If your loved one lives in a nursing home, you trust the staff to treat them appropriately. Unfortunately, not all nursing home residents receive the dignity and respect they deserve. Some nursing home residents even become victims of abuse, neglect, and other forms of mistreatment.
Realizing that someone you care about suffered physical abuse can be exceedingly difficult. While they suffered physically and emotionally, the abuse can also affect your family financially and other detrimental ways. The good news is that you may have legal options available during this challenging time. If you would like to learn more about your options, a Newark physical abuse lawyer can discuss your case in detail. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 201-3999 to speak with a team member about what you can do to fight this injustice.
Nursing Home Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 1.34 million elderly adults live in nursing homes across the United States. Sadly, many residents experience various forms of physical abuse during their stay.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in 2020 that as many as one in six elderly adults was the victim of abuse in the prior year. This statistic does not account for unreported cases, which would increase this already staggering figure.
Examples of Physical Abuse
Understanding the types of physical abuse your loved one could suffer at the nursing home can help you recognize if they were a victim. Examples of physical abuse include:
- Kicking, hitting, punching, biting, or striking.
- Being unnecessarily physical in a way that could cause harm.
- Intentionally throwing objects at a person.
- Malnutrition or failure to adequately provide for dietary needs.
- Pushing, tripping, or other activities that can result in a fall.
- Failure to prevent physical injury due to negligence.
- Inappropriate use of physical restraints.
The definition of physical abuse generally encompasses the many different types of physical abuse that can cause harm. If you think your loved one could have suffered from physical abuse, you should seek immediate medical help and report your suspicions to proper authorities.
If your loved one has exhibited unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries, that could signify physical abuse. Other warning signs include a loss of appetite, sleeping difficulties, rapid weight or hair loss, fear or complaints toward a specific staff member, or a sudden change in personality. You should trust your instincts. Even if everything appears to be OK, you might sense that there is a problem.
You could also have legal options available if your loved one suffered from physical abuse while living in a nursing home. A Newark physical abuse lawyer can listen to your concerns and explain your next steps. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to get started.
For a free legal consultation with a physical abuse lawyer serving Newark, call 800-201-3999
Common Injuries Resulting From Physical Abuse
Physical abuse can cause a great deal of harm and affect victims for years. Some victims of physical abuse additionally suffer from emotional problems and never fully recover. Some common injuries and effects of physical abuse include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and bruises
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Sprains, strains, and other joint damage
- Fear, anxiety, and ongoing psychological problems
Because many elderly adults are physically compromised, your loved one could suffer a severe injury from even a seemingly minor episode of physical abuse. In extreme cases, physical abuse can also turn fatal. No form of abuse is acceptable regardless of how insignificant the resulting injuries might appear.
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Perpetrators of Abuse
Your loved one’s caregiver might not be the person abusing them in the nursing home. Others who could be responsible include:
- Third-party contractors, such as janitorial staff.
- Other nursing home residents.
- Family members.
- Nursing home visitors.
Because different people are capable of physical abuse, it is important to recognize the warning signs of abuse or neglect, even if you believe safe and responsible staff surround your loved one.
Potentially Available Compensation for Victims and Families
Nursing home residents and other victims of physical abuse could secure compensation after filing a legal claim. Compensation can come in different forms and is specific to each case. If your loved one was the victim of physical abuse, they could qualify for reimbursement for medical expenses related to the abuse, damages for pain and suffering, moving costs to a new facility, compensation for legal fees, and more.
Determining liability for your loved one’s physical abuse is a primary factor that affects how much compensation you could receive for their injuries. A nursing home abuse lawyer can answer any questions you might have about determining liability and filing a legal claim in general.
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A liable party is a person or group of people who share at least partial fault for your loved one’s suffering. In a nursing home setting, you could hold the facility or staff liable if they intentionally harmed your loved one or were negligent in preventing your loved one from suffering abuse or neglect. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires facilities to do everything to provide proper care, meaning that a court could find a nursing home or its employees liable if they failed to keep your loved one safe.
Seeking Legal Guidance
While not all physical abuse victims in a nursing home choose to take legal action, some victims recovered compensation for their suffering. If your loved one may have suffered physical abuse and another party was at fault, it could be in your best interest to learn more about your legal options.
During this challenging time, navigating the legal system might feel overwhelming. A Newark physical abuse lawyer can help you make sense of this complex system. They can also keep an eye on the statute of limitations, or the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit. New Jersey Revised Statute § 2a:14-2 sets the deadline at two years, so you might want to keep that in mind as you consider your options.
Call (800) 201-3999 today to discuss your case with the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A free, no-obligation consultation can help you better understand your options. The sooner you act, the sooner you can focus on recovering from this traumatic chapter of your life.