If your loved ones live in a nursing home or care home, you know how vital it is that they receive proper care. The people who live in such homes are often highly vulnerable, which can make them a target for abuse, neglect, and other unethical practices. Victims of nursing home abuse can suffer catastrophic injuries and can face a lifetime of emotional consequences.
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of any nursing home abuse, it’s vital you contact an experienced care home abuse lawyer as quickly as possible to discuss your options and ensure your loved one’s rights are protected.
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.
13. When should I contact a nursing home abuse lawyer?
You should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as you suspect abuse or have confirmation abuse has occurred. In such situation, your loved one could be vulnerable to severe harm, so taking action right away is important.
An experienced attorney can ensure evidence is properly preserved, gather information from witnesses and experts, and build a strong case against those responsible for the harm to your loved one.
Experienced, compassionate nursing home and elder abuse lawyers can have a huge impact on the outcome of your lawsuit. Attorneys at Cutter Law are highly experienced at representing vulnerable people and fighting for justice on their behalf.
We provide aggressive legal representation and will help you understand your rights and the rights of your loved one. We have extensive knowledge of California’s elder abuse laws and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.
Contact us at 888-285-3333 or request a free case evaluation online to discuss your case.