Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Chester County
No one wants to believe that nursing home abuse could happen to their loved ones. Nursing home abuse or neglect, however, could occur at any time. When someone is abused, it might not be obvious. Family members must be diligent when looking out for their loved ones and speak to skilled legal counsel as soon as possible if abuse may have occurred.
What are the Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. While people often think of abuse as physical or sexual, abuse can be even more insidious in nursing homes. When seniors are left under the care of abusive people, they might suffer from the following:
Physical Abuse: Physical abuse may not necessarily result in bruises or marks, but family members should be watchful when visiting their elderly loved ones. Someone who has been physically abused might flinch when anyone makes sudden movements.
Sexual Abuse: The victim may be fearful of sudden movements. Abuse victims also tend to withdraw from friends and loved ones because of the shame that this form of abuse can make them feel.
Medical Abuse: This includes the refusal to offer medical treatment, medication, or basic medical care. For example, an elderly abuse victim might have complained of pain, but they were never treated. If that patient needs to take medication to remain healthy, the staff, nurse, or doctor might refuse to provide medication.
Neglect: Neglect can include not feeding the victim. The victim might be left in bed with a full bedpan. The victim might even be shut in their room if the abuser does not want to hear complaints of pain, hunger, or cries for help. If that resident is not tended to at all, the abuse can become full-blown abandonment.
Financial Abuse: Financial abuse occurs when the abuser gets a hold of the victim’s financial information. Cash might go missing, Social Security checks might not get cashed, or bank accounts and credit cards might be depleted by the abuser.
Who Could be Guilty of Nursing Home Abuse?
Anyone could be guilty of nursing home abuse. A nursing home is staffed by a wide range of people who all have different duties. The facility is large, and every resident cannot be watched at all times. Due to this, abuse can happen very quickly and often without anyone knowing.
Sadly, residents of a nursing home could be abused by several people including:
Doctors and Nurses: Doctors and nurses working in a nursing home can commit medical abuse at any time if they do not provide adequate or appropriate care. Doctors and nurses might also refuse to listen to complaints of pain or discomfort. These cases might also include claims of medical malpractice. While the nursing home is responsible for letting these professionals work at their facility, each abuser who holds a medical license can be sued for malpractice.
Facility Staff: Facility staff can engage in abusive behavior at any time. Since these people are in the facility with the residents all day, it is easy for them to abuse residents. Even someone who works part-time might abuse or neglect residents instead of doing their job. In other cases, the abuser might have already resigned by the time the abuse is uncovered.
Security Guards: Security guards are often hired through third-party companies. These security guards have free reign of the facility because they are there to keep everyone safe. It is easy for a security guard to access a resident’s room, and a guards can easily excuse their behavior.
Residents: Other residents may also be guilty of abuse. When an elderly loved one complains about someone in the facility, that person might be their abuser.
Visitors: Visitors to the facility might meet with an elderly loved one, but they can also take time to abuse another resident.
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home facility, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible when complaints or signs of abuse arise.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer?
When family members uncover or suspect abuse or neglect, they should reach out to a lawyer immediately. The lawyer can investigate the case, determine the identity of the abuser, and file a suit against the abuser or facility.
Complaining to the nursing home staff might not help, and it is not productive to threaten the facility with a lawsuit. Additionally, a lawyer can send information to the local authorities so that criminal charges can be filed against the perpetrator. The family needs a lawyer by their side when the authorities, lawyers, or the nursing home starts asking questions.
Can Damages be Recovered if My Elderly Loved One was Abused?
When an elderly loved one has been abused in a nursing home facility, damages may be recovered, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
Any additional medical expenses incurred because of the abuse can be paid in a settlement or judgment. Non-economic damages, such as pain suffering or the loss of quality of life, may also be recovered. If a judge or jury wishes, they can award punitive damages.
Chester County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Protect Abused and Neglected Nursing Home Residents
Reach out to our Chester County nursing home abuse lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. if you suspect or have uncovered nursing home abuse. We strive to protect the rights of neglected and abused seniors. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.