San Diego Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney
Placing our loved ones in nursing homes is an act of trust. We trust these institutions to see that they are treated well in their waning years. This is what makes nursing home abuse and neglect such a horrendous violation of trust. It causes pain for the victims and the families of the victims who believed that their loved one was receiving the care and comfort that they deserved. In these situations, the victim is due compensation for the injury that they’ve suffered. At Kenneth M. Sigelman & Associates, we seek to make sure they receive the compensation that they deserve.
Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
There are a number of different forms that nursing home abuse can take. It could be physical abuse, psychological abuse, medical malpractice, or even wrongful death. If you are wondering if your loved one may be experiencing neglect or abuse in a nursing home, our team can help you out. Some of the more regularly occurring forms of nursing home problems include:
- Physical Abuse – As hard as it may be to imagine, some staffers may physically abuse residents in a nursing home.
- Administrative Errors, Short Staffing, or Neglect – These issues can lead to things like unchanged linens, missed medication or meals, and other forms of inadequate care.
- Sexual Abuse – Sadly, sexual predators have, at times, gotten jobs at nursing homes and taken advantage of residents.
- Medication Errors – Incorrect dosages, medications, and missed medication can all lead to significant problems.
- Financial Exploitation – Staff may attempt to steal from residents or use their relationship with residents to financially exploit them in other ways.
- Bed Sores – Not always, but in many cases, bed sores can be a sign of neglect and can cause problems if not treated.
Proving Nursing Home Abuse
To receive restitution from a nursing home injury or neglect requires that the plaintiff’s lawyers prove four essential elements:
- A Duty – It needs to be established that the defendant had a duty to provide a certain level of care to the injured. In the case of a nursing home, it’s rather clear that the staff and administration have a duty to care for the residents. However, the exact nature of this duty can sometimes be established by considering the contracts signed when the resident was placed in the nursing home or the requirements of licensing for these kinds of facilities.
- A Breach of Duty – We must be able to show that the defendant acted in a way that violated or didn’t live up to the duty that was required of them. The act could be taken in malice, recklessness, neglect, or any other reason, but what must be established is that the act occurred and means the duty was not met.
- Causal Link – The link between the breach of duty and the injuries sustained must be established. In other words, it needs to be shown the injuries would not have occurred if it weren’t for the actions of the defendant.
- Damages – Lastly, it needs to be shown that the damages for which you are seeking compensation are a direct result of the injury that occurred.
Q: Who Can a Nursing Home Abuse Claim Be Filed Against?
A: Who can have a claim filed against them in a nursing home abuse case will depend on the specifics of the case. We will investigate the situation and look for all parties that could be liable, as it could be that a claim may be brought against more than one party. Some of those who could be held liable include:
- Someone who works at the nursing home facility in a caregiving role, such as a nurse, nurse’s assistant, or orderly
- The administrators or managers in the nursing home who are responsible for the supervision of the caregivers
- The owners or operators of the nursing home
Q: What Are Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
A: The kinds of abuse that could occur in nursing homes may be physical in some circumstances, but it’s also important to recognize that emotional, psychological, and even financial abuse can occur as well. A few of the more common kinds of nursing home abuse include:
- Neglect and Administrative Errors – A lack of care can occur when patients are, often accidentally, not cared for according to standards. Medication can be missed, soiled linens unchanged, and even meals are forgotten.
- Physical Abuse – Sadly, sometimes those expected to care for the elderly in nursing homes can end up being physically abusive towards them.
- Sexual Abuse – Again, those responsible for caring for those living in a nursing home have, at times, sexually taken advantage of the residents.
- Bed Sores – In most cases, bed sores are preventable and treatable if staff is trained to identify and treat them.
- Financial Exploitation – Staff could steal, forge, or unduly influence residents to gain from them financially.
- Medications Mistakes – Being given the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or missing a round of medication can all cause problems for nursing home residents.
Q: Who Can Sue for Elder Abuse in California?
A: Generally, it is the victim who has a right to bring a complaint. However, if the victim is disabled or deceased, then a family may be able to bring the claim on the victim’s behalf. A nursing home neglect lawyer can help you understand if that may be an option in your situation.
Q: What Are Some Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
A: Identifying nursing home abuse can be difficult. In part, it’s difficult because we don’t want to believe what is happening to our loved ones. Sadly, research suggests that some form of abuse affects nearly half of nursing home residents. So it’s important to pay careful attention to things that, though not always indicative of abuse, can be signs. These include:
- A refusal to eat or take medication
- A change in emotional state — perhaps depression or anxiety
- Not wanting to be left alone or with certain staff members
- Weight loss
- Not speaking as much
- Wanting to be left alone
- Emotional outbursts
- Signs of dehydration
- Changes in physical appearance, including bed sores, welts, cuts, bruising, or broken bones
Hold Abusers and Those Liable Accountable With a Lawyer You Can Trust
Nursing home neglect and abuse of elderly residents is rising throughout the country at an exponential rate. Elderly residents of nursing homes have a legal right under both federal and state law to receive both dignity and appropriate care. However, in some cases, these elderly residents suffer physical, psychological, sexual, or financial abuse by their caregivers in these nursing homes.
If you discover that your elderly loved one suffered any kind of neglect or abuse that led to either physical, emotional, or financial damage, you have a right to pursue justice on their behalf and hold those negligent parties accountable for their actions. Ken Sigelman is both a physician and a lawyer, and he will help you fight for justice for your elderly loved one. Please contact experienced attorney Ken Sigelman in San Diego, California, to learn more about how you can receive justice as well as compensation for the injuries and suffering your elderly loved one endured.