Stockton Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
If your loved one suffered injuries or died while living in a nursing home, contact the Stockton personal injury lawyers of OnderLaw, LLC immediately. You and your family might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, emotional pain, and other losses suffered from the abuse or neglect.
Older adults are vulnerable to instances of abuse and neglect. Sadly, the person who takes advantage of them and causes harm is usually someone they trust. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately five million older adults become victims of abuse each year in the United States.
Call OnderLaw, LLC today at (314) 963-9000 to learn about your legal options for holding the nursing home or staff member accountable for what they have done. One of our Stockton nursing home abuse attorneys can discuss your case with you during a free consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Nursing home abuse occurs against residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. It can take many forms and cause a range of different injuries. The most common types of abuse include:
- Physical abuse – Someone suffers physical abuse when another person uses physical force to cause injury, pain, or death. The perpetrator might punch, kick, shove, slap, or use restraints on their victim.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse involves sexually touching another person or engaging in unwanted sexual acts without the victim’s consent. The abuser can use threats, force, or coercion to have sex with a patient, get them to undress, or share pornographic videos or images when the victim is unwilling.
- Financial abuse – This type of abuse is also called financial exploitation. It involves using another person’s finances without authorization or permission. An example would be stealing the victim’s credit card or forging their signature on a new will.
- Emotional or psychological abuse – Emotional abuse refers to verbal and nonverbal actions used to inflict emotional anguish, pain, or distress. A nurse could insult or humiliate their patient regularly or isolate them from their friends and family, leading to depression and low self-esteem.
- Neglect – Someone neglects a nursing home resident when they fail to provide basic needs for a healthful life. The caregiver doesn’t fulfill their job duties by not checking on an immobile patient or by withholding food and water.
- Abandonment – Abandonment and neglect often go hand in hand. This type of abuse occurs when a person assumes responsibility for a patient but fails to provide the necessary care and assistance. For example, a nurse could forget to turn a bed-bound patient to prevent bedsores or leave them in soiled sheets for extended periods before washing them.
If your loved one was the victim of any type of abuse in a nursing home, do not hesitate to reach out to the Stockton nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC. We know how to investigate incidents of abuse or neglect and gather all available evidence to prove what happened. The negligent party or facility should face the consequences of their misconduct and compensate your relative for their incurred costs.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
Physical injuries and emotional pain are common when abuse happens to someone living in a nursing home. They often feel isolated from their family and might fear what their abuser will do if they call the police or notify the facility owner. Some have a disability that prevents them from protecting themselves from an attack. Others can’t remember what happened due to an Alzheimer’s or some other diagnosis, so the incidents go unreported.
You should look for warning signs if you think your loved one has been abused or neglected. They differ based on the type of abuse that occurred. The most common include:
- Tooth loss
- Fear of a specific person
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Broken eyeglasses and other personal property
- Bruised genitals or anus
- Torn and bloody clothing
- Unexplained diagnosis of an STD
- Bleeding from the anus or genitals
- Increased anxiety
- Large ATM withdrawals
- Unexplained account transfers
- Unknown signatures on a new power of attorney or will
- Financial activity lacking appropriate documentation
- Stolen cash and personal belongings
- A person showing unusual interest in a resident’s finances
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Low self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Avoids making eye contact with others
- Engages in self-harm
- Trouble sleeping
- Untreated injuries
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden weight loss
- An unexplained decline in cognitive functioning or physical mobility
- Dirty clothes
- Lack of interest in usual activities
It’s up to you to advocate for your loved one’s rights and protect them from further injury. If you believe abuse or neglect occurred, you need to take immediate action.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
There are many resources you can use to report suspected abuse or neglect, including:
- Stockton Police Department: (209) 937-8377
- San Joaquin County Adult Protective Services: (209) 468-3780
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman: (209) 468-3785
- California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform: (800) 474-1116
- Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse: (800) 722-0432
- Assemblymember and senator: Go to this website to look up the names and contact information for the senator and assembly members in your district
You should remove your loved one from the nursing home if you think someone abused them. Take them to the hospital or a doctor for treatment of any injuries they sustained. If the doctor recommends follow-up care, listen to them. Make sure your relative receives the treatment they need to recover. Don’t bring them back to the facility they were in. Instead, allow them to stay with you or a trusted family member until you find a safe nursing home.
You should avoid talking to the nursing home staff at all costs. If the owner discovers that you plan to file a claim, they will have adequate time to prepare for a case. They could destroy evidence or force their employees to lie about what happened.
Hire a lawyer to assist with the case. OnderLaw, LLC can obtain a copy of the facility’s insurance policy to determine the available coverage. We can file a claim on your behalf and negotiate for a settlement to cover all losses suffered. If the insurance company offers a low settlement or denies the claim, we can file a lawsuit.
If possible, take pictures that could prove abuse or neglect happened at the nursing home. Examples include photos of visible injuries, dangerous living conditions at the facility, and personal property damaged in the incident. You should also keep a copy of all documents associated with the case. Don’t dispose of doctor bills, physical therapy notes, and other medical records you receive.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Claims
Your loved one probably suffered various economic, emotional, and physical losses from the abuse or neglect. If they required treatment, there were medical bills to pay and other expenses. You can file an insurance claim and seek compensation for multiple losses, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Personal property damage
- Pain and suffering
The Stockton nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC can review the total losses and determine the amount of money necessary to cover everything. You should not be left with out-of-pocket expenses if your loved one’s actions didn’t contribute to their injury. You can depend on our legal team to work closely with you on the case and stay by your side until the end.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Statistics from the National Center for Victims of Crime show an estimated one in ten people 60 years of age and older experience abuse in the United States. However, only one in 24 cases of abuse are reported.
The percentages of complaints based on the type of abuse are:
- Sexual abuse – 7.9%
- Sexual or physical resident-on-resident abuse – 22.1%
- Physical abuse – 27.4%
- Financial exploitation – 7.9%
- Psychological abuse – 19.4%
- Gross neglect – 15.3%
In 60 percent of cases, family members are the ones abusing or neglecting the victims.
WalletHub performed a study and discovered that California has the highest number of abuse and neglect of older adults. The significant prevalence of elder abuse is primarily because there are minimal protections to keep nursing home patients and other vulnerable seniors safe in this state.
The counties with the highest number of reported cases in 2018 included:
- Los Angeles County – 3,653
- Riverside County – 1,196
- San Diego County – 1,143
- Orange County – 1,066
- San Bernardino County – 808
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC?
The experienced and dedicated Stockton nursing home abuse attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC have been representing victims harmed by others since 2002. Finding out your loved one has been abused by someone you thought you could trust is traumatic and infuriating. We can help you pursue justice for your family member and recover compensation for their medical care and other costs.
OnderLaw, LLC knows state laws regarding nursing homes and the rights afforded to patients. We use our knowledge of these laws and the resources we have to develop a legal strategy and to work to reach your desired outcome. Our team is available 24/7, so you can contact us when you need us. We believe in providing ongoing communication from start to finish of the process, so you can tell we prioritize you and your case.
OnderLaw, LLC Is Ready to Help You Fight for Justice
If someone you love sustained injuries or died from abuse or neglect at a nursing home, contact OnderLaw, LLC right now. Our Stockton nursing home abuse attorneys will help you fight for the compensation and justice your relative deserves. Call for a free initial consultation at (314) 963-9000.