuit. If you want to avoid issues with the statute of limitations, contact a lawyer as soon as possible to begin the legal process.
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If a loved one experienced abuse in a nursing home, you may be able to take legal action to recover the expenses of helping them get better care. Contact an Akron nursing home abuse lawyer by calling the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 712-9119 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
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