When to Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

A nursing home or assisted living facility should honor the lives, freedoms, and well-being of their residents, but that is not always the case. Many elders are vulnerable to mistreatment, and nursing home abuse is often a horrible example of inhumanity.

The reward for a life well-lived should be golden years of rest and dignity. Nursing home abuse robs elders of the respect they deserve.

We at Pierce Skrabanek have a deep commitment to ensuring your rights are protected every day of your life, from the safe birth of new infants, to independent and dependent adults, to the end-of-life care deserved by all. Read on to learn about how elder abuse is defined, how to recognize the symptoms of abuse, what rights you or your parents/grandparents have under the law, and when it’s time to call a lawyer.

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A white-haired man in a wheelchair sits isolated in an empty room as nursing home staff pass by his door.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, disabled adult and elder abuse in nursing homes can come in the form of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm.

Examples of nursing home abuse include:

  • Neglect: This is when staff either incompetantly or intentionally neglect residents, including late or missed medications, failure to respond when called for assistance, and an inattention to the cleanliness of their environment or their bodies.
  • Financial exploitation: Stealing, overcharging, or unfairly withholding money from nursing home residents is an abuse of their trust and may be a crime. Similarly, visitors or other staff may help themselves to a resident’s data or documents — these are also legally acknowledged violations.
  • Emotional injury: Taunting, insulting, or belittling elders is a disgusting form of psychological abuse. Such harm may easily go unreported or denied in cases of Alzheimer’s or dementia patients — their calls for help may be deemed unreliable due to their condition.
  • Sexual assault: Molestation, rape, and sexually-based humiliation or mockery are forms of sexual assault, and should have no place in a home for elders, the infirm, the vulnerable, or anywhere.
  • Physical abuse: Physical abuse can range from forcing residents to remain in uncomfortable positions, to outright attacking or beating them. Nanny cams have captured egregious incidents of elder abuse on camera, which is one way to gather proof of abuse.

Whether the nursing home abuse stems from individual staff members (as is common in cases of physical abuse), or from the facility’s management (as in cases of overcharging or undermedicating to save costs), such treatment is unacceptable.

The nursing home abuse attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek will help investigate your circumstances, and build a case to identify and bring to justice the person or organization responsible. Call us at (832) 690-7000 today to discuss your situation.

An elder Asian woman with short hair gazes outside, waiting for help.

How Can You Recognize and Record Evidence of Elder Abuse?

Abusers know to hide the signs of their misdeeds. That is why abuse of the elderly is often difficult to recognize. The National Institute on Aging lists symptoms of elder abuse in nursing homes as when the patient:

  • Has unpaid bills, eviction notices, or bank communications warning of low funds
  • Appears unwashed or in dirty clothes
  • Complaints about mistreatment, lack of care, or discomfort
  • Displays bruises, cuts, burns, or scars inconsistent with normal injury
  • Has trouble sleeping
  • No longer enjoys long-beloved activities or becomes withdrawn
  • Exhibits unexplained weight loss
  • Acts out violently
  • Shows trauma behavior like agitation or rocking back and forth
  • Lacks appropriate medical aids (like walkers, dentures, hearing aids, or glasses)
  • Develops bedsores or shows signs of restraint (wrist cuff marks or bruising across chest)
  • Has unclean or unsafe/hazardous living conditions

You do not need to obtain evidence of elder abuse alone, and in fact your loved one may be unsafe if an abuser suspects you are investigating them by yourself. Call a nursing home abuse attorney at Pierce Skrabanek right away by dialing (832) 690-7000 — we’re here to provide advice on what to do first.

Priority one is removing the injured party from the abuse. When it comes to gathering evidence, let your lawyers do that for you while you care for yourself and your family.

How Can a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Help?

Sometimes elder abuse is done by those closest to the person, like a family member or trusted friend. In those instances, a medical or banking professional may be the one who reports the abuse.

However, in a nursing home facility dedicated to the care of dependent adults or elderly patients, there is a higher standard of care. The point of nursing homes is to trust the responsibility of care to knowledgeable professionals. Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, counselors, and administrators in nursing homes are paid and trained for their jobs — they have a duty to fulfill those expectations.

A settlement or damages award from a nursing home lawsuit could include:

  • The cost of medical bills, such as emergency care, ongoing maintenance, and psychological care for survivors of abuse
  • Relocation fees associated with removing yourself or a loved one from a dangerous facility into a new one, including deposits, moving costs, and the time and stress involved in such upheavals
  • Compensation for pain and suffering endured by the abused party, and the anguish felt by the families — it’s common for families to experience guilt and sorrow if they’ve unknowingly put their loved one in harm’s way
  • Punitive damages that are charged to wrongdoers as punishment, money that may then be awarded to you
  • Wrongful death support for funeral and burial expenses in cases where nursing home abuse contributed to or caused the untimely death of your loved one

Elderly and dependent adults deserve care and respect. If you have questions about your legal rights, and how best to assert them, contact the dedicated attorneys at Pierce Skrabanek today.

An elderly woman sits alone in a purple blouse, holding a phone and preparing to call a lawyer.

Contact Pierce Skrabanek for Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

You can tell a society’s health by the way it treats the most vulnerable populations, like children, the infirm, and the elderly. And yet, according to the World Health Organization, elder care and nursing home abuses are on the rise in the United States. How are you supposed to protect yourself as you age? How can you protect your parents and grandparents?

The offices of Pierce Skrabanek take personal injury cases personally. It’s why we fight hard to recover damages for injured workers, for victims of medical malpractice, and for those betrayed by the retirement and nursing homes that should have been their safe haven.

Pierce Skrabanek can be reached via our online contact form, or by calling us at (832) 690-7000. No amount of mistreatment or abuse is acceptable.

Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

Nursing home abuse can come in the form of physical, emotional, or financial harm, including:

  • Neglect in care or cleanliness
  • Financial exploitation or theft
  • Emotional injury from insults or taunts
  • Sexual assault like inappropriate touching, sexually-based humiliation, or rape
  • Physical abuse like unnecessary restraint, imprisonment, or physical attack

It may be unsafe to attempt gathering evidence on your own. Call the law firm of Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 for specific advice if you notice abuse signs like:

  • Unpaid bills or missing funds
  • Emotional withdrawal or outbursts
  • Complaints about mistreatment or discomfort
  • Dirty clothing, hair, or surroundings
  • Physical damage like bruises or bedsores
  • Unexplained weight loss or other signs of ill health
  • Missing medical aids like dentures, walkers, glasses, or hearing aids

The settlement funds or damages award from a nursing home lawsuit could help cover:

  • The cost of medical bills
  • Relocation fees
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Punitive or “punishment” damages
  • Wrongful death support

If you need advice on what to do when you suspect nursing home abuse, contact Pierce Skrabanek today. Our legal team can be reached by calling (832) 690-7000, and may be able to gather evidence on your behalf so that you can focus on getting the care you need.