How To Handle California Nursing Home Abuse
In this article, you can find answers to questions like:
- When is nursing home negligence considered medical malpractice In California?
- How can an experienced attorney help me in my nursing home negligence case?
- How do I know if what’s happening to my loved one is nursing home abuse?
What Qualifies As Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence occurs when a facility does not meet California’s required Standard of Care. Unfortunately, these cases are all too common.
If someone you care about is being abused or neglected in an elder care facility, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. By working with a nursing home abuse lawyer, you can make sure that the facility is held responsible for elder abuse or medical malpractice.
What Are Common Types Of Injuries Sustained In These Cases?
Nursing home neglect can result in many injuries and health concerns. Some of the most common include:
- Skin Lesions
- Emotional and Mental Distress
- Cardiovascular Problems
- The Worsening Of Existing Conditions and Underlying Health Concerns
Who Can Potentially Be Held Liable In A Nursing Home Negligence Case?
If a nursing home is found to be providing insufficient care, anyone who is not meeting that standard could be held liable. However, these facilities are typically owned by corporations who are ultimately financially responsible for any injuries and lapses in the Standard of Care. Because of this, it is the corporation that will ultimately pay the award should they be found guilty of negligence.
What Damages Might Be Available To Someone Who Is A Victim Of Nursing Home Negligence?
If a nursing home negligence lawsuit is won, the victims of medical malpractice or elder abuse will likely be entitled to financial compensation. This can include:
- Statutory Damages
- Punitive Damages
- Damages for Negligence (Such as healthcare costs, pain and suffering, etc.)
- Attorney’s Fees
Each case is different. So it’s important that you speak with an experienced nursing home neglect attorney who can make sure that you get the most out of your claim.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations On These Cases?
The statute of limitations for nursing home neglect lawsuits will depend on the nature of the case. If you bring the matter forward as an elder abuse claim, the statute of limitations is two years. If the case is brought forward as a medical malpractice claim, on the other hand, the statute of limitations is one year.
It’s important to keep this in mind, especially because you will lose the right to bring the matter before the court once the statute of limitations has elapsed.
Can I Represent A Loved One In A Nursing Home Negligence Case If They Aren’t Able To Represent Him Or Herself?
If you need to take legal action on behalf of your loved one, you can file a suit for them. This is an important aspect of many elder neglect cases. Watching someone you care about suffer is heartbreaking, so don’t hesitate to contact an attorney who can help you advocate for their rights.
Unfortunately, corporations in the health care field are used to dealing with lawsuits. Because of this, they have become adept at hiding information that shows how an injury occurred. You need a seasoned professional to ferret out the necessary information to show liability on the corporation’s part for the injury to the elderly patient.
For more information on Nursing Home Negligence Claims In California, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (661) 255-2233 today.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse: Is Someone You Love Facing Neglect?
In this article, you can discover:
- The “Who, What, When, Where, and Why” of nursing home abuse.
- The top five most common signs of elder abuse and nursing home neglect.
- What you can do if you fear that someone you love is suffering from mistreatment in a care facility.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
“Nursing home abuse” is a generic term that can cover a wide range of misconduct directed at some of the most vulnerable members of our society. To identify nursing home abuse and elder abuse, it’s helpful to understand the factors that make this mistreatment possible and the symptoms that often follow.
Where Does Nursing Home Abuse or Elder Abuse Occur?
This type of abuse most commonly occurs at nursing homes (also called retirement homes or convalescent centers), but this abuse can also occur in other care settings, including, but not limited to:
- Residential care facilities,
- Rehabilitation facilities,
- Sub-acute facilities,
- At home, while under the care of home health or hospice agencies,
- And more…
Who Does Nursing Home Abuse Hurt?
Victims of this type of abuse generally include elders and dependent adults. Elders are considered persons who are 65 years of age or older. Dependent adults are persons under the age of 65 who are disabled due to chronic illness or are inpatients in certain health care facilities.
When Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen?
Nursing home abuse occurs when people who are charged with the care of vulnerable members of our society take advantage of their position to neglect, harm, or steal from them. There are three major types of abuse that occur:
- Neglect: Includes the failure to provide adequate or necessary care.
- Physical Abuse: Includes the withholding of care, battery, or other reckless and intentional violence.
- Financial Abuse: Includes the mishandling, theft, or improper use of funds from an elder or dependent adult.
Is Neglect In A Nursing Home Facility The Same As Abuse?
Technically, neglect is defined under the law as a separate issue from abuse. However, both of these issues involve misconduct directed at elders and dependent adults.
What Is The Elder Abuse And Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA)?
The Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) is a law that was passed in 1992 to protect elders and dependent adults from acts of abuse and neglect. The law created new remedies for victims of abuse and neglect. Additionally, the law allows victims to punish those who engage in reckless, malicious, oppressive, and fraudulent conduct targeted at the elderly and infirm.
What Is The Standard Of Case Care For Nursing Homes In CA?
In California, all health professionals are held to provide a Standard of Care – typically defined as “what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances”.
In the context of nursing home abuse and neglect, the Standard of Care is expanded by extensive federal regulations and state statutes that govern the operation of nursing homes and other licensed residential and health care facilities.
Attorneys who handle cases that focus on these matters must have detailed knowledge of the laws to properly handle this specialized area of concern.
What Are Common Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect?
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be manifested in a variety of ways. It’s important to know the signs of abuse so that you can identify any instance of mistreatment as early on as possible. Some of the most common signs of abuse can include:
- Symptoms of Poor Hygiene: Poor hygiene may result in scabies, infection, skin irritation, dental decay, or skin breakdown (bed sores).
- Symptoms of Malnutrition and Dehydration: Poor nutrition or hydration can result in malnutrition, dehydration, severe weight loss, and cognitive decline/changes.
- Symptoms of Negligent Medical Care: Improper administration of medication (including overmedication) can lead to multiple medical issues, mood changes, lethargy, and severe cognitive impairment.
- Physical Abuse: Incidents of physical abuse can result in both bruising and other physical injuries, as well as emotional injuries resulting in depression and severe cognitive decline.
- Physical Injury: A resident may fall and suffer physical injuries, including broken bones, a dislocated hip, or brain injury due to trauma to the head.
While it is impossible to list all the signs of abuse and neglect, any sudden changes or decline should be investigated for their cause. By paying close attention to any signs of mistreatment, you’ll have a better chance of catching abuse and neglect before it causes irreversible harm.
What Can You Do If You Suspect That A Loved One Is The Victim Of Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence?
If you believe that someone you care about is being abused or neglected by their care professionals, it’s important to take swift action.
- Help the victim get a medical evaluation from outside healthcare professionals. If necessary, you can call 911 to have the victim transferred to a hospital for evaluation and emergency treatment.
- Request a complete copy of the victim’s health record from the healthcare agency where the suspected abuse or neglect has occurred.
- Contact an elder law attorney for a case evaluation.
At Lustgarten Law, we focus on providing case consultations that deliver insight and actionable steps for anyone worried about the welfare of their loved ones. You can contact our firm today to schedule an evaluation and find out what next steps might be beneficial for your unique case.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Neglect In California?
Reports of abuse and neglect in nursing homes can be made to the California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Division.
Reports of abuse and neglect in residential care facilities can be made to the Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division.
Once The Abuse Has Been Reported, What Is The Next Step? Where Does A Nursing Home Negligence Claim Begin?
Reporting abuse and neglect to government agencies are separate issues from a civil lawsuit. A report will trigger an investigation by the government, which may result in findings, deficiencies, and citations issued against the facility. Often, reporting to government agencies and completing the investigation before filing a lawsuit is helpful, but it is not necessary.
To begin working on a civil case against a care facility, you’ll need to get in contact with an attorney who specializes in this area of legal practice. The team at Lustgarten Law has been working with families and individuals to recover damages for improper care and mistreatment for years. If you are curious about speaking to a top lawyer for elder abuse and nursing home negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to our firm for a case evaluation.
For more information on Different Types Of Nursing Home Abuse In CA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (661) 255-2233 today.