The number of seniors going into nursing homes is increasing every year. As more of the population enters dedicated nursing care, there is a growing problem with nursing home abuse. It can happen anywhere and to anyone without being noticed for some time. This is because nursing home abuse is done in secret and is difficult to see unless you know what to look for.
There are many theories about why nursing home abuse is increasing, but your loved one is at risk regardless of the reasons. If you find that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you may be able to take legal action against their abuser or the nursing home to help the cost of your loved one’s recovery. Each case is different, which is why your first step should be to consult with a Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyer to see what your options are. You can call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 712-9119 for a free consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse: This is any type of abuse that causes physical harm to nursing home patients. Injuries can include bruises, cuts, and burns, and more.
- Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse is any action that causes emotional or mental stress for nursing home patients. In some cases, it may be unintentional as staff members become frustrated dealing with patients in less than ideal conditions. Regardless of the intent, this can be the subject of legal action.
- Negligence: Negligence is leaving a nursing home patient alone and uncared for over long periods of time without receiving the care that they need. As nursing homes become more crowded, negligence is becoming a bigger problem. Often, there are not enough staff members to provide the level of care that seniors need to stay in good health.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse involves taking money from patients or taking their valuable possessions for monetary gain. This is usually done without the patient knowing about it and using various fraudulent methods to obtain access to their accounts or personal items.
There may be other types of nursing home abuse not covered on this list. Nursing home abuse is hard to uncover because abusers do everything they can to make sure that the abuse cannot be seen. This is why it is important to keep a close eye on your loved one’s care while they are in a nursing facility. If you notice anything that seems strange about their care, investigate immediately. Taking quick action can help minimize the impact of abuse and make it easier for you to get your loved one the care that they need.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Kansas City, call 800-712-9119
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can be hard to spot unless you know what to look for. There are certain signs that appear when someone in a nursing home is being abused. However, everyone presents abuse differently, which can make it hard to identify.
Some of the most prominent signs of abuse are behavioral changes. If your loved one begins to act differently than they used to, this could be an indicator that something is wrong. Many abuse victims tend to be shy around other people or try to avoid other people altogether. They may try to avoid social activities of any kind. If you notice this problem, it is important to start looking into who they see regularly and if there are other signs of abuse present.
There are also physical signs you can look for. Burns, bruises, and cuts are common signs of abuse since they can be hidden while still having the desired effect on the patient. It is possible to receive these injuries without experiencing abuse, but injuries should be well documented in a nursing home. If the facility cannot provide any kind of documentation as to how those injuries happened, they could be a sign that your loved one is being abused in secret.
Other signs of abuse can include changes in your loved one’s condition over time. For example, nursing facilities often provide laundry services and other basic hygiene services to keep your loved ones clean and in good condition. If you begin to notice unclean clothes, body odor, or other signs of being unclean, this may mean that your loved one is being abused or neglected.
Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me 800-712-9119
One aspect of elder abuse cases that may confuse victims and their loved ones is the concept of liability. Being liable for injuries means that a person or facility is financially responsible for the damages that they caused. This is the person or entity that you file your lawsuit against. In most cases, the person doing the abuse is held liable. However, it could extend to the facility as well under specific circumstances.
Medical facilities, including nursing homes, are liable for the actions of their employees in some cases. If the facility created an environment where abuse was encouraged, tolerated, or ignored, the facility is just as responsible for the abuse as the person doing it. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the abuser and the facility to collect compensation for related expenses.
According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS), there is a formal process to file nursing home abuse claims with the state for criminal investigation. This may help to provide evidence for your civil case. Your claim may be addressed by the other party’s insurance company. Medical facilities carry liability insurance for this exact reason. Your lawyer may need to work with the insurance company to resolve your case, which will likely include an insurance settlement. Insurance companies offer settlement agreements often as a way of controlling the process and minimizing the impact on their business.
If you are offered a settlement agreement, review it with a Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyer before accepting it. It may not include enough compensation to cover all of your expenses, which can create financial problems for you later on. Have your lawyer renegotiate the settlement agreement until it meets your needs. Otherwise, you can take your case to court.
Contact Us to Schedule a No-Risk Consultation
If your loved one experienced abuse in a nursing home, you may be able to take legal action. Start by consulting with a Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyer for legal advice. You can call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 712-9119 for a free consultation about your case.