Chula Vista Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
If you suspect a doctor, nurse, or another nursing home staff member caused your loved one’s injuries, call the Chula Vista personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC right now to discuss the available legal options. You have a right to advocate for your loved one’s rights and pursue compensation for their medical bills, suffering, and other losses. They shouldn’t be financially responsible for incurred expenses if their actions didn’t contribute to their injury, and you shouldn’t either.
Most people trust the caregivers in nursing homes. After performing extensive research to find the best environment for your family member, you placed them in a nursing home that you believe will meet their needs. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is prevalent. Employees often take advantage of older adults. Their misconduct can lead to physical injuries, psychological trauma, and in some instances, death.
At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand the consequences abuse victims face. The elderly are susceptible to abuse and neglect since they depend on others for daily care and assistance. Many can’t advocate for themselves, and others don’t have the cognitive ability to recognize what’s happening. It’s up to you to fight for your loved one and help them hold the nursing home liable for their misdeeds.
Our Chula Vista nursing home abuse attorneys can provide the legal representation and guidance you and your family member need to get through this traumatic experience. We will aggressively pursue the justice and maximum compensation they’re owed from the negligent party. You won’t have to fight this battle alone. Our team will remain by your side from start to finish of the case.
Learn more about how OnderLaw, LLC can help by calling (314) 963-9000 for a free consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Your mind may instantly go to physical abuse when you think about what can happen to a patient in a nursing home. However, nursing home abuse comes in multiple forms. The most common types include:
- Sexual abuse – It is considered sexual abuse when someone uses force, coercion, or threats to engage in unwanted sexual acts with another person.
- Financial exploitation – Also called financial abuse, this abuse involves unlawfully using someone else’s money, assets, or personal property without getting their permission first.
- Neglect – Neglect occurs when a caregiver doesn’t meet their patient’s basic needs, such as food, medication, and water.
- Abandonment – Abandonment is similar to neglect. It happens when someone takes on the responsibility of caring for a patient but fails to live up to their duties. For example, a nurse is supposed to turn a bed-ridden patient to prevent bedsores. They abandon their patient by not completing this necessary task.
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse is the use of physical force to cause injury or death to a person. Punching and kicking are common examples of this form of mistreatment.
- Psychological abuse – Psychological abuse involves inflicting emotional or mental harm on a resident with verbal and nonverbal actions. Threatening, humiliating, and harassing are common examples.
Nursing home residents have certain rights. According to the Nursing Home Reform Act, they should receive the care and services necessary to maintain a healthy physical, mental, and psychosocial state. They also are allowed to report any mistreatment without reprisal or discrimination.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
It can be a challenge to notice when someone has become the victim of abuse. Sometimes, accidents happen. Older adults have fragile bodies and can suffer injuries easily. It isn’t always because of someone’s abusive actions. However, there are warning signs you should look for if you believe abuse occurred.
Various emotional and physical symptoms can indicate sexual abuse. Examples include:
- Diagnosis of a new STD (sexually transmitted disease)
- Low self-esteem
- Broken pelvis
- Bruised anus or genitals
Financial abuse doesn’t cause physical harm, but the signs often involve unusual financial and legal activity. Common warning signs include:
- Significant charges to a credit card
- New signature on a will or power of attorney
- Unauthorized transfer of money to an unknown account
- ATM withdrawals the victim could not have made
Since neglect involves withholding basic needs from a resident, there are often noticeable physical signs, such as:
- Sudden weight loss
- Lack of treatment of injuries
- Poor hygiene
Abandonment and neglect often go hand in hand and can have similar warning signs. Examples of abandonment include:
- Appearing confused or disoriented
- Soiled clothes or bedding
The signs of physical abuse are usually visible and easy to spot. Common warning signs include:
- Burns, bruises, and wounds on the skin
- Broken bones
- Damaged personal items, such as hearing aids or eyeglasses
- Fear of a specific person
Victims of psychological abuse will withdraw from activities they once enjoyed and exhibit a decline in cognitive or emotional health. Examples of warning signs are:
- Avoiding eye contact
- New or worsening depression
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Trouble sleeping
Take immediate legal action if you think your loved one suffered abuse or neglect. It’s critical to protect them from additional harm and get them the treatment they need to recover from any injuries.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
A range of resources is available if you believe someone in the nursing home abused your loved one. You can call the Chula Vista Police Department at (619) 691-5151 to report what happened. You can also reach out to a long-term care ombudsman. Call (800) 640-4661, and they can investigate the complaint and try to resolve it. Adult Protective Services also investigates instances of elder abuse. Call (833) 401-0832 and enter your zip code to be connected to an agency in your county.
You need to protect your loved one from their abuser. That means you should remove them from the nursing home immediately. Bring them to the hospital so a doctor can treat any injuries they have. If the initial physician recommends ongoing care, follow their orders and take them to all necessary appointments.
You need to ensure your family member’s safety while they recover. That means finding a different nursing home or moving them in with you or someone you trust. Their physical and emotional well-being is of the utmost importance. You don’t want to give their abuser a chance to retaliate or take out their anger on them.
No matter how angry you might be, it’s critical to avoid communicating with the facility owner or any of their employees. It’s best to surprise them with a lawsuit, so they don’t have time to prepare a defense.
Request copies of your loved one’s records from the facility and from all facilities where they received treatment for their injuries. Take pictures of the condition of their room, damage on the property, and other helpful evidence. If you get an opportunity to talk to anyone who witnessed what happened, write down their names and phone numbers.
You should also hire a Chula Vista nursing home abuse attorney. OnderLaw, LLC can investigate the incident, gather evidence, and file a claim on their behalf. We will try to negotiate a fair settlement with the facility’s insurance company and pursue a lawsuit if necessary.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Nursing home abuse cases are complex. Since multiple parties could be responsible for your loved one’s injuries, it can be a struggle to determine who you can hold liable.
Common parties at fault for patient abuse include:
- Physician’s assistants
- Administrative staff
- Manufacturer of a defective medical device, equipment, tool, or part
- Maintenance workers
- Another resident
- Facility owner
- A third-party contractor hired by the nursing home
The compensation you receive should compensate for the losses your family member suffered from the abuse. These losses may include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Damaged personal property
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
You could also pursue exemplary damages if you decide to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This isn’t a form of compensation but a punishment against the defendant for their misconduct. You must provide clear and convincing evidence of their oppression, malice, or fraud for a jury to award this to you.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
According to the National Council on Aging, around five million older adults experience abuse every year. Although one out of every ten Americans suffers some type of abuse, only one in 24 cases actually get reported. The perpetrator is a family member in approximately 60 percent of all incidents of abuse and neglect. Additionally, almost half of victims have dementia.
Unfortunately, California has one of the highest rates of elder abuse incidents in the United States. According to a study, the state ranked 49 out of all states regarding the best protections against elder abuse. It has one of the highest number of complaints of gross neglect, abuse, and exploitation.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
The Chula Vista nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC will go to battle for you and your loved one. We understand the toll abuse can take on a person. It doesn’t only affect the victim but can have a significant impact on the family as well. We will fight by your side for justice and aggressively pursue the compensation necessary to help your loved one heal.
We take cases on contingency, so you’re not burdened by additional costs. We won’t collect our legal fees or costs unless we secure compensation for you. If we lose, you won’t have to pay us for the services we provide.
If your loved one was the victim of abuse at a nursing home, call OnderLaw, LLC today. One of our Chula Vista nursing home abuse attorneys will meet with you during a free consultation to discuss the incident and advise what we can do to hold the negligent individual or facility liable. Call (314) 963-9000 right now.