Nursing home negligence (neglect and abuse) is not uncommon in the United States. With over 3.2 million people living in nursing homes there is no telling how many unreported cases of elder mistreatment and neglect occur each year.
It is a sad fact that 90% of U.S. nursing homes are cited for violations of federal health and safety standards. In one study, half of the nursing home staff admitted to mistreating older patients.
Nursing Home Accidents and Injuries
It is a shame that after being forced to make the difficult decision of sending a loved one into a long term care facility or nursing home (which can be quite expensive), we can still not trust that our loved ones will be properly treated with care, respect and dignity.
Sadder still is that many nursing home abuse cases could be prevented completely if it weren’t for the greedy for-profit companies who administer nursing homes. This multi-billion dollar industry cut corners by not hiring enough staff members or hiring under-qualified staff. They also cheat by not investing in enough equipment or medical supplies to ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients.
Nursing home neglect and abuse can produce many different types of serious injuries including bedsores or pressure ulcers, broken bones / broken hips, internal bleeding, renal failure or kidney failure, brain or head injuries, fractures, bruises malnutrition and dehydration and even premature death.
A very common scene is for an elderly person to get out of bed and fall because he or she is seeking help from a nurse or was neglected for so long that they tried to get up and help herself or even another patient. In many cases this is because the nursing home is understaffed.
Nursing homes are required to comply with the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 and in Pennsylvania under the Pennsylvania Health Care Facilities Act, are required to comply with that federal act. If they neglect to do so and if you feel that your loved one has been victimized, abused or neglected, you may be entitled to compensation for your loved one’s injuries, death or pain and suffering.
Injuries Caused By Nursing Home Neglect / Abuse
Injuries and illnesses can stem from a slip or fall, falling from the bed, not being turned or rotated enough times a day, not caring properly for personal hygiene (not changing bedpans or diapers, not washing thoroughly), not being properly fed or given enough fluids, overmedication or under medication or being given the wrong medication.
Other injuries could derive from a misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis by a doctor or other medical professional.
Injuries can include:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Broken bones
- Broken hips
- Medication errors
- Internal bleeding
- Renal failure or kidney failure
- Brain or head injuries
- Mental abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse or sexual assault
- Elopement / wandering
- Slips and falls
- Premature death
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Oftentimes a loved one cannot or will not speak up if they are being neglected or abused. They may be fearful, they may not want to burden someone or they may not be fully aware of the abuse.
If your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, there are several different signs that may appear including bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers), weight loss, unusual bruising or poor hygiene. Any type of another injury such as broken bones or unusual injury or a medication error should also be investigated.
If you notice one or more of these warning signs, call our law office for a free case evaluation and we will review your case and provide answers to address any of your concerns.
If a nursing home facility fails to provide clean and safe living conditions, this is also considered neglect. When there are inadequate services or insufficient staff or supervision to care for residents or take care of the living facilities, then your loved one should not suffer and you or your loved one could be entitled to compensation for any injuries or pain and suffering.
Proving Fault in Nursing Home Neglect
The nursing home industry is a multi-billion dollar industry with extensive legal resources. This is why experienced and aggressive medical malpractice attorneys can be of so much value in investigating nursing home neglect cases and bringing justice to the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Our medical malpractice attorneys can fully examine your case and your concerns and fight the necessary battles to get the information and witnesses in support of winning the case. We will obtain any records kept by the nursing home, which they are required by law to keep off their daily on-goings and procedures. We will also talk to other patients and families to get to the bottom of the problem. We can also investigate whether there have been other complaints issued or filed against the nursing home facility.
If you suspect that your family member is being mistreated, please contact our law offices immediately for a free case evaluation. We are compassionate attorneys who will work aggressively to find justice for nursing home abuse victims and their families.
Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
If you suspect that your loved one is being or has been mistreated, neglected or abused at a nursing home, the medical malpractice attorneys at SMT Legal are here to help answer your questions. Our attorneys are aggressive and compassionate – we understand how horrible it is to have a loved one mistreated and we will fight hard to seek a settlement or go to trial for the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – we do not charge any fees unless we win your case.