If you intend to take legal action against a nursing home or long-term care facility that abused your elderly loved one, having a lawyer who specializes in such matters can be invaluable. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help ensure that your loved one receives the proper compensation for the injuries they suffered under the facility’s care. When lawyers are able to win compensation in court for their clients, this can be instrumental in helping the elderly victim recover from the trauma they experienced and funding a better quality of life in their remaining years.
Sadly, elder abuse is common, and the rate of occurrence in nursing homes is high. According to the World Health Organization, one in six older adults experience some form of mistreatment—and shockingly, two of every three staff members report committing abuse in the past year. Indeed, experts in this field believe the instances of abuse are much higher, but many go unreported because seniors fear retaliation from their abusers for speaking out.
Highest Risk for Nursing Home Abuse
Older adults who are socially isolated or entirely dependent on their caregivers are the most likely to be abused. Those with severe medical conditions, disabilities, or mental impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, tend to experience mistreatment at some point in institutional settings. If this situation applies to your elderly loved one, you should pay close attention to signs of abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse often manifests as physical injuries, worsening medical conditions, and mental trauma. Sometimes, minor injuries like small cuts and bruises can have serious, long-term complications and may even lead to premature death. Watch for the following red flags when you visit your elderly loved one:
- Sudden weight loss
- Worsening medical conditions
- Scars, bruises, fresh wounds, burns, broken bones, or bleeding
- Poor hygiene, unkempt appearance, or bedsores
- Agitation, confusion, or depression
- Dementia-like behaviors such as rocking and mumbling
- Hazardous and dirty living conditions
- Significant changes in finances
Once you notice these warning signs, consider reaching out to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to learn your next steps. If you believe your elderly loved one is in life-threatening danger, report the incident to the proper authorities immediately.
How to Prevent Nursing Home Abuse
Fortunately, nursing home abuse is preventable, but it requires being proactive on your part. Social isolation presents the biggest opportunity for potential abusers, so take the time to visit your senior loved one frequently and randomly. Always look for any signs that mistreatment is occurring and encourage them to open up to you when you are alone.
If your loved one admits to having difficulties or experiencing mistreatment at their nursing home or long-term care facility, offer to get help from an adult protective services agency. Numerous state laws protect the elderly from abuse and punish the perpetrators.
A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
A nursing home abuse lawyer will first consult with you to determine if you have a legitimate case. You will be asked to share information about the care your loved one received at the facility. The lawyer may also talk directly to the elderly victim to find out more about their living conditions and how they were abused.
The next step is to devise a course of action. Your lawyer may check medical records, obtain testimonies from witnesses, and collect photographs, video, or audio recordings and other evidence to prove that mistreatment occurred under the supervision of the nursing home. Because they are familiar with state and federal laws that protect the elderly, a nursing home abuse lawyer can determine which laws apply to your situation before filing a claim.
When the nursing home becomes a defendant in the case, they will likely have expert lawyers protecting their interests, which is even more reason to have a professional in your corner. Keep in mind that your lawyer may attempt to settle the matter out of court with the defendant. However, if both parties fail to reach an amicable agreement, the matter goes to court where it is ultimately resolved by a judge or jury.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today
If you have determined that you do need a nursing home abuse lawyer, the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, can help. Our legal experts have many years of experience in nursing home abuse and elderly neglect cases, and we understand the pain and mental anguish this can cause you and your loved ones. Once we take on your case, rest assured that we will go the distance to help you get you justice.
To schedule a no-risk consultation, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at 800-959-1444 today.