Nursing Home Abuse – Frequently Asked Questions
When an elderly family member moves into a nursing home, you expect them to get the best care possible. You rely on the doctors, nurses, and staff to make sure that their preexisting conditions are monitored and treated. While many elder care facilities provide high levels of attention and treatment, some nursing homes hire staffers who lack the knowledge, skill, or empathy to deal with senior citizens and their conditions. Additionally, many facilities fail to properly train their staff or fail to adequately monitor their staff. This leads to dangerous and even deadly situations.
If you suspect that an elderly relative has been abused or neglected while residing in such a facility, The Flowers Law Firm is one of only a few nursing home abuse attorneys in Tyler, Texas. Some common questions we receive include:
Q1: How does the law define nursing home abuse or neglect?
A1: Texas law (Title 40, Part 1, Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code) specifies that nursing home residents must get the essential services and care to achieve or maintain the highest level of mental, physical, and emotional health. When any staff member at an elder care facility fails to meet these standards, the grounds for a lawsuit may be present. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Tyler, Texas, can provide more details.
Q2: Which actions could qualify for a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
A2: Nearly any type of action that compromises the resident’s physical, mental, or emotional well-being can qualify for a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Among these behaviors are:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Sexual assault
- Withholding of medical treatment
- Lack of quality food or water
- Lack of basic hygiene
A seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer in Tyler, Texas, can discuss the details of your case and determine the extent of any possible abuse.
Q3: Which factors contribute to nursing home abuse?
A3: Some of the factors that contribute to nursing home abuse include:
- Inadequate training for staff members
- Inadequate background checks prior to hiring staff members
- Overworked staff members
- Inadequate supplies (food, medicine, etc.)
- Lack of clean clothes, sheets, linens, etc.
- Physical and mental isolation of residents
- Staff members with histories of violence or abuse
When you contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Tyler, Texas, the attorney and staff can investigate the causes behind the abuse and substantiate your case.
Q4: Which actions are considered “exploitation” in a nursing home?
A4: Some facilities exploit the time and resources of their residents for their own profits. These actions can include:
- Identity theft
- Financial fraud
- Cheap labor
- Extortion and intimidation
If you feel that your elderly relative has been financially exploited by their care facility, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Tyler, Texas, can help.
Q5: My relative has special needs and the elder care facility is not addressing those needs. Is that considered grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
A5: Many senior citizens have special needs, ranging from extra physical and emotional care, to dietary and religious restrictions. If the facility is ignoring or disregarding those needs, their actions could be considered liable in an abuse case. You can call the nursing home abuse attorney at The Flowers Law Firm in Tyler, Texas, to find out if these actions can be considered in an elder abuse case.
Q6: What should I look for to determine if my relative has been the victim of nursing home abuse?
A6: Several signs can present themselves that show the potential for nursing home abuse. These physical signs can include:
- Cracked lips or dehydration
- Lack of energy
- Lack of eye contact
- Rapid weight loss
When you ask the staff or administrators about these symptoms, you may not always get a straight answer. Some signs that the nursing home staff could be engaging in abusive or neglectful behavior can include:
- Differing stories from different staff members
- Refusal to answer questions
- Evasive verbiage
- Vague answers or reassurances
A nursing home abuse lawyer in Tyler, Texas, can help you get to the bottom of the problems with your relative’s nursing home.
Q7: My relative died while staying in an elder care facility. Do I have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit?
A7: If the evidence shows that your relative died due to abuse, neglect, or poor care while staying in the facility, you could have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit as well as a nursing home abuse case. A nursing home abuse attorney in Tyler, Texas, who is well-acquainted with the law regarding such facilities, can determine if you have a sufficient case for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Q8: What do I do if the nursing home or its representatives (attorneys, insurance carriers, etc.) contact me?
A8: If you are considering pursuing a case against the facility, or if you have expressed concerns about abuse, neglect, or poor care standards, the nursing home and its representatives will likely try to persuade you not to call an attorney. Know that their interest is to protect the nursing home or the insurance company. The best way to protect your rights is to call a nursing home abuse lawyer in Tyler, Texas, and explain your case.
Q9: What kinds of damages could result from a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
A9: These lawsuits typically result in two types of damages: actual and punitive. The actual damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and funeral costs. Punitive damages seek to enforce a financial penalty on the offending staff and facility. The expert nursing home abuse attorney in Tyler, Texas, at The Flowers Law Firm can show you which types of damages you could win in your case.
Q10: I can’t afford to hire an attorney. How could I possibly file a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
A10: At The Flowers Law Firm, our nursing home abuse lawyer works on a contingency basis, which means that our compensation comes from when you win a jury verdict or receive an out-of-court settlement from our efforts. Additionally, our firm offers a free consultation to discuss your complaints.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to nursing home abuse or neglect, let The Flowers Law Firm help. Contact us today at 903-965-2000. Our friendly staff will ask you a few questions about your case and connect you to an attorney who can help you with your nursing home abuse lawsuit.