Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer in San Antonio
No one wants to place the care of an elderly loved one into the hands of strangers, but sometimes it may be necessary. Whether you are unable to provide the care your parents or grandparents need or you lack the proper equipment, a nursing home may be the best option.
However, not all Texas nursing homes are equal. In some cases, the lack of nursing staff can lead to abuse and neglect. If you believe that a relative is not receiving the care they deserve or is being mistreated at the nursing home, it’s time to take legal action. Call Janicek Law today at 210-366-4949 for a free consultation.
A nursing home abuse lawyer is a type of personal injury lawyer who seeks justice for nursing home residents. If a nursing home employee abuses an elderly person in any way, these attorneys can file a lawsuit. Legal counsel can demonstrate the following during a case:
- The nursing home had a legal obligation to look after the victim.
- A resident was hurt by staff members due to negligence and/or intentional acts of violence.
- Because of the staff’s conduct, the individual sustained long-term or permanent damage.
- The victim (and/or their family) requires compensation in order to heal from their abuse.
Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Prevalent?
According to a 2008 study, upwards of 90% of 15,000 studied nursing homes in the United States had been found to be in breach of health or safety requirements. Only 39% of about 37,150 allegations submitted had been found to be true. Twenty percent of them were sufficiently dangerous that they caused immediate harm to inhabitants or put them at risk of injury or death. All the more worrisome were the figures for nursing home neglect and abuse, which indicated that the overwhelming bulk of all occurrences of nursing home abuse goes unreported.
The National Center on Elder Abuse released a study in 2013 that highlighted the issue of senior abuse in the United States. Approximately 6 million elderly people were mistreated by family and/or caretakers, per the report. Neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial abuse are all examples of abusive mistreatment. The statistics for nursing homes are quite alarming. According to the survey, 91% of nursing homes do not have enough employees to appropriately care for all of their residents. The absence of employees is a major contributor to the current epidemic of neglect. In addition, 36% of care facilities violated elderly abuse laws.
Definitions of Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home residents are particularly prone to exploitation and mistreatment due to their age and fragility. Nearly 2 million incidences of caregiver abuse are recorded annually. Unfortunately, since inhabitants are intimidated or coerced by such predatory caretakers, the majority of incidents go undetected. The best method of protecting your loved one is to go to the nursing home, look out for warning signs, and see whether you have enough evidence to file a lawsuit. But before you call nursing home abuse lawyers at Janicek Law, it’s critical to know what acts are considered “abuse” or “neglect.”
Neglect of basic needs occurs when an institution does not offer enough hydration or nourishment, fails to acknowledge cleanliness and incontinence, or fails to provide a secure and safe environment for the patient.
Medical neglect occurs when nursing home employees don’t provide emergency medical care necessities and medical treatment for life-threatening diseases, like diabetes or traumatic wounds.
Physical Abuse occurs when a nursing home employee inflicts physical pain or harm on an elder through hitting, spitting, choking, etc.
Sexual Abuse occurs when a nursing home employee engages in any form of sexual touching or intercourse without the elderly person’s consent.
Exploitation is the unlawful seizure, abuse, or deception of an elderly person’s finances, property, or assets for someone else’s gain.
Emotional Abuse is the intentional infliction of emotional pain or manipulation on an elderly person. This can happen through verbal or non-verbal behaviors such as humiliation, fear, or threats.
Abandonment happens when a nursing home employee abandons a defenseless senior. As a result, the elderly person may not have their basic needs met.
Common Signs To Look Out For
A vulnerable loved one may be too scared or unable to inform you of the maltreatment they are enduring. Listed below are the warning signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect.
- Bedsore wounds, bruises, and other injuries
- Sexual assault wounds or bruises
- Significant weight loss
- Call lights that frequently go unanswered
- Restraining a resident without cause
- Withholding food or water
- Frequent medication errors
- A sudden change in the elderly person’s personality, mood, behavior, etc.
- Failing to meet a resident’s personal hygiene needs
- Financial exploitation of a resident
- The elderly person may be silent or emotionally withdrawn when they’re around their caretakers
- Unexpected changes in the elderly person’s will, power of attorney, bank accounts, etc.
Residents in assisted living facilities may be too embarrassed to speak up about their abuse. Because of this, it’s critical for friends and family members to retain a careful watch on their loved ones. If you suspect abuse or neglect, call nursing home neglect lawyers at Janicek Law immediately.
How Do I Report Abuse or Neglect at a Nursing Home?
As reported by the Department of Justice (DOJ), most incidences of nursing home abuse or neglect go undetected, with as high as 24% of events not being documented. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated, you have options. You can remove your loved one from the nursing home if necessary. If their life is in grave jeopardy, call 911.
You could also make a complaint through local, state, and national authorities if you suspect abuse or neglect. Please note that various reporting processes differ from state to state. Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies can be found in every jurisdiction. To ensure seniors are safe, APS collaborates with state and local governments. A long-term care ombudsman program also exists in every state. Ombudsmen are individuals that listen to nursing home residents’ complaints and find solutions.
It is critical to expose abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Those who are brave enough to speak up and take action can create transformation in nursing homes across the nation. After the mistreatment has been reported, you might decide to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit to demand justice and recompense. Contact the reputable nursing home abuse attorneys at Janicek Law to take legal action. We offer a free legal case review and consultation to everyone in San Antonio and surrounding areas.
Is a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Worth It?
Always. The individuals who get away with widespread abuse and neglect of elderly people should be held responsible for their actions. Hiring an experienced attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases may bring an end to the mistreatment, punish liable perpetrators, and recover compensation for your elderly relative and their losses.
What Can Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Do For You?
Nursing home abuse lawyers at Janicek Law can:
- Investigate the abusive situation in the assisted living facility
- Determine the severity of the situation. For example: does the elder have broken bones or bed sores as a direct result of the abuse?
- Calculate the costs associated with the abuse.
Nursing home abuse lawyers will then begin investigating your case in what’s called the discovery phase. We will do this by obtaining photographic evidence of the abuse, investigating medical records, asking for professional medical advice, interviewing witnesses such as nursing home staff members and other residents, and speaking with the abuse victim if possible.
Nursing abuse lawyers will then prepare for trial by filing, defending, and opposing pleadings to make the legal process easier for the victim and their families. A specific amount of compensation is agreed upon in civil litigation. The nursing home abuse lawyer will negotiate a deal depending on the amount of money at stake for your settlement. Then if the legal team can’t reach a compromise, the elderly nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuit will go to trial. For many nursing home abuse cases, the trial ends with a large amount of compensation in favor of the victim.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover From a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Personal injury lawyers at Janicek Law can help you and your loved one win compensation for:
- Past and future medical bills associated with the abuse
- Past and future rehabilitation bills associated with the abuse
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Past and future therapy bills for psychological abuse
- Financial abuse
- Loss of quality of life
Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse in Texas
The importance of timeliness cannot be overstated. A nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuit should be filed as soon as possible, otherwise, the statute of limitations could prohibit the matter from proceeding through the legal system. In Texas, victims and their loved ones have two years to file elder abuse cases. This clock starts ticking from the day the abuse begins or the day the loved ones become aware of the abuse.