Conway Attorneys for Nursing Home Abuse
When you entrust your loved one to a nursing home, you expect that the staff and facility will show them empathy and care. Thankfully, this is the reality in many nursing homes.
However, in a small proportion of long-term care facilities, the situation is the opposite. For whatever reason, staff members subject vulnerable seniors to a variety of abuses. When that happens, your family may be entitled to financial compensation.
The Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Many people think of nursing home abuse as physical contact with the senior. While this is true, there are a number of forms of nursing home abuse, including:
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Verbal abuse
Nursing Home Abuse Includes Negligence
Unbeknownst to many families, neglect is also a form of nursing home abuse. When a nursing home abandons and pays no attention to your loved one, leaving them to become ill and suffer, it is a form of abuse. If your loved one develops the following illnesses as a result of neglect, your family can file a lawsuit against the nursing home:
- Urinary tract infections
- Extreme weight loss
How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse
The problem with nursing home abuse (aside from the fact that it exists in the first place) is that it often goes unreported. If a certain staff member is exploiting or mistreating your loved one, they often get away with it because seniors are either unable or afraid to report nursing home abuse. Therefore, the burden falls on the family to look for signs of nursing home abuse and take strong action as necessary.
Here are some signs that your loved one may have been abused at a nursing home:
- Unexplained marks and bruises
- A strong fear of a particular nursing home staff member
- Sudden changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Onset of depression
- The disappearance of money from their bank account
Most often, it is the nursing home staff that commits the abuse. Either the employees are poorly trained, or the nursing home has not done the proper job in hiring and screening employees. It is often difficult for a nursing home to find good staff these days, resulting in understaffing the nursing home or taking shortcuts in hiring. The result is that they have underqualified and overstretched staff members who may crack under the pressure of working in a nursing home.
In addition, families should be vigilant about the care that is given to their loved one. If their family member appears dirty or disheveled, it may be a sign that the nursing home is not doing its job, and there could be more.
Nursing Homes Must Take Action When You Report Abuse
Families can report and take action against nursing home abuse. Aside from raising concerns with the nursing home staff, families can also report suspected abuse to several places. Each home is required to have an ombudsman that can act as an advocate for residents. Families can also report suspected abuse to the State of Arkansas.
If you report abuse to the nursing home, they are legally obligated to file a report with the state within a very short period of time. It does not matter that they do not believe the allegation or that they want to sit on them and do nothing. If they do not report abuse within two hours of receiving the complaint, they can be fined and punished by the government.
Not only can you file a complaint with the government, but you can also sue the nursing home that harmed your loved one. Nursing home abuse is a personal injury for which the nursing home must pay.
Nursing homes must follow a wide variety of federal regulations as a condition for their participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. These regulations touch upon practically every aspect of your family member’s daily life, and they are intended to ensure your loved one’s well-being.
If you can prove that the nursing home was not following the law, or a government investigation finds the same thing, it can be proof of negligence that can help you win your lawsuit. You should report any suspected rule violation to the proper authorities if the nursing home does not listen to you when you bring it to their attention.
You Need an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Families need an experienced lawyer when their loved one has been injured by nursing home neglect or abuse. They may not know their legal rights or even what is considered illegal conduct. At the same time, nursing homes may take steps to cover up their own conduct or make things more difficult for the loved one.
An attorney can help you deal with the situation and determine whether your family may qualify for financial compensation. Unfortunately, the level of care in nursing homes has declined since the beginning of the pandemic, and nursing home abuse and neglect are increasing.
Contact a Conway Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has been injured by nursing home abuse or neglect, you need a tough and experienced lawyer to hold the nursing home accountable. The lawyers at Denton & Zachary will fight for you and your family to get justice. Call us today at 501-273-1695 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. You owe us nothing unless you win your case.
Nursing Home Abuse Case FAQs
What happens if my loved one is unable to speak?
You can still spot nursing home abuse through the signs, even though it may be more difficult.
Can I get punitive damages from the nursing home in a lawsuit?
Even though punitive damages are rare in any personal injury case, you have a better chance of being awarded them when shocking abuse has been committed.
What happens if my loved one dies from abuse or neglect?
You can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home, and your family can receive damages for the loss of your loved one.