Did your loved one suffer injuries at a nursing home? Was it due to someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct? If so, the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC could help you pursue a case for the financial compensation necessary to treat their injuries and pay for medical bills and other expenses.
When you realize you can’t care for your family member and it might be time to place them in a nursing home, it’s a heart-wrenching and difficult decision. You likely researched nearby facilities and asked for recommendations from trusted sources. It’s important that your loved one receives the medical care and assistance they need to stay safe and healthy. Unfortunately, a doctor, nurse, or another employee betrayed your trust and put your loved one in harm’s way.
The Los Angeles nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC understand the devastation abuse causes. Finding out that your relative was the victim of abuse or neglect is infuriating. You deserve to seek justice for them and recover the maximum available compensation from the at-fault party. We have experience handling these cases and can develop a legal strategy to achieve a favorable outcome. We will fight hard and be the advocate your loved one needs during this traumatic experience.
For a free consultation to learn more about how we can help, call OnderLaw, LLC at (314) 963-9000 today.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Nursing home abuse is intentional or unintentional harm inflicted on a patient who resides in a nursing home or other assisted living facility. Neglect is a caretaker’s failure to provide the treatment and assistance a resident deserves.
The most common types of nursing home abuse are:
Physical abuse – This involves using physical force against a patient to cause physical pain or injury. Examples include:
Emotional abuse – This occurs when someone inflicts psychological or emotional distress, pain, or anguish through nonverbal or verbal acts. Examples include:
- Taunting or teasing
Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse results from coercion, force, or threats to engage in unwanted and non-consensual sexual activity. Examples include:
- Showing pornographic videos or images
- Forced sexual acts
Financial abuse – Financial abuse, also referred to as financial exploitation, occurs when someone uses another person’s assets, money, or personal property without their permission or authorization. Examples include:
- Forging a signature on a legal document
- Illegally withdrawing cash from an ATM
- Tricking a mentally impaired patient to sign over a will or power of attorney
- Accessing online bank accounts without permission
Neglect – A caretaker neglects their patient when they refuse to provide basic needs. Examples include:
- Withholding food and water
- Ignoring requests for assistance to the bathroom
- Failing to administer medication to treat a disease
- Failing to provide medical treatment of an injury
Abandonment – Abandonment occurs when the person responsible for providing care to a resident deserts them. Examples include:
- Leaving a physically disabled patient unattended in their wheelchair
- Failing to turn a patient over in bed to prevent bedsores
- Preventing a resident from participating in social activities
- Failing to assist with personal hygiene
- Providing food that doesn’t meet the resident’s unique dietary or nutritional needs
Accidents happen. Sometimes a nursing home patient falls or suffers some type of injury that isn’t anyone’s fault. However, there are times when the facility or employee is responsible for an injury or illness and should be held liable.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
A range of scenarios can lead to abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Some cause visible injuries you can see just by looking at your loved one. Others aren’t as apparent and might require a thorough knowledge of the warning signs, so you know when abuse has occurred. Common signs you should look for if you suspect abuse can include:
Physical abuse warning signs include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Lack of necessary medical treatment
- Damaged personal property, such as eyeglasses
- Fear of a specific person in the facility
Emotional abuse warning signs include:
- Low self-esteem
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Mood swings
Sexual abuse warning signs include:
- Diagnosis of a new STD
- Difficulty sitting or walking
- Pelvic injuries
- Withdrawal from family and friends
Financial abuse warning signs include:
- Money transfers to an unknown account
- Lack of documentation for recent financial activity
- Missing belongings and cash from the patient’s bedroom
- ATM withdrawals the resident could not have made
Neglect warning signs include:
- Unsanitary bedroom
- Sudden loss of mobility
Abandonment warning signs include:
- Unkempt appearance
- Lack of treatment of an injury
- Emotional or social withdrawal
If you notice any of these signs, you should contact OnderLaw, LLC immediately. We can help you transfer your loved one to a safe place and get them the treatment they need. We can investigate and gather evidence to show their injuries resulted from abuse or neglect and seek compensation for their expenses.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
If you believe your loved one was the victim of abuse in a nursing home, take immediate legal action. The first thing you should do is to take them to the hospital. They need an evaluation of their injury or illness so they can begin treatment. You should also find another facility or trusted family member’s home where they can stay to prevent further harm.
Hire a Los Angeles nursing home abuse attorney from OnderLaw, LLC immediately after the incident so we can start working on your case. We will need ample time to investigate and develop a legal strategy to prove someone else should be held liable for your relative’s injury. You should not be forced to handle the legal aspects of an insurance claim or lawsuit when you’re already dealing with the stress of helping them recover.
If you want to report what happened to the authorities, there are various organizations you can contact:
- LA County Adult Protective Services – 1-877-477-3646
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman – 1-310-393-3618
- Elder Abuse Hotline (for long-term care facility problems) – 1-800-334-9473
- Los Angeles Police Department non-emergency – 1-877-275-5273
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Whether you file an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can pursue compensation for various losses your loved one suffered from the abuse. These losses might include:
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Past and future medical expenses
- Damage to personal property
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
The facility likely has liability insurance. You could file a claim with their insurance company to seek a settlement on behalf of your loved one. If you want to file a lawsuit, you must observe the two-year statute of limitations in California. This is a strict timeframe that begins on the date the injury occurred. If you don’t file the lawsuit before the deadline passes, you could lose your right to hold the nursing home or employee liable in court.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
According to statistics, approximately one in ten Americans over 60 years old experience abuse. However, only one out of every 24 incidents gets reported to the authorities. The percentages of elder abuse complaints include:
- Physical abuse – 27.4%
- Physical or sexual abuse by another resident – 22.1%
- Psychological abuse – 19.4%
- Gross neglect – 15.3%
- Sexual abuse – 7.9%
- Financial exploitation – 7.9%
California has one of the highest rates of elder abuse in the country. That’s mainly due to a lack of available protections and resources for older adults. More than 225,000 dependent adults become victims of abuse every year in California. Most people don’t report what happened for fear that their abusers will retaliate, leading experts to believe the statistics are much higher.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
The Los Angeles nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC have helped victims of abuse recover from their injuries and pursue the compensation they deserve since 2002. We provide dependable legal services and representation to those in need. We take cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about paying upfront fees or costs. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
We’re available 24/7, so you can reach us whenever you need us. You’ll receive ongoing communication from start to finish of the process, so you always know the status of your case. We treat clients as a priority and provide the personalized attention they deserve.
OnderLaw, LLC has been recognized by many organizations for our dedication to our clients and the positive case results we achieved. We have received awards from the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Super Lawyers, and The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers, to name just a few. We also have an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest honor achieved by the top attorneys in the United States.
Contact OnderLaw, LLC for a Free Consultation
OnderLaw, LLC has the experience and resources to handle your nursing home abuse case and navigate the complex legal road to pursue compensation for your loved one’s abuse. We don’t give up without a fight and are ready to go to battle for you and your loved one. Our legal team will remain by your side until the end to provide the guidance and support you need.
If your family member suffered injuries from nursing home abuse or neglect, call us for a free consultation at (314) 963-9000 or reach out to us online.