Phoenix Nursing Home Abuse Victim Lawyer
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
There are few decisions as difficult to make as placing your loved one in a Phoenix nursing home or assisted living facility. These facilities not only provide food and shelter, but also day-to-day medical care, and observation for the most vulnerable sections of our society: the sick and elderly. We trust these facilities and their workers to take care of our loved ones as well as we would. Sadly, this is not always the case.
There are some nursing homes that foster an environment that is ripe for abuse and neglect. Understaffed nursing homes and facilities that hire unqualified or inexperienced staffs are at risk of incidents where residents are abused or neglected.
If your loved one has been the victim of abuse at a nursing home or assisted living facility, please contact the experienced Phoenix nursing home abuse lawyers at the Breyer Law Offices P.C.
Call (602) 267-1280 to find out The Husband & Wife Law Team can help.
Chose the Right Facility in Phoenix
When choosing a facility, it's important to read reviews and actually visit the facility to meet the staff. It can also help to read online evaluations. In Arizona, there are many facilities from which we can choose. The non-profit group Families for Better Care analyzes and compares nursing home quality. In their most recent assessment of nursing homes nationwide, Arizona climbed 13 spots to become the eighth best state for nursing home care. Despite this progress, nearly one in four nursing homes in Arizona in the year 2014 still had a severe deficiency.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can happen at even the nicest Phoenix nursing homes. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, between 7.6 and 10 percent of study participants experienced abuse. To make matters worse, The New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case of elder abuse reported, there are 24 unknown cases. Examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse: Under no circumstances is it acceptable to hit, push, kick, bite, slap or manhandle an elderly resident of a nursing home. If you see signs of abuse such as bruises, cuts, burns or broken bones not listed on a patient's medical records, you should notify the authorities right away.
- Neglect: It's the responsibility of all nursing homes to carefully monitor their residents. Neglecting a resident medically, emotionally, and physically is unacceptable.
- Financial abuse: It's fairly common to see vulnerable nursing home residents being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employees. Keep a close eye on your loved one's finances and belongings.
How to Prove Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
If you or a loved one has been abused, neglected, or otherwise mistreated while in a nursing home, you’ll probably want to file a claim and hold the nursing home responsible. You may not have to go to court. If you do, the onus is on the plaintiff (the one bringing the charges) to prove that the abuse or neglect actually occurred. Initially, this may seem easy. But in court, the plaintiff will actually need to meet three different criteria to prove damages in a nursing home abuse case. Once you bring the case to Breyer Law Offices, P.C., we’ll not only help with that criteria, we’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.
The three criteria needed to prove nursing home abuse are:
The nursing home owed a duty of care to the residentThis might seem fairly obvious. After all, people aren’t typically in a nursing home unless they require extra care that they cannot provide for themselves. The care provided, such as personal hygiene and grooming, food, and shelter, are typically outlined in the nursing care contract you will sign once the individual is admitted into the nursing home. But, because this must be proven it’s essential that you keep the nursing home contract for your records, for the entire length of stay. This contract can then be brought to court and the neglect of this duty of care can be easily proven.
The nursing home failed to provide that duty of care
This is essentially proving that the nursing home did something they shouldn’t have, or neglected to do something that they should have. For instance, if the nursing home gave an elderly person Tylenol when they’re allergic to it, and that allergy has been clearly outlined beforehand, that would be a breach of the duty of care the nursing home was supposed to provide. Or, if the nursing home staff left an elderly person in bed all day when they should have gotten up for some activity, and the injured elderly now has bedsores, that would also be a breach of the duty of care.
The elderly person suffered or was injured due to that lack of care
This is where it can sometimes be difficult to prove damages in a nursing home abuse case. After all, people can get bruised or injured while in a nursing home without it being the fault of the nursing home staff. For this reason, it’s important to take pictures of any injuries that were a result of abuse or lack of care as soon as possible. Over time, and especially if the injured party is receiving medical treatment, the injuries can fade or heal completely, making them that much more difficult to prove. A team of qualified and experienced personal injury lawyers, such as us here at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., can also bring in expert witnesses and testimony that will further prove that these injuries could have only come from nursing home abuse.
Protecting Your Loved Ones
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a Phoenix nursing home or assisted living facility, please don't hesitate to contact the authorities, file a complaint, and start gathering evidence of wrongdoing. Those responsible should be held accountable.
Your actions could prevent future incidents involving other nursing home residents. Our Phoenix injury attorneys can review your case and help you hold the at-fault facility accountable for their negligence and wrongdoing.
What is Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?
"Wrongful death" is a legal term used to describe a situation in which a person dies as a result of the misconduct of another person or organization. And it’s not uncommon for wrongful death lawsuits to be filed in cases involving nursing home abuse or neglect. Any situation in which a death was preventable, and caused by another person, can be included in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful death in a nursing home most often comes as a result of nursing home abuse. In these cases, the resident or patient cannot tell anyone about the abuse and so sadly, it continues on until a wrongful death occurs. This type of abuse can take on many forms including physical, mental, sexual, or financial. While families often turn to the nurse in charge of the loved one, nursing home abuse can also come at the hands of a doctor, therapist, aide, administrator, or even maintenance workers.
What Can You Do about a Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?
Finding the right nursing home for an elderly loved one or someone that’s seriously ill can be an extremely difficult task. Even after researching it extensively and checking references, you still can’t always be sure that the nursing home you choose is the right one. Nursing homes are rated by their death rates, complications, infections, and the experience of the staff on hand. Wrongful deaths also factor into this ranking and unfortunately, they happen all too often in nursing homes.
What Can Be Done About Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?
The Phoenix wrongful death attorneys at Breyer Law are well-versed in both wrongful death and nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We know the actions to take that can hold someone accountable for the death of a loved one in a nursing home. It’s never easy to talk about, and we can help with that, too. We know just how painful it is, and we try to make the entire process easier for our clients.
One of the first questions we hear in wrongful death cases is, "Who can sue?" We know that litigation can’t bring the person back, and it doesn’t even always make the loved one’s family feel any better about the situation. However, knowing that the nursing home and its staff have been held accountable can provide comfort in knowing that no one else will ever suffer the same fate again. But after a victim passes away, who is legally entitled to sue?
At Breyer Law, we know the range of emotions one feels after their loved one has been a victim of a wrongful death in a nursing home. We know that grief, anger and disbelief are all very commonly felt, and that’s why we pride ourselves on the compassionate and professional advice and representation we provide. We know that bringing your case to court can never bring your loved one back, but we also know that seeking financial compensation can help, especially if you’ve been financially dependent on the person. Call The Husband & Wife Law Team at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. at (602) 267-1280 to get the legal attention you need.
Recent Nursing Home Abuse Case Verdict:
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- What to do if you Suspect Neglect in a Loved One’s Nursing Home
- Who is Liable for Wrongful Death in Phoenix Nursing Homes?
- How the Law Defines Arizona Elder Abuse and Neglect
- Making the Right Choice to Avoid Arizona Nursing Home Accidents
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- How Arizona Elder Neglect Can Cause Injuries and Death