A nursing home is supposed to be a safe haven that provides medical attention and a level of care that a family cannot. It is unforgivable for an elderly or disabled loved one to suffer harm through abusive or substandard care.
Elder abuse is a traumatic event for the abused and their family. Sadly, nursing home abuse victims often cannot report these shocking situations themselves or may be too intimidated to do so. This enables elder neglect to continue unchecked at a care facility. The only way to stop the abuse and neglect is to make nursing home facilities accountable. This is where the experienced nursing home abuse attorney enters the picture.
If you or a family member is concerned about unexplained accidents or injuries, or sudden changes in behavior, but are unsure what to do about it, you can turn to the nursing home neglect attorneys at Rhoades & Morrow. We provide you with an opportunity to consult with one of our elder abuse lawyers who can help determine if your loved one is the victim of elder abuse and if so, what legal action you can take against the assisted living facility or nursing home facility.
In the United States, there is an alarming number of reported nursing home abuse cases. It is estimated that as many as five million nursing home abuse cases or elder abuse events occur every day. This means that about one in 10 seniors will be abused at least once after the age of 60, but only one in 14 cases of abuse will be reported. Even more disturbing, the New York State Elder Abuse Study showed that one in 25 cases remains unreported.
These troubling statistics should leave loved ones more vigilant and on the lookout for warning signs of elder abuse when visiting nursing home facilities. Additionally, 24.3 percent of nursing home residents experience at least one incident of physical abuse. At the same time, 5.2 percent of seniors report some form of financial abuse.
A nursing home abuse lawyer is the first line of defense to protect an elderly person from physical harm and serious injury. If your loved one has suffered neglect or you believe abuse occurred, nursing home lawsuits are the only way to obtain compensation for your elderly family member and prevent further abuse and injury at that facility and others. The message must be sent to nursing home facilities and nursing home employees that such conduct will not be tolerated.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, nursing home abuse can take on many forms, such as:
Hitting and grabbing can occur when nursing home staff are left to do as they please. These employees may claim they must work hard to lift patients in and out of bed, get them into the bath, or even that the residents were belligerent. The elderly can suffer broken bones and other physical injuries as a result of this abuse.
Many residents may be able-bodied and take advantage of other residents. This is especially common if the abuser has a history of this behavior prior to their admission. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities may have been negligent in permitting that person into the facility and could be liable for injury done to a nursing home resident through a nursing home negligence claim.
Psychological abuse might include snide comments and gaslighting, as well as yelling, screaming, or scolding. Nursing home staff might treat the residents like children or blame them for their medical conditions. This type of emotional abuse by nursing home staff members can lead to unseen serious injuries.
Neglect may be abandonment, lack of proper medical care, lack of personal hygiene assistance, or even isolation. Elderly residents who are immobile can easily be locked in their rooms. This is classic nursing home abuse. When a nursing home fails to meet the proper standard of care, your loved one is entitled to financial compensation and protection from an elder abuse attorney.
Sexual abuse is often traumatizing for victims, and they may hesitate to report it in fear of retaliation or not being believed. Unwanted sexual contact
Seniors can be exploited financially by their relatives or nursing home staff members. Nursing homes have a duty to protect residents from all types of abuse, including financial, and if they fail to meet that standard of care, they are subject to a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Your loved one can be the victim of one or more of these forms of nursing home abuse. Each family member should be aware of the condition of their elderly loved one, especially the women as it has been shown that two out of three abuse victims are women. Be extra diligent when dealing with female family members who appear to withdraw or show signs of abuse. In addition, studies also show that 50 percent of abuse cases involve patients with dementia or memory problems. Patients who have been abused in the past are more likely to experience abuse in the future, as well as seniors with a low socioeconomic status.
In some cases, seniors are subjected to multiple forms of abuse. If you or a family member suspects a problem at a nursing home or assisted living facility, you have the right to contact the company managing the nursing home, report the abuse, or even contact local authorities. You also have the right, and should immediately contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
At Rhoades & Morrow, we are knowledgeable of nursing home abuse law and have handled nursing home litigation to protect the elderly and obtain financial compensation for their injuries. Using the legal process against nursing homes is the only way to protect the elderly and to do your part to stop this illegal misconduct and negligence.
By law, nursing home residents are due quality medical treatment and attentive personal care. Failure to provide this care or meet the standard of care leads to nursing home neglect and opens the facility up to nursing home abuse lawsuits. Nursing home abuse may be the result of many factors including the fact that privately-owned care centers may not be adequately staffed or managed to deliver the mandated level of care. They may lack proper training and oversight. Regardless, these facilities are accountable for monetary damages for preventable harm and needless suffering, such as:
Bedsores from laying in a single position for long periods
Dehydration and malnourishment
Falling accidents from lack of assistance or safety measures
Injuries from elopement
Marks and bruises from physical or sexual abuse
Medical negligence from undiagnosed illnesses or medication errors
Other forms of elder abuse can still occur inside a nursing home, and family members should be aware of situations witnessed or patients who seem to be isolated. Do not be paranoid when entering a nursing home but be concerned if anything seems abnormal in the behavior or look of your loved one.
Notwithstanding any criminal conduct that would be in the jurisdiction of law enforcement, the elderly person and their family are entitled to financial compensation under negligence laws. Personal injury lawyers and more specifically nursing home abuse attorneys are best suited and experienced to bring such a claim.
Over the years, we have assembled a team of nursing home abuse lawyers. Our legal team will investigate similar incidents, the background of medical and non-medical personnel, and other indications of substandard care.
In addition, we have a network of nursing home abuse expert witnesses who can review records and testify about the negligence or abuse that occurred and which violated nursing home abuse law.
Nursing home abuse cases are often settled by arbitration under the provisions of the nursing home contract. The role of the nursing home abuse lawyers is to hold the facility accountable and ensure compensation for medical intervention, medical bills, pain and suffering, and lasting harm. By holding the facility accountable, we can stop the abuse, prevent future abuse, and ensure that your elderly loved ones are safe.
If your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, they are entitled to file a nursing home negligence claim for damages. If the investigation by our legal team reveals criminal conduct, that matter will be turned over to the local authorities.
In addition, in the eventuality that your loved one died as a result of elder abuse, a wrongful death lawsuit can also be filed against the care facility and healthcare provider. Permit us to assist you during this difficult time.
Hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer can help protect your loved one's rights, investigate the abuse allegations, gather evidence, navigate complex legal procedures, and pursue legal action to seek compensation for damages.
To determine the validity of your nursing home abuse case, a lawyer will evaluate factors such as the severity of the abuse, evidence of negligence or intentional harm, medical records, witness testimonies, and applicable laws.
The statute of limitations, or the time limit to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Delaware, can vary depending on the circumstances. It's essential to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer promptly to ensure you meet the filing deadlines.
Compensation in nursing home abuse cases can vary, but it may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, rehabilitation costs, relocation expenses, and punitive damages in cases of egregious abuse.
To report suspected nursing home abuse in Delaware, you can contact the Delaware Division of Long-Term Care Residents Protection, the Delaware Department of Justice, or local law enforcement. A nursing home abuse lawyer can also guide you through the reporting process.
Evidence that can support a nursing home abuse case may include medical records, photographs of injuries, witness statements, facility records, staff documentation, surveillance footage, and any other relevant documentation.
Reach out to our Delaware nursing home abuse lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow if you believe that a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse. We will review your case and determine the negligent party liable for the abuse. Call us at (302) 427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation and free case review with a nursing home neglect lawyer. With offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Milford, we proudly serve clients and their families throughout Delaware, including Middletown, Dover, Milford, Bear, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.