Lawyers Guiding You Down the Path of Justice in an Elder Abuse Lawsuit
Sometimes you simply have no choice. A loved one has become so frail or confused that they cannot live alone. Perhaps you tried a caretaker and it didn’t work out. Round-the-clock care can be cost prohibitive and not always effective.
At some point, the only answer becomes placing that person in a long-term care facility.
But what do you do when that care facility fails to keep your loved one safe and free from injury? The civil justice system allows for the aggrieved victim or his family to sue the negligent facility in an elder abuse lawsuit. Components of an elder abuse lawsuit always involve liability (who did what wrong) and damages (some kind of personal injury).
If your family member suffered broken bones, bed sores, weight loss or wrongful death in a nursing home or assisted living, speak with our attorneys today for a completely free case consultation. Our elder abuse attorneys focus on elder abuse litigation and we can guide you on your journey to justice.
Call now for a free elder abuse lawsuit consultation: 1-888-375-9998.
How Elder Abuse Occurs in a Long-Term Care Facility
In a typical scenario, an elderly person is taken from his or her home when they can no longer function on their own. Then, in a matter of hours, everything that was once familiar has vanished. The rhythm of life has changed irrevocably. There are new routines and strange people calling the shots. The commonplace is now new territory. The transition from a solitary life to institutionalized living is confusing and disorienting. Instead of being with a loving family, the resident is now surrounded by people who don’t seem to care at all.
You want to hope for the best, but according to statistics, the sad truth is that one-third of all nursing home residents may be abused or neglected.
Elder Abuse Lawsuit Examples
Elder Abuse Lawsuit vs. an Assisted Living Facility
Take for example, Jane Johnson (name changed) and what occurred to her in Happy Gardens Assisted Living Facility. When Jane reached the age of 90, her care needs increased. Her sons had no choice. They selected Happy Gardens A.L.F. because it was close to the house and had above-average reviews online.
Jane’s friend came to visit one afternoon and was shocked to hear her say that she’d had a gynecological exam in the middle of the night. “They took down my diaper and examined me. I was shocked and angry.” The story made no sense. The sons were not told about the episode and it was brushed aside as encroaching dementia. However, as the family became more suspicious, they retained our elder abuse law firm to investigate.
In reality, our investigation revealed that Jane was routinely sexually abused in the middle of the night, by another resident. Staff did nothing to intervene, despite having knowledge of the ongoing issue.
Elder Abuse Lawsuit vs. a Nursing Home
Another example is more of an elder neglect case against a large, corporate run nursing home.
When James Johnson (name changed) entered the facility, he could not move himself around in bed. The nurses were required to help him move, but sadly, they ignored him. They allowed Mr. Johnson to sit in bed, dirty in his own urine, for hours at a time. No one helped James re-position in bed, despite his inability to do so on his own.
Not surprisingly, James developed a gaping stage 4 pressure sore. The wound cultures came back positive for MRSA and E.Coli. Eventually, Mr. Johnson was diagnosed with osteomyelitis via his sacral ulcer.
The family then hired our law firm to bring a bedsore lawsuit.
Forms of Elder Abuse that Can Result in a Civil Lawsuit
Abuse can take myriad forms and can include neglect or physical force that cause bodily injury, forced sexual contact, and emotional or psychological mistreatment.
Neglect Related Injuries
Neglect can range from failure to meet essential or basic daily care, like changing diapers and leaving patients to soak for hours in their own urine, to not allowing them adequate time in the bathroom, withholding food, water or medication. It can also include not providing basic needs for comfort and care or exposing the patient to a toxic environment or one that puts them in physical danger.
If your loved one develops injuries because a facility neglected them, this may justify an elder abuse lawsuit.
Abuse Related Injuries
Physical mistreatment may take a subtle and almost undetectable form like pinching, shaking, pushing or shoving, rough handling, and slapping. There would be no bruises, or the bruises can be easily explained, and any maltreatment would be difficult to prove.
More overt forms of abuse that may leave marks include burning, choking, scratching, punching, or hitting with an object. If you suspect this is happening or you see the physical manifestation, take photos as documentation. This will be helpful in proving a case.
The most common elder abuse lawsuit injury arising out of physical abuse is unexplained broken bones. Other forms of physical abuse include resident on resident attacks and staff hitting the patients.
Sexual Abuse Related Injuries
Sexual abuse, as loathsome as it is, is not uncommon in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Sexual abuse can take many forms—from fondling to unwanted touching to penetration or forced coercion of sexual acts. It can take place at night and the victim may be told she was dreaming.
Here are some indications to be aware of:
Complaints of pelvic discomfort, reports of gynecological exams being conducted at night, blood in the underwear, bruising on inner thighs, developing an STD, fear around male staff, major behavioral changes or guarding of the genitalia area.
It’s important to remember that while there may be no physical manifestation of sexual abuse, the victim may be ashamed to report it. A victim may not be able to verbalize what happened and the result may include agitation, withdrawal, panic attacks, talk of suicide or even a suicide attempt.
Complaints of a sexual nature should be taken seriously. While they may be hard to prove, a qualified attorney versed in this type of insidious abuse, will have many resources not readily available to the average person.
Questions About an Elder Abuse Lawsuit? Speak with a Professional, Right Now
If you suspect abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living or memory care facility, contact an attorney promptly. Here at Senior Justice Law Firm, we take all allegations seriously. Nobody should be a victim, especially not the elderly.
Our skilled and experienced attorneys narrowly tailor their focus to cases involving elder abuse litigation. Call us now for a completely free, no obligation case consultation with one of our elder abuse attorneys: 888-375-9998.
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