Understanding Nursing Home Lawsuits: A Guide

Nursing home abuse has become an epidemic in American society. For those who have a loved one in a nursing home, understanding the nature of nursing home abuse, and the lawsuits they lead to is incredibly important. To help you educate yourself, here is a handy guide to understanding nursing home lawsuits:

Defining Nursing Home Abuse

Simply put, nursing home abuse covers any action when a caretaker or facility providing care to nursing home patients provides harmful, neglectful, or inappropriate care. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is spreading, and becoming more commonplace in American nursing homes, especially in the post-pandemic era. To help elderly nursing home patients feel safe, and to protect their rights, the public must be more vigilant about educating the nation about the nursing home abuse epidemic. If you, or a loved one in a nursing home, has been harmed by abusive staff or facility managers, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you seek the legal justice you deserve. More information about nursing home abuse can be found at nursinghomelawcenter.org and other online abuse resources.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can take on many different forms. Typically, the abuse will fall into one of the following categories: physical, emotional, psychological, financial, or medical. When nursing homes fail to take care of their facilities, they put all residents in danger of experiencing fall accidents, for example. When it comes to emotional and psychological abuse, ill-minded staff members may cause harm. Financial abuse is commonplace in nursing homes, as predatory staff members will use their position of power to receive money or valuable gifts from the patients they’ve sworn to take care of. If medical services are not being provided around the clock, medical-related abuse can occur. Each of these types of abuse is serious, and can even be life-threatening if left unchecked. 

Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs

Whether you’re a nursing home patient, or a patient’s loved one, knowing how to watch out for warning signs of abuse is of utmost importance. Easily-preventable injuries like infections, bruises, bedsores, and STDs are telltale signs of abuse, for example. When a typically social patient suddenly becomes reserved and anti-social, this is another common red flag. If you’re noticing that a patient has become wary to speak or act freely around staff members, you should inquire about their current level of comfort and safety immediately. Always remember to ask any patient you suspect may be being abused about their condition in a place that’s away from potentially prying eyes and ears. Doing so will increase your ability to have them trust you, after all.

Gathering Evidence of Nursing Home Abuse

To have a solid case against a nursing home, or an abusive staff member, you’ll need to gather concrete evidence of the abuse that’s occurring behind the scenes. You’ll want to ask the patient to take photos and personal notes about their abuse if possible. If you can get the permission of the resident that’s being abused, you may have the ability to put up a spycam, or other surveillance device to help prove the abuse. Asking for reports and other legally-required documentation from the nursing home can be of help as well. Having an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer by your side during this step is essential, as they will know all the ins and outs of gathering concrete evidence to support abuse claims.

The Statute of Limitations Surrounding Nursing Home Abuse

The statute of limitations surrounding nursing home abuse will differ from state to state (and sometimes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction). You need to file any abuse lawsuits as quickly as possible, as time is of great importance here. Not only are you looking for justice for the affected patient, but your lawsuit will have the effect of helping to prevent future behind-the-scenes abuse from happening at their nursing home. Only by coming together can we help to pressure abusive staff members and facilities into changing their ways (and getting rid of abusive, predatory staff members).

The Role of Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Nursing home abuse lawyers have all the insider information, experience, and know-how needed to help you save your loved one from abuse. They will guide you through every aspect of proving, preventing, and seeking compensation for abusive behavior. Being vigilant in your first steps is key, and doing so will show your loved one that you care about their health, safety, and mental well-being. The more seriously we take nursing home abuse in 2023, the closer we’ll be to ending the epidemic of nursing home abuse in America’s nursing homes.

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