What Does A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Do?
Not many things in life are as devastating as realizing that your loved one has been abused. You might feel angry, disappointed, and frustrated. You might also recognize that you need the expertise of a legal professional to pursue justice.
We sympathize with the innocent victims of nursing home abuse, and we want to do what we can to ensure they receive maximum compensation. Just as doctors tend to concentrate on one aspect of medicine, the attorneys of Phillips Law Group direct our attention and resources to personal injury cases across the United States.
You might wonder how a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you. This handy guide will introduce you to our law firm and help you understand our responsibilities.
We also encourage you to schedule a free consultation to receive a personalized review of your case. Call our 24-hour helpline at 602-222-2222 to speak with one of our representatives today.
Demand Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse
Some employees, such as custodians or groundskeepers, rarely come into direct contact with patients. Nurses, activity directors, and others provide more hands-on services. Yet, everyone working in a nursing home should contribute positively to the care and health of the residents.
When nursing home residents suffer abuse, that means that care facilities are falling far short of their purpose. Abuse, whether intentional or accidental, should never occur. Lawyers can take legal action to defend the rights of those who experienced abuse, including – but not limited to – the types described below.
Kind, skilled care is the hallmark of a welcoming, comfortable care home. Well-trained nursing staff members realize that they can inflict emotional damage if their tone of voice or choice of words cause pain.
Using ridiculing or coarse language, yelling, and other hurtful non-physical behaviors may be used to control or intimidate others. Abandonment and isolation can also injure a patient’s psychological well-being.
Symptoms of emotional abuse include:
- Uncharacteristic unwillingness or desire to be alone
- Paranoia, anxiety, doubt, confusion, or shame
- Depression, anger, or mood swings
- Unexplained weight loss or declining physical health
- Aggressive or self-harming behavior
- Fear of a specific person
- Self-soothing behaviors, such as rocking or hand wringing
- Self-harm behaviors, such as suicide attempts or scratches, bruises, or bites
- Frequent or implausible (explanations for) injuries
Victims might also have nightmares or trouble sleeping. They could develop eating disorders or social withdrawal.
Emotional abuse is one of the most challenging types to prove because injuries are not visible on the outside. Yet, that does not mean family members should pardon this serious offense. How can an experienced lawyer help you identify signs you might otherwise miss?
We can build up your case with:
- Records of your calls and visits: If you are denied the opportunity to visit your family member or speak with a loved one over the phone, it could indicate that the nursing home has something to hide.
- Expert testimony: Law firms can consult professionals, such as psychologists and therapists, to analyze patterns of speech and behavior that indicate abuse. These experts might be called upon to testify in court.
These strategies also help to substantiate physical abuse. Let’s discuss this traumatic form of abuse in the next section.
Causing intentional pain or injury is physical abuse. Some examples include:
- Hitting and slapping
- Striking with objects
- Shaking and shoving
- Burning and scalding
- Scratching or squeezing flesh
- Causing a fall, drowning, or poisoning
Catching someone in the act is rare. Family and friends should be on the lookout for these 5 signs of elder abuse as identified by the National Council on Aging (NCOA):
- Dehydration or unusual weight loss
- Strange bruises, cuts, and sores
- Unattended medical needs
- Missing daily living aids (e.g. glasses, hearing aids)
- Messy or dirty living conditions and poor hygiene
The same resource reveals that abused elders are 300 percent more likely to die than those who don’t experience mistreatment. If your loved one’s life is in immediate danger, call 911.
Though emergency records and police reports are vital components of an abuse case, many victims and their families have no idea how to get them.
Personal injury lawyers:
- Investigate if similar claims were brought against the nursing home in the past
- Interview witnesses, medical professionals, and others
- Obtain essential documentation (e.g. 911 call transcripts, CCTV video footage, employment histories, and police and medical reports)
- Report elder abuse to agencies like Adult Protective Services or Departments of Aging
The NCOA states, “elder abuse is a silent problem that robs seniors of their dignity, security, and – in some cases – costs them their lives.” Arizona and other states penalize those who physically abuse nursing home residents. Our attorneys can use criminal and civil laws to ensure abusers pay for their actions.
Many older adults in nursing homes cannot consent to sexual activity. Their mental or physical condition might mean they cannot understand what is happening, or their circumstances might mean they agree because they feel threatened or vulnerable.
Sexual abuse can include:
- Exposing oneself or pornographic material to a patient
- Inappropriate touching
- Any other non-consensual sexual action
Those who experience sexual abuse often feel shame, humiliation, and guilt. These abuse victims may be unwilling or unable to report what happened to them.
Remember, sexual assault is never the fault of the victim. Our law firm treats sexual abuse cases with compassion, confidentiality, and professionalism. In civil court, our attorneys can pursue compensation for the following:
- Medical bills related to one-time or ongoing abuse
- Psychological trauma
- Pain and suffering
Our lawyers take a comprehensive approach to this terrible form of abuse. While police might focus on punishing the perpetrator, our attorneys can also ensure that liable third parties take responsibility for their role in the abuse.
For instance, hiring managers should require background checks on employees working with vulnerable populations. Nursing home grounds should be well-lit and have proper security measures in place. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
Neglect comes in many forms. Overworked, untrained, or under-supported workers might be unable to provide patients with the care they need. In other cases, employees willfully deny:
- Medical care
- Food or drink
- Therapeutic or assistive devices
- Physical assistance
Every nursing home has problems, but no facility should neglect those entrusted to their care. How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help when your loved one has been mistreated?
Your nursing home abuse attorney can:
- Arrange for your family member to be moved to a better environment
- Pursue reimbursement for the costs of transferring the patient to a new place
- Seek compensation for medical treatment, noneconomic damages
- Build a case for punitive damages in cases of extreme neglect or abandonment
The next section will expose one of the most common forms of elder abuse and how the attorneys of Phillips Law Group can help you deal with it.
Financial abuse and fraud
Anyone with access to your relative’s financial assets can take advantage of the situation.
Nursing home staff might try to steal money or property either directly or indirectly.
Financial abuse can be:
- Direct: Stealing cash, using credit cards without permission, forging checks
- Indirect: Influencing patients to change their wills, give loans, or enter into marriages to defraud them of their belongings
In the case of financial abuse, Phillips & Associates can:
- Collect evidence to build a strong case
- File lawsuits
- Pursue damages for lost savings and other expenses
- Report crimes to law enforcement.
If assistance like this would benefit you, why not take steps to hire our services today?
Schedule Your Free Consultation
Nursing home abuse is not a fight you should have to battle alone. No matter where you live in the US, you can contact us for a free case evaluation.
There is no cost for the consultation. When we work for you, you pay nothing unless we win money for your nursing home abuse case.
Phillips Law Group is ready to help. Call our national toll-free phone line at 602-222-2222 or visit our offices in your state.
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