Nursing home abuse occurs all too often. Government statistics show that a half-million elderly persons are abused each year. However, experts say the number may be higher. That is because so many cases of abuse are not reported. Abuse can be sexual, financial, physical and emotional. Examples include slapping patients, stealing their money and improperly restraining them. Seniors are physically fragile and any injury can be devastating.
Warning signs of abuse include unexplained bruises or broken bones. A sudden change in attitude may also occur. Individuals who were outgoing may suddenly withdraw from activities. Some signs may be visible like soiled linens and a dirty bathroom. On the other hand, a family member may become very thin. If a loved one is a victim of Nursing Home Neglect, contact The Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel. The lawyer will almost certainly file a civil suit.
In these cases, the nursing home may be liable. On the other hand, a third party may come into play. Many nursing homes use agencies that supply workers. The agencies may also be liable. Facilities have a duty to hire competent workers. Likewise, they should have enough staff to handle the residents. The staff should be trained properly and have valid certifications. The lawyer must prove several things in cases of Nursing Home Neglect. First, they must show the facility owed a duty of care to the resident. This should be easy to prove because residents have to sign a contract with the home.
In addition, the court will want to see that the home breached its duty of care to the resident. For example, the home has the duty to keep residents safe. Patients who are sexually abused are not being kept in a safe environment. Finally, the lawyer must show how the victim was harmed. Plaintiffs are entitled to damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering. Further, damages are awarded for medical bills and other monetary loss. If the abuse is particularly heinous, the court may award punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to send a message. The court wants to punish the nursing home and make sure similar incidents do not happen again.