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Assisted-Care Abuse Lawyer

Do you have an elderly or disabled loved one who suffered abuse or neglect while receiving assisted care in a nursing home or licensed care facility or while being cared for by a licensed in-home care professional? Or do you suspect abuse?

The elderly and disabled can be so vulnerable. When they are abused, it is particularly despicable and sad. Nursing homes, personal-care homes, other licensed care facilities, and in-home aides all have a duty to provide a certain standard of care, and to treat their clients with respect and dignity. When they do not, it’s appropriate to consult with an assisted-care abuse attorney to hold the organization accountable and to prevent further abuses.

If you know or suspect that your loved one has been abused in an assisted-care facility or by an in-home professional, contact us for a free consultation.

At Trustwell Law, our experienced attorneys take a personalized, compassionate approach. We cut through the legalese and partner with our clients. We have access to the expertise, resources, and manpower to fully investigate each case and fight for and with our clients to get the justice they deserve.

If you are considering filing an assisted-care abuse lawsuit, call us at 202-914-1454 or submit your case details online and someone will contact you shortly. You pay nothing unless your lawsuit is successful and you receive compensation.

What Is Assisted-Care Abuse?

Assisted-care abuse takes many forms, and it can occur in any living situation, even when an elderly or disabled person is still living in their own home. For example, a home-health aide or an aide who comes in to cook or clean could be abusive.

Potentially actionable abuses include:

  • Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse may involve the patient being insulted, threatened, isolated, or belittled. Manipulation may also be emotional abuse, such as when a patient is told that if they complain about their treatment, care will be withheld.
  • Physical abuse: Physical abuse in an assisted-care situation isn’t limited to the obvious—striking or harmful physical contact. It may also be physical abuse if a caregiver force-feeds or overmedicates a patient, or uses excessive physical or chemical restraint.
  • Sexual abuse: A patient may be sexually abused by a caregiver, by another employee or resident of the facility, or even by a visitor. Sexual abuse is not limited to the use of force but may occur when the patient is too weak or ill to consent.
  • Neglect: Neglect occurs when a caregiver or facility fails to meet the appropriate standard of care. Examples of neglect can include failing to provide adequate food and clothing, failing to provide adequate medical treatment, failing to help with personal hygiene, and failing to maintain safe and sanitary living conditions.
  • Financial abuse: Examples of financial abuse include cashing a patient’s check without permission or forcing the patient to sign documents to get access to their funds or possessions. Signs that an elderly or disabled person may be at risk for financial abuse include:
    • Non-use of social services
    • No spouse or partner
    • Poor self-rated health
    • Needing assisted daily living assistance

What Are the Signs of Assisted-Care Abuse?

Common signs of assisted-care abuse include:

  • Bruises, bleeding, or unexplained injuries
  • Bedsores
  • Unexpected or unexplained weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration
  • Unexplained health issues, such as infections or diseases
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Silence or sullenness when caregivers are present
  • Bruises on or around the genitals
  • Unexpected financial difficulties
  • Unpaid bills
  • Changes in the person’s will
  • Change in the power of attorney

It is not uncommon for an older or disabled person being abused to be too embarrassed, ashamed, or disgusted to report their mistreatment. So, it is very important for their loved ones to take any signs of mistreatment seriously and consult a lawyer to investigate.

When Is an Assisted-Living Facility or Provider Considered Negligent?

Nursing homes, licensed care facilities, and professionals employed to help older or disabled people are expected to meet certain standards of care. When they do not, and negligence or abuse results, they should be held accountable.

Potential issues leading to assisted-living abuse and harm to patients include:

  • Inadequate training: Nursing homes, licensed care facilities, and companies that provide in-home care personnel are responsible for training their staff. Elderly people and severely disabled people need special care by definition and can be challenging to care for. If staff are not sufficiently trained and a patient suffers an injury, the facility or provider can be held accountable.
  • Too few staff: If an assisted living facility does not employ enough staff to care for their patients, and a patient suffers abuse or neglect as a result, the facility may be held liable.
  • Negligent hiring: Assisted-living facilities and home-health organizations are expected to hire employees with the proper training and credentials to do the job. Those employers should also perform background checks on potential hires to verify there is no record of abuse, violence, or other relevant crimes. If a patient suffers abuse or neglect and the staff member(s) involved were not properly vetted when hired, the company may be held liable.
  • Medication errors: Many elderly and disabled patients rely on receiving the correct medications, in the correct dosage, and on the correct schedule. If a patient is harmed by a medication error, the caregiver, doctor, pharmacy, or pharmacist can be held accountable.
  • Third-party responsibility: Nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be held responsible for what happens within their walls, even if they don’t control the actors. Therefore, if a resident suffers abuse or is harmed by another resident, or a guest, or any other person allowed into the facility, the facility can be held liable.

What Damages Are Commonly Awarded in an Assisted-Living Abuse Lawsuit?

Assisted-living abuse lawsuits may result in compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability and disfigurement

In some unusual cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.

Contact an Assisted-Living Abuse Attorney

If you have a loved one who suffered abuse or neglect while in a nursing home or licensed care facility or while being cared for by a licensed in-home care professional, contact us.

 

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