Suspect Your Loved One Is the Victim of Nursing Home Negligence?
Consult a California Elder Abuse Attorney at Heinrich Law, PC Today
Our golden years are supposed to be the best years of our lives. However, the threat of elder abuse and nursing home negligence is casting a shadow on that perception. The National Center on Elder Abuse claims that the prevalence of elder abuse is around 10 percent. If this is true, then around one in ten elderly Americans may be experiencing abuse, neglect or financial exploitation. This means it is critically important for families to look out for their aging and dependent loved ones, and Heinrich Law, PC is here to help.
The Alameda County injury attorneys at our Oakland law firm have the resources to help you hold negligent caretakers responsible for the harm they inflict. Our record of satisfaction proves our dedication to our clients’ needs. So, you can turn to us if a nursing home facility or caretaker breaks your family’s trust.
What Are Common Examples of Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse?
Nursing homes (or assisted living facilities) may be liable for negligence or intentional acts of abuse. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to hold a nursing home liable for damages.
Common examples of nursing home negligence may include:
- Failing to provide basic needs: Nursing homes must provide their residents with food, water, necessary medical care and adequate supervision. Depending on the patient, there could be even more basic needs that staff must meet. In cases where the standard of care is not met and a patient suffers harm, the nursing home may be liable for damages.
- Negligent hiring: Hiring decisions can be cause for a nursing home lawsuit in some cases. If a staff member hurt a patient and that staff member’s history suggested they were at risk of or have in the past engaged in behavior that could have prevented what occurred, then the nursing home could be liable.
- Dangerous conditions: Patients can suffer harm if there are dangerous conditions present in nursing homes. Unsanitary conditions could put patients at risk of developing infections. Fall risks are another dangerous condition that could harm patients. Nursing homes can be liable if dangerous conditions harmed patients.
Common examples of nursing home abuse may include:
- Overmedicating: Staff may intentionally overmedicate patients under their care, which could lead to those patients suffering harm or even death.
- Assault: Patients may suffer significant harm if they are physically assaulted by nursing home staff. Common signs of physical abuse include bruising, cuts, scrapes, loss of mobility, bite marks, burns and evidence of internal injuries.
- Psychological abuse: Common examples of psychological abuse in nursing homes includes harming patients with screaming, shouting, scapegoating and intimidation. Staff may also intentionally isolate patients to cause psychological harm to patients.
- Financial abuse: In cases of financial abuse, staff may financially exploit the patients under their care by forging documents, blocking access to financial resources, or taking financial assets with the intent to defraud.
- Sexual abuse: Dependent and elderly patients may suffer sexual abuse at the hands of nursing home staff.
How Can I Tell if My Loved One Is Being Abused?
There are several signs to look out for when it comes to elder abuse. Keeping an eye out for these signs could help you end the abuse or negligence causing your loved one’s suffering. Here are the warning signs:
- Bedsores, pressure sores or ulcers
- Bruises, scratches or pinch marks
- Burns or abrasions on the wrists, ankles, hands or feet
- Loss of mobility
- Possessions that have gone missing
- Unexpected withdrawals from various financial accounts
- Facility staff refusing visiting hours or insisting on being present during family visits
- Residents zoned out due to possibly being heavily medicated
- Unsanitary conditions in the facility
If you see these signs and suspect that elder abuse or nursing home negligence is taking place, call the authorities immediately. You should also contact an attorney to ensure that your family member’s rights are protected.
Can I File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against the nursing home. Nursing home abuse laws in California are complex and will affect your case in a number of ways. The California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (CEADACPA) allows certain parties to file lawsuits for acts of abuse or neglect.
Certain parties, not just patients and not only the elderly, can file civil claims under this law. A patient (elders 65 years of age or older or dependent individuals between the ages of 16 and 64) of the nursing home facility and certain parties close to patients may be able to file a claim for damages.
You must establish the necessary evidence for your nursing home abuse claim to be successful. There is also a statute of limitations for filing a nursing home lawsuit in California. Once you are past this statute, it may be impossible to recover compensation. The CEADACPA also allows for punitive damages in cases where the plaintiff can prove the nursing home engaged in acts of malice, oppression and fraud.
It is important to speak to an attorney who has experience with California’s nursing home laws. By speaking to an experienced attorney, you can determine whether it is possible to seek compensation against the nursing home.
Contact Our California Elder Abuse Attorney to Learn More
Our knowledge of California elder law can help you file an effective claim. We know what evidence the court needs, and we can help you build a solid case. Our team at Heinrich Law, PC relies heavily on cutting-edge techniques for helping our clients’ cases succeed. You can learn more about our approach to litigation on our website.