Many nursing home neglect claims may be brought under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA), a chapter of the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC). It recognizes that the state has a responsibility to protect elders and dependent adults who may suffer abuse, neglect or abandonment.
Additionally, the federal Nursing Home Reform Act established several rights for nursing home residents, including the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment and neglect; the right to be treated with dignity; and the right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal. Certain important services are required by the state, as is the protection of this at-risk population.
Oakland Personal Injury Attorneys at Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, we hold individuals and facilities accountable for injuries that impact patients as a result of neglect. Our clients include residents themselves and the loved ones of residents. In many cases, nursing home neglect can lead to wrongful death and other personal injuries.
Immediate consultation with a highly qualified lawyer is vital in these cases. We offer free initial consultations and pursue cases throughout California on a contingency fee basis. Call us today at (510) 433-1000 to discuss your case.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Many Americans trust nursing homes to provide care and comfort to their elderly loved ones who cannot live independently. Many nursing homes uphold stellar standards of care and are committed to patient safety and comfort. Nursing home neglect and abuse are still unfortunate realities for many older adults in ongoing care facilities. It’s essential for anyone with an elderly loved one in a nursing home to know the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse.
Signs of Neglect
Nursing home staff must ensure the residents in their care have clean bedding and clothes, regular meals, access to clean water, and appropriate medical treatment. When you visit an elderly loved one or friend in a nursing home, stay vigilant for any signs that the staff is not providing adequate care. The common signs of nursing home neglect include:
- Soiled clothing and bedding. Nursing home residents are sometimes unable to clean themselves or change their own clothes. Staff must ensure their residents have clean sheets and clothing, and must promptly remove and replace soiled clothes and sheets. If you notice your loved one’s clothing appears dirty, or your loved one does not appear to have had a bath recently, these are red flags for neglect.
- Dirty floors and resident rooms. Make sure your loved one has a sanitary living space. If common areas appear dirty or poorly maintained, this is a health hazard to all of the residents.
- Cluttered hallways. Staff needs to ensure their facilities are free of hazards. If a nursing home appears cluttered or disorganized, it could be an indication that staff is not fulfilling their duties.
- Malnutrition and dehydration. Severe neglect can include failing to provide food and water on an acceptable schedule or failing to provide sustenance to residents entirely. If you notice your elderly loved one appears to have lost a significant amount of weight since entering a nursing home, this could be a sign that he or she is not receiving proper nutrition.
- Bedsores. Some nursing home patients are bedridden or suffer from poor mobility. Nursing home staff must regularly reposition these individuals to prevent bedsores. Bedsores are extremely painful and even life-threatening in some cases. Bedsores form when a person remains in bed for an extended time.
Signs of Abuse
Neglect of elderly nursing home patients is heinous, but direct abuse is often much worse. If your elderly loved one or friend appears fearful, distracted, or hesitant to talk about his or her experiences at the nursing home, these could be signs that staff members are abusive. Nursing home abuse takes many forms, including physical harm, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial harm. Some nursing home staff members may steal residents’ personal belongings or even their identities to commit fraud.
If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, pay close attention to his or her finances and watch for any strange activity. If you suspect your loved one has suffered any type of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse at the hands of his or her caregivers, remove your loved one from the situation as soon as possible and speak with an attorney. Together, you may decide the situation warrants a police investigation to protect others in the home.
The right attorney will help you find more suitable living arrangements for your loved one and then help you build a nursing home neglect or abuse case against the responsible parties. Many nursing home residents are unable to seek justice on their own behalf, so it is up to friends and loved ones to stay vigilant for signs of abuse and neglect.
Thorough Investigations | Compassionate Leadership | Aggressive Litigation
Many cases settle out of court, but nursing home, assisted living and other health care facilities and their insurance companies are not always prepared to concede. Denials of responsibility and the facts may follow their efforts to diminish your claim.
When aggressive litigation and leverage are necessary, our law firm is prepared and fully capable. Our partner attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience pursuing personal injury cases.
We Fight For Your Rights And Recoverable Damages
Our law firm has obtained more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, and we have the resources to serve your best interests anywhere in the state.
We may be able to help you pursue damages including:
- Monetary damages for the resident’s past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Increased care expenses
- Past and future wage loss
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages
For more information, please see our Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Abuse FAQ.
Significant Nursing Home Neglect Cases
- $3,279,463.60 – Judgment in Favor of Family in Elder Abuse Case Against Nursing Home
- $829,000 – 77-Year-Old Man Brings Elder Abuse Claim Against Several Nursing Homes and Doctors
Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Walnut Creek, The Bay Area And All Of California
Contact Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP, today at (510) 433-1000 toll free to speak with a Los Angeles, San Francisco or Oakland-based nursing home neglect attorney.