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Nursing Home Negligence & Elder Abuse
Elder Care & Nursing Home Abuse
The people who live in nursing homes are among the most vulnerable people in the U.S. That’s why it’s vital that those responsible for caring for them take their jobs seriously, and take proper care of the residents who rely on them without violating their position of trust.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more prevalent than many people realize, and it can have devastating consequences for victims and their families. Where abuse or neglect is discovered, it’s important to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure your rights and your loved one’s rights are protected.
Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse and neglect occur when the people who run or work in nursing homes fail to provide a proper standard of care for the residents, or physical abuse or otherwise mistreat them. The first step in fighting abuse-and in filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit-is recognizing the signs that abuse or neglect is occurring. Among the signs to watch for:
- Open wounds
- Poor personal hygiene
- Dirty rooms
- Untreated bedsores
- Broken personal items
- Excessive, unexplained weight loss
- Isolation of the resident
- Unexplained changes in resident’s medication
- Use of restraints
- Changes in resident’s personality
Elder abuse law is explicit, and it prohibits any employee or worker in a nursing home from engaging in physical, sexual, emotional or mental abuse.
Theft and medication malpractice are also common problems. Violations of these laws can result in a nursing home abuse lawsuit being filed against those responsible.
California Elder Abuse Lawyers
Assistance from our California nursing home and elder abuse lawyers can make a difference in the outcome of your case. Attorneys at Cutter Law P.C. are experienced in this area of the law, so we can create a compelling narrative using all available documentation.
When a person believes that there are no options, the elder care abuse is likely to continue. We specifically represent this vulnerable population of individuals in California nursing homes who might not know their rights under the law.
Our lawyers can provide the insight and aggressive legal representation necessary to recover losses from the nursing home and to advocate for your loved one’s rights.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the mistreatment.
Depending on whether the owner of the nursing home was negligent in hiring or overseeing its employees, elder abuse lawsuits may be filed against the people or organizations that own the nursing home, operate the nursing home, supervise in the home and the people who committed the horrific acts.
The Elder Neglect Lawyers You Can Trust
Cutter Law P.C. is a highly qualified elder abuse law firm, and we are committed to representing your interests in the courtroom. Our experienced team of nursing home and elder abuse attorneys are available to assist you during every phase of this process. We are dedicated to protecting your rights under the state’s elder abuse law.
For compassionate legal representation, contact our California elder abuse lawyers as soon as possible.
Free Consultation: Contact Our Attorneys Today
Many individuals are led to believe that no one will understand or believe that abuse has occurred. They may also be experiencing coercion by the abuser. This happens frequently, so we always try to inform the public about their rights under California law.
Please give us a call at 916-461-8085 or request a free case evaluation online to find out how we can help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What qualifies as nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect?
Nursing home abuse or neglect occurs when staff at a nursing home fails to provide a reasonable standard of care for residents. This can include not providing proper food, water, hygiene, or health care; or it can include specific cases of abuse, including physical or sexual abuse.
2. What is elder abuse?
The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated, act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.” This can include financial, physical, or sexual abuse. WHO estimates that almost 16 percent of people 60 years and older are subject to some form of elder abuse.
3. What are some signs of nursing home abuse or neglect?
Because many victims of nursing home neglect or abuse have difficulty communicating, it’s important to watch for signs of abuse or neglect. Among the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect:
- Open or unexplained wounds
- Unsanitary rooms
- Patient isolation
- Unexplained falls
- Untreated bedsores
- Poor personal hygiene
- Changes in resident’s personality
- Unexplained weight loss
- Signs of sexual abuse
- Unexplained death
4. What are the types of nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take a variety of forms. It can involve physical abuse, such as use of excessive force, hitting, or improperly restraining residents; sexual abuse; mental abuse; emotional abuse; negligence; elder abuse, in which caregivers take advantage of elderly people; and neglect, such as failure to provide the necessities of life, failure to provide proper medication, and failure to treat injuries.
5. How long does it take to resolve nursing home neglect or abuse allegations?
That depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Complex cases that require more witness and expert testimony can take longer to resolve. Some cases result in a nursing home abuse settlement, but others require a decision from the courts. We are committed to building the strongest possible case on your behalf, so we will not rush a case.
6. What are common causes of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect?
Unfortunately, many nursing home and care home owners and operators care more about profits than about protecting patients. This could result in a lack of staff members, pushing staff to work beyond their capabilities; staff that isn’t adequately trained; staff that hasn’t undergone thorough background checks; outdated equipment; and inadequate supervision.
7. What are some types of nursing home neglect?
The following can constitute neglect in a nursing home:
Medical neglect, which is a failure to provide adequate medical care or medication;
Personal hygiene neglect, where patients do not receive help with basic tasks such as bathing or brushing their teeth; and
Emotional or social neglect, where the patient is isolated or ignored.
8. What is the “exploitation of an elderly person”?
Exploitation of an elderly person occurs when a person who is in a position of trust and confidence with the elderly person uses that position to gain a benefit from the elderly person. The person in a position of trust knows or should know that the elderly person does not have the capacity to give consent and uses that to deprive the vulnerable person of funds, assets, or property. Exploitation of an elderly person typically refers to financial exploitation, including funds, assets, or property.
9. Can you sue a nursing home?
Yes, in most situations. If the ownership or staff of the nursing home violated the law or was negligent in their care for nursing home residents, causing harm to a loved one, you can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Nursing homes are legally responsible for the care given to residents and if there is negligence, neglect, medical malpractice, or abuse on the part of the home, a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.
10. What is “nursing home binding arbitration”?
Some nursing homes require residents to sign a binding arbitration agreement, meaning that if harm comes to the resident the dispute must be resolved through binding arbitration rather than through the courts. An experienced law firm can help determine if you must go through binding arbitration or if you can file a lawsuit.
11. Who do you report nursing home abuse to?
If the abuse is life-threatening, call 911 to report the abuse. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, contact an experienced law firm. Experienced nursing home abuse attorneys can help you determine how to report the abuse to authorities and can advise you of your rights and your loved one’s rights.
12. Who can I file a lawsuit against if my loved one is the victim?
It depends on the circumstances of your case. A lawsuit could be filed against the person or people who committed the act or acts, that person’s supervisor if they failed to properly monitor employees, and the employer—including the care home owner/operator—if they knew or should have known about the perpetrator’s actions, and especially if the accused has a history of abuse or neglect and no action was taken to protect residents.