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.