Sadly, vulnerable nursing home residents are victimized by staff members, other residents, and visitors. If you or a loved one have been subject to abuse or neglect while residing in a nursing home, your rights have been violated. A Marion nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for any damages you incurred due to the abuse.
To speak with a personal injury law firm, contact Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC.
Elder Abuse Takes Many Forms
The Office for Victims of Crime defines elder abuse as any intentional or negligent action that directly or indirectly harms a senior citizen. Elder abuse is often perpetrated by trusted individuals who are in a position of trust or power over the victim. This could be a caretaker, family member, or another legal guardian.
Elder abuse can occur in any environment, though nursing home abuse and neglect are one of the more common forms of elder abuse. Other common types of elder abuse include:
- Financial abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional and psychological abuse
- Physical abuse
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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Statistics
Nursing home residents are often more vulnerable than the average person. This places them in a spot where trusted individuals can easily harm them.
Some nursing home residents also suffer from physical and cognitive disabilities that prevent them from understanding the abuse that they are suffering. These disabilities may also prevent them from communicating their circumstances to someone who would be in a position to help them.
According to the Center for Victim Research, there has been a broad range of international studies evaluating elder abuse in institutional facilities. One study in the U.S. surveyed the families of nursing home residents to determine how many of the residents had been a victim of abuse or neglect within the prior year. Of them, 74% and 87% reported that their family member had been abused or neglected.
Another U.S. study took a different approach to highlighting the prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect. In this study, staff members were surveyed. When asked if they had perpetrated psychologically abusive behaviors against the residents, 40% self-reported that they had, and that same study found that 10% were willing to self-report that they had engaged in physical abuse against the residents.
These statistics are shocking and unacceptable. They should also be a compelling reason for the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect to pursue legal action against the nursing homes that allowed them to be abused. Filing a claim is the best way forward.
A Marion nursing home abuse & neglect lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC can help you get the justice you deserve.
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Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can result in victims’ physical, psychological, emotional, and financial consequences. The type of nursing home abuse someone experiences will determine what consequences they face.
Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse can be perpetrated in several ways, including:
If this type of harm has been done to you or a loved one in a nursing home, document your injuries clearly and immediately reach out to a nursing home abuse & neglect attorney in Marion, TN. Even if you only have a suspicion that your loved one is the victim of abuse, that should be enough reason to start the legal process. If you choose not to do so, the abuse could continue and cause death.
Some consequences of physical abuse in nursing homes are:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Bruised tissue
- Catastrophic injuries
To prevent the worst-case scenario from occurring, report the incident to the nursing home’s management, then contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer in Marion to evaluate your case. If there is any evidence of a staff member causing unwarranted physical trauma, the chances of recovering compensation increase dramatically.
Psychological Abuse in Nursing Homes
Psychological abuse involves taunting, teasing, verbally harassing, threatening, or isolating nursing home residents. The consequences of such behavior can be dire, often leading to the development of psychological disorders and other emotional distress. Being psychologically abused by the individuals who are responsible for caring for them can cause victims to become incredibly fearful and experience dramatic changes in their personalities.
Watching out for signs of psychological abuse is critical if you have a family member who is staying in a nursing home. Keep a watchful eye on your loved one’s behavior to identify whether they are recently started acting strangely, as this could be a sign of abuse.
One of the most important signs to watch out for is a fearful disposition when certain staff members are nearby. If the staff member abuses your loved one, they may fear retaliation when you are no longer there.
Neglect in Nursing Homes
Neglect involves directly or indirectly causing harm by ignoring one’s obligations or duties. If it is a nursing home staff member’s job to care for residents, but they instead ignore and disregard them, neglect is occurring. While the staff is not required to do everything the residents say, specific tasks must be carried out per the resident’s contract with the nursing home.
Common examples of nursing home neglect could include:
- The isolation of residents
- Refusal to provide health care services as necessary
- Making medication errors due to negligence
- Refusal to ensure proper hygiene for residents
- Ignoring emergency health situations
- Refusal to assist residents in performing their activities of daily living
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Liability for Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Figuring out who should be held accountable when your loved one is being neglected or abused in their nursing home is crucial. Although you may be interested in holding your loved one’s abuser accountable, it may surprise you to learn other parties can share fault as well.
Some of the individuals and entities commonly named in nursing home abuse and neglect claims include:
- Nursing assistants
- Administrative professionals
- The nursing home facility
- Janitorial staff
- The nursing home’s parent company
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How the Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Complaint Process Works
Every person’s case is different. However, the claims process when filing a complaint for nursing home abuse and neglect is generally the same. Here is a basic idea of what you can expect when you decide to get help from a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney:
- You review the specific details of your case with your lawyer.
- Your lawyer determines whether you should file a complaint with the Marion Police Department, Tennessee Adult Protective Services, the Tennessee Department of Health, Division of Health Care Facilities, or another relevant government agency.
- Next, we review your legal options which might include removing your loved one from the nursing home facility, filing a malpractice insurance claim, or moving forward with a civil lawsuit.
- We will carefully evaluate the various ways your loved one’s life has been affected by the abuse they endured to calculate the value of your claim.
- We will be by your side to negotiate with insurance companies are present your case at trial should it become necessary to ensure justice is served.
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The person who perpetrated abuse or neglect in a nursing home may be criminally liable, but the nursing home management is likely civilly liable. The nursing home management where you or your loved one was abused may not have even been aware that such behavior was occurring in their facility. Regardless, they may still be liable for the damages you suffered at the hands of their employees.
Through a civil claim, you can work to prove that you were abused or neglected while residing in their facility. If successful, you can recover compensation for any losses you incurred.
To learn precisely what the value of your claim may be, get in touch with a Marion nursing home abuse & neglect attorney to schedule a free case evaluation. A nursing home abuse & neglect attorney at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC is ready to speak with you. Use the contact form on this page to schedule an appointment now.