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When is the Right Time to Sue for Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect?

August 23, 2016 Nursing Home Abuse

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The grounds for suing for nursing home abuse can be cut-and-dry in both the eyes of the court and the public because it’s, unfortunately, very common. In fact, 40% of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and a staggering 90% of them reported they have witnessed abuse and neglect of other residents.

When Can I Sue for Nursing Home Abuse?

If you suspect your elderly loved one has experienced any of the following events, consider speaking with a nursing home abuse attorney; you may be eligible to file a claim for nursing home abuse.

Physical, Financial, and Emotional Abuse

Physical abuse is the most common type of elder abuse, but senior citizens also fall victim to physical and emotional abuse, financial manipulation, neglect, and healthcare fraud.

Pay attention to any of these potential signs of physical abuse:

  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Unexplainable cuts and bruises
  • Torn or bloody clothing

Emotional abuse could include:

  • Isolating residents from peers, family members, and activities
  • Humiliation or ridicule
  • Intimidation by yelling, threatening, or belittling
  • Blatantly ignoring a resident

Examples of financial exploitation include:

  • Stealing income checks, household goods, and cash
  • Unpaid medical bills when a resident has sufficient funds for payment
  • Sudden and significant cash withdrawals from a resident’s account
  • Cash withdrawals from an ATM
  • Sudden changes in power of attorney, titles, and wills

Examples of neglect:

  • Unusual weight loss, dehydration, or malnutrition
  • Unsanitary and unsafe living conditions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Bedsores
  • Inappropriate clothing for given weather conditions

Examples of healthcare fraud and abuse could be:

  • Overcharging or duplicate bills for medical care
  • Over- or under-medicating
  • Not providing healthcare, but always billing for it
  • Fraudulent diagnoses
  • Poorly trained, under-paid, and insufficient employees
  • Incompetent or a lack of responses to questions regarding care and injuries

Understaffing Cont.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended that the caretaker-to-patient ratio be 1 caretaker to ever 1.64 residents. Due to understaffing, the caretaker-to-resident ratio can skyrocket to 1 in 30. Though each state has its own ratio stipulations, we have to face one glaring truth: This type of understaffing can lead to frustrated and underpaid staff, and therefore more opportunities for neglect.

Inadequate or Lack of Proper Training Cont.

Nursing homes are responsible for securing their facilities with licensed, qualified caretakers with a clean record of abuse and neglect. All homes are required by law to prepare its employees for every possible scenario—despite licensed qualifications. In some instances, facilities fail to do so, and as such, are far less equipped to treat residents with an acceptable level of care.

Request a Free Consultation with Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

If you’ve uncovered that a nursing home or its employees have committed abuse or neglect, you may be eligible for compensation to cover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, temporary or permanent disability, and loss of quality of life.

At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, our nursing home abuse attorneys have 30 years of experience fighting for nursing home residents. Fill out our contact form below to receive a free case evaluation. You can also reach an Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorney by calling our firm directly at 317-920-6400.

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