Nursing homes are meant to offer older people a safe living environment where their long-term care needs can be met. Unfortunately, however, some nursing home residents discover their living environment is actually unsafe for them. Elderly patients may be physically, sexually or emotionally abused at the hands of their caregivers. This abuse may be intentional or the result of negligence. Victims of nursing home abuse and their families can seek damages from the responsible parties through a personal injury civil action.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse because they are often unable to take care of or defend themselves and may be unwilling or unable to report such abuse because of fear of embarrassment or limiting medical conditions. Family members should look for the signs of abuse or neglect while visiting. These signs can can include:
- Bedsores and/or frozen joints–signs of inattention
- Bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns and other physical injuries–signs of physical abuse
- Injuries to or infections of the genitals–signs of sexual abuse
- Unexplained behavior changes
- Suspicious behavior from the nursing home staff such as prohibiting or restricting visitation
- Unexplained medical sedation
- Unexplained financial transactions
- Nursing home fall injuries
- Nursing negligence
Proving Nursing Home Abuse Cases
When pursuing a nursing home abuse case, it’s important to choose a skilled attorney who is well versed in this area of personal injury law. Your attorney should be knowledgeable about state statutes for standards of care in private nursing homes as well as licensing requirements and other relevant regulations. Because nursing home residents are often in poor health prior to entering the nursing home, defendants often argue that the resident’s preexisting medical conditions were the cause of the resident’s injuries, not abuse or neglect. An experienced attorney like the ones at Ankin Law Office can help you establish the true cause of your or your loved one’s injuries and recover the maximum compensation. If you believe you have a case, contact us today. Our attorneys can help you navigate the legal system.