Elder abuse occurs commonly in the United States, and available statistics only reflect reported instances of abuse. Experts believe that it takes place even more frequently, and many older people do not have the ability to seek help or fear retribution from their abuser. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that elder abuse can have a serious impact on the physical and emotional well-being of the elderly, who often rely on those who abuse them for help with daily tasks.
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services analyzed by ProPublica, New Mexico had more health and safety violations than any other state in the country per nursing home. In fact, 85% of the nursing homes throughout the state have received citations for infectious disease control violations. Instances of resident neglect and abuse can lead to a lack of hygiene assistance, which may contribute to this startling problem.
If you or someone you love suffered abuse or neglect as a resident of a care facility, an Albuquerque nursing home abuse lawyer can help you seek compensation for the damages you accumulated as a result of your injuries or loss. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 712-9119 to speak with our legal team about your case.
Defining Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Despite the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 establishing the legal rights of all nursing home residents to receive quality care and live in a safe, healthy environment, nursing home abuse and neglect still occur regularly throughout the U.S. and New Mexico. Though both can have detrimental effects on their victims, abuse and neglect refer to two different types of maltreatment.
The Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care defines neglect as failing to care for a person in such a manner that they would experience harm or pain as a result. Neglect typically involves the failure of nursing home staff to assist residents with their needs, including:
- Using the bathroom
- Washing hands
- Eating and drinking
- Getting out of bed
- Participating in social activities
Care providers also demonstrate negligent behavior when they do not respond to a resident’s call for help in a timely manner, which can lead to serious injuries, illness, infection, or even death. While neglect sometimes occurs intentionally, it can also take place when staff does not receive the proper training to help residents or the nursing home does not maintain adequate staff.
Abuse, on the other hand, refers to the intentional infliction of harm or pain on a resident. Abuse takes many forms and can occur once or continue over an extended period of time.
- Physical: Pushing, shoving, hitting, rough handling, spitting, force-feeding
- Emotional: Berating, belittling, humiliating, threatening, ignoring, isolating
- Sexual: Improper touching, sexual coercion, unwanted advances
Regardless of the reason, nursing facilities have no excuse for allowing the abuse and neglect of their residents. An Albuquerque nursing home abuse lawyer can help you seek the accountability and compensation you deserve.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Albuquerque, call (800) 712-9119
Signs of Abuse or Neglect in Your Loved One
Because nursing homes often keep instances of abuse and neglect behind closed doors, family members and friends may find it difficult to recognize. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), signs that your loved one may exhibit include:
- Unkempt appearance
- Social isolation
- Weight loss
- Signs of trauma, such as rocking back and forth
- Agitation or irritability
- Unexplained bruises, scratches, or sores
- Lack of quality medical equipment
- Unhygienic living conditions
If you suspect that a loved one may have suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, do not hesitate to report your concerns to authorities and contact a law firm to help you hold the facility accountable for the harm they caused.
Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 712-9119
How an Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You with Your Case
You have a right to pursue recovery from the nursing home that caused your injuries or the wrongful death of your loved one. However, you may find the process of pursuing your case challenging to handle on your own. An attorney can help by:
- Investigating your case
- Collecting evidence to prove negligence
- Establishing liability
- Evaluating the financial damages you accumulated
- Seeking just financial awards for your injuries or loss
- Negotiating a fair settlement
If the insurance company doesn’t provide you with adequate compensation, your lawyer will go to trial to fight for your case.
New Mexico Statutes of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse Claims
If you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you have a limited amount of time to file your claim against the liable facility. Victims seeking compensation for their own injuries typically have up to three years from the date of discovery to file personal injury claims, while the personal representative from the victim’s estate usually has up to three years from the date of their loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death claim. If the victim passes without a will, the court delegates a representative from the decedent’s surviving family members.
Certain exceptions do apply, such as if the victim’s injuries left them incapacitated, but a lawyer can find out if you qualify for awards, determine how much time you have left to file, and get started on your case as soon as possible to avoid delays and deadlines.
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Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today
When families choose a nursing home for a loved one, they often do so because their busy lives make it difficult to provide the attention and care their loved one deserves. Nursing home staff have a responsibility to take every reasonable measure to ensure their safety, health, and well-being, and when they fail to do so, serious injuries, illnesses, and even death may occur.
If you or someone you love fell victim to nursing home abuse or neglect in Albuquerque, the attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you seek just compensation, and you do not owe us anything unless we achieve financial recovery for you. Contact our legal team at (800) 712-9119 to discuss your free case evaluation today.