When you place your elderly loved one in a nursing home, you expect that they will be properly looked after. Unfortunately, senior citizens and nursing home residents are not always provided with the proper level of protection. Residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be vulnerable to incidents of abuse and neglect for a variety of reasons. If someone you love has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. 

OnderLaw is here to help. With our team of highly qualified Fontana personal injury attorneys, we’re well-equipped to guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit and seeking restitution for your damages. If you’re ready to take the first step towards filing a suit, call OnderLaw today. We’ll schedule a free, confidential consultation for you so that you can speak with one of our lawyers and determine the next steps in your nursing home abuse case.

What is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?

Nursing home abuse is generally defined as any situation where a resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility is mistreated. There are several forms of nursing home abuse. Abuse can involve either willful mistreatment or unintentional harm. The most common types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical abuse – Physical abuse occurs when a caretaker causes physical harm to a patient’s body. Examples of physical abuse include restraining, strangling, cutting, punching, kicking, and slapping.
  • Verbal abuse – Verbal abuse occurs when a caretaker causes psychological and emotional harm to a patient through verbal means. Examples of verbal abuse include blackmailing, gaslighting, threatening, name-calling, yelling, or cursing at a patient.
  • Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse may result in a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, such as reduced self-esteem, STI’s, self-harming, and pelvic injuries. 
  • Financial abuse – Financial abuse can be harder to spot, which is why it is important to keep a close eye on your loved one’s finances. Financial abuse may evidence itself through unusual credit card charges, transfers to unknown parties, or ATM withdrawals that your loved one was incapable of making. =

Nursing home neglect is generally defined as a circumstance where an assisted living or senior care facility fails to provide its residents with the appropriate level of care required by state law. Like abuse, neglect can be unintentional or willful, and may evidence itself in various ways: 

  • Bedsores: bedsores may occur when a resident is left in bed for too long or if nursing home staff fails to change the resident’s sheets in a timely fashion. The sores that develop as a symptom of these circumstances can limit a patient’s mobility and cause swelling.
  • Malnutrition: a resident may become malnourished when a caretaker fails to provide them with a balanced and nutritional diet. Symptoms of malnutrition include irritability, depression, anxiety, and weight loss.
  • Dehydration: a resident may become dehydrated if their caretaker fails to provide them with enough water. Symptoms of dehydration include hallucinations, exhaustion, weakness, and dizziness. 

If your loved one is a resident in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, it is important to familiarize yourself with the common signs of abuse and neglect. If you have further questions about nursing home abuse and neglect, or suspect that your loved one may be a victim, contact OnderLaw to discuss your case. 

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

Several signs may indicate your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. While some of these signs are clearly visible, others are signs of mental and emotional distress. A few examples of things you might notice among loved ones who are suffering the effects of nursing home abuse or neglect include:

  • Irritability
  • Unexplained bruises on their bodies
  • Signs of having been restrained, either on their hands or around their feet
  • Heightened levels of hunger and/or thirst
  • Extreme anxiety and/or depression
  • Limited mobility
  • Torn clothes or undergarments
  • Broken personal belongings (glasses, jewelry, etc.)
  • Sores or cuts on the patient’s body
  • Emotional withdrawal

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

There are several steps you should take if you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. It is imperative to act right away, to prevent your loved one from suffering further at the hands of negligent nursing home staff. 

If you suspect that your loved one may be a victim of abuse or neglect, you should: 

  • Ensure the victim receives proper medical attention.
  • After gaining your loved one’s consent, take photos of any signs of abuse or neglect, such as bruises, cuts, and sores on their body, as well as damage to personal belongings. 
  • Make a report of the incident to the appropriate entity. You can read more about who to contact on the California Department of Aging’s website. 
    • To report instances of abuse or neglect in a licensed nursing home, rehabilitation center, intermediate care facility, or adult day health care program, call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline at 1-800-231-4024 or the local police or sheriff’s department. You can also call the California Department of Public Health in San Bernardino County at (909) 387-9146
    • To report instances of abuse in a licensed residential care facility, assisted living facility, board and care home, or adult day program, you can also call the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program or the local police or sheriff’s department. You can also call the California Department of Social Services at 1-844-538-8766. 
    • Call the Adult Protective Services at 1-833-401-0832 to report instances of abuse that occur in community spaces (hospitals, homes, apartments).
  • Call OnderLaw today to discuss your loved one’s case with one of our personal injury attorneys. We’ll schedule a free case evaluation so that you can determine the best course of action. 

Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims

The circumstances surrounding your loved one’s case can play a large role in determining what type of compensation you may be able to obtain. Factors like injuries, trauma, and damage to personal property may all be considered when calculating damages. You may be able to receive compensation for: 

  • Economic damages are the monetary costs associated with nursing home abuse and neglect. These include the costs to repair personal property, medical expenses (diagnostic procedures, treatments, doctor’s appointments, etc.), and any lost income or wages as a result of recovery. The best way to calculate economic damages is to maintain a file of medical expenses and other costs incurred because of abuse and neglect. 
  • Noneconomic damages are the non-financial costs of any pain or suffering associated with abuse or neglect. Examples of these damages include psychological/emotional trauma, loss of companionship, loss of mobility, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

There are as many as six million instances of nursing home abuse across the nation each year, according to data from the National Center for Elder Abuse.

In California, 13% (twice the average nationwide) of all reports filed against nursing homes were reports of neglect, abuse, or financial exploitation, according to a report from the Nursing Home Abuse Center.

At least one in ten elders in senior residence centers experienced some form of abuse, according to a 2018 report from the National Center on Elder Abuse.

Data from the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys claims that roughly 5 million elders are victims of abuse in the United States each year.

The National Council on Aging estimates that each year, victims of financial abuse lose around $36.5 billion across the nation.

Why Choose OnderLaw ?

At OnderLaw , we believe in putting our clients first. We have been recognized on both a national and local level for our dedication to the cases we take on. Organizations like the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the American Society of Legal Advocates, the American Trial Lawyers Association, and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers have recognized our firm for excellence both in and out of the courtroom.

Our firm understands how heartbreaking it can be to learn that your loved one has been a victim of abuse and neglect. You entrusted your loved one’s care to nursing home staff, and they should be held accountable for their negligence. Our compassionate attorneys have the knowledge and resources to investigate the abuse or neglect, document damages, determine liability, and aggressively seek the compensation your loved one needs to recover. 

Give us a Call Today

Pursuing justice for the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect can be challenging. When you choose OnderLaw to represent you in your nursing home abuse case, you’re choosing a law firm that puts you and your family first. We will fiercely advocate for your loved one’s rights and will pursue the maximum possible compensation for losses your loved one suffered as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect. 

Don’t allow the distress of a nursing home abuse case keep you from pursuing the compensation to which your loved one is entitled. Call OnderLaw today to schedule a preliminary consultation.