Nursing home abuse and neglect are more common than most people realize. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, between 1 million and 2 million U.S. citizens aged 65 and older have suffered some form of abuse at the hands of a caregiver. Research also suggests that less than 10% of physical elder abuse incidents in domestic settings and fewer than 5% of financial exploitation claims are reported to the proper authorities.
As people are living longer, fuller lives, they deserve to be treated with respect and cared for in a comfortable environment with compassionate caregivers. Unfortunately, as the statistics above show, this isn’t the case for many seniors. If you or someone you know has experienced or is currently experiencing any form of abuse from a professional caregiver, you should report it to the authorities immediately. And if you’re considering filing suit against a nursing home for abuse or neglect, please contact Atkins and Markoff for a free consultation.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home Include Unsafe Conditions, Poor Hiring Practices
There are many reasons a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect might consider filing a lawsuit against the facility in question, but here are five of the most common.
- Hazardous or Unsanitary Conditions
Many seniors need help to maintain their hygiene or keep their living areas clean, which means these duties fall to nursing home staff and caregivers. When staff members fail to keep the residents and their facilities clean, hazardous and unsanitary conditions often result, leading to poor health and potential disease or injury.
- Negligent Hiring Practices
Nursing homes are commonly understaffed or, even worse, staffed with employees who are under-skilled or have a history of criminal or abusive behavior. These poor hiring practices can lead to stressed, exhausted caretakers and nurses, and they can even expose nursing home residents to harm and abuse at the hands of dangerous individuals.
- Lack of Supervision
Another potential effect of an understaffed or unskilled collection of caretakers is that residents don’t receive proper supervision. The biggest risk of this lack of supervision is the potential for falls, which are one of the most common and preventable causes of injury in a nursing home facility. Residents who receive proper and consistent supervision tend to lead more fulfilling lives with improved health outcomes.
- Financial Exploitation
Elder care facilities and their employees have been caught taking financial advantage of residents by forging signatures, cashing checks without permission, coercing residents to sign documents without their full understanding, or outright stealing residents’ money or possessions. A 2009 study conducted by the MetLife Mature Market Institute and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse found that financial abuse costs older victims roughly $2.6 billion each year. Residents often don’t even know about the abuse, which means these crimes can go unnoticed and unpunished for years.
- Substandard Medical Treatment
Nursing home professionals are required to meet a medical standard of care for any potential situations that might arise, even if that standard simply involves knowing when to contact a physician or arrange for appropriate care at a hospital or urgent care center. If the staff fails to do so, they and their employer might be liable for damages that result.
Proving liability in a nursing home abuse or neglect case can be difficult, especially if the evidence is ambiguous or incomplete. If you’re considering filing a claim against a nursing home or other long-term care facility, you should contact an attorney with experience handling nursing home abuses cases to learn more about the law and your family’s rights.
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Contact Atkins & Markoff to File a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Lawsuit
At Atkins and Markoff, our attorneys and support staff have years of experience filing, litigating, and settling complex elder abuse cases. We offer free consultations to help you understand the law, your rights, and the potential strengths and challenges your claim presents.
If you would like to learn more about our firm or how we might approach your case, please contact us today by completing this brief form or calling (405) 607-8757. There is a two-year statute of limitations from the date of the incident or incidents, so please reach out today to begin the path toward legal justice for you or your loved one.
Elder abuse statistics. (2018, October 6). Nursing Home Abuse Center. Retrieved from https://www.nursinghomeabusecenter.com/elder-abuse/statistics/
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.