When you place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you are trusting staff members and caregivers to offer a high standard of care and treat your family member with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are safe places for your elderly, disabled, or vulnerable loved ones. Nursing home abuse and neglect is prevalent in the United States, often caused by overworked, improperly trained, poorly paid or even malicious staff members.
Fortunately, a knowledgeable Jefferson County nursing home abuse lawyer could help families whose loved ones who have faced abuse or neglect in a nursing home facility. An adept personal injury attorney could act as your loved one’s advocate and fight tirelessly to protect and uphold their legal rights.
Potential Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Although nursing homes are meant to provide residents with services to support their physical and mental health, many facilities are understaffed and some lack the resources to help their residents maintain a good quality of life. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse that an attorney in Jefferson County could help address include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse.
When a nursing home is understaffed, caregivers cannot properly feed, administer medication, bathe, position, or provide comfort to all of their residents in an adequate way. This is known as nursing home neglect, and it can cause falls, dehydration, malnutrition, bed sores, medication errors, emotional trauma, and unsanitary living conditions, among many other negative effects.
Elderly and disabled residents are often vulnerable to physical abuse. Their bodies are generally more fragile, which means any form of physical abuse—such as pushing, slapping, hitting, force feeding, or improper restraining—could cause long-term damage or even death. Signs that someone has been physically abused in a nursing home could include unexplained bruises, cuts, swelling, bleeding, and broken bones.
Any unwanted sexual contact with a nursing home resident by a staff member may be considered sexual abuse. In addition to non-consensual touching, rape, and sexual assault, sexual abuse also includes indecent exposure, forced exposure to explicit material, and coerced nudity.
Nursing home abuse may take the form of psychological and emotional abuse. For example, if a resident is bullied, intimidated, isolated, or harassed, it may be considered nursing home abuse.
Beyond physical and emotional abuse, nursing home residents may also experience financial abuse. This can include illegally cashing checks, forcing residents to sign legal documents against their will or when they lack the capacity to understand what they are signing, and withdrawing funds without consent.
Potential Compensation for Suffering Abuse
Based on the circumstances of each nursing home abuse case, a jury generally determines what amount of monetary compensation is fair and reasonable. In certain situations, the involved parties may be able to come to a settlement agreement outside of court.
Either way, recoverable damages may include compensation for, pain and suffering, mental health expenses, repayment of stolen property or money, physical therapy costs, damages for wrongful death and more. In these types of situations, it may be important to get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Jefferson County as soon as possible to start gathering evidence and building a case.
A Jefferson County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Is Available to Help
Nursing home residents often cannot advocate for themselves. They may be embarrassed about the abuse they have experienced, or they may not realize they are being abused at all. That is why it can be important to look out for the warning signs of neglect, as well as physical, sexual, psychological, and financial abuse.
Filing a personal injury claim with the help of a Jefferson County nursing home abuse lawyer may help ensure your family member receives the compensation and justice they deserve. Call today to schedule a consultation.