Can You Sue Over Nursing Home Abuse
When loved ones can no longer care for themselves, families are often forced to make the difficult decision to move them into a nursing home. Assisted living enables the loved one to receive personalized care around the clock. However, sometimes, the families worst fears may come to be realized-nursing home abuse.
Nursing home abuse occurs when a resident is subjected to physical, emotional, verbal, or sexual abuse within a nursing home. It can take many forms, from over-sedation to rape. If you believe you may have a legitimate nursing home abuse claim, you should seek out the help of nursing home attorneys.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
To file a nursing home abuse case, you will need to prove that nursing home abuse or neglect is occurring. However, oftentimes nursing home residents have a difficult time communicating. This can make it challenging to identify when abuse or neglect is taking place.
The following is a list of signs that a nursing home resident may be the victim of abuse or neglect:
- The resident appears to be dehydrated or malnourished
- The resident is suffering from bed sores
- The resident has experienced a sudden loss in weight
- There are signs of bruising or swelling
- The resident clothes are soiled
- The resident appears depressed or withdrawn
Although these signs do not automatically mean that nursing home abuse is occurring, they should give you reason to alert authorities.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse and you wish to file a lawsuit, you will need to take some steps to prove your claim.
First, to file any injury-related lawsuit, you will need to have evidence that injury has occurred. This may be challenging since injuries in nursing home abuse cases are not always physical. Emotional and verbal abuse can cause injury as well. Injuries caused by these types of abuse can be more difficult to detect and prove.
In addition, you will need to show that the nursing home was negligent. You can talk to your nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about what constitutes negligence in nursing home abuse cases.
Finally, you will need to prove causation. In other words, you will have to show that the nursing home's negligent actions resulted in the resident's injuries.
To Whom Should I Report Nursing Home Abuse?
If you think your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect, you should contact the nursing home administrator immediately. The administrator is obligated to investigate and report your claim to state agencies.
You may also contact the appropriate state agency in your area. Usually this agency will go by the name of the department of aging or adult protective services.
Finally, you should also contact an attorney who handles nursing home abuse cases. By filing a lawsuit, you and your loved one may be able to collect damages to compensate for the abuse he or she was forced to endure.