It might seem inconceivable that people paid and trusted to care for vulnerable elderly people might neglect, abuse, or mistreat those people, but they do. Unfortunately, this scenario is more common than you might think in nursing homes and assisted living facilities across America, including many right here in the Commonwealth.
If you have any worries that your loved one is being mistreated inside their nursing home or a similar facility, contacting an Erie nursing home abuse lawyer should be a top priority. A compassionate lawyer from Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys will help ensure your family member is safe from further harm, identify who is to blame for the harm they have already sustained, and demand fair financial restitution for every related injury and loss.
What Does Abuse Look Like in Nursing Homes?
Unlike an injury from a car crash or a sudden fall, the physical and psychological harm that nursing home abuse can cause is not always obvious, even to the most diligent and attentive family members. On top of that, many residents are cognitively unable to communicate what they are going through. Others may be unwilling to do so out of fear of retaliation.
All that said, there are specific signs that are commonly associated with neglect and abuse inside these facilities, including:
- Unclean living conditions, including soiled bedsheets and/or clothing
- Signs of dehydration or malnutrition, including rapid weight loss or gain
- Dramatic changes in mood or personality
- Skittishness around particular staff members and/or other residents
- Repeated and unexplained small injuries
- Bruising around the wrists or ankles
- Refusal by staff members to leave residents alone with visitors
An Erie nursing home abuse attorney can provide more specific guidance about whether mistreatment might be occurring and whether legal action may be appropriate in a particular situation.
Taking Prompt Action Against Abuse and Neglect
If a nursing home resident is being mistreated to such an extent that their physical wellbeing is in danger, the first priority should always be removing the resident from their dangerous situation; a process which law enforcement could assist with if necessary. Family members can also report abuse and/or neglect to the Director of the Division of Nursing Care Facilities within the Pennsylvania Department of Health by submitting a written complaint online or by mail, or by calling 1-800-254-5164.
Any economic and non-economic losses a resident sustains because of abuse or neglect—including medical bills, physical and psychological suffering, and lost enjoyment of life—may then be factored into an ensuing civil lawsuit or settlement demand. It is crucial to start the litigation process or have a nursing home abuse lawyer in Erie do so on a resident’s behalf quickly, since 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes §5524 sets a time limit of two years after an injury first occurs for most cases of this nature.
Discuss Your Legal Options with an Erie Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
No one wants to think that a beloved family member might be being neglected or abused by employees or administrators of their nursing home. For the sake of that family member’s current and future wellbeing, though, it is vital to be aware of the possibility, as well as of what your legal options might be if you learn that mistreatment is occurring.
A conversation with an Erie nursing home abuse lawyer can provide much-needed clarity about the best course of action for your family. Schedule your free private consultation with a dedicated member of our legal team by calling today.