It’s a heart-wrenching decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing facility to begin with, and if you do have to make that move, you trust that the facility’s caregivers will treat your family member with kindness and attend to their needs every day.
Unfortunately, as leading nursing home negligence attorneys in Oakland, we know that this isn’t always the case. Negligence and abuse do occur in nursing homes, and when they do, you must take action. At The Barnes Firm, we specialize in helping clients stand up for their loved ones and not stand for poor treatment at nursing facilities.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Although nursing home neglect may vary among individual cases, the four common types of nursing home abuse involve:
- Medical neglect. This form of neglect occurs when the facility fails to adequately attend to or prevent the medical concerns of the resident. This includes provisional care for diabetes, bedsores, infections, broken bones, cognitive disorders, mobility issues, and lacerations.
- Neglect of Basic Needs. When the nursing facility is unable to offer its residents enough food or water, or if it fails to provide a clean and safe environment, this falls under neglect of basic needs.
- Neglect of Personal Hygiene. If a nursing home resident does not have adequate assistance with cleaning themselves, brushing their teeth, doing laundry, bathing, or other types of hygiene practices, the nursing facility is supposed to be taking care of this. If the resident is experiencing poor hygiene, this is a form of neglect.
- Social or Emotional Neglect. Unfortunately, in some cases, staff members at the nursing facility repeatedly ignore the nursing home resident, leaving them alone, or yelling at them or humiliating them for no reason. This kind of abuse can be traumatic for the resident, who depends on the staff members to be kind to them while they’re staying at the facility.
Our nursing home negligence attorneys in Oakland care about the comfort and safety of your loved one, and we suggest you check in on them regularly to make sure they’re being treated right.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
If any of these warning signs apply to your loved one, you may need to consult a nursing home negligence attorney in Oakland.
Common signs that an older adult is suffering from physical abuse are:
- Cuts, wounds, or bruises that can’t be explained
- Clothing that has been torn or is bloody
- Severe injuries, such as broken bones
If your loved one is being neglected, you may notice:
- Medications not administered, or administered improperly
- Their linens are soiled or unlaundered
- Living conditions that are unsanitary
- Signs and symptoms of either malnourishment or dehydration
Financial exploitation is another of the most common forms of non-physical abuse of elderly residents. An unscrupulous nursing facility staffer could:
- Misuse the elder’s checks, accounts, or credit cards
- Steal money, checks, or prized belongings
- Forge signatures on checks or other financial documents
- Authorize money withdrawals or transfers
- Steal the patient’s identity
While it’s a good idea to talk to your nursing care facility when you suspect a problem, you can’t take matters into your own hands if the neglect crosses over into abuse and illegality. You’ll need a lawyer with a proven track record handling these type of cases. Our nursing home negligence attorneys in Oakland know the law and can fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.
Is Nursing Home Neglect Preventable?
Patients in nursing facilities who get frequent visits from family and friends are less likely to suffer from abuse and neglect, according to research. When a family member or friend visits with the nursing home resident, they should be watching for changes in health or emotional stress. The effective communication between family members and nurses at understaffed nursing homes can play a critical role in the patient’s care.
When Can You Sue For Nursing Home Neglect?
Sadly, as leading Oakland nursing home negligence attorneys, we’ve seen numerous acts, accidents, and failures that can lead to a nursing home being responsible for negligence, based on an employee’s conduct or a policy or ongoing practice at the facility. These include:
- Failing to keep the facility safe and free from hazards, like slip and fall accidents or residents attacking one another
- Negligent supervision of residents who can fall and injure themselves
- Failure to provide proper medical treatment to residents
- Negligent hiring of an employee who winds up hurting a patient
- Failure to maintain health and safety policies
Understanding How A Lawyer Can Help
If you believe abuse or neglect is taking place at your family member’s nursing home, you should contact Oakland’s leading nursing home negligence attorneys. If a lawyer who specializes in nursing home neglect believes that there is a legitimate case, they will take the necessary steps to begin the lawsuit.
These steps may include:
Collecting evidence. One needs to have as much information as possible, including the history and facts of the abuse allegation. Evidence of this type includes everything from the statements of witnesses, photos, medical records, and other documentary information.
Beginning legal action. This process starts by filing a claim in the proper court and jurisdiction, after which the defendants will be served with a notice of the action taken against them.
Our Oakland nursing home negligence attorneys are familiar with the following laws that are in place to safeguard the elderly and protect them from abuse and neglect:
- The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA)
- The Older Americans Act (OAA)
- Laws Involving Medicare and Medicaid
- The Social Security Act
- The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- The Statute of Limitations
- State Adult Protective Services (APS)
Preparing for the discovery period. During this process, information is collected and organized prior to the trial. This can also include the plaintiff and defendants being deposed or even sourcing expert witness testimony.
Negotiating a settlement. Civil cases rarely go to trial. In fact, 90 percent of the time, a settlement is agreed upon by each involved party before the case is heard at trial.
Commencing a trial. In cases where a settlement isn’t reached, a trial can be conducted, during which a judge and/or jury will make the final decision regarding the outcome and amount of settlement.
Resolving the lawsuit. No matter what the outcome is, the lawyer is seized with the case and must conclude the proceedings in accordance with the law.
Why Choose The Barnes Firm for Your Nursing Home Abuse Case?
The Oakland nursing home negligence attorneys at The Barnes Firm have extensive experience in representing nursing home abuse and neglect cases in California. We’ve won millions of dollars on behalf of clients in the past and are committed to protecting the rights of senior citizens. Stand up for your loved ones by contacting our lawyers today!