Texas has strict laws in place to protect nursing home residents from abuse. If you suspect your loved one was harmed in a nursing home facility, a San Antonio nursing home abuse lawyer could help you get justice.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), one in 10 adults age 65 and older will experience abuse. It is frightening to consider your loved one could be victimized by caregivers who are supposed to protect them. If you believe your family member was abused, you can take action. Call (800) 712-9119 to discuss your rights with the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC.
Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is not uncommon. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two-thirds of caregivers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities admit to having abused residents.
You can prevent abuse and help keep your loved one safe by recognizing the signs. First, it is important to understand there is more than one type of abuse, and not all forms of abuse involve physical violence. Abuse may also include psychological and emotional harm, neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, and financial exploitation.
Signs of abuse can often be seen on the body and in your loved one’s behavior. Be alert to any of the following physical signs of abuse, neglect, or abandonment:
- Unexplained weight loss, malnourishment, or dehydration
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
- Injuries, such as scratches, burns, or bruises
- Dirty hair, nails, and clothing
- Lack of dental care
- Falls, broken bones, and fractures
- Signs of infections, improperly cared-for wounds, or medical errors
You might notice emotional changes and mental health issues, as well. Your loved one might show signs of depression, including a loss of interest in activities. Your family member might seem afraid of a caregiver or express a particular dislike for a member of the nursing home staff. Changes in your loved one’s level of alertness could indicate difficulty sleeping.
The DOJ estimates financial abuse may be the most prevalent form of elder abuse. Make sure your loved one’s funds are being properly managed. Be aware of any missing property, money, or benefits. Ensure no unauthorized changes have been made to your family member’s official documents, like life insurance policies, wills, or deeds.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuses lawyer serving San Antonio, call 800-959-1444
Texas Has Laws in Place to Protect Nursing Home Residents
Adults aged 60 and over are offered special protection under the Texas Human Resources Code §102.001. In addition to the laws protecting the rights of every Texas resident, the code guarantees seniors:
- The right to be respect as well as freedom from exploitation, neglect, and abuse
- The right to communicate and complain about their treatment or care without fear of retaliation
- A right to privacy regarding medical care, written and telephone communications, and family visits
- A right to manage their own finances or choose how their money is managed
- The right not to be discharged, except in an emergency, from their care facility without 30 days written notice
- The right to participate in religious, social, and community activities
Texas also has numerous laws in place that mandate nursing home abuse reporting. There are criminal penalties in place not only for abusers, but for those who fail to alert the authorities about the abuse. According to a report by Texas Health and Human Services (HHS), all nursing home facility owners and employees are legally obligated to report any suspected abuse to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS). The facility must investigate allegations of abuse and submit a report of the findings to DADS.
Failure to report or investigate abuse could lead to criminal charges. The law also requires law enforcement to be notified when a resident is in danger, a resident dies from injuries suffered during alleged abuse, or a resident is injured, hospitalized, or given emergency treatment because of alleged abuse.
If you suspect abuse, you can contact DADS by calling (800) 458-9858. You might also want to contact a San Antonio nursing home abuse lawyer to learn more about your rights and how you can seek compensation on behalf of your loved one. Call the offices of Ben Crump Law, PLLC, today.
Abusers Should Be Brought to Justice
Not only should the people who hurt your loved one face criminal charges, but they should also pay for the damages they have caused your family. Your loved one deserves compensation for their pain and suffering, and your family should not be stuck with medical bills and other expenses you would not have if your loved one had not been harmed.
If your family member died because of nursing home abuse, you deserve compensation for their end-of-life expenses. You could also be owed awards for the grief, stress, and anguish caused by their loss.
A lawyer can assist you through the legal process. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003 sets a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death and personal injury claims. This means you have two years from the time your loved one’s injury or death occurred to bring a lawsuit. An attorney might be able to help you do this, as well as represent you in any and all proceedings related to your case. This can include obtaining evidence to prove allegations of abuse, such as medical records and witness testimony.
San Antonio Nursing Home Abuses Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
Reach Out to Ben Crump Law, PLLC
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we understand how devastating it can be to learn your loved one has been the victim of abuse. We believe in helping the elderly and their families stand up to their abusers. We know that money cannot erase the suffering you have endured, but it may ease your financial stress and deter the nursing home and its staff from future wrongdoing. Reach out to our team at (800) 712-9119 to find out more about working with a San Antonio nursing home abuse lawyer.