When a family entrusts a loved one’s care to a nursing home in McAllen, the family has a right to expect that their relative will receive attentive care and respectful treatment. The last thing anyone would expect is that their elderly loved one would be exposed to nursing home abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, there have been numerous instances of nursing home abuse in Hidalgo County, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
If you have suspicions that your relative has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you should get information about your rights and the circumstances in which a nursing home may be held legally responsible. Your loved one may have the right to demand compensation. Bringing a nursing home abuse lawsuit can draw attention to an ongoing problem and save other nursing home residents from experiencing similar abuse. A McAllen nursing home abuse lawyer at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. can help people in Hidalgo County who have been victimized in nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care facilities.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Physical abuse is the most common type of senior citizen abuse. But physical and mental abuse of nursing home residents occurs in many forms. The common types of abuse at McAllen nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other elder care facilities include:
- Physical Abuse—Physical abuse includes hitting, kicking, slapping, choking, cutting, spanking, pinching, or any form of corporal punishment of a nursing home resident. Nursing homes in Texas are responsible for residents’ security and physical safety. Staff who are not trained to handle patients with Alzheimer’s may become angry with uncooperative patients and be physically abusive to them. Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or bone fractures may be signs of physical abuse by a staff member.
- Emotional Abuse—A common type of abuse involves bullying, intimidation, verbal abuse, derogatory names, humiliating acts that cause psychological distress, involuntary isolation, and threats of punishment of a nursing home resident. It can be harder to detect psychological abuse because of the lack of physical injury. A nursing home resident who is being psychologically abused may be afraid to report the abuse and become withdrawn.
- Sexual Abuse—Elderly nursing home residents may be sexually assaulted or coerced into having sexual relations by other residents or by caregivers who violate their positions of authority. Nursing homes in Hidalgo County have a legal duty to safeguard elderly residents from sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual coercion. Nursing home employers should screen job applicants to prevent the hiring of workers that have a history of sexual misconduct or exploitation. Elderly residents who are subjected to sexual abuse may feel shame or fear and be reluctant to report the abuse. Unfortunately, nursing homes often fail to respond adequately to complaints of sexual abuse until a sexual predator has assaulted multiple residents at a facility.
- Exploitation— Some nursing home residents may need help with their finances. But sometimes, a caretaker may try to make illegal use of a senior’s accounts without their permission. Exploitation involves a caretaker’s illegal use of a nursing home resident’s bank accounts or property for personal gain. A nursing home resident still has a right to decide how his or her money will be managed when a nursing home or a family member is overseeing the accounts. Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, accounts with names added, transfer of property or revisions may be indicators of elderly financial exploitation. If you suspect your loved one is being exploited financially in a nursing home in Hidalgo County, seek the advice of a McAllen nursing home abuse attorney.
- Neglect —Nursing home neglect involves a caregiver’s failure to provide services including medical services to a nursing home resident. Issues commonly associated with nursing home neglect include untreated bedsores, frequent falls, dehydration, malnourishment, soiled bed linens, lack of medical care, and injuries caused by preventable accidents.
If you suspect that your relative has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse at a McAllen nursing home, you should contact a knowledgeable McAllen elder care abuse lawyer for guidance.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Being familiar with the warning signs of nursing home abuse and staying alert for them can help you protect your loved one. The indicators of possible nursing home neglect or elder abuse include:
- Bedsores or decubitus ulcers
- Inadequately explained bruising or bone fractures
- Cuts and open wounds
- Broken bones
- Fear of nursing home staff
- Poor nutrition or rapid weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Unsanitary conditions
- Sudden changes in sociability or behavior
- Depression and changes in mental status
Nursing home residents have a right to be free from mental, physical and verbal abuse, financial exploitation and physical restraints. Restraints can only be used if the patient’s doctor authorizes restraints for the patient’s safety and provides instructions detailing the specific conditions of their use.
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Our attorneys have helped McAllen families obtain justice and hold facilities accountable for issues related to neglect and elder abuse. We believe that our legal actions have focused attention on issues of concern and made the McAllen area safer. Let us discuss how we may assist you.
McAllen nursing homes can be held accountable for abuse or neglect of patients in their care in several ways:
- Investigations and enforcement actions by adult protective services agencies
- Criminal prosecution
- Civil lawsuits for damages.
A civil lawsuit filed on behalf of the nursing home resident is independent of any sanction by a licensing agency. A nursing home neglect lawsuit is intended to hold a nursing home financially accountable for abuse or neglect. Our McAllen elder abuse attorneys have recovered significant compensation for nursing home residents who have been harmed by abuse or neglect.
The McAllen nursing home neglect lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. offer experienced legal representation to people who have been harmed as a consequence of abuse at a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Call our McAllen office toll free at 844-426-3000.
Nursing Homes and Liability
A nursing home assumes a certain level of legal responsibility when it admits a resident to its care. The owners of nursing homes have liability insurance to protect them in the event of a preventable injury or even the wrongful death of a resident due to poor care.
A nursing home or assisted living facility may be legally liable for an elderly resident’s injury or death if the nursing home or its staff fails to deliver the proper standard of care and that failure results in harm to the patient.
The victim of neglect or the nursing home resident’s family has the burden of proving that the nursing home failed to meet its legal duty to provide reasonable care to the victim. That is why it is crucial to work with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney with the resources to conduct a thorough investigation.
A nursing home’s liability depends on the specific facts of the case. After a serious accident, a personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. can apply our years of experience to examine how the injury occurred and gather evidence of negligence, disregard for safety or intentional misconduct on the part of the nursing home staff.
If we accept your senior care neglect case, we will handle the case a contingent fee basis. We will not get paid a legal fee unless we are successful in negotiating an insurance settlement or obtaining a jury award on behalf of the client. If you have legal questions about nursing home neglect or abuse in McAllen, let us discuss how we can assist you and your family.
Call Our McAllen Elderly Abuse Lawyers
A consultation with an elder abuse attorney in the McAllen office of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. is confidential and carries no obligation. We can offer trusted guidance based on experience about suspected nursing home abuse. If we handle your case, we will do so on a contingency fee basis. You will not owe any legal fee. We only receive a legal fee if we are successful on your behalf.
If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect, you can call upon our experienced nursing home injury attorneys for guidance. Call Herrman & Herrman P.L.L.C. to obtain a free review of your situation and to discuss your legal rights if nursing home abuse is suspected.