PROVIDING 5 STAR LEGAL SERVICES FOR OHIO INJURY VICTIMS
Cleveland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Ohio Attorneys for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
A horrifying fact that many people are unaware of is that elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes happens far more often than one might think. According to Nursing Home Abuse Statistics, over 40% of nursing home residents in the United States report elder abuse, and 90% of residents report that they or other residents have experienced neglect. This, along with the fact that the vast majority of nursing home abuse cases go unreported, makes for an alarming number of victims. As a family member of an elderly person who is currently residing in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, this can be a terrifying thought.
Those who suspect that their loved ones or family members are suffering from abuse or neglect in Ohio nursing homes or residential care facilities are not alone, and they are not out of options. At Joseph Law Group, our Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of nursing home residents and their families. We will stop at nothing to seek justice and compensation on behalf of you and your loved one while working to hold the responsible parties legally accountable.
If you think you may have a nursing home abuse case, we urge you to speak with the Cleveland personal injury attorneys at Joseph Law Group as soon as possible. You can call our law firm at (216) 522-1600 or reach out to us online to schedule a confidential and free consultation today.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse, also sometimes referred to as nursing home malpractice, can look like a lot of different things. In a nutshell, this type of elder abuse occurs when nursing home employees and staff members of long-term, skilled nursing facilities cause harm to their residents. This harm may be intentional or unintentional, physical or mental, and done through malice, greed, or for any other number of reasons. If the actions of staff members at assisted living facilities cause elderly residents to suffer, it is considered nursing home abuse.
If you have reason to believe your loved one is a victim of elderly abuse or neglect, please call our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Joseph Law Group right away. We will thoroughly investigate your claim and make sure that your loved one is properly compensated for the harm that they experienced.
Nursing Home Abuse vs. Nursing Home Neglect
The main difference between nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect is the intent and action (or inaction) taken by employees and staff. Typically, with nursing home neglect, the intent is not to cause direct harm to the patient. Rather, it occurs when a patient is overlooked and does not receive the proper care or attention they need to remain safe and healthy. While abuse may be classified as an action taken by a staff member to harm or exploit an elderly patient, neglect refers more to a lack of action that leads to inevitable harm.
Nursing home staff have a legal duty to provide a reasonable standard of care to their patients, which means they are required to routinely monitor and care for them. Administering prescribed medications, providing food and drink, maintaining their hygiene, and ensuring they receive proper medical care are all part of this duty. Failure to uphold this standard can be detrimental to the health and well-being of the patient.
Although nursing home neglect does not involve physically abusive behavior or actionable violence, it is still just as harmful to those nursing home residents who experience it. Both abuse and neglect can lead to new or worsening injuries/conditions, mobility issues, rapidly declining health, and even wrongful death. In either case, it is important that victims and their families equip the help of skilled elder abuse attorneys to ensure justice is delivered.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse in nursing homes can come in many different forms. Some of the most common types of elder abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.
As we briefly mentioned earlier, nursing home negligence occurs when a staff member fails to provide proper care to a nursing home resident. There are a number of ways in which elder neglect may occur, including:
- Neglect of basic needs – This type of neglect occurs when nursing home residents do not receive proper nutrition. Facilities must provide patients with the appropriate amount of food and water as well as keep their environment safe and clean.
- Neglect of hygiene – In addition to keeping the environment clean, it is imperative for nursing home staff to maintain the hygiene of their residents. Many patients are unable to properly bathe or clean themselves, so it is the responsibility of nursing homes to ensure each resident maintains good hygiene.
- Medical negligence – Most residents in nursing home facilities require frequent medical care and treatment. This includes taking the proper medications, treating infections, preventing worsening conditions, encouraging movement and mobility, and overall providing adequate healthcare services. Things like medication errors and failure to monitor an infection can be harmful, even fatal, for the patient.
- Abandonment – Abandonment occurs when residents are deserted by staff members and left to care for themselves.
- Social neglect – A nursing home patient may be socially neglected when they are denied access to visiting with family members, friends, or other residents. This type of social isolation can lead to serious mental distress for the victims.
It is a terrible thing to think about, but unfortunately, physical abuse in nursing homes does happen. Physical abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member intentionally inflicts physical pain on the victim. This may be anything from pushing to kicking, slapping, squeezing, or even punching or biting. Unexplained bruising, broken bones, cuts, and abrasions are common indicators that an elderly person is being physically abused.
Taunting, name-calling, cursing, yelling, mocking, and manipulation are all examples of emotional abuse. This may also go hand in hand with social neglect, as forcing patients to stay away from loved ones and other residents is another type of emotional abuse. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even PTSD are signs that may point to emotional or mental abuse in a nursing home.
Again, as horrible as it is to think about, residents in nursing homes are not immune to sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is considered any type of non-consensual sexual contact. Oftentimes, abusers take advantage of the fact that elderly victims cannot defend themselves or otherwise may likely forget about the attack.
Genital infections and sexually transmitted diseases are huge warning signs when it comes to sexual abuse in a nursing home.
Another way abusers may take advantage of elderly victims is through financial exploitation. This type of financial abuse occurs when a person fraudulently uses, hides, or steals funds from an elderly victim. In some cases, a staff member may manipulate the resident into signing over their financial property. In others, they may simply take the property or assets without the victim even knowing.
Examples of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes
At Joseph Law Group, our attorneys have seen a number of nursing home abuse cases. Some of the more common examples of nursing home abuse and neglect that we’ve seen in elderly patients include unexplained weight loss due to a lack of proper nutrition (neglect of basic needs), drastic changes in mood or behavior indicating emotional abuse, and pressure sores (bedsores) due to a nursing home staff member’s failure to move and reposition the patient. Another common example of abuse is frequent falls or fall-related injuries.
If you notice any of these warning signs or others not mentioned, it is imperative that you reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer right away. Your attorney will make sure your loved one is safe and well-cared for while investigating your claim and working to prove fault on behalf of the nursing home facility.
How To Report Abuse in Nursing Home
If you suspect abuse, there are fews ways to go about reporting it. For one, you may reach out to Adult Protective Services and file a report with them. The APS is required to investigate all reports of elder abuse. Another option is by filing a formal complaint with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). You may do this a few different ways:
- Call the ODH Complaint Hotline at 1-800-342-0553
- Fill out the ODH Complaint Form online
- Email a complaint to the ODH at HCComplaints@odh.ohio.gov.
Another way to report nursing home abuse is by hiring a legal professional. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will help you explore your legal options and ensure that the appropriate entities are notified of the abuse.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home injury cases can be difficult to navigate, especially with the heavy emotional toll that often follows family members having just learned of their loved one’s abuse. An experienced attorney knows what it takes to pursue a nursing home abuse case and has the legal resources to make it happen. When you equip yourself with the help of a qualified Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyer like those at Joseph Law Group, you set yourself for the best chance at receiving a fair settlement and justice for your loved one.
At Joseph Law Group, our legal team is skilled in all areas of personal injury law, including nursing home neglect and abuse. As soon as you establish an attorney-client relationship with one of our Ohio injury lawyers, we’ll get straight to work; obtaining financial records, communicating with the insurance company, analyzing medical records, calculating damages and medical expenses, and overall working to ensure the responsible parties are held accountable for their actions. Your legal representatives will also ensure that you seek recourse within the designated statute of limitations in Ohio so as not to lose the validity of your claim.
If you seek compensation for injuries resulting from nursing home negligence, contact a Cleveland, OH nursing home lawyer from Joseph Law Group today for a free case evaluation.
Cleveland, Ohio Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorneys
When you place your loved one in the care of an assisted living facility, you trust that they will be left in good hands. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. At Joseph Law Group, we are dedicated to fighting for nursing home abuse victims and their families who have been wronged at the hands of a negligent facility.
If your family member suffered injuries at the hands of abusive or negligent nursing home staff, our Cleveland nursing home abuse lawyers want to help you seek justice. In addition to nursing home abuse and negligence, we also handle other related practice areas such as medical malpractice, premises liability, and wrongful death in Cleveland. To speak with an elder neglect and abuse lawyer from our firm, give us a call at (216) 522-1600 for a free consultation today.
Employing Teamwork And Personal Attention
If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed in an accident, we will fight to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf. Call 866-522-1402 or contact us online to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we are successful in helping you recover compensation. We proudly advocate for injury victims throughout Ohio.
3690 Orange Place - Suite 175
Beachwood, Ohio 44122
Toll-free | 866-522-1402
Greater Cleveland | 216-522-1600
Youngstown/Akron | 330-797-0481
Southeast Ohio | 740-212-8180
Columbus | 614-591-3670
Toledo | 419-273-0380
Cincinnati | 513-880-0325