Nursing Home Abuse
All too often, the most defenseless members of our society are the ones who are mistreated. This is true regardless of a community's income or other demographics. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are prevalent manifestations of this dark side of humanity. Whether it's the repeated appearance of bruises and broken bones, malnourishment or emotional abuse, it's imperative to know when to bring an experienced nursing home abuse attorney on board to help protect your loved one's rights.
Elder abuse can take a number of forms. These include physical abuse (deliberate injury at the hands of another, sexual assault, poor health and malnutrition as a result of neglect), mental and psychological abuse (verbal abuse and intimidation) and financial abuse (stealing from the elderly or conning them to give up their assets).
At the heart of most elder abuse: The older individual believes they can trust the person who is abusing them. The abuser is often a close family member, such as a spouse or grown child, or a healthcare professional.
When to Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have any reason to believe that your friend or family member is being abused, you should immediately contact nursing home abuse attorneys and local law enforcement officers.
Sometimes, it's tricky to know when a lawyer should be contacted. With nursing home abuse, the sooner the better. Letting a situation escalate can be disastrous and can lead to even more terrible and egregious forms of abuse and neglect. In general:
- If an elderly person tells you they are suffering from intimidation at their nursing home, you should bring a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer on board to get to the bottom of matters.
- If adult protective services has been contacted (but failed to provide any sort of genuine assistance) the only course of action is to bring the case to the courts.
- Whether it's a bruise or broken bones, signs of physical abuse in the elderly must be taken very seriously. The right nursing home abuse lawyer can help you properly document the injuries and bring the perpetrators to justice.
- Exploitation is every bit as serious as other forms of abuse. If an elderly friend is being exploited for money by a con artist (yes, even a family member) time is of the essence. Bring the case to the attention of an elder law attorney who can help protect the loved one's finances.
How Elder Abuse Lawyers Can Help Your Loved Ones
Elder abuse and neglect—whether it occurs in a nursing home, assisted living facility or in a private home—is often a crime. Your elder abuse attorney can help you work with law enforcement to ensure that the abuser is prosecuted.
But even if the abuser is found guilty in criminal court, the only way a nursing home abuse victim or elder abuse victim will receive compensation is through a civil lawsuit. And abuse victims should consider a civil lawsuit even if the abuser isn't criminally charged or isn't found guilty. That's because it's usually easier to win a civil lawsuit (where the court reaches a verdict based on the "preponderance of the evidence") than a criminal case (where a guilty verdict requires the judge or jury to be convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt").
Your elder abuse lawyer can help analyze the situation and file a lawsuit against the person, people or organization responsible for abusing your loved one.
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