California Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Did your loved one sustain injuries in a nursing home? Do you believe a negligent doctor, nurse, or another party is at fault? If so, you might be entitled to compensation from an insurance claim or lawsuit. You should call the California personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC today to learn about your legal options. We could help you hold the at-fault party liable for their actions.
You probably trusted the staff members to provide the care your family member needed. Nobody thinks they’re putting someone at risk of harm by placing them in a nursing home. Unfortunately, older adults are vulnerable. Abusers often see them as easy targets and exploit that. The injuries suffered from abuse can be severe and even life-threatening.
The California nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC know the consequences faced by abuse victims. Your loved one might not be able to advocate for their rights themselves, so it’s your job to do that on their behalf. We can help you hold the negligent party accountable for their wrongdoing and seek the money owed to your loved one for their medical treatment and other expenses.
For a free consultation, call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 today.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Nursing home abuse occurs when someone causes injury or death to a patient in a long-term care facility. The perpetrator could be a doctor, manager, or even another resident.
Six types of abuse can happen in a nursing home. They are:
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse refers to an injury or death caused by using physical force against a nursing home patient.
- Financial abuse – Financial abuse happens when someone uses another person’s property, money, or assets without authorization or permission.
- Neglect – Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to meet their patient’s needs. For example, a nurse neglects a nursing home resident if they don’t administer necessary medications.
- Psychological abuse – Psychological abuse involves mental or emotional harm inflicted by a person’s verbal and nonverbal actions.
- Sexual abuse – Using threats, force, or coercion to engage in sexual activity of any kind without someone’s consent is considered sexual abuse.
- Abandonment – Abandonment occurs when the person responsible for caring for a nursing home patient does not live up to their duties.
Your loved one has suffered tremendously. They should not be forced to face additional abuse at the hands of a caretaker. It is critical to take immediate legal action to protect them from further injury and recover the compensation they need to heal.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
It might be difficult to determine whether your loved one has been abused. An injury could indicate a fall that wasn’t due to someone else’s negligence. However, there are times when injuries and illnesses result from an abusive act.
Every type of abuse has warning signs you should look for if you believe your relative has become the victim of abuse.
Physical abuse is typically apparent. There are obvious signs, such as:
- Appearing fearful of a specific individual
- Unexplained injuries
- Burns, cuts, and bruises
- Broken personal items
Sexual abuse can cause a range of physical and emotional symptoms, including:
- Low self-esteem
- Pelvic injuries
- Engaging in acts of self-harm
- Diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
The signs of neglect are often noticeable since this type of abuse involves withholding a patient’s basic needs. Common warning signs include:
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of treatment of physical injuries
The signs of financial abuse are more challenging to spot. Since there isn’t any physical injury to indicate what happened, you will have to keep a close eye on your loved one’s finances. Examples of warning signs are:
- Consistent ATM withdrawals the patient could not have made
- Unknown signature on a will, power of attorney, or another legal document
- Unusual credit card charges
- Bank account transfers to a person you don’t know
Psychological abuse can lead to a significant decline in the victim’s mental and physical health. Warning signs typically include:
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Unexplained loss of mobility
- New or worsening mental illness
- Difficulty sleeping
The warning signs of abandonment and neglect are typically similar. They include:
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Soiled bedding
- Appearing disoriented or confused
- Rapid cognitive decline
If you notice any of these warning signs, remove your loved one from the facility and get them the treatment they need.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
There are many resources in California for you to use if you discover your loved one has been abused in a nursing home. Call 911 if you think they are in imminent danger. You can file a police report with the local police department or sheriff’s office.
A long-term care ombudsman is available to take your complaint and investigate the incident. Call (800) 510-2020 to find an ombudsman in your area.
You can also reach out to Adult Protective Services. Report the abuse by calling (833) 401-0832 and entering your zip code to speak to an agency in the county where your loved one resides.
The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform is another excellent resource. You can call them at (415) 974-5171.
Your loved one’s safety is of the utmost importance. If you suspect abuse occurred and they are in danger, remove them from the facility. Bring them to a nearby hospital or doctor for treatment of any injuries they suffered. If the physician recommends follow-up care, follow their orders.
The medical records, bills, and related documents can be helpful evidence to prove the injuries resulted from abuse or neglect. Keep copies of everything you receive during the ongoing case.
Take pictures at the nursing home if you have the opportunity. However, be discreet. You don’t want anyone to know you’re planning to file a claim or lawsuit. That could give the facility owner time to prepare. Be sure to take photos of relevant evidence, such as dirty living conditions, damage on the property, and your loved one’s visible injuries. You can also speak to other residents that might have witnessed the abuse and write down their names and phone numbers.
Hire an experienced California nursing home abuse attorney immediately after the incident. OnderLaw, LLC can handle the legal aspects of the case while you focus your time and attention on helping your loved one heal.
This is a huge undertaking, and you should not attempt to pursue compensation from the nursing home on your own. These facilities typically hire aggressive and experienced attorneys to represent them. Trying to fight them in court without legal representation could lead to less money than your relative deserves or a dismissed case.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Numerous individuals could be responsible for your loved one’s injuries. It could take a thorough investigation to determine who you can hold liable for the abuse. The most common parties involved in cases like this are:
- Manufacturer of a defective medical device
- Owner of the facility
- Administrative staff
- Maintenance worker
- Another patient
- Third-party contractor
- Physician’s assistant
The settlement you recover from an insurance claim could compensate for the losses suffered by your loved one, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Damage to personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
If you file a lawsuit, you can also seek exemplary damages. However, an award of this kind doesn’t compensate the plaintiff for their losses. Instead, it punishes the defendant for their misconduct. You must present clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with malice, fraud, or oppression for a jury to make this award.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
The World Health Organization estimates around one in six adults at least 60 years old has been abused. Abuse rates are high in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Two out of every three staff members admits to abusing a patient within the last year.
According to a study, California has one of the highest rates of elder abuse, gross neglect, and financial exploitation in the country. It is one of several states that receive the highest number of complaints. It ranked toward the bottom of the list for states with the best elder abuse protections.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
At OnderLaw, LLC, our California nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to fight for your loved one’s rights. We know the toll abuse can take on an older adult. They are more susceptible to severe injuries and death than younger people. These incidents don’t just affect the victim. They affect the family as well. You can depend on our legal team to help you hold the negligent party responsible for the harm they caused.
We know the financial burden you might face while pursuing legal action. You won’t be forced to pay upfront fees or costs when you hire us. We take cases on contingency and only collect our legal fees if we secure compensation for our clients.
If your loved one has been abused at a nursing home and suffered injuries or died, do not hesitate to contact OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000. One of our California nursing home abuse lawyers will review the circumstances of the abuse during a free consultation and determine whether we can take your case. We are ready to seek the justice and compensation necessary to get your loved one on the road to recovery or to help your family move forward from their loss.