Nursing Home Abuse Reporting: What You Need to Know

Nursing Home Abuse Reporting: What You Need to Know

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Nursing Home Abuse Reporting: What You Need to Know

When an elderly individual lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility, their family trusts the staff and administration to care for them. Unfortunately, some nursing home staff members and institutions are negligent or abusive in a number of ways. If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be wondering about the steps involved in nursing home abuse reporting. 

No matter where you live, it is critical to report instances of nursing home neglect and abuse. Residents should be able to receive reliable and high-quality care, and when they are mistreated at the hands of staff or administration, they deserve justice. Fortunately, victims and their families have legal recourse to hold negligent and malicious parties accountable.

You should not bear the costs and burdens that result from instances of nursing home abuse. Contact a skilled legal professional to file a claim for damages in your nursing home abuse case. A knowledgeable tort lawyer will review the circumstances of your case and help you hold the at-fault parties responsible. When you have questions about nursing home abuse reporting, contact America’s largest personal injury law firm­, Morgan & Morgan.  

Our legal team will happily provide you with a no-cost and no-obligation case evaluation. To arrange your initial free meeting, fill out the contact form on our website today.

Typical Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Almost two million U.S. residents live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Authorities have enacted national regulations to protect residents of these facilities from abuse and neglect. 

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to many types of mistreatment. For this reason, families and loved ones should be aware of the common signs of abuse or neglect.  

Knowing the signs of nursing home mistreatment can help you protect those you love and keep them safe. Elderly abuse can take many different forms, both intentional and unintentional. 

Some of the most common types of abuse include:

Physical Abuse

If a staff member of a care facility intentionally caused harm to a resident, physical abuse has occurred. Some of the most common examples of physical abuse include:

  • Pushing
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Slapping

This type of nursing home abuse is particularly dangerous. If you believe that your loved one is experiencing physical harm at the hands of a staff member, it is important to explore options for nursing home abuse reporting.

Emotional Abuse

Any behavior that damages a resident’s mental and psychological well-being can be classified as emotional abuse. Some typical examples of emotional abuse include: 

  • Yelling
  • Insulting
  • Taunting
  • Humiliation
  • Terrorizing or threatening
  • Ignoring

Because this type of abuse does not leave physical evidence, it can be hard to detect. Additionally, residents may be afraid or embarrassed to report this type of behavior. 

If a resident fears retaliation from their abuser, they may not speak about the abuse that they are experiencing. 

Sexual Abuse

Nursing home residents and those in long-term care facilities sometimes experience abuse of a sexual nature. Any type of unwanted or non-consensual sexual activity or contact qualifies as abuse.  

Much like emotional mistreatment, sexual abuse in nursing homes often goes unreported. If a victim has a mental illness or advanced dementia, they may be unable to report this type of abuse to their loved ones or others.

Common signs of sexual abuse include:

  • Bruising or bleeding around the breasts or genitals
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Fear of a particular staff member

If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of sexual assault, it is crucial to seek out nursing home abuse reporting options. You should also contact a skilled tort attorney to pursue damages for the harm that your loved one suffered.

Financial Exploitation

When a nursing home staff member illegally misuses or takes the assets or money of a resident, they are financially exploiting that person. Those with cognitive decline or dementia are especially vulnerable to financial abuse. 

Unfortunately, this type of mistreatment can affect the victim and their family. It is important to reach out to a skilled attorney if you believe that your loved one is facing any type of abuse. 

Nursing home abuse reporting can be complex. When you have a legal representative to help you, you can pursue the financial compensation that you are rightfully owed. 

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

  • Which Ones Are Some Typical Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

    Family members and loved ones should look for the common signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse. When visiting your elderly loved one, report any of the typical abuse symptoms.  

    Some of the most common signs of abuse in long-term care facilities include: 

    • Broken bones and fractures
    • Bruising
    • Cuts and scrapes
    • Burns
    • Financial changes or unexplained withdrawals
    • Significant changes in the victim’s will
    • Unexplained changes in behavior
    • Unusual shifts in sleep schedule
    • Unexplained fear and anxiety
    • Sudden instances of depression
    • Bedsores and untreated lesions 
    • Lack of proper hygiene
    • Unexplained weight loss

    If you notice any of these telltale signs, your loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect. It is important to report any instance of mistreatment to keep nursing home residents safe. 

    Below, we will discuss several of the most important steps for reporting nursing home abuse and neglect.

  • Critical Steps for Nursing Home Abuse Reporting

    It is vital to report any instance of suspected nursing home abuse or neglect. Although this is a concern of many residents’ families, many people are uncertain about the steps to take when they need to report such an incident. 

    When you have seen evidence that abuse or neglect has occurred, consider taking the following vital actions:

    Ensure the Safety of the Nursing Home Resident

    The primary concern following the mistreatment of an elderly individual is the victim’s health and safety. If the neglect or abuse constitutes an emergency, make sure to contact medical professionals by calling 911. 

    Getting your loved one away from the dangerous environment is the most important action that you can take. Nursing home abuse reporting can wait until any immediate danger has been mitigated.

    Documenting the Neglect or Abuse

    Once any immediate hazards have been alleviated, make sure to thoroughly document the incidents and evidence of abuse. When you file a tort claim to recover financial compensation, this evidence will be invaluable. 

    Some of the most common examples of relevant documentation in nursing home abuse cases include: 

    • Notes detailing the nature of the abuse
    • Notes detailing the location, dates, and times of the abuse
    • Photographs of any physical harm or damage
    • Names of any relevant witnesses
    • Testimony of witnesses 

    This type of evidence will be important when pursuing recovery for the costs and losses from an instance of nursing home abuse.  

    It can also be difficult to convince the authorities to launch an investigation into abuse cases. Strong evidence is likely to encourage a serious inquiry into any wrongdoing. 

    File a Complaint With the Relevant State Agency

    In most cases, nursing homes and long-term care facilities are regulated at the state level. When you suspect abuse or neglect, it is important to file an official report with the relevant state agency. 

    You may be unsure about which agencies oversee the activity of nursing homes and their staff. For help filing an official complaint or report, speak with a seasoned personal injury attorney.  

    The compassionate team at Morgan & Morgan believes that nursing home abuse victims and their families deserve legal help. Our attorneys will walk you through the process of reporting nursing home abuse and seeking maximum compensation for the relevant losses.

  • What Are Common Categories of Financial Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse Claims?

    Even if you are certain that you have a valid nursing home abuse case, you may be unsure about what types of compensation you can pursue. Like most civil claims, nursing home abuse cases usually involve two primary types of financial damages. 

    These are known as economic and non-economic payments.  

    Economic damages are meant to pay the victim back for the monetary losses resulting from the abuse or neglect. Some of the common examples of this type of payment include: 

    • Current medical expenses
    • Anticipated future medical costs
    • Loss of income or wages
    • Stolen money or assets from financial exploitation
    • Associated property damage

    Still, many of the most damaging outcomes from nursing home abuse do not involve monetary losses. Victims and their families can also pursue financial recovery for the mental, physical, and emotional harm that they sustained. 

    Payments for this type of loss are called “non-economic” damages. The most typical examples of non-economic damages following instances of nursing home abuse are: 

    • Physical pain and suffering
    • Emotional distress and anguish
    • Panic attacks, anxiety, and depression
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Loss of ability to enjoy life
    • Embarrassment
    • Partial or total disability

    In some cases, victims can recover “punitive” damages. This type of payment is not meant to compensate the resident for their losses or expenses. 

    Instead, punitive damages punish the at-fault party in a tort case. This type of payment is rare and only awarded when gross negligence or intentionally malicious actions were involved in the abuse. 

    The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan will review the facts of your case to determine the value of your claim.

  • What Are Contingency Fees?

    When pursuing a legal claim, victims are often concerned about the costs of legal representation. Fortunately, the team at Morgan & Morgan is compensated through a contingency fee payment structure. 

    With this approach to legal fees, you will not pay a single penny unless our team recovers the money that you are rightfully owed. When you hire Morgan & Morgan, we will agree to a specific percentage of the recovery from your case. 

    After our lawyers win or settle your claim, that portion of compensation will be used to cover attorneys’ fees. In short, we do not get paid unless you do.

  • Let Morgan & Morgan Fight for You

    If you or someone you love has experienced nursing home neglect or abuse, contact Morgan & Morgan today. Our nursing home abuse attorneys will build a powerful legal case on your behalf.  

    To arrange a no-cost legal consultation, complete the simple contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website as soon as possible.

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