Nursing Home Abuse - Attorneys and Law
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse statistics suggest that this form of abuse is becoming either more widespread or more frequently discovered. According to reports, approximately 30% of nursing home facilities in the US have been cited for occurrences of abuse. Nursing home abuse can lead to serious personal injury or even death, and if this happens to you or a loved one, it is imperative you contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can.
How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?
What is especially alarming about these studies is that majority of the nursing home abuse incidents are never even reported. Unreported cases may be due to the patient’s fear that making such a report will only further the abuse and will make things worse or the inability of the patient to communicate effectively. Compounding the problem, family members and friends of nursing home patients may not live nearby and therefore may not pay regular visits to check how a patient is being treated.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The most common form of abuse in nursing homes is physical abuse. Instead of caring for the patients, some staff members are physically hurting them. Examples of physical abuse include slapping, kicking, hitting, shoving, and other actions that cause pain or injury to the patients. Signs of patients being physically abused include wounds, cuts, body fractures, bruises, broken bones, black eyes, and bleeding. If any of these personal injuries occur as a result of nursing home abuse, a lawyer can help the elderly victim of the nursing home abuse to recover damages against the nursing home. In some cases, punitive damages may even be awarded.
Other types of abuse include emotional and mental abuse. Actions that result in emotional pain, anguish, and suffering are considered emotional abuse. Examples of such acts include screaming at the patients, threatening and insulting them, and depriving them of their needs –these actions can result in very serious emotional stress to the patients. The difficult thing about emotional abuse is that it is almost impossible to detect or prove. This can cause some of the patients to become mentally disturbed. A nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you to deal with this by assisting you in finding witnesses and other evidence so you can prove that this is happening to you or a loved one.
Sexual abuse also occurs in nursing homes. This can take place when a member of the nursing staff performs a sexual act with a patient without his or her consent. Due to mental or physical limitations, the patient may not be able to respond or react. Any form of sexual advances from a staff member is sexual abuse and should be reported. A nursing home lawyer in such cases can also help a patient to receive compensation for emotional distress and pain and suffering.
Nursing home negligence is also considered a form of nursing home abuse. The dangers of negligent care can range from dehydration to malnutrition to bed sores to death.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
An experienced attorney can help a patient sue a nursing home for the negligent care provided by the home and its staff. An nursing home abuse attorney can help:
Failing to make report about abuse will only allow these horrific actions to continue. If you or your loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse, report it and consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer in your area.