Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Approximately 1 in 10 American
senior citizens have experienced some form of elder abuse, according to the National
Council on Aging. It is believed up to 5 million elders are abused each
year, but only 1 in 14 cases are ever reported to authorities. Social isolation
and mental impairments like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease make elders more
vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse. The
ramifications are severe: abused seniors have a 300% increased risk of death.
There are serious legal
implications when the abuser is a paid nursing home representative. It is your
right to seek assistance from your state’s long-term care ombudsman. You may
need the support of a nursing home abuse
lawyer if your questions and concerns do not receive immediate attention from
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
The term “elder abuse” takes
different forms, including:
abuse – Inflicting physical pain upon an adult over 60 years old.
abuse – Making sexual contact with a senior who does not want it or cannot
abuse – Verbally assaulting, threatening, harassing, or intimidating an
– Restraining or isolating an older adult, other than for necessary medical
neglect – Failing to provide life’s necessities: food, clothing, shelter,
or medical care.
deprivation – Intentionally depriving medication, medical care, shelter,
food, therapy, or help.
abuse – Misusing, stealing, or withholding another adult’s financial
Elder abuse can be committed by
nursing home staff members or by other residents living in the facility.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Warning signs of nursing home
abuse may include:
- Physical Abuse
– Abrasions, Broken Bones, Bruises, Burns, Pressure Marks
- Neglect –
Bedsores, Poor Hygiene, Unattended Medical Needs, Unusual Weight Loss
Abuse – Agitation, Bruising, Bleeding, Depression, Drugged Behavior,
Hygiene Changes, Inappropriate Comments, Isolation, New Difficulty Standing or
Walking, Stained or Torn Bedding
Abuse – Argumentativeness, Fearfulness, Mood Disorders, Sudden Change in
Alertness or Sociability, Unusual Depression, Withdrawal from Activities
Abuse – Sudden Changes in Financial Situations, Bounced Checks, New
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
Call 9-1-1 if your loved one is
in immediate, life-threatening danger. If your loved one is in a nursing home, call your state Long-Term Care
Ombudsman at once. This person is your advocate and has the power to
You may also contact a local Adult Protective
Services office or the police department for assistance. After you contact
APS, a caseworker will make in-person contact within 10 days. The caseworker
will ask questions to aid in the investigation, support the victim in coping
with the aftermath of abuse, provide resources for medical care and counseling,
and seek the least invasive solution. Temporary shelter, in-home services, or
other interventions can be arranged through APS.
Do I Need a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
The law allows two different
paths to justice for victims of nursing home abuse. Criminal litigation is initiated
by filing a police report and asking to “press charges.” The defendant in
criminal court is the abuser him or herself. If there is sufficient evidence,
the State District Attorney may agree to represent the case in court. Your
abused loved one may be called as a witness to a crime committed against “the
state.” The end result could be jail time, fines payable to the state,
probation, or registration as a sex offender (for cases of sexual abuse).
You may file a civil lawsuit
instead of pressing criminal charges, or in
addition to pressing criminal charges. The civil litigation process begins
by contacting a civil personal injury attorney for a consultation and case
review. Why would you opt for this path of seeking justice? Here are a few
cases provide an alternate path to justice beyond jail time for the
perpetrator. Civil cases may succeed even if the D.A. did not accept your
case, or the D.A. accepted your case but failed to secure jail time for the
defendant. The standard of evidence in civil court is based on “a preponderance
of the evidence,” meaning that you only have to prove that your version of
events was “51% or more likely to have happened.” In criminal court, you must
prove your case “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is more like “90% or more
likely to have happened.”
cases allow for an expanded scope of liability beyond the perpetrator. What
about the facility that allowed an abusive nursing home staff member access to
continue hurting a victim? Did the nursing home exercise due diligence in
hiring? Did they provide sufficient training and supervision? Did they respond
appropriately when you presented administrators with your concern? Is there a
past history of abuse in the facility? Civil court allows you to hold third
parties liable, including the nursing home itself, staff administrators who
turned a blind eye to your concerns, transportation service providers or
sub-contractors, and mandatory reporters who failed to notify law enforcement.
Hurting them financially sends a strong message to spur change.
cases allow individuals and their families to seek compensation for losses. The
end result of civil litigation is financial compensation to cover: past,
present, and future medical expenses; lost wages; emotional pain and suffering;
and (in the worst cases) wrongful death, burial, and funeral expenses. You may
sue on your loved one’s behalf and potentially recover some compensation for
yourself if the abuse caused you significant emotional distress and financial
hardship due to lost time off work to provide care to your abused love one.
Nursing homes are better insured to cover your family’s financial losses
related to the abuse and provide for the best future care.
Where to Find a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
Finding a nursing home abuse attorney can be challenging. Most personal
injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you
win, so they must be very confident in the facts surrounding your case in order
to take the gamble.
The Legal Helpers provide free
client-attorney pairings. Our free claim reviews take a matter of seconds. We
will match you with top-rated local attorneys whose experience matches your
field of interest.
These cases can be complex, with
the opposing side hiring a team of attorneys to protect their nursing home
facility’s reputation and their financial interests. Find a winning nursing
abuse lawyer for your best chance at securing maximum compensation for your