Too often, Hernando and other Mississippi nursing home facilities are poorly supervised and understaffed, and employees are overworked and undertrained. As a result, residents are susceptible to various forms of nursing home abuse and neglect.
If your loved one has experienced mistreatment in a nursing home, do not let the abuse be the end of the story. A Hernando personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, & Montesi PLC will fight to ensure the abusers face legal repercussions and compensate your loved one for the damage and pain they have suffered.
Be Alert to Signs of Abuse
Mississippi ranks 47th in the nation when evaluated against standards established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Clearly, there is room for improvement, and those whose loved ones live in nursing homes need to watch for signs of abuse and neglect.
Abuse can take different forms, some more obvious than others. Friends and relatives of nursing home residents need to be on the alert for typical symptoms of abuse, such as:
- Unsanitary environment
- Malnutrition or sudden or severe weight loss
- Unexplained injuries, or injuries sustained from a fall
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Improper administration of medication–being given too much or too little is unacceptable
- Fear or lack of easy interaction with nursing home staff
- Hesitation by staff or caregivers to allow the resident to visit with family members alone
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What to Do If You Suspect Abuse
Mississippi’s Department of Human Services documents the State’s Adult Protection laws in place to protect the vulnerable nursing home population and hold those who harm them accountable.
Report the Abuse
Mississippi has mandatory reporting laws pertaining to suspected or witnessed elder abuse. If the abuse is happening as you watch, call 911. Otherwise, call the appropriate abuse hotline set up by the MDHS.
When the abuse happens in a nursing home, report it to your Long-Term Care District Ombudsman, a patient advocate appointed to investigate complaints.
If possible, collect evidence. For example, if you notice bruising or other unexplained cuts or abrasions, take photos of the injuries. If you see credit-card charges for unnecessary items or services your loved one has not received, keep or make copies of those bills.
Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Hernando
Speak with a Hernando nursing home abuse attorney right away. Attorneys at GKBM have been fighting for justice for victims of nursing home abuse for decades. We will show your loved one the utmost respect and care, investigate their situation fully, and gather comprehensive evidence to file a claim and hold the abusers accountable.
Mississippi law requires you to file a claim within two years from the date the abuse is discovered. Partner with a nursing home abuse attorney in Hernando promptly to ensure your lawyer has time to investigate and build the case and still file before the two-year deadline.
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Why You Need to Pursue a Claim
Realizing your loved one has been abused by those you trusted to care for them is infuriating and upsetting. It is understandable that your first thought might not be to start a lawsuit. For several reasons, filing is exactly what you need to do.
Get Justice and Restore Dignity
Because of the abuse, your loved one has likely felt stripped of their human dignity. Punishing abusers for their actions helps restore justice and your loved one’s dignity, so they can move toward healing.
When you expose abusers or expose systemic abuse within a facility, you help protect residents from continued abuse. Your case will prompt investigations into the nursing home facility to root out the problems and create a safer environment for all going forward.
The type or types of abuse involved in your loved one’s case affects the damages you can collect. In most cases, the emphasis is on non-economic damages, those recognizing the physical and emotional pain and suffering incurred by the abuse.
However, if the abusers stole from your loved one either by taking their personal belongings or through financial exploitation, you can seek recovery of those losses.
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Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is classed into four categories: physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. Though defined differently from abuse, nursing home neglect is also illegal.
- Physical Abuse: Actions that cause physical injury to the resident. Physical abuse also includes improper use of restraints
- Sexual Abuse: Forced sexual acts or forcing a resident to watch sexually explicit material
- Emotional Abuse: Belittling, berating, and intimidating residents
- Financial Abuse: Theft of property or identity, forgery, misappropriation of credit cards, coerced changes to wills, or power of attorney
An additional type of financial abuse is healthcare fraud. In these instances, medical personnel takes advantage of trusting patients, overcharging or double-billing them for services.
Caregivers may also charge patients for services not actually rendered or for unnecessary treatments. Other times, they may refer the patient to another caregiver in return for kickbacks.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home abuse involves intentional acts of harm. Nursing home neglect occurs when caregivers fail to provide proper care. For example, when residents are deprived of:
- Food and water
- Clean and safe conditions
- Personal hygiene care
- Clean clothes
- Medication or medical care
- Social interaction and emotional support
Whether characterized as abusive or neglectful, behavior that harms your loved one is unlawful and unacceptable. A dedicated nursing home abuse attorney in Hernando will support your loved one and demand accountability for the abusers’ appalling practices.
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Elderly and vulnerable nursing home residents have the legal right to be treated with courtesy and dignity in a clean, safe environment staffed by competent and respectful personnel. If a facility or staff member fails to uphold your loved one’s rights, they must face serious consequences.
Visit our contact page and schedule a free case review with an experienced Hernando nursing home abuse attorney from GKBM. Your attorney will fight to get your loved one the settlement and justice they deserve.