Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Harming My Loved One?
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Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Advocate for Elder Abuse Victims
If you have an elderly relative in a nursing home, then you trust that facility is a safe, healthy place for your loved one to live. You expect that the staff will provide the kind of medical assistance and supervision that your relative needs. This includes not only proper medication and mobility assistance, but also taking all necessary steps in case a medical emergency arises. However, the tragic truth is that some elder care homes fail to provide a reasonable standard of care, endangering vulnerable residents who may suffer severe injuries, illnesses and even wrongful death. If a nursing home’s owners and/or staff harmed your loved one through action or inaction, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the facility. The compensation from your claim can help you pay for your loved one’s care and can also protect other residents from neglect in the future.
The nursing home neglect lawyers at Colson Hicks Eidson have a national reputation for success with complex personal injury claims. We have the resources and ability to handle claims involving widespread elder abuse and neglect. Our attorneys work with medical experts and industry officials to determine the exact nature of the conditions at negligent care homes. We can help you hold the facility and/or the staff accountable for the harm and distress they caused your family.
What Are Common Types of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse?
Nursing home owners and staff may endanger residents by violating industry regulations or failing to provide reasonable attention in virtually any aspect of care. Some of the most common examples of nursing home negligence and abuse include:
- Medical malpractice. Most nursing home residents require some level of medical care or medication; the staff are responsible for providing necessary treatment and for administering drugs correctly and on time. Failure to treat injuries, illnesses or other conditions may also constitute medical malpractice.
- Failure to call emergency services. Nursing home staff are responsible for residents’ health. Therefore, if any kind of emergency or dangerous condition arises, then the staff should call for an ambulance to take the affected resident(s) to the hospital. However, some facilities may delay calling 911, fearing that an emergency call may damage the business’s reputation for quality care.
- Failure to address dangerous conditions. Staff must address serious conditions within the facility that may endanger all residents. For example, overheating in the summer is a particular risk for elderly residents, so staff should monitor the building’s temperature.
- Poor supervision. Staff must provide residents with as much supervision and assistance as they need, reducing the risk of slip and fall injuries and other accidents.
- Negligent hiring practices. Nursing homes must maintain strict hiring procedures to ensure an adequate number of staff members with no history of elder abuse or other risk factors.
- Failure to maintain sanitary conditions. Nursing homes must be kept clean and orderly to reduce the risk of infection, disease and accidents.
- Physical abuse, including assault and sexual abuse. Abusive staff may cause serious injuries to residents through physical or sexual assault.
- Emotional and/or financial abuse. Negligent facilities may hire abusive staff or foster an atmosphere of emotional and verbal abuse.
What Are the Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Often, elderly residents may be unable or unwilling to report poor conditions, especially if abusive staff threaten or intimidate them. Therefore, family members should remain alert for even small warning signs of negligence when visiting loved ones. These may include:
- Bedsores. One of the most common red flags associated with nursing home negligence, bedsores are lesions that develop on the skin due to uninterrupted pressure for a prolonged period of time. In nursing homes, bedsores are especially a risk for residents who are unable to stand or move without assistance. Staff should help residents adjust their positions frequently to avoid these pressure ulcers.
- Sudden weight loss and/or signs of dehydration. Weight loss can be a sign of malnutrition; along with extreme thirst, this is a sign that staff are not providing adequate care or supervision.
- Unexplained bruises, broken bones or other injuries. Injuries can be a sign of a negligent facility, especially if your relative sustains multiple injuries with no reasonable explanation. Broken bones, bruising on the wrists and arms, and injuries from multiple slip and fall accidents may all be warning signs.
- Unexplained illnesses, especially due to lack of necessary medication. Poor conditions at a nursing home may result in widespread disease and preventable infections. Additionally, you should investigate if your loved one’s medical condition worsens or you notice other signs that he or she has not received essential medications in a timely manner.
- Personality changes, such as uncharacteristic depression. Depression, withdrawal and other personality changes can be signs of neglect or abuse. Additionally, residents may display fear or silence when staff members are present, indicating abuse.
- Dirty clothing or conditions. Unsanitary conditions, including dirty clothes, bedding or unwashed residents, are signs that the staff cannot or do not provide adequate care.
Need a Nursing Home Litigation Lawyer? Contact Our Law Firm Now
If you suspect that nursing home negligence caused your loved one’s injuries or wrongful death, then contact our elder abuse lawyers today. We are known, nationwide, for our uncompromising approach to complex personal injury cases, including those involving elder neglect. We can fight to hold the liable parties and institution accountable for your loved one’s pain, both physical and emotional. Additionally, a nursing home lawsuit can effect change within a facility, protecting others from future injury.