Oceanside Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
There are over 1,200 licensed nursing home facilities in California, a number that is likely to grow as the aging population in our state increases. While these nursing homes are licensed and expected to provide a high level of care to residents, this is not always the case. Sadly, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are often understaffed, or staff members are improperly trained. In some cases, nursing home staff members do not have residents’ best interests in mind and are even intentionally abusive or neglectful.
At the law offices of the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group, based here in San Diego’s North County, our Oceanside nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys know that learning that a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse can be a heartbreaking experience. If you suspect that your family member is a victim of abuse or neglect, our experienced lawyers can help. Please call our law office directly today to learn more about how we can serve you.How to Recognize Oceanside Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Recognizing abuse or neglect in the nursing home or assisted living facility can be difficult, especially because elderly people who reside in skilled nursing facilities are already at risk of poor health conditions, including mental illness in some cases. While the following signs do not necessarily indicate that abuse or neglect are certainly occurring, they are warning signs that should be paid attention to:
- Signs of improper restraint, such as markings around a resident’s wrist
- Improper hygiene, such as unwashed hair or clothing, signs of lack of bathing, etc.
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers
- Significant weight loss
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, bone fractures, lacerations, burns, etc.
- Behavioral changes in the resident, such as expressions of fear of nursing home staff, withdrawal, depression or suicidal behaviors, and angry outbursts
- The development of new sexually transmitted infections, and
- Torn or bloodied clothing.
In addition to the above, pay attention to the condition of the nursing home. Unclean or unsafe conditions can be a sign of neglect or an increased risk of injury for residents.Nursing Home Abuse vs. Neglect
Both neglect and abuse can be extremely harmful to an already frail nursing home resident. Abuse occurs when a caregiver intentionally does something to cause the resident harm, including physically abusing, sexually abusing, emotionally abusing, or financially exploiting the nursing home resident. Elder neglect is more subtle, but equally as serious, and occurs when the nursing home resident does not receive the level of care that they deserve for whatever reason, be it that the nursing home is understaffed or that the nursing home staff is not trained on how to provide the best care.
Nursing home abuse can result in criminal penalties, as elder abuse is illegal under California law, as well as civil penalties. Indeed, in cases of both neglect and abuse, a claim for damages may be brought which alleges that the nursing home breached the duty of care owed to the nursing home resident, that the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of the resident’s harm, and that damages have been incurred as such. Types of damages that may be recoverable in a nursing home abuse or neglect claim include:
- The value of the resident’s physical pain and suffering, as well as emotional distress
- The loss of a family member’s love, support, and relationship
- Costs of medical expenses incurred as a result of harm, including hospitalization costs, additional long-term care costs, etc.
- Legal fees incurred, and
- Any other economic or noneconomic damages suffered.
There are few things more frustrating and heartbreaking than learning that a loved one, such as a parent, who lives in a nursing home is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If nursing home abuse or neglect is occurring, an experienced lawyer will be able to guide you in regards to what steps to take to put an end to the abuse, how to report the abuse, what evidence you will need in order to prove nursing home abuse or neglect, what damages may be available to you, and how to improve your case outcome. An attorney can also manage the investigation on your behalf, as well as organizing documents, filing claim paperwork, and negotiating your settlement. Working with an attorney will likely improve your case outcome.Call Our Oceanside Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys Today
If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect of your loved one or have evidence of either, one of the first things that you should do is to contact an attorney. At the law office of the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group, our attorneys have over 20 years of experience and are passionate about helping our clients. To learn more about our services, reach out to us today for a free consultation by phone or online.