Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Owensboro

608 Frederica Street, Suite 300
Owensboro, KY 42301
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Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

When you place a loved one in a skilled nursing facility in Owensboro, you hope they can live out their remaining years in dignity and comfort. Discovering that your relative or friend is subjected to egregious nursing home abuse can be shocking. Sadly, abuse and neglect may occur on a much bigger scale than current figures suggest. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), residents in long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to mistreatment, 

Morgan & Morgan knows the devastating consequences of nursing home abuse and neglect for victims and their families. However, if a nursing home broke your trust and failed your loved one, you could have legal recourse and pursue compensation. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Owensboro, KY, fight hard for the rights of seniors. Contact us now for free advice to determine your next best steps.

Signs That Your Loved One Suffers From Abuse or Neglect

Abuse and neglect in the nursing home can be challenging to detect, especially if your loved one suffers from cognitive decline. Moreover, some seniors keep quiet about what has happened because they feel frightened or ashamed. Therefore, it can be vital to visit often and identify changes in your loved one’s character, appearance, and surroundings. Read on to discover the red flags that could point to abuse in the nursing home.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can include kicking, slapping, and shoving a senior. Violent acts are relatively easy to detect as they leave injuries or bruises. Signs that your loved one may be suffering physical abuse include:

  • Unexplained bruising
  • Upper extremity injuries
  • Signs of restraint on wrists and ankles
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Burn injuries
  • Character changes such as fearfulness
  • Damage to personal items such as broken eyeglasses or torn clothing

Verbal and Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, while not causing physical injuries, can be highly damaging to a vulnerable nursing home resident’s health and well-being. Verbal abuse can include name-calling, humiliation, ignoring requests for assistance, and other harmful behaviors. 

Unfortunately, emotional abuse can be extremely difficult to discover as it does not leave any marks or injuries on a resident’s body. However, if you observe any of the following signs, your loved one may be experiencing emotional abuse:

  • New depression or anxiety
  • Changes in character
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Avoiding certain caregivers
  • Change in character
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Refusing to take medication 

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can include rape, unwanted nudity, taking sexual photographs and videos, and other behaviors. Signs that your loved one is experiencing sexual abuse in their nursing home can include:

  • Bleeding and bruising of the genitals
  • Problems with sitting and walking
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Bloody or torn underwear
  • Self-isolation
  • Panic attacks and anxiety


Neglect of a senior qualifies as nursing home abuse. Nursing home residents generally require assistance with the tasks of daily living such as eating, drinking, bathing, and getting dressed. Failing to care adequately for an individual or neglecting to protect them from hazards around the property can constitute neglect and abuse. Signs of neglect include:

  • Dirty clothes and bed linen 
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Rapid weight loss or dehydration 
  • Bedsores
  • Frequent falls

Financial Abuse 

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) states that financial exploitation is the most commonly reported type of elder abuse. Financial abuse can involve various actions, such as forcing an individual to change their will, stealing money, or overcharging for services. 

Keeping a close eye on the finances of your loved one can help with detecting financial abuse. Signs that something is amiss can include:

  • Empty bank accounts
  • Bills remaining unpaid
  • Sudden changes in the will
  • Missing checkbooks
  • Unexplained money transfers

The Nursing Home Could Be Liable 

If your loved one experienced abuse or neglect in their nursing home, the facility could be responsible for any damages. Nursing homes are regulated by state and federal laws and owe a comprehensive “duty of care” to their residents. Under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act, residents enjoy certain rights that protect their individuality, dignity, and privacy. Moreover, nursing homes must ensure that residents are free from abuse or neglect and receive adequate assistance with daily living tasks. 

Nursing home staff members are responsible for the residents’ well-being and all aspects of their lives, such as providing meals, helping with personal hygiene, administering medication, and assisting with physical activities. The nursing home, in turn, must ensure that staff has been adequately vetted and trained. A facility could be liable for your damages in the following situations: 

Neglecting Training of Employees  

Even experienced staff members may need training in certain subjects, such as caring for those with dementia. Lack of training puts residents at risk and could lead to neglect and abuse, such as overmedicating or unlawfully restraining a senior. 

Lack of Staff

Understaffing can be a serious issue in nursing homes, where residents rely on help with basic tasks such as eating and drinking. Residents may suffer from malnourishment, dehydration, and other health problems if a facility is consistently understaffed. Moreover, stressed and overworked caregivers are more prone to make mistakes or treat residents harshly.

Negligent Hiring

Negligent hiring practices can put vulnerable residents at risk from abusers and sexual predators. A nursing home should check a potential employee’s credentials and conduct thorough background checks before hiring staff. Failing to do so could result in hiring known criminals and serial abusers.  

Lack of Security

A skilled nursing facility must have adequate security measures in place. Abuse can be committed by anyone entering a facility, including visitors, contractors, and others. The nursing home is responsible for checking who enters and leaves the facility and should have adequate security such as locks on doors and gates or security cameras. 

Your Next Steps After Discovering Nursing Home Abuse in Owensboro

Knowing what to do for the best can be tricky when you discover that your loved one experienced abuse. However, your first step should be ensuring your loved one’s safety, which may involve calling 911, reporting the abuse to Kentucky’s Adult Protective Services, and removing your relative from the nursing home. According to Kentucky Revised Statutes, Chapter 209, reporting elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation is mandatory. 

Once you have reported nursing home abuse and your loved one is safe, consider taking the following steps: 

  • Take your loved one to a doctor to document and treat their injuries.
  • Take photographs of any injuries. 
  • Retain anything that could be evidence, such as torn clothing, damaged personal belongings, and other material.
  • Contact potential witnesses, such as staff members or visitors

Morgan & Morgan Can Help Victims of Nursing Home Abuse 

Morgan & Morgan represents victims and their families in all types of nursing home abuse claims. Proving a nursing home’s liability can be challenging and may require considerable research. However, as America’s largest personal injury firm, we have the resources to handle even complex nursing home abuse claims. Our attorneys can analyze a facility’s records to determine whether the home was short-staffed, hired negligently, or violated state laws.

Standing up against a nursing home on your own can be challenging and full of pitfalls. Skilled nursing facilities tend to have experience with handling abuse claims and may retain legal representation to fight lawsuits. However, with our tenacious trial attorneys fighting in your corner, your legal rights and best interests are always protected. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Owensboro, KY, can fight hard for your right to justice while you are free to help your loved one heal from their ordeal.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • Which Types of Compensation Are Available With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit? 

    There is no average settlement in nursing home abuse claims as every case is unique. However, depending on the circumstances of the incident and the injuries suffered, victims could qualify for the following damages and others: 

    • Healthcare expenses
    • Medical devices 
    • Medications
    • Psychological counseling
    • Moving and transportation expenses

    Punitive damages might also be available if a nursing home acted particularly recklessly.

  • What Should I Do if I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?

    Your gut feeling can be a powerful guide. If you suspect something is amiss with your loved one’s care, chances are you are right. Consider taking the following steps. 

    Talk to Your Loved One

    Take your time to ask your friend or relative about their day and observe their reactions. They may tell you about what has happened or seem particularly nervous or frightened. 

    Visit Without Calling in Advance

    Try to visit your loved one as much as possible if you are concerned about potential abuse and neglect. Make sure to come unannounced and at different times of the day. This makes it easier for you to observe different staff members and interactions with residents.

    Make Notes

    If, during your visits, you witness any residents experiencing physical or verbal abuse, make sure to record the incidents. Your notes should include the time, date, and names of those present. If you see any potential signs of abuse on your loved one’s body, take photographs of the injuries and note down the details.

    Report Abuse and Take Action

    Make sure to report your suspicions to the authorities and consider moving your loved one to another facility.  

  • How Much Does a Nursing Home Abuse Case Cost?

    If we take your case, you won’t have to worry about attorney’s fees as our fee is free unless we win. Our motivated attorneys work hard on your behalf and always fight for the maximum possible compensation. You only pay if and when we win and recover damages for you. 

  • Should I Move My Loved One to a Different Nursing Home?

    In most cases, moving a loved one is the best solution if you are unhappy with the quality of care or suspect that they suffer from abuse and neglect. Questions to consider when looking for new a facility can include:

    • Is the nursing home close enough for frequent visits?
    • Does your loved one have particular location wishes?
    • Is the selected facility compatible with your relative’s care needs?

    You may wish to visit several nursing homes in Kentucky before making a choice. A home that might look excellent on paper may be a disappointment when you see it in person. If a facility ticks all the boxes and the residents seem happy and well-cared for, you have probably found a good place for your loved one.

    The Discharge Process

    Moving your elderly relative to a different facility can be somewhat challenging. As a first step, inform the nurse manager or director of nursing about your wish to relocate your loved one. You may have to check with the Medicaid office responsible for your relative to determine how to proceed without losing coverage. This can be particularly critical if you are moving your loved one out of state. 

    The discharge process can vary depending on the nursing home, and there can be various state and federal laws to consider. Make sure to abide by the terms and complete the paperwork necessary for moving out of the home and into the new facility. 

  • Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Owensboro, KY, Want to Help 

    Our mothers, fathers, and grandparents are entitled to spend their twilight years with dignity and in comfort. Nursing home abuse is immoral and illegal. In many cases, defenseless seniors are the victims of nursing homes’ aggressive cost-cutting and profiteering. If your loved one experienced abuse in their nursing home, get in touch with us as soon as possible. Time for a lawsuit may be limited as Kentucky law only allows victims one year to file a suit in most cases. Our attorneys can hold the responsible parties accountable, fight for what you deserve, and protect others from experiencing egregious mistreatment in their nursing homes. 

    Morgan & Morgan wants to help victims recover physically and emotionally and receive what they deserve. Contact us today to find out more in a free consultation.

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