When we are not able to provide the quality of care our elderly loved ones need and deserve, we depend on the staff at nursing home facilities. When these facilities fail to provide our loved ones with the type of professional care they deserve, the offending companies and caregivers can and should be held accountable.
If you suspect that your loved one may have been mistreated while in the care of a nursing home in Northern California, you should seek legal help from a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases as soon as possible. At John M. O'Brien and Associates, P.C., we are dedicated to protecting the rights of elderly persons who have suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect.
The percentage of the elderly population is constantly increasing in the U.S. Currently California is home to more than 100,000 nursing home residents, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.
Despite the fact that there are strict laws that regulate nursing homes, statistics reveal that around half of the nursing homes in the U.S. are understaffed and fall below standards of care required by state law. Underpayment and lack of proper training are the main causes of abuse and neglect reported every year.
Nursing home abuse is one of the most underreported forms of abuse. Although there is no central institution tracking the number of incidents of abuse each year, some statistics do exist and they indicate a problem of staggering dimensions:
Nursing homes are private institutions that provide shelter, feeding and care for sick, aged, or infirm individuals. Depending on the specifics of the institution they may or may not provide medical services. In addition to federal regulations, California law requires all nursing homes to be licensed by the California Department of Health and have a qualified physician, dentist, and registered nurse available at all times. Once registered, all nursing home residents are entitled to:
Staff or employees within the nursing home ARE NEVER permitted to punish or abuse the resident in any way, either physically or mentally.
Abuse is not always physical. Emotional abuse and neglect can be just as damaging to elders. At John M. O'Brien & Associates, P.C., we represent individuals and families impacted by all types of abuse, including:
Sometimes, families simply suspect abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated, you should contact us today. We will investigate the situation to determine if your suspicions are correct.
Despite strict regulations, the media is full of horror stories about nursing home abuse and neglect. If you have any relatives or friends living in these facilities, it is important to be well informed about possible signs of abuse. Often, victims will refuse to talk about the abuse until it is far too late.
Common signs of nursing home abuse include:
In certain cases these could be signs of inadequate assistance like poor bathing techniques, lack of toileting, failure to assist the resident in eating or ignoring cries for help or even worse.
If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs you should investigate the circumstances. Laws and regulations regarding nursing homes are complex so if you are considering filing a legal claim, it is recommended that you contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there is a possibility a criminal suit will also be filed, especially if the abuse resulted in serious injury or death. If nursing home abuse and/or neglect happens to you or one of your aging relatives, contact John O’Brien & Associates.
Never allow suspected nursing home abuse to continue unchecked. Here is a list with what you should do:
Keep in mind that reporting abuse and neglect is essential, but most abusive facilities change their behavior and services only after legal action is taken, which means their profit margins and their ability to remain in business are affected.
If nursing abuse and/or neglect happens to you or one of your aging relative, call us now at 916.714.8200. At John O’Brien & Associates, our attorneys are experienced and will cover all medical, social, financial and legal issues concerning elderly citizens. We work with expert witnesses and experts including physicians, therapists and nutritionists who will analyze the circumstances and provide expert reports regarding the type of abuse the victim suffered. We will negotiate a fair settlement for you and your family member, a settlement that covers all your losses, covering emotional suffering and mental anguish. We will take your case to court and pursue legal action, until proper compensation for damages is obtained.
If you are a resident in California, you should be aware of nursing homes that have had previous complaints of abuse or neglect. The following California nursing homes have been recently linked to complaints of abuse or neglect:
A: The nursing home neglect is the caregiver’s omission to provide the supervision, care and other services necessary to keep the physical and mental health of the vulnerable adult. This includes medical services, clothing, food, shelter and overall supervision.
A: In most cases, the nursing home administrator should be notified of the resident’s complaints. The administrator should investigate the complaint and report to the appropriate state agency. In rare situations, the resident should also get a medical examination by a private doctor or hospital unaffiliated with the facility.
A: The major signs of nursing home neglect include: malnutrition, unexplained injuries, poor hygiene, depression, unexpected contraction of diseases and dehydration.
A: There are three legal paths that can be followed: a formal investigation conducted by the state’s adult protective services, a civil lawsuit against the facility (this option will seek compensation for damages related to the abuse, such as pain and suffering) and for extreme cases, criminal litigation is applied.
A: It depends on how severe the violation is. In some cases, when residents’ safety is a problem, an investigation will be conducted by California state authorities. The final result can consist of: fines, revocation or suspension of licenses; mandatory changes in the nursing home administration; civil lawsuit.
A: Depending on the mental abilities of the resident, a lawsuit can be filed by the resident or by a family member, on the vulnerable adult’s behalf.
A: Actually the majority of nursing home neglect and abuse cases are settled outside of court.
A: John M. O’Brien and Associates deal with your case on a contingency fee rule. This means that you owe us nothing, unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Discovering that your loved one has been mistreated or abused while in the care of a nursing home facility can be a devastating and emotional event. At John M. O'Brien & Associates, P.C., we believe that nursing homes have a responsibility to elderly patients and their families. As a result, we serve as tireless advocates for victims of nursing home abuse and their families.