Nursing homes are supposed to be comfortable and safe for their residents. Unfortunately, some nefarious individuals enter these facilities and physically assault or abuse residents. Many nursing home residents fear that it will get worse if they report abuse, and for those already vulnerable, suffering abuse can be a death sentence.
It is challenging to move past these incidents and get help. It is up to the loved one to take action by contacting our Lakeland personal injury lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC.
Nursing Home Bill of Rights
When entering a nursing home, loved ones and new residents will receive a copy of a bill of rights. It outlines patient rights when they are in the facility.
Each resident has the right to dignity and privacy. Other rights nursing home residents have include:
- Prompt response to a request
- Having personal possessions and clothing unless it interferes with the rights of another patient
- Information regarding medical care
- Express grievances to the healthcare facility regarding patient rights violations
You can contact the nursing home if you are unsure of these rights. Abuse and neglect cases consist of providing liability, and when there is a bill of rights where both parties agree, that can serve as evidence of duty of care and liability.
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Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse can lead to prolonged conditions or death. Injuries can stem from physical abuse, physical neglect, or medical malpractice. Some examples of injuries from nursing home physical abuse include:
- Bed Rail injuries
- Skin tears
- Dental trauma
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord trauma
- Pressure sores
- Soft tissue sprains
- Back injuries
- Illness or disease
Physical abuse can manifest in many forms, and it is essential to review medical care and if there are any changes in the resident’s physical condition.
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Signs of Physical Abuse
Physical abuse takes many forms. Bruises and broken bones are obvious and easy to question, but others are not as apparent. If you witness unexplained injuries, infections, illnesses, or a worsening condition, that is a sign that physical abuse can be happening.
Other symptoms of nursing home physical abuse are:
- Disheveled appearance
- Lack of medication or care or overmedication
- Inappropriate bathing habits
- Weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration
- Jaundice or unusual paleness
You should also look for signs of physical restraints and unsanitary living conditions. While accidents do happen, multiple broken items are more than coincidences. Nursing home physical abuse lawyers in Lakeland will review the aspects of the alleged abuse and determine if you have a viable case.
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What to Do if You Suspect Physical Abuse
There are some steps loved ones can take when they suspect or witness physical abuse in a Lakeland nursing home. First, you should ensure your loved one is not in immediate danger. If they are, you must remove them from the facility immediately by calling 911.
Whenever you see signs of physical abuse, you cannot ignore them, and you should contact a nursing home physical abuse attorney in Lakeland, TN, to review your options. You must ask your loved one if they are threatened, abused, neglected, or injured. Sometimes victims are scared or upset to answer, and you must show compassion and patience.
If you suspect abuse, you should ask the nursing home administration for corrective actions. Loved ones should also file a complaint with the state ombudsperson or adult protective services. Most importantly, you must contact our Lakeland nursing home physical abuse attorneys.
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Liable Parties in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
A significant factor in your situation is determining who you can sue and who can pay for your expenses. The facility, staff, third party, or other residents can be liable for the loss stemming from the abuse.
The facility has an obligation to ensure its patients are safe and well taken care of. They must monitor and identify everyone entering the facilities and what they do while on the property. The facility must review the background of its staff and be liable under vicarious liability.
Patients must stay in good health, and when there are changes in their care or condition, they must investigate it. Determining who is responsible is challenging, depending on the circumstances of the injury. A nursing home physical abuse lawyer in Lakeland, TN, can find evidence of liability and name all parties in a claim.
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Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations
When you suffer an injury, or your loved one suffers physical abuse while in a nursing home, you have the right to file a civil lawsuit. There is a limited time to take action. Nursing home abuse cases fall under personal injury law and therefore have the same time limits.
You have one year to file your lawsuit for nursing home abuse cases. You should move quickly so you do not miss these and other important deadlines.
Compensation from Nursing Home Abuse Claims
When you file a nursing home abuse case, you seek compensation for the losses your loved one suffers from the negligent actions of the staff, third parties, and others. Loved ones can seek compensation for the following:
- Value of stolen property or money
- Residential expenses in the facility
- Moving expenses from changing facilities
- Medical payments to treat the physical abuse
- Pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs for the abuse
- Punitive damages for intentional harm
Punitive damages have a maximum of twice the total damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. Remember, each claim is unique, and compensation and limits can vary. Discuss your compensation options with a Lakeland nursing home physical abuse lawyer.
Schedule a Consultation with a Lakeland Nursing Home Physical Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home residents have rights, and they should not suffer abuse at the hands of negligent staff. You should take legal action if your loved one has sustained a physical injury. Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, has nursing home abuse lawyers who will fight for victims seeking compensation for their losses.
We offer free consultations for nursing home victims and their loved ones. Call us today to schedule a consultation.