There are many types of nursing home abuse, all of which can cause an immense amount of harm. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include neglect, emotional abuse, medical abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and financial abuse.
Whether nursing home neglect is due to understaffing, a lack of staff training, or purposeful malice, it is a type of abuse. Nursing homes have a duty to care for their residents and failing to do so can have terrible consequences. Some examples of nursing home neglect include failing to provide residents with regular meals, failing to provide proper medical care, allowing unsanitary conditions that can cause illness, and ignoring requests for assistance.
Nursing home staff can sometimes act in emotionally abusive ways. This may happen because a staff member is attempting to assert their authority or punish residents, or may also occur due to pure malice. Some examples of emotional abuse in a nursing home include a staff member threatening a resident, insulting a resident, humiliating a resident, or controlling a resident’s environment.
Medical abuse is abuse that is related to harmful medical care. Nursing home medical abuse tends to happen either due to understaffing or due to the negligence or maliciousness of a staff member. This type of abuse may involve harmful action or harmful inaction. Some examples of medical abuse include incorrectly administering medication and performing unnecessary medical procedures on a resident.
Sexual abuse in a nursing home can be perpetrated by staff members or other residents. Sexual abuse in nursing homes can include unwanted exposure to the sexual parts of others, unwanted touching, and rape.
A nursing home resident could be physically injured by nursing home staff or other residents. Examples of physical abuse that could occur in a nursing home include pushing, kicking, punching, using physical restraints, or assaulting with thrown objects.
Elderly people can be vulnerable to many kinds of financial abuse, especially if someone they should be able to trust (such as a nursing home staff member) has ill intentions. Some examples of financial abuse that could occur in a nursing home include checkbook theft or misuse, credit card theft or misuse, identity theft, tricking the elderly person into “giving” assets, threatening the resident into transferring assets, and undue influence.
The cause of nursing home abuse often varies depending on the unique conditions at a specific nursing home, such as its resources, the quality and character of its staff, and its overall facility management. Some examples of common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to numerous injuries and ailments. Some of the most common injuries caused by nursing home abuse or neglect include:
A California nursing home victim may be entitled to compensation for their economic losses. Economic damages can include a vast variety of measurable losses. In nursing home abuse cases, economic damages are often related to the medical bills a resident may accrue when treating and recovering from abuse or neglect.
Some examples of economic damages that could be available in a nursing home abuse case include:
California law recognizes that injury victims can suffer non-monetary losses that can greatly harm their quality of life. California law allows injury victims to pursue compensation for these types of losses through non-economic damages, which can compensate victims for various types of intangible losses.
Some examples of non-economic damages that could be available in a nursing home abuse case include:
In certain cases, a nursing home abuse victim could be awarded punitive damages in addition to compensation for their economic and non-economic losses. Punitive damages are awarded to a plaintiff when an at-fault party has displayed particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are meant to act as a punishment in order to deter future acts of malice, oppression, or fraud.
An example of an instance in which a nursing home abuse victim may be awarded punitive damages would be in a case in which a nursing home fraudulently altered their records in an attempt to cover up abuse at their facility.
If your loved one dies due to nursing home or assisted living facility abuse, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Under California law, certain surviving family members may be legally entitled to pursue compensation if their loved one dies due to the negligence or malice of another party. A wrongful death claim can allow family members to recover damages for the losses they’ve suffered due to their loved one’s wrongful death.
The damages available in a wrongful death claim are always unique to the case in question, since California’s wrongful death claims allow family members to recover any “just” damages. What is “just” will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, some examples of damages that would generally be available in a wrongful death include:
Note that the damages available in a wrongful death case are meant to compensate surviving family members for their losses, not for the decedent’s losses. Surviving family members cannot use a wrongful death claim to recover damages for things like the deceased person’s emotional distress, pain and suffering, or pre-death medical bills. However, in certain cases, surviving family members may be able to file a survival action to recover these types of losses on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
Unfortunately, a nursing home is unlikely to admit that they are responsible for elder neglect or abuse. Nursing homes generally fight back against abuse or neglect claims, often with the help of powerful legal teams.
If you want to have a successful nursing home abuse claim, you need to be able to provide clear and convincing proof that the at-fault party is liable for your losses, while also being prepared to respond to a legal defense. A personal injury attorney at LA Lawyers Group can help you do that by: