The Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) emphasizes the need for quality long-term care options for older residents in the state. Despite a high demand for care and legislation designed to protect older adults, many nursing home residents still suffer many forms of abuse and neglect. If your loved one experienced mistreatment that led to serious illness, injury, or even death, a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can help you pursue justice and compensation. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 959-1444 today to discuss your case with our legal team.
The Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), millions of elderly and dependent nursing home residents suffer abuse in the United States. From 1999 through 2001, 1 in 3 nursing homes in the U.S. received citations for violating federal care standards, and 1 in 10 committed violations that caused residents to suffer serious injury or place them at a higher risk of death.
The NCEA quotes a 2006 report on elder abuse from the Department of Health and Human Services, which notes the inadequacies of many states’ processes to protect the health and safety of nursing home residents. According to Philadelphia PBS station WHYY-TV, the Pennsylvania Department of Health dismissed 92% of the nursing home abuse claims they received between 2012 and 2014, including 507 in Philadelphia alone.
Types of mistreatment residents reported in 2010 survey include:
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Resident-to-resident abuse
- Financial exploitation or misappropriation of personal funds
- Sexual abuse
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Philadelphia, call (844) 638-1822
Legal Definitions of Abuse and Neglect
In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), which outlines the national requirements of nursing homes and the basic rights of their residents. After the federal government held a Philadelphia nursing home responsible for failing to provide its residents with adequate care, they established the act to protect older adults from future instances of abuse. The NHRA details the obligation of facilities and their staff to honor the entitlements of residents, which include:
- Freedom from all forms of abuse
- Freedom to make their own decisions, particularly regarding their care plan
- Freedom to file complaints without the threat of retribution
- Right to receive quality care specific to their physical, mental, emotional, and social needs
Additionally, Pennsylvania’s Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) mandates the reporting of any person suspected of committing nursing home abuse. Circumstances may include:
- Sexual Abuse
- Serious Physical Injury
- Serious Bodily Injury
- Suspicious Death
Nursing Home Abuse
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care defines abuse as the intentional infliction of physical, mental, emotional, verbal, or psychological pain or harm. Examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Hitting, pinching, shoving, or slapping
- Berating or humiliating
- Cursing or threatening
- Improper touching or sexual coercion
- Inadequate care
- Rough handling
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect in a nursing home setting involves the purposeful or unintentional failure to care for a person in a manner that causes pain or harm to the resident, such as lack of assistance with daily activities, mobility, and personal hygiene.
Despite federal staffing regulations and Pennsylvania nursing service requirements, many nursing home residents still suffer from the effects of understaffing, which sometimes includes abuse and negligence. If you suspect that your loved one experienced neglect or abuse that led to serious illness or injury, a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can help you pursue your case. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC online today, and our legal team will respond as soon as possible to speak with you about your case.
Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (844) 638-1822
Indicators of Nursing Home Abuse
Like other types of abuse, mistreatment in nursing homes often occurs behind closed doors. This can make it difficult for families to notice signs of abuse, especially if their loved one cannot communicate their concerns with them. In addition to outward signs such as bruises and sores, loved ones should look out for other indicators, which may include:
- Reserved or withdrawn behavior
- Fear of particular staff members
- Notably busy and/or disorganized facility setup
- Unanswered calls for help
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- No signs of changes to concerns about the facility or personnel despite discussions with administration and frequent visits
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide each resident with quality care based on their specific needs. If your loved one suffered any type of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you have a right to raise your concern with staff, report the issue to the state, and consult with a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer to help you seek accountability.
Financial Awards in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Victims of nursing home abuse and families of loved ones who experienced mistreatment as nursing home residents may qualify for compensation for their losses. While the types of financial awards vary based on the circumstances of your case, an attorney can help you assess your damages and seek financial recovery, which may include payment for:
- Medical bills, including psychological care and rehabilitation expenses
- The cost of relocating to another care facility
- Pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, for the trauma suffered as a result of the abuse
- Loss of consortium, also known as loss of companionship, if you lost a spouse to nursing home abuse
- Funeral and burial expenses if the abuse led to the death of a loved one
- The funds inappropriately allocated by the perpetrator in instances of financial abuse
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Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today for Help with Your Case
Choosing a nursing home for a loved one involves a difficult, emotional decision. Many families struggle with the idea of allowing someone else to care for their spouse, parent, or other family member, and they expect that the facility they choose will treat their loved one with respect, integrity, and quality care.
If you discovered or suspect that your loved one suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, our lawyers can help you fight for your case. Call Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at (800) 959-1444 to talk to our legal team about your free case evaluation.