Texas has one of the highest elderly populations in the United States, with more than 3 million people aged 65 and above—a figure that continues to rise with the aging of the baby boomer generation. As such, a growing number of older adults also stay in long-term care facilities as their health fails with aging. Unfortunately, this has led to increased elder abuse incidents over the years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six elderly residents experiences abuse in some form.
If you believe that your senior relative was a victim of this abuse, you may wish to seek legal assistance. A Fort Worth nursing home abuse lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can explain your legal options for compensation. Call 800-959-1444 today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our team.
Negligence Is a Common Basis for Legal Claims
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms, with neglect being the most common. Elderly victims can suffer both physical injuries and mental trauma from the mistreatment. However, not all incidents get reported for fear of retaliation from their abusive caregivers, even with laws that protect older adults from such abuse. In 2019, National Public Radio (NPR) reported that in many cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the nursing homes did not report the incidents to enforcement agencies—even though they are legally required to do so.
Injured nursing home residents have the right to seek compensation for the abuse they have experienced, and one way to do that is to file a legal claim. A Fort Worth nursing home abuse lawyer can help the victim and their family recover damages through a negligence lawsuit.
Negligence is the legal basis for holding parties liable for their actions that brought harm to others. Civil liability in a nursing home abuse case does not always involve just one individual—it often includes multiple parties, such as the nursing home staff, administration, and stockholders. Below are a few examples of where negligence may occur.
Hiring and Supervision Oversight
Nursing home administrators are responsible for hiring and managing staff members. If abuse happens because of an exploitative employee, they are liable for failing to perform due diligence and screen workers before hiring. Also, they are accountable if they fail to train the staff properly.
Failure to Maintain Premises
Nursing homes should be free of safety hazards with frequent inspections and routine maintenance. If premises are dangerous or unsanitary, it can lead to accidents and illnesses among residents. As such, the administration should be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Neglect in Providing Adequate Treatment
Nursing homes administer medications and other forms of treatment to dependent elderly residents. Failure to do so may lead to complications, and in worst cases, death. The staff and administrators should pay for the consequences of their oversight.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Fort Worth, call 800-712-9119
The Burden of Proving Liability Lies with the Victim
Like most civil liability cases, the burden of proof in a nursing home abuse claim lies with the victim. If they are seeking compensation, they must prove that the other party is responsible for the injuries they suffered. Keep in mind that not all injury claims are actionable. To be considered actionable, a claim must have the following elements—duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Nursing homes have the duty to provide a reasonable standard of care to their residents, arising out of a contractual relationship. If they neglected or abused an elderly resident, they breached this legal duty and should be held accountable. The victim must show that the other party’s breach has caused harm, resulting in physical injuries and/or emotional distress. There must also be actual damages, such as medical expenses, to recover from the parties that are found liable.
Identifying who should be liable in a nursing home abuse case is a challenging task—liability may not be as clear-cut in some legal claims. A Fort Worth nursing home abuse lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can provide valuable assistance and help you determine if you have an actionable claim.
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Potential Compensation in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
In personal injury cases, injured victims have the legal right to recover both economic and non-economic losses. If the elderly resident died, their surviving family members may be entitled to compensation by pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Potential damages may include:
- Medical expenses such as medications, past and future treatments, hospitalization, rehabilitative therapy, and other related costs
- Pain and suffering, which provides compensation for trauma and distress
- Losses related to any resulting disability or disfigurement
- Funeral expenses and reasonable compensation for loss of a loved one
Possible awards depend on the circumstances of each case. A Fort Worth nursing home lawyer can help you and your family determine how much compensation you should receive for the illness or injury your loved one suffered.
How a Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help
Working with a Fort Worth nursing home abuse lawyer is an ideal way to explore and understand your legal options. This is also the best opportunity to shed light on other possible incidents of mistreatment in the nursing home facility in question. A legal professional familiar with nursing home abuse claims has the experience and knowledge necessary to navigate your family through the entire process. They can also ensure that your claim is filed within the statute of limitations to allow full recovery of damages. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003 sets a limit of two years for personal injury claims.
To establish liability, your lawyer will investigate the matter by gathering relevant evidence. This may include medical records, photos of injuries, expert testimony, and other documents proving the abuse or neglect has happened—even if the elderly victim is impaired or unable to remember or communicate their experience. If the lawyer believes you have a strong case, they will pursue the liable party to help you get compensation.
Nursing homes often attempt to deal with abuse claims in the least expensive and quickest way possible. Many elder abuse victims receive a settlement offer that is far too low. Before accepting any offer, consult a Fort Worth nursing home abuse lawyer to determine the strength of your case.
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Turn to Us for Legal Support
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our legal team fights for victims’ rights, especially those who are the most vulnerable members of our society. A Fort Worth nursing home abuse lawyer can help you pursue a legal claim to get justice for your loved one.
To learn more, call 800-959-1444 today or fill out a free case evaluation form online.