While it may be hard to imagine, neglect and abuse are all too common in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across America, including many right here in Pennsylvania. To make matters worse, proactively protecting a mistreated resident from further harm and taking action to ensure they are compensated fairly can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially for people unfamiliar with how civil litigation works.
The assistance you need is available from a compassionate Bala Cynwyd nursing home abuse lawyer at Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys. If you suspect your family member is experiencing any mistreatment whatsoever from staff members or administrators in their long-term residential care facility, a conversation with a dedicated attorney can help you understand your options and take meaningful action to protect your loved one’s wellbeing.
Identifying Mistreatment Inside a Nursing Home
A big part of what makes nursing home abuse litigation so complicated is how difficult it can be to even figure out whether abuse is occurring in the first place. Residents who are experiencing mistreatment may be hesitant to speak openly about it for fear of reprisal or could be too cognitively impaired to communicate clearly. Staff members may be unwilling to answer questions or allow family members to spend time alone with residents.
Because of this, understanding the signs of abuse and neglect can be crucial, even if you are confident your loved one is safe and well cared for. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or even financial in nature, and possible indications that it is happening may include:
- Consistent small injuries that are vaguely or not explained by staff
- Any symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition
- Unclean living conditions
- Dramatic changes in a resident’s personality or mood, especially if it is pronounced around a specific staff member
- Regressive behaviors like thumb-sucking
- Unexpected changes in a resident’s financial accounts and/or estate planning documents
A Bala Cynwyd nursing home abuse attorney can discuss potentially concerning observations in a confidential setting and offer further guidance about what action might be appropriate.
Recovering for Compensable Losses in Bala Cynwyd
The first priority for anyone who believes their family member is being neglected or abused in their nursing home should always be ensuring the affected resident is not in immediate danger of further harm, which, in some situations, may require removing them from the facility. Once the resident is safe, a local nursing home mistreatment lawyer can help demand restitution for any economic and non-economic losses suffered, including:
- Costs of medical care, including cognitive therapy
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost financial assets and/or personal property
- Emotional/psychological trauma
- Lost enjoyment of life
In extreme situations involving willful and malicious misconduct, a court may elect to impose punitive damages against a defendant staff member or facility. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future and are awarded in addition to any compensatory losses sustained by the affected resident and/or their family.
Talk to a Bala Cynwyd Nursing Home Abuse Attorney About Your Legal Options
Nursing home abuse litigation can be both legally complicated and emotionally challenging, particularly for family members who entrusted vulnerable elderly loved ones into the care of others. Having support from seasoned legal representation is key not just to preserving your loved one’s rights, but also to minimizing your own stress and heartache along the way.
A Bala Cynwyd nursing home abuse lawyer can discuss legal strategies and possible case outcomes during a free case consultation. Schedule yours by calling us today. We are ready to get to work for you and your family.