It can be heart-wrenching to learn that someone you love was the victim of abuse. You trusted the nursing home staff to keep your relative safe and provide necessary medical care. Unfortunately, a doctor, nurse, or another party hurt them, and now you’re left wondering what to do. You can pursue accountability and just compensation a claim with an attorney. At OnderLaw, LLC, we understand what you’re going through and can help you demand what’s right for your loved one.
Elder abuse is tragically common in the United States. According to the Nation Council on Aging, one out of every ten adults 60 years of age and older become victims of abuse at some point. Unfortunately, most incidents go unreported.
If your loved one has physical or mental disabilities and can no longer care for themselves, you can serve as their advocate and demand accountability when they receive improper medical treatment or suffer abuse. If you notice signs of neglect or abuse, you should report it to the authorities immediately and consult an experienced Oakland nursing home abuse lawyer from OnderLaw, LLC.
OnderLaw, LLC has been representing nursing home abuse victims in California since 2002. We have the resources, knowledge, and skills to help you pursue the compensation your loved one deserves for the injuries they suffered. To learn more about the services we offer in a free consultation, call us at (314) 963-9000 now.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Nursing home abuse describes any time someone inflicts harm on a resident. Unfortunately, multiple types of abuse can occur in a nursing facility. They include:
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse can take the form of kicking, pushing, shoving, or punching. It involves inflicting physical pain, bodily harm, or another impairment on the victim.
- Financial exploitation – This occurs when someone improperly or illegally uses a resident’s financial assets. It can be difficult to spot when older patients stop managing their money actively, so it often takes weeks or months before anyone notices a problem.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is unwanted, coerced, or forced sexual activity with a nursing home resident. Some victims have mental impairments or difficulty speaking that prevents them from giving consent. Others may not remember what happened because of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Neglect – Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide a resident with the care necessary to live comfortably. Withholding food and water are common examples. A staff member could also refuse to provide medical treatment for an injury or fail to administer medications to manage the symptoms of an illness.
- Psychological/emotional abuse – This form of abuse causes emotional distress through verbal or nonverbal actions. Someone might threaten, humiliate, harass, or intimidate a vulnerable resident.
- Abandonment – Abandonment involves a medical provider deserting a patient who relies on them for medical care or assistance. An example might be a nurse who fails to prevent bedsores by regularly moving someone under their care.
It’s important to watch for signs of abuse if you believe your loved one may have been harmed. Unfortunately, they aren’t always visibly apparent. You might need to speak to your family member about how they’ve been treated and watch for cues that could indicate fear or anxiety.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
Physical abuse often causes physical injuries that are easy to detect. However, it can be challenging to identify other types of abuse, such as financial exploitation or emotional abuse. Some of the most common warning signs are listed below.
Physical abuse can result in a variety of unexplained injuries and unusual behavior, such as:
- Missing teeth
- Broken bones
- Fear of a caregiver, another resident, or an administrative worker
Financial exploitation can result in unapproved use of your loved one’s financial resources, such as:
- Missing cash or personal belongings
- ATM withdrawals they could never have made
- Forged signatures on a power of attorney, will, or another legal document
- Money transfers to unknown accounts
- Financial activity lacking appropriate documentation
Sexual abuse may cause obvious injuries and emotional distress, including:
- Bruised genitals
- Trouble sitting down or walking
- Pelvic injuries
- Diagnosis of a new STD
- Bloody or torn underwear
Neglect can sometimes be identified by warning signs, such as:
- Dirty bedding
- Damaged medical devices
Psychological/emotional abuse can lead to mental illness and behavioral changes, such as:
- Mood swings
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Low self-esteem
- Difficulty sleeping
Abandonment causes a range of effects, such as:
- Sudden loss of mobility
- Poor hygiene
- Withdrawal from social activities
Your loved one may not be able to speak for themself or defend against their abuser. That’s why it’s crucial to check for warning signs, report your suspicions, and remove them from the situation if you believe they suffered any type of abuse.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
If your loved one has injuries you suspect are due to abuse or neglect, the first step you should take is reporting the suspected abuse. The abuse your loved one experienced might constitute a crime, so it’s necessary to notify the authorities. You should also transport them to a nearby hospital or another care facility. A doctor should evaluate their condition and determine a new treatment plan.
It’s crucial to hire an experienced Oakland nursing home abuse lawyer. OnderLaw, LLC can take on the responsibility of your case while you focus on caring for your family member. We’re prepared to meet California’s strict deadlines, investigate the abuse, gather evidence, communicate with insurance companies, and demand fair compensation. You shouldn’t have to bear the burden of a complicated legal case while you work to keep your loved one safe and healthy.
Request copies of the records related to your relative’s care while they were in the nursing home. It’s important to keep everything associated with the treatment of their injuries, which could be vital evidence. Every document could help you and your family member recover the compensation you need to pay their medical bills and other expenses.
Resources for reporting nursing home abuse in California include :
- Adult Protective Services
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- Oakland Police Department
- California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to significant economic strain for the victim and their family. You can file a claim or lawsuit to recover financial compensation for various losses, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Damaged personal property
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a fatal injury or accident in the nursing home caused the tragic loss of your loved one, you could pursue compensation for the expenses resulting from their death, including:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost financial support they could have contributed if they survived
- Loss of care, protection, assistance, love, and moral support
- The reasonable value of lost household services due to the deceased’s death
- A spouse’s lost enjoyment of intimacy
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
The rate of abuse against nursing home residents is unacceptably high. According to the World Health Organization, two out of three staff members admitted to committing abuse between June of 2020 and June of 2021. These rates increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
California lacks many resources that other states provide to report and prevent elder abuse from happening. According to WalletHub, California ranked 49 out of 51 on a list of the states and other areas with the best elder abuse protections. It was ranked with multiple states for the highest number of gross neglect and exploitation complaints.
These statistics underscore how crucial it is to seek accountability on behalf of loved ones residing in California nursing homes. It could help prevent future abuse.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
At OnderLaw, LLC, our Oakland nursing home abuse lawyers how to handle even the most complicated legal cases. You shouldn’t try to do so alone. We’ll be in your corner to advocate for the rights of your loved one.
We have built an excellent reputation based on our dedication to our clients and the results we’ve achieved over the years. Multiple legal organizations have given us awards for our hard work, and Martindale-Hubbell gave us an AV® rating, the highest possible rating.
We provide clients with open and honest communication from start to finish of their cases. With our 24/7 availability, you can reach us whenever you need to. We believe in offering dependable customer service to nursing home abuse victims. And we’ll make sure you can speak to a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer whenever it’s most convenient for you.
Speak to a Dedicated Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The Oakland nursing home abuse lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC can help you fight for the justice your loved one deserves. They shouldn’t suffer the consequences of another person’s despicable actions. You can count on our legal team to provide the legal guidance and emotional support you need to get through this traumatic experience. You won’t have to face the nursing home and their lawyers alone.
If you believe that your relative suffered injuries due to nursing home abuse or neglect, call us today for a free consultation at (314) 963-9000.