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Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney

an elderly woman in a nursing home

There are many quality nursing homes around Kentucky. Unfortunately, there are also nursing homes that do not provide quality care and instead, neglect and abuse residents.

Sometimes, even the best nursing homes are guilty of neglecting their residents because they are understaffed. However, there is no excuse when nursing homes don’t provide the care their residents deserve.

If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of abuse, our Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers can help your family make the situation right and secure the compensation that can help with medical costs and other expenses related to their injuries.

It takes Kentucky Courage to stand up for mistreated nursing home residents. At Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, we are ready to help you fight for your loved one. Call us now for a free and confidential discussion about your legal options.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

It’s not always easy to spot nursing home abuse and neglect. In many cases, victims are not even aware that it’s happening. Even when victims do recognize that they are a victim of abuse, they are often too ashamed or embarrassed to report it.

Due to these factors, it’s crucial that family members and friends know the signs of abuse and neglect and regularly look for them. It’s only once the abuse is identified that loved ones can help put a stop to it.

While there are many signs of nursing home abuse, some of the most common include:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruises, scrapes, and welts
  • Withdrawal from social situations
  • Being scared or startled easily
  • Sudden behavioral changes, such as becoming agitated or losing self-confidence
  • Repetitive behaviors, such as rocking back and forth or constant mumbling
  • Refusal to take medication
  • Sudden fearfulness of being left alone or left alone with a particular staffer
  • Bruising around genital areas
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Unexplained expenses
  • Missing checkbooks, credit cards, or personal bank cards
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Sudden and unexplained weight loss
  • Bedsores
  • Excessive and regular dehydration
  • Unclean rooming quarters
  • Refusal of staff to allow loved ones to visit the resident alone

Some of these signs of abuse often occur naturally as a person ages. However, when there are consistent patterns or you notice several of these signs, it could indicate that a loved one is in an abusive situation.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Kentucky

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Kentucky

In Kentucky, there are three main ways to report nursing home abuse.

  • The first is to report the incident to Adult Protective Services. This government agency investigates complaints of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly residents. The agency accepts written or oral reports, and even anonymous reports for those who don’t want to be identified, such as employees of a nursing home that have witnessed abusive practices.
  • The Office of the Inspector General also investigates nursing homes that are suspected of abuse. The OIG is also responsible for licensing nursing homes.
  • Additionally, the Office of the Attorney General also has an Abuse Tip Line where reports of abuse and neglect can be made. The phone number of this hotline is (877) 228-7384.

When abuse is suspected, reports should be made to any of these three agencies as soon as possible. When making a report, it’s helpful to include the name and location of the facility, witnesses’ names, and when and where the incident took place.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

It’s important to determine who is responsible for nursing home abuse if you suspect it is happening. While it’s natural to automatically think that your loved one’s primary caregiver is responsible, that is not always the case.

Truthfully, there are many people a nursing home resident may come into contact with. Sometimes, a third party may be responsible. In many instances, the owner or manager of the nursing home is also liable. All of these parties have their own responsibilities and when they are not properly fulfilled, those individuals or companies can be held responsible.

Nursing home property owners and managers can be held liable if they don’t take the proper care in their hiring practices. These individuals must verify the qualifications of potential employees, perform background checks, ensure proper training of staff members, and properly maintain equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers.

Owners and managers of nursing homes must also properly monitor their staff members, provide adequate food, water, medication, and other necessities. They must also ensure the building has proper security measures and reduce exposure to safety and health hazards. When nursing home facilities fail on any of these duties, they can be held responsible for nursing home abuse and neglect.

In addition to nursing home owners and managers, nurses and caregivers can also be held civilly liable if they engage in abusive or neglectful behaviors. These individuals also have many responsibilities. They must provide residents with proper medical attention, dietary assistance, hygiene, and general care. These are critical services and caregivers must act responsibly and professionally at all times. When they neglect to properly fulfill these duties, nurses and caregivers, in addition to their employer, can be held responsible.

There are a number of third parties that can also be held liable for nursing home abuse and neglect. Maintenance staff can be held liable if they neglect to clean up spills that could cause a slip and fall accident, and these individuals must also ensure that handrails and floors are always in good condition. Manufacturers of products the nursing home uses, such as wheelchairs, must ensure their products are safe to use. When they fail to do this and residents become hurt by defective products, those manufacturers can be held liable.

Other people within the nursing home can also sometimes be held responsible for abuse and neglect. One of the biggest benefits of nursing homes to residents is that they have regular interaction with other residents. Unfortunately, not all of these are friendly. When one resident causes harm to another, they could be held liable. In these situations, property owners and managers can also be held liable for failing to protect vulnerable residents from harm by others.

Other residents may also have visitors who could cause harm to other residents. Not only can these individuals be held liable, but the nursing home facility can also be held liable for failing to provide proper security and protection.

How a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help Your Family

There are many reasons why it is so important to speak to a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as you suspect abuse or neglect. An attorney can help with your case in many ways, including:

  • Assisting you with reporting abuse to the proper authorities
  • Interviewing witnesses who saw or experienced neglect or abuse
  • Interviewing former employees to learn about the practices of the nursing home and its treatment of residents
  • Reviewing records that can indicate a violation of state or federal laws
  • Reviewing medical records to prove the resident’s medical needs were neglected or to prove the extent of injuries caused by the abuse or neglect
  • Researching the law and applying it to the case of your loved one
  • Negotiating with the nursing home to obtain the fairest nursing home settlement possible
  • Filing your lawsuit
  • Preparing your case and arguing it effectively at trial, if necessary

While working on your case, an attorney can act as an advocate for you and your family member. An attorney can also ensure your loved one’s rights are upheld at all times and fight to seek the full amount of compensation they deserve.

Compensation for Your Loved One After Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Kentucky

Many people don’t want to file a lawsuit after discovering nursing home abuse. Residents in particular, may not want to go through the process of filing a lawsuit, preferring instead to simply try and move on with their lives.

However, lawsuits involving nursing home abuse and neglect can help this vulnerable sector of society recover compensation that can help with the financial aspect of the abuse, and other losses. A nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit can also protect others from similar mistreatment at the facility.

Some of the most common types of compensation awarded in nursing home abuse cases include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of care, comfort, and guidance
  • Loss of consortium

Due to the severe and shocking nature of nursing home abuse, some courts award punitive damages in addition. These damages are not intended to compensate the nursing home resident for the financial aspect of the abuse. Instead, they are meant to punish the defendant for extreme recklessness or carelessness. Punitive damages are also meant to deter the individual from acting in the same manner in the future.

Common Types of Nursing Home Injuries

It’s important to understand what some of the most common types of nursing home injuries are so you can be on the lookout for them when you visit your loved one. Some of the injuries to watch out for include:

  • Bedsores – These are typically caused because nursing home residents are left for long periods of time in the same position in a bed or in a wheelchair. The most common places bedsores will develop include around the ankles, heels, tailbone, spine, shoulder blades, elbows, and hips.
  • Malnourishment – Signs of malnourishment include extreme and sudden weight loss, brittle bones, dizziness, dehydration, and fatigue.
  • Broken bones – The elderly are naturally at a higher risk of broken bones. However, when there are no explanations for these injuries, it’s an indication that the resident may be being abused or neglected.
  • Wrist and ankle injuries – These sometimes indicate that a resident was restrained in their bed or a wheelchair.
  • Food poisoning – Nursing homes and their staff are responsible for ensuring the food they serve residents is nutritious and safe. When they fail to do that and residents become sick from old or unsafe food, they can be held liable.
  • Genital injuries – When residents have bruises or other signs of trauma around their genitals, it’s an indication that sexual abuse has taken place.

When any of these injuries, or any others that are not explained, are seen, it’s important to ask the resident about abuse and report it to the proper authorities.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

The numbers surrounding nursing home abuse are alarming.

Some of the most troubling are:

  • Approximately 5 million elders are abused every year.
  • Approximately 1 in 10 elders over the age of 60 have been abused.
  • Nearly 25 percent of residents in nursing homes have reported experiencing physical abuse during their time there.
  • There are likely many more instances of nursing home abuse, as it’s estimated that only 1 in 14 incidents of nursing abuse are reported.
  • Nursing home residents are more likely to report financial abuse than any other type.
  • Approximately 5.2 percent of the elderly population report that a family member has financially abused them.
  • According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 27.4 percent of nursing home abuse is physical abuse, 19.4 percent is psychological abuse, 15.3 percent is neglect, 7.9 percent is sexual abuse, and 7.9 percent involves financial exploitation.
  • Although both men and women are victims of nursing home abuse, 2 out of 3 victims are women.
  • Elderly nursing home residents with mental impairments are more vulnerable to nursing home abuse.
  • Approximately 50 percent of nursing home residents with dementia are neglected or abused.
  • Social isolation is thought to contribute to abuse rates among nursing home residents.
  • Nursing home residents with a lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience abuse.
  • Over 50 percent of nursing home staff have admitted to exhibiting some form of abuse to their residents.

While many family members do not think their loved one could be a victim of abuse, a quick look at the statistics indicates that it happens more often than people would like to think.

Talk to a Kentucky Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Now

Nursing home abuse is an epidemic across the country and here in Kentucky. If you think your loved one has been a victim, contact our Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer today. We know how to handle these cases, and we will fight for your loved one’s rights and help them pursue the full amount of compensation they deserve.

Call us now for your free and confidential consultation so we can get started on your case.

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