Nursing Home Abuse Claims
There are several different legal theories that may be employed in a nursing home abuse case. If a resident is harmed as a result of a violation of a federal or state statute protecting residents’ rights , or of a common law theory , there may be grounds for abuse. Examples of potential claims include:
- Negligent supervision of a patient who was hurt while wandering.
- Misappropriation of funds for charging fees for services not performed.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect for failing to report a pressure sore.
- Emotional abuse for refusing to take a resident to social activities.
- Physical abuse for over-sedating a patient for the convenience of the staff.
Can You File A Nursing Home Lawsuit
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of long-term care abuse and neglect, do not hesitate to call us. A facility staff members conduct may be a crime, yet you do not have to rely on the criminal justice system. You and your loved one may have the right to pursue compensation through a nursing home lawsuit.
Depending on the situation, your loved one may be able to file a personal injury or malpractice lawsuit against the facility and particular individuals involved in the abuse or neglect. This can be a difficult process, and we recommend you work with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. One of our lawyers will conduct an in-depth investigation into what happened to your relative. We will gather and analyze a great deal of evidence, including facility records, photos and videos, and witness statements. We will also hire medical and elder care experts to prove your loved ones injuries and the facilitys failure to provide adequate care.
We will also work closely with you and your loved one to determine an appropriate value for their claim. We will seek a settlement that compensates your loved one for their:
- Medical expenses
Elderly Abuse In Nursing Homes
Nursing home neglect is a failure to provide the level of care that the facility is legally required to provide. It is sometimes intentional, and in other times, it is a matter of carelessness or insufficient staffing. Abuse, however, is always intentional. This is the willful mistreatment of a nursing home resident. It is not only a violation of the nursing home residents rights, it is often a crime.
If you suspect that your relative has been the victim of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse at a nursing home or other care facility, call our nursing home abuse attorneys right away. We will immediately review the situation, contact the appropriate authorities, and work to get your loved one the care they need.
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Where To Report The Abuse
As mentioned, there are a number different ways that nursing home abuse can be reported depending on the situation. Anyone who needs to get in contact with the right authorities can do one of the following:
- Contact Eldercare Locator, open during the week, to get more information on state laws and regulations. They can be reached at 800-677-1116.
- Go to the National Eldercare Abuse page through the Administration of Aging to get information on what authorities to report to. Often, it will provide phone numbers and other contact information.
- Contact the primary care physician of the patient, or the social working to provide information.
- If the abuse is life threatening, then call 911.
It is vital to act quickly for the wellbeing of the elderly nursing home resident.
Once the abuse has been reported, it would be best to hire an attorney who has experience in nursing home abuse cases. Additionally, the patient will need to be moved to a new nursing home. While this can be stressful for the resident, it is vital for their wellbeing. When choosing a new nursing home facility, it is important to choose carefully, evaluating the home before moving the elderly loved one into future living arrangements. It is vital to avoid a repeat cases of abuse.
What Is Required In A Report Of Suspected Elder Abuse
A report of suspected abuse of an elderly person or a person with a disability may be made orally or in writing, but it must include:
- The name, age, and address of the suspected victim
- The name and address of whoever is responsible for caring for the suspected victim
- The suspected victims condition and nature
- How the reporter has knowledge or suspicion of abuse or neglect
- Any other relevant information
Both the Investigations and Protective Services for Elderly and Disabled Persons Act and the Adult Protective Services Act require workers in nursing homes to file reports when they witness or reasonably suspect abuse or neglect. If you have reason to believe that an employee of a long-term care facility failed to report the abuse of your loved one, a Dallas elder abuse lawyer can determine what your legal recourse may be.
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Do I Need A San Antonio Nursing Home Attorney To Seek Compensation For Neglect Or Abuse
People who are not represented by a lawyer will find the process difficult to navigate. They typically find it difficult to collect the compensation agreed upon. Texas recently enacted laws that cap the amount of damages that injured parties can seek from nursing home facilities for abuse and neglect. Further, nursing homes have a reputation for hiding assets, making it difficult for plaintiffs to collect on judgments against nursing homes.
An experienced nursing home neglect attorney can guide injured victims and their families through the claims process to ensure their rights remain protected. Nursing home neglect attorneys regularly fight for the rights of injured parties to seek the compensation they are entitled to. When negotiations are unsuccessful, skilled attorneys may proceed to the discovery phase of the claims process to increase the chances of maximizing their clients recovery.
During discovery, the facility will be required to undergo an investigation into their finances, which can make it more difficult for administrators to hide assets. Additionally, if a nursing home or its insurance provider fails to deliver a court-ordered injury award, the court has the power to hold the nursing home in contempt for failing to uphold its order.
Diet And Medication Texas Nursing Home State Laws
Texas nursing home laws state that residents must be provided with adequate diet and hydration that suits their personal needs and medical conditions. Special dietary needs must be planned for and met when appropriate for each patient. The food provided must be palatable and nutritious.
Nasogastric tubes may not be used for feeding unless medically necessary. Residents who receive nasogastric care must be treated so that ulcers, pneumonia, dehydration, and other poor nasogastric care issues do not develop. Patients must not be subjected to significant errors in medication. Furthermore, residents must not be given unnecessary drugs.
Texas Nursing Home Staff Requirements
Texas nursing home laws require that each facility has a sufficient number of staff members to ensure that all resident needs are met. Furthermore, the staff must be sufficient in attaining the highest practicable mental, physical, and social wellbeing of residents according to their plan of care. A registered nurse must be on duty at each facility for eight hours a day during all seven days of the week. While there is no set ratio of caregivers to residents, the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform has produced guidelines for suggested minimum ratios.
The NCCNHR recommends the following ratios of caregivers to residents:
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National Center On Elder Abuse
Established in 1988, the National Center on Elder Abuse is a hub of information and resources. This advocacy group works to make it easier to spot and report nursing home abuse through education and training. It also lobbies for policy changes to improve the quality of life for elders.
Through the NCEA, you can learn how to:
- Connect with local elder support resources
- Identify and report nursing home abuse
- Spread awareness about elder abuse
Report nursing home abuse today and seek swift justice. Get started by calling our team at .
Documenting Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect a loved one is being harmed, note any possible signs the moment your suspicions are raised.
Keeping track of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can make it easier to report them later on. It can also strengthen the case if it results in a criminal case or nursing home abuse lawsuit.
To start, write down when you first noticed negative changes in your loved one and include as much detail as possible of when, where, and how the abuse occurred.
It may also be helpful to take photos as evidence if you think your loved one is suffering from neglect or physical abuse.
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Warning Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
Behavior, personal appearance, and the physical appearance of physical surroundings can all provide clues as to how a loved one is being treated in a facility. If any of these seem off, consider making a report and speaking with a Dallas nursing home neglect lawyer to discuss your concerns.
- The physical condition of the resident Pay attention to bedsores infections unexplained bruising, cuts, scars, weight changes and nutrition issues like dehydration or malnutrition.
- Emotional or behavioral changes Unexplained changes in behavior or emotional responses could be a sign of mistreatment. Investigate further if the resident suddenly avoids interactions with peers, withdraws from caregivers, begins repetitive behaviors like rocking or sucking, or exhibits sudden outbursts.
- Signs of care for the facility Is the nursing home clean? Have the hard surfaces been washed? Is the laundry clean? If the staff is cutting corners on cleanliness, they may not be taking other areas of patient care seriously either.
If you see these warning signs or other clues that make you uncomfortable, it may be time to investigate further and talk to Dallas elder abuse lawyers. If there is abuse or neglect happening and evidence that nursing home employees knew but did not report it, they may be liable for their failure to report.
Where To Report Elder Neglect And Abuse In Texas Helplines Hotlines And Referral Sources
To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Texas:
To report non emergency situations that do not require an immediate response, you may report online by visiting
To reach regional Long Term Care Ombudsman offices, consult the Area Agencies on Aging Directory
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Can I File An Anonymous Report
Individuals who suspect nursing home neglect may anonymously report instances of negligence. However, by remaining anonymous, Texas Health and Human Services will have no way to contact you to inform you of actions taken regarding your report. It also wont help you or your loved one recover compensation for the abuse or neglect. Call us instead and see what we can do to help you get the justice you deserve.
Is Reform The Answer
One of the most challenging aspects to the nursing home abuse problem in Texas is the fact that legislators have made it extremely difficult for victims families to pursue justice. Tort reforms in the early 2000s helped restrain malpractice claims, which reduced insurance premiums and attracted healthcare providers to the state. At the same time, tort reforms made it more expensive to pursue a malpractice claim, leaving only a handful of law firms in Texas that can, or will, accept malpractice cases.
Because nursing home abuse often falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice or negligence, these tort reforms had a significant impact on what families can do to protect their loved ones legal rights. Increased requirements to prove these cases also make it more difficult to move cases ahead.
There does appear to be some light at the end of the tunnel however. In June 2017, the Texas Legislature developed a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, which passed House Bill 2025. HB 2025 would crack down on nursing homes with infractions that continue to go unpunished. It would also make it easier to impose fines and enforce payment of said fines in a timely manner.
Even with positive changes and some light, advocates still warn that more work and reform is needed to really address the significance of this statewide problem.
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How Do I Report Negligence In A Nursing Home
You report nursing home negligence in the same ways that you report nursing home abuse.
Always call 911 if your loved one is in immediate danger due to nursing home neglect or negligence.
You can also report negligence to nursing home ombudsmen, doctors, or elder abuse attorneys.
Want to report nursing home negligence right now? Call .
Nursing Home Neglect Statistics
Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse is an ever-increasing problem. It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics regarding how often abuse and neglect occur. However, Texas authorities field a rising number of complaints.
In 2016, a study commission by the Texas Health Care Association regarding Texas nursing homes found that health-standard violations increased 20 percent between 2010 and 2014. These facilities also had 3 percent more severe deficiencies from 2010 to 2014. This is particularly bad when compared to the national trend. During that time, health care infractions and severe deficiencies around the U.S. decreased during the same time period.
Another alarming statistic is that in 2013, Texas had a high percentage of inspections that led to immediate jeopardy deficiency. Of Texas 1,200 facilities, 3.7 percent had violations that, were they not corrected, would cause serious harm or death to a resident or employee. This was higher than in Illinois, New York, California, and Florida. Illinois immediate jeopardy deficiencies were at 3.3 percent while Florida had .06 percent.
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Doctors And Medical Experts
It can be hard to know the difference between symptoms of normal aging and mistreatment. Problems like bruised skin, frequent falls, bedsores, and dehydration are not always evidence of neglect or abuse. This is where a medical experts opinion can help.
are in a unique place to be able to comprehensively look at a patient. They have an opportunity to identify elder abuse and to reach out to the community or make appropriate referrals to break the cycle of violence or neglect.
Amy Berman, Registered Nurse
Report Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents deserve to age with dignity, but some fall victim to abuse and neglect. Sadly, nursing home abuse often goes unreported. Learn how to report nursing home abuse and keep your loved ones safe.
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Contact Dallasnursing Home Abuse Lawyers For A Free Consultation
If your loved one has been abused orneglected at a nursing home, you need the services of an experienced Dallas personalinjury lawyer at Crowe Arnold& Majors, LLP. Arrange a free consultation by calling or texting us 24/7 orcompleting our online form.
Because we work on a contingencybasis, there are no legal fees charged unless you receive compensation. Ourdedicated attorneys have recovered more than $100 million in settlements andverdicts for clients.
Common Types Of Nursing Home And Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, abuse takes many shapes and forms. If you have made the difficult decision to rely on a nursing home to care for your loved one, its important that you continually and carefully monitor how well he or she is treated.
Some of the most frequent types of elder abuse to watch for include:
Whether your loved one has been afflicted by a slip and fall, trip and fall, bedsores, infection, failure to provide treatment, misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, improper training, understaffing, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or another calamity, you may have a valid case.
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Statistics About Nursing Homes In Texas
In answering the question of just how safe nursing homes really are, we must look at data and determine where the problems really lay. Here is a selection of some of the most recent data gathered about Texas nursing homes:
- The Dallas Morning News reported that, between 2010 and 2014, deficiencies resulting in citations among Texas nursing homes increased by 20 percent. The number of severe infractions increased by three percent.
- In 2014, nonprofit Families for Better Care ranked Texas 51st out of 51 states , giving it a grade of F.
- There are approximately 1,200 long-term care facilities in Texas, of which 25 percent have been cited for serious deficiencies. That accounts for at least 306 facilities with serious standard deficiencies.
- In 2017, the AARP identified a total of 766 severe violations in 2015 among Texas nursing homes. These violations included actual harm or immediate jeopardy.
Aside from trouble inside the nursing home, there is also concern about how standards violations or reports of abuse or neglect are being handled. There is a trend indicating that regulators are not taking action to stop or prevent abuse and neglect from occurring. Consider the following:
What Is Nursing Home Negligence
Under Texas law, nursing homes are required to provide a certain standard of care. They must provide necessary services and care to each resident of their facilities that allows the residents to have the highest quality of life possible.
- They must be groomed, have access to medical care, have a comprehensive care plan that spells out their needs, and must be provided with good nutrition.
- The facility itself has standards that it must meet as well, including providing residents with a safe environment free of hazards and properly supervised.
- The law also governs their medication error rates in order to ensure theyre not giving unnecessary medications to residents.
When these basic protocols arent being followed, it may be grounds for a negligence claim. That said, it isnt always as easy as one might think to pinpoint nursing home negligence on its surface. Learn some of the tell-tale signs below.
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