As our loved ones get older and reach an age where they can longer take care of themselves, we may choose to put them in a nursing home for their own wellbeing.
We rely on the nursing staff to properly take care of our loved ones, but that is not always the case. There are many instances where our elderly parents or relatives are mistreated by a nursing home staff member or caregiver, and when this occurs, you can do something about it.
The nursing home abuse attorneys in our Bowling Green office have extensive experience helping families stop nursing home abuse and recover damages for any related losses. If you suspect that a nursing home is mistreating one of your loved ones, a Bowling Green elder abuse attorney can help ensure the abusive behavior ceases immediately. He or she can also review your situation to determine whether you can file a claim against the facility.
If your nursing home abuse attorney determines that legal action is appropriate, your loved one may be able to recover compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by the abuse.
If your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or negligence in a Bowling Green nursing home, please fill out our free case evaluation form to learn about your legal options. The law in Kentucky has a time limit in which a nursing home lawsuit may be filed, so it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The following are common indicators of nursing home abuse:
- Unexplained injuries;
- Frequent falls of bruising;
- Dehydration, hunger, or weight loss;
- Inability of nursing home staff to sufficiently explain a change in the resident’s medical condition;
- Lethargy, unexplained withdrawal from social activities, sudden change in alertness, or depression (these conditions may be a symptom of over medication);
- Signs of being restrained, such as bruises on wrists or ankles;
- Unsanitary living conditions; and
- Disappearance of money or valuables.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Our Bowling Green attorneys handle nursing home abuse lawsuits involving the following types of misconduct:
- Negligent Care: A nursing home’s staff has a duty to adhere to the established standards of the medical profession. A nursing home may be negligently providing medical care if its staff does not follow these accepted standards. In negligent care cases, an attorney may file a lawsuit seeking damages against the owner and operator of the nursing home. Common examples of negligent care include poor access to medical services, failure to prevent dehydration, failure to assist with personal hygiene, and failure to maintain sanitary living conditions.
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse in nursing homes includes hitting, shoving, force-feeding, forcing residents to stay in their rooms, and inappropriately using physical restraint.
- Sexual Abuse: Examples of sexual abuse include inappropriate touching, sexual assault, and other forms of nonconsensual sexual activity.
- In-Home Care Negligence and Abuse: Nurses and other in-home healthcare providers can be held liable for negligent care that occurs in a patient’s home. Negligence refers to a healthcare provider’s failure to adhere to the accepted standards of medical care with regard to the treatment of elders. For example, if an in-home nurse notices that a patient is developing bedsores and fails to take appropriate action, the nurse may be acting negligently.
- Mental Abuse: Our attorneys have experience handling mental abuse cases arising from inappropriate threatening, belittling, scolding, and cursing at patients.
- Financial Exploitation: Examples of financial exploitation of nursing home residents include modifying wills and other legal documents without the resident’s consent, writing or cashing checks from the resident’s account, or charging for unnecessary services.
- Negligent Hiring and Understaffing: The owners and operators of nursing homes have a duty to hire competent employees who are properly trained for the jobs they perform in a nursing home. Nursing homes also have a duty to hire enough staff members to adequately attend to the medical and daily living needs of all residents.
How a Bowling Green Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
In an elder abuse case, an attorney may be able to help you achieve two goals. First, your attorney can help ensure that the abusive or negligent conduct stops immediately.
To accomplish this, your attorney may meet with senior staff at the nursing home and demand an investigation. In some cases, your attorney may notify local, Kentucky state, or federal authorities so that they can conduct their own investigations.
If criminal charges are filed against the nursing home or a member of its staff, your attorney can work with the authorities to make sure they have all necessary information to prosecute the nursing home. Next, your elder abuse attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and determine if a claim should be filed against the nursing home.
If so, the attorney may be able to seek compensation for the harm caused to your loved one. In addition, in cases involving particularly egregious conduct, the attorney may seek punitive damages, which are designed to punish the facility and discourage other nursing homes from engaging in similar types of misconduct. In cases involving negligent care or physical abuse, your attorney may evaluate the resident’s medical records and work with a medical expert to analyze the extent of the abuse that occurred at the nursing home.
If you observe any of these warning signs when visiting a loved one at a Bowling Green nursing home, he or she may be a victim of nursing home abuse. In many instances, residents of nursing homes fail to report the abusive behavior because of embarrassment or fear of retaliation. It is important that family members remain aware of potential signs of abuse.
Contact Our Bowling Green Office Today
If you suspect that a Bowling Green nursing home is mistreating one of your loved ones, please complete our free case evaluation form today.