If you or your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact the Modesto personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw as soon as possible to discuss how you can hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions and recover compensation.

We put our trust in nursing homes to deliver high standards of care for our elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, these standards of care are often not upheld, or worse, nursing home staff can physically and mentally abuse vulnerable nursing home residents or be neglectful of the care they need. While any type of abuse is enraging, nursing homes and their staff taking advantage of those who are so vulnerable is particularly devastating.

If you or a loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact the Modesto nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation for your case. You could be eligible for significant compensation that will allow you or your loved one to cover their medical bills and bring them into a better care situation.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Nursing home abuse or neglect can take several forms and is not simply limited to the physical treatment the nursing home resident receives. Varieties of abuse can include:

  • Mental abuse: Nursing home residents who may also have dementia or other conditions that impair normal mental functioning are especially vulnerable to abuse. If staff members insult residents, subject them to threats or subject them to other emotional attacks, this can be considered mental abuse.
  • Physical abuse: Physical abuse can include not only active physical harm, such as causing a resident to fall, excessive restraint, or hitting them, but also failing to prevent physical injury from occurring.
  • Sexual abuse: Nursing home residents often cannot legally consent to sexual activity, either because of illness or weakness. Some residents may not have the mental capacity to consent or may be unconscious. Sexual abuse happens if staff, other residents of the nursing home, or visitors force residents to engage in sexual activity without consent.
  • Neglect of Residents: Nursing home residents are often reliant on nursing home staff for their general care. If staff refuse to do their jobs or ignore their charges on purpose, this can lead to neglectful treatment of the residents. For example, bedsores may develop because of infrequent changes in position, or residents may contract new health issues due to poor hygiene.
  • Financial abuse: While the person paying for the nursing home resident to stay in the home may not be the resident themselves, staff and guests of the nursing home can still abuse the patient’s financial rights. This can include forcing the resident to cash a check they have in their possession or withholding funds provided by their loved ones.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

For each of the types of abuse and neglect, there are common signs to watch out for that result from nursing home abuse or neglect. These warning signs, broken down by category, include:

Physical Abuse

  • Discomfort around nursing home staff or others
  • Evidence of personal property damage
  • Bruising
  • Scratches or bleeding
  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • Medical treatment that cannot be explained by a diagnosed condition
  • Concussions or other head injuries
  • Blood on clothing, sheets, or other personal items
  • Dislocated joints
  • Damaged or lost teeth

Mental Abuse

  • New diagnosis of anxiety or depression that cannot be explained by other means
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of interest in activities or interacting with others
  • Avoiding eye contact, especially with nursing home staff
  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating, or unexplained weight loss
  • Panic attacks

Sexual Abuse

  • STD diagnosis
  • Avoidance of or discomfort around staff
  • Pelvic injuries
  • Pain or bleeding on the genitals, inner thighs, or anus
  • PTSD Diagnosis
  • Unusual emotional or social withdrawal
  • Bloody or torn clothing or underwear

Financial Abuse

  • Unexplained or unusual ATM withdrawals or transactions
  • Missing personal property or cash
  • Sudden, unexplained changes to power of attorney or will
  • Nursing home staff showing unusual interest in the resident’s finances
  • Password changes for online accounts or new account names
  • Transfer of money to a person not known to their loved ones

Warning Signs of Neglect

  • Bedsores
  • Unkempt appearance or poor personal hygiene
  • Unexplained disease, malnutrition, or dehydration
  • Poor sanitary conditions when under caretaking staff
  • Untreated injuries or medical conditions

If you notice any of the above warning signs of abuse or neglect in a loved one living in a nursing home, you should contact a Modesto nursing home attorney as soon as possible to learn your rights. It is crucial that your loved ones are able to receive medical treatment for injuries and other ailments and prevent further abuse on the part of nursing home staff.

What Should I Do if I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

If you suspect abuse of a loved one in a nursing home, call the Modesto nursing home attorneys of OnderLaw right away. They can help you whether it is safe for your loved one to stay in the home until a suit or claim is brought so no evidence will be destroyed before it can be obtained. If this turns out to be the case, make sure that you do not raise any suspicion with staff at the nursing home and do not confront anyone that you believe to have been involved in the abuse or neglect. Staff should also not be made aware of any pending legal action.

On the other hand, your lawyer can also advise you when it is critical that your loved one is removed from that situation as soon as possible because they are in danger. They may need to be taken to the hospital to treat injuries and should be moved to another nursing home or placed with a trustworthy relative or friend to ensure that they are no longer vulnerable to harm at the previous nursing home.

Once that decision is made and your loved one appropriately situated, talk with your lawyer from OnderLaw. An experienced legal team like ours has the knowledge and experience necessary to handle your case while you make sure that your loved one is getting the care that they need.

If you can, be sure to document anything that you find unusual about your loved one or their living space at the nursing home, such as unsanitary conditions, property damage, physical injuries, unusual stains in bedding or furniture, and any damage to clothing. Document any injuries and the dates they occurred, as well as anyone your loved one seems to fear at the nursing home.

Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

In order to recover compensation in a nursing home abuse case, a Modesto nursing home abuse lawyer will need to be able to identify the responsible parties and prove liability. Abusers, as well as their employers, can be held liable. Nursing home facilities can be held liable for the actions of their employees in certain situations, such as:

  • The facility hired unqualified staff
  • The facility failed to properly train staff
  • Staff violated resident rights
  • The facility didn’t hire enough staff for residents

You or your loved one may be eligible for a variety of different types of damages to compensate you for your losses. Those damages could include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage or replacement
  • Emotional trauma

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics in California

As of 2015, about 110,000 Californians live in around 1,300 licensed nursing homes, and a further 150,000 live in a licensed residential care facility. 150,000 or more Californians are estimated to be living in unlicensed assisted living facilities that have a mixed record of being able to care for the elderly properly.

In 2009, the California Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes found that 13 percent of total complaints to the California Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman involved nursing home abuse and neglect, which is more than double the national average.

Why Choose OnderLaw?

The Modesto nursing home abuse lawyers of OnderLaw have nearly two decades of experience fighting for clients who have experienced abuse in a nursing home setting. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients for their injuries that were caused by another’s negligence.

OnderLaw has earned many accolades for our work in personal injury law. We are proud to be listed in Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Layers, Rue Ratings’ Best Attorneys of America, and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We achieve these results by treating every client with the respect and dignity they deserve, understanding their unique needs, and fighting relentlessly for the compensation our clients are due.

Call OnderLaw Today for a Free Initial Case Review

If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact the experienced Modesto nursing home abuse attorneys at OnderLaw. We can discuss your case and your available legal options, fight for you, and bring those who have abused your loved one to justice.
Call OnderLaw today today for a  free consultation and learn how we can help you and your loved one recover.