Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Harming My Loved One?
Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Advocate for Elder Abuse Victims
If you have an elderly relative residing in a nursing home, then you trust that the 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. Unfortunately, the reality is that there are times when nursing homes and assisted living facilities fail to provide a reasonable standard of care and endanger vulnerable residents. At Colson Hicks Eidson, we are standing by to help if you need a nursing home abuse or neglect attorney by your side.
Our team has a reputation for success in handling personal injury cases throughout the country and has handled highly-publicized cases against nursing homes. We have the resources necessary to pursue complex nursing home claims. Our attorneys work with medical experts to determine the exact nature of the conditions at nursing homes where there has been negligent care. We can help you hold the facility and/or the staff accountable for the harm and distress they caused your relative and your family.
What Are Common Types of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse?
Nursing homeowners 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 is 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 is 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.
Deadlines to File Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claims
Every state sets a time frame for how long they allow victims of personal injuries to file lawsuits in order to recover compensation. These are referred to in the law as statutes of limitations. In Florida, the personal injury statute of limitations is four years from the date an injury occurs in most situations. This may seem like a long time, but the reality is that these claims can become very complicated and take time to investigate before a lawsuit can be filed.
Additionally, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson work with clients throughout the United States. This means that you need to be aware of your state’s personal injury statute of limitations moving forward. These statutes can often be two or three years.
Any person who fails to file a claim within their state’s respective time limit will be unable to recover any compensation they may be entitled to. If you are a family member who discovered that your loved one was a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you can contact one of our attorneys today so we can help you understand how quickly we need to get started.
Types of Compensation Available for a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Claim
If you discover that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, we know that your number one goal is to ensure that they get to a safe environment. However, the costs of dealing with nursing home abuse and neglect can be tremendous. There may be various types of compensation available to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. This can include both economic and non-economic compensation, such as the following:
- The cost of any medical treatment that arises due to the abuse or neglect
- Lost wages if a family member has to take time off of work
- The cost of transferring to a new nursing home
- The cost of stay at the current facility
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of quality of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent nursing home provider
The total amount of compensation available in these cases will vary depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual nursing home abuse or neglect case. The attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson will work to secure maximum compensation on behalf of our clients in these situations.
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.