El Centro Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
As the population of elderly persons grows in the United States, more and more will turn to nursing homes for medical care and assistance during the last years of their lives. While nursing homes and other long-term care facilities (such as assisted living facilities) can be fantastic options for elderly persons and their families — providing a high level of care that elderly persons may not receive otherwise — they are often understaffed, staffed with poorly trained professionals, underfunded, or poorly maintained. When this is the case, nursing home residents are often at risk of nursing home abuse or neglect.
At the law firm of Southern California Nursing Home Law Group, our El Centro nursing home abuse lawyers can help. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect and believe that an elderly loved one has suffered harm as a result, please reach out to our legal team directly for your free consultation. Our El Centro elder neglect attorneys are experienced and passionate about what we do.Differentiating Between Abuse and Neglect
Understanding the differences between nursing home abuse and neglect and if and when a civil action for damages is appropriate can be difficult. Consider these key differences between nursing home abuse and neglect:Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse typically refers to reckless or intentional actions taken by nursing home or assisted living staff to cause the nursing home resident harm. This might include hitting or kicking a resident, burning a resident, improperly restraining a resident, engaging in sexual abuse of a resident, financially exploiting a resident, causing psychological harm to a resident through bullying or intimidating, isolating a resident, or otherwise taking an action against the resident to cause harm. While nursing home abuse is egregious and can be hard to accept, it occurs far too often.Nursing Home Neglect
Unlike nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect is not usually intentional; instead, it is typically the result of understaffing or poor training of nursing home staff. Types of nursing home neglect that may warrant a civil action includes:
- Bed Sores
- Sudden Weight Loss
- Physical or Sexual Abuse
- Peer-on-Peer Abuse
Any unexpected injury or illness should be investigated to rule out neglect.Civil vs. Criminal Charges for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
In addition to differentiating between nursing home abuse and neglect, it is also important to differentiate between civil and criminal charges. In the event of nursing home abuse, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation, a nursing home or responsible nursing home staff member may face criminal charges for their actions.
In addition to, or in place of, criminal charges, though, civil charges for damages may also be brought forth against the party responsible for harm. Civil charges do not have criminal consequences but can yield monetary damages for the affected nursing home resident and those responsible for their well-being (such as a family member who is responsible for managing the elderly person’s estate). Types of damages that may be recoverable include compensation for wrongful death, pain, suffering, and emotional distress; medical bills and future medical costs; legal fees; and more.Take Action if You Suspect Elder Abuse or Neglect
If you suspect nursing home or assisted living abuse, we urge you to take action immediately. Nursing home abuse can be extremely dangerous for a resident, even leading to death in some cases. Steps you should take include:
- Report the abuse or suspicions of abuse to the nursing home manager as soon as possible. Follow up with the manager to see how your concerns are being managed.
- If you think that your loved one is at risk of imminent harm or death, call 9-1-1.
- Report the nursing home abuse to the local long-term care ombudsman, California Adult Protective Services, or the Department of Public Health.
- Document all signs of abuse thoroughly, as well as your interactions with nursing home staff.
- Call a lawyer.
For those who have loved ones living in skilled nursing facilities or residential care facilities for the elderly in El Centro, knowing that there is legal help available in the event of nursing home abuse or neglect may be a comfort. At the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group, our experienced El Centro nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys can provide you and your family with the representation that is needed and deserved. If you suspect abuse, please call our lawyers today. We offer free consultations, work on a contingent-fee basis, and never charge upfront fees. We have more than 20 years of experience and have recovered millions on the behalf of our clients. Reach us today to get started.