When your elderly loved one is no longer able to live independently, the 24/7 level of care provided in a nursing home can be a blessing. Unfortunately, some facilities simply fail to provide the high quality of care that our state’s most vulnerable residents deserve. That's where our nursing home negligence attorneys come in.
When a senior is a victim of nursing home negligence, whether from neglect or abuse, it’s vital that family members understand their legal options for protecting their loved one and obtaining the compensation they need to move forward. At SJ Injury Attorneys, we encourage clients to be on the lookout for signs of abuse or neglect in their elderly loved ones and to take prompt action when they have reason to believe a nursing home is failing to fulfill its legal obligation to care for its residents.
Spotting Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
It’s not always easy to spot the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, especially if you live far enough away from the facility that you’re not able to visit regularly. However, some signs that suggest there may be a problem include:
- Poor personal grooming or hygiene. Nursing home residents are often unable to bathe, dress, comb their hair, brush their teeth, or use the restroom by themselves. Without assistance, they may be left in dirty clothes, have matted hair, or be sitting in adult diapers that haven’t been changed.
- Unsanitary living conditions. Your loved one’s room and the common areas should be clean and orderly. Dirty bathrooms, a lack of clean bedding, or spills that haven’t been cleaned from common eating areas suggest residents are being mistreated.
- Loss of mobility. Nursing home staff should be making sure your loved one is exercising and remaining as active as possible. While declines in mobility can sometimes be related to medical conditions, any sudden difficulty is a cause for concern.
- Bedsores. Nursing home residents often spend much of the day resting in bed or sitting in a wheelchair. If they are not assisted in changing positions regularly, they can develop pressure sores that can cause serious infections or even death.
- Unexplained injuries. Bruises, broken bones, cuts or scrapes, and head injuries with no explanation suggest your loved one may be getting hurt while trying to complete activities unsupervised. It is also possible they are being attacked by aggressive residents who are poorly supervised or being physically abused by the nurses and other caretakers.
- Abrupt changes in mood or behavior. If your loved one seems fearful, depressed, or anxious, this can suggest that neglect or abuse is occurring. Seniors who are being mistreated may also try to avoid certain caretakers or change the subject when you ask questions about what is happening.
What to Do When You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence
If you have concerns about the quality of care your loved one is receiving, you should first attempt to discuss the issue with the facility administrator. If your questions aren’t answered and you believe your loved one remains in danger, you can call the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services at (800) 458-9858 to file a report.
In addition to the actions taken by the state, you can initiate a civil suit by contacting one of our nursing home negligence attorneys. Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect related to understaffing, inadequate staff training, breach of state regulations, or deliberate misconduct by employees are entitled to compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. This includes medical expenses related to the abuse or neglect, out-of-pocket costs related to moving to a different facility, pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life. Punitive damages may also be available in cases of willful and deliberate misconduct.
What Must Be Proven to Win a Case
To win a claim for nursing home negligence, you must be able to prove the following key points:
- The nursing home had a legal duty to provide a safe environment for the resident, as outlined in the care contract.
- The nursing home’s action or inaction breached the duty of care to the resident.
- The resident suffered harm due to the breach of care, such as new injuries or a worsening of an existing medical condition.
Gathering the necessary evidence isn’t easy, especially when the victim has a diminished mental capacity due to age-related dementia. However, our skilled nursing home negligence attorneys will investigate every possible avenue to build the strongest possible case.
Our Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys Can Help You Get Justice
If you believe your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect due to nursing home negligence, SJ Injury Attorneys can help you fight for justice and fair compensation. We offer 24/7 accessibility, and we work with our clients one-on-one to get the best possible results. Our nursing home negligence attorneys are also trial-ready and will not hesitate to take your case to court when it is in your best interests.
SJ Injury Attorneys serves clients throughout Texas, including those in Houston, Pasadena, Baytown, Clear Lake, Webster, Friendswood, Deer Park, LaPorte, Texas City, League City, Galveston, Pearland, Spring, Katy, Channelview, Jersey Village, and Missouri City. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.