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Cincinnati Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
According to the Ohio Department of Aging, over 200,000 older Ohioans experience some form of elder abuse. Nursing home abuse can have devastating consequences on a resident's physical and emotional health. Abuse and neglect can cause life-changing injuries and deaths.
Discovering that your loved one is experiencing abuse in their nursing home in Cincinnati can be shocking and deeply upsetting. However, you do not have to stand for this. Federal and Ohio state laws prohibit any form of abuse, whether physical or emotional. You could have legal recourse and get justice for your relative.
If your loved one suffered injuries and financial damages from nursing home abuse in Cincinnati, our experienced and compassionate attorneys can be here for you. We can advise you and determine your best next steps, as you could qualify for compensation. Contact us now for free legal advice.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can be physical and emotional. The most common types of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
Physical abuse is any action intended to cause pain and suffering to a nursing home resident. Examples include:
- Pushing and shoving
- Improper restraint
Physical abuse can be the most damaging form of nursing home mistreatment as it could cause life-altering and fatal injuries. However, physical abuse is generally easier to detect than other types of nursing home mistreatment as it leaves signs on a resident’s body. If you see any unexplained cuts and burns or bruises on your loved one’s body, you should speak to nursing home staff to determine the cause. Fractures, dislocations, and personality changes can also point to physical abuse.
Verbal and Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse may not cause physical injuries but can be equally devastating to the health and well-being of an older adult. Examples of emotional and verbal abuse in the nursing home include humiliation, ignoring requests, namecalling, or keeping them away from social activities. Emotional abuse can be tough to spot. However, some signs that could point to your loved one suffering from verbal or emotional ill-treatment include:
- Fear of certain caregivers
- Depression and anxiety
Sexual abuse in the nursing home can include a wide range of acts and behaviors, including:
- Unwanted touching
- Unwanted nudity
- Taking sexual photographs and videos
- Sexual assault
Cognitively impaired residents, such as those with dementia, can be at higher risk of being targeted by sexual predators. They are less likely to report and identify an abuser. Signs of sexual abuse can include:
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Bruising of the genitals
- Torn and stained underwear
The general neglect of nursing home residents can have tragic consequences and lead to deaths in the worst cases. Neglect can include not providing adequate assistance with the tasks of daily living such as eating, drinking, and personal hygiene. Signs that your loved one is experiencing neglect include:
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Rapid unexplained weight and hair loss
- Lack of personal hygiene
- Dirty bedding and clothes
Speak to a Nursing Home Attorney to Assess Your Options
Seeing your loved one in physical pain or cognitive decline due to nursing home abuse can be deeply disturbing and upsetting. However, elder abuse is not only shocking and immoral; it is also illegal. Nursing home residents are entitled to be respected and live in dignity and comfort. Morgan & Morgan wants to help stamp out egregious nursing home abuse. We have helped countless families hold those responsible for abuse and neglect to account.
Unfortunately, the damage is done once mistreatment has occurred, and we cannot turn back the time. However, our compassionate nursing home abuse attorneys could help you get justice and financial compensation, which could help aid your loved one’s recovery and provide some financial help.
Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse in Cincinnati?
Nursing home administration and management in Ohio must safeguard residents and ensure that the facility is free from abuse and neglect. If a nursing home fails to keep residents safe, families in Cincinnati could have legal recourse and file a lawsuit against the home or an individual staff member. A nursing home could be responsible for abuse occurring on the premises in various ways, including:
Negligent Hiring of Staff
Skilled nursing facilities must check the credentials of prospective staff members diligently before hiring them. This includes confirming that they possess the relevant qualifications for the job and checking their general background. Failing to do so could result in hiring unqualified care staff or, in the worst case, known criminals.
Failing to Train Employees
Even qualified employees, when new to a nursing home in Cincinnati, must receive adequate training tailored to the facility and residents’ needs. Failing to train staff adequately can lead to neglect and abuse and could constitute nursing home negligence.
Insufficient Staff Numbers
Nursing homes must have enough employees to care for residents’ basic needs throughout the day and night. Overworked and rushed employees are more likely to make mistakes or be impatient with residents. If the nursing home fails to hire or schedule enough staff to care for residents around the clock, they could be on the hook for victims’ damages.
The perpetrators of elder abuse are not only found among nursing home staff. Anyone who has access to the home, including other residents and their family members, could commit abuse. The nursing home must keep residents reasonably safe from third-party abuse, including visitors, contractors, and others. There should be adequate safety policies and procedures in place, such as locks on doors and security cameras.
There can be other ways in which a nursing home and staff could be negligent. If you are not sure whether you have a case against a staff member and the nursing home, we can advise you and move forward with a claim.
Proving Your Case Against a Nursing Home in Cincinnati
Proving nursing home abuse can be tricky. However, an experienced attorney can work with investigators to gather the evidence required to prove negligence. They may analyze various documents such as the home’s employment files, state records showing previous violations, and others. In general, claimants have to prove the following in nursing home abuse cases:
- The nursing home had a duty of care
- They breached the duty of care, for example, by hiring a known abuser
- The resident suffered injuries and financial losses as a direct result of the breach
Compensation Available in Cincinnati Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Since every nursing home case is unique, there is no average settlement amount in such claims. Recovery depends on the victim’s injuries and financial losses. Generally, victims and their families could qualify for the following awards:
- Medical treatments and hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Medical transportation costs
- Moving costs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
If a nursing home or staff acted particularly egregiously, a court might award punitive damages.
How Morgan & Morgan Can Help Your Family
Nursing home claims can be complex and challenging to litigate. You could be up against a powerful nursing home, its insurance company, and multiple lawyers fighting your lawsuit. Morgan & Morgan has a team of experienced trial attorneys who do not shy away from fighting for what you deserve in the courtroom, unlike many other law firms. We never settle for less because we believe that our seniors and their families have the right to receive what they truly deserve after experiencing the ordeal of nursing home abuse.
Cases We Handle
Our attorneys can handle most nursing home abuse cases. Claims we see and handle in our practice include but are not limited to:
- Improper restraints
- Slips and falls
- Physical and mental abuse
- Malnutrition and dehydration
We treat our clients like family and want to make sure that you and your loved one get the support you need to recover and heal from this traumatic time. We are not only here for the legal issues but can also help you with reporting nursing home abuse to the authorities and ensure that your loved one gets the medical help they need.
What Does Nursing Home Abuse Look Like in Cincinnati - FAQ
How Prevalent Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Figures of nursing home abuse in Ohio can be hard to come by. Moreover, elder abuse is widely underreported or goes on unnoticed. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), research into the subject has been limited, suggesting that nursing home abuse could be much more common than figures would have us believe. We know that those particularly vulnerable, such as individuals with cognitive decline and chronic diseases tend to be targeted by abusers.
What Should I Consider When Selecting a Facility for My Loved One?
Planning to move a loved one into a nursing home can be a tough decision. There are many things to consider, such as location, affordability, and the level of care your loved one requires. A good first step can be asking friends and family members for recommendations and discussing your plans with your loved one’s physician. Consider also the following when deciding on a home:
- The size and location of the nursing home
- The ratio of care staff to residents
- Whether the services provided match your relative’s requirements
- The level of freedom and independence the home allows
It can also be a good idea to conduct some deeper research into the facility on a local and state level to determine whether there are any past violations of laws and regulations. In the end, how you feel about the facility and staff should also play a role. If your gut feeling tells you that your loved ones will be looked after well and treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, you have probably found the perfect place.
My Loved One Died From Nursing Home Abuse; Could I Sue?
If your loved one passed away due to nursing home abuse injuries, you could initiate a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue damages such as:
- Medical costs before death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Emotional distress
In Ohio, a personal representative of the deceased victim’s estate may bring a wrongful death lawsuit, such as the spouse or children. As there are some other requirements set by Ohio law before survivors may file a wrongful death lawsuit, consider consulting with an attorney to learn about your legal rights and the best course of action.
When Should I File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Cincinnati?
Time is of the essence if you are looking for legal recourse and compensation. If the nursing home abuse lawsuit is based on a personal injury claim, you generally have two years to file for legal action in Ohio. However, in rare cases, the time available for filing a claim could be longer or shorter. For example, if you discover your loved one’s injuries much later, the statute could be paused.
However, consider seeking legal help as soon as possible after discovering that your loved one suffered from neglect or abuse. An attorney can get to work right away and gather time-sensitive evidence that could be critical for your case. Nursing home administration or staff could destroy crucial evidence over time.
Our Cincinnati Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Have Your Back
Nursing home facilities will often explain away injuries, cognitive decline, and social withdrawal as the natural aging process. However, relatives instinctively know when something feels off and their loved one suffered abuse or neglect. If you suspect that mistreatment played a role in the death or injury of your loved one, get in touch with us.
Morgan & Morgan has your back and can help you hold those responsible accountable. You don’t pay a dime until and unless we win and recover for you. Our determined nursing home abuse lawyers fight hard for seniors and their families. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation to clarify your options.