Nursing homes and senior living communities are important necessities for many families with aging family members who can no longer take care of themselves. The expectation when you put a parent or grandparent in a nursing home is that the nursing staff and other caregivers will take good care of your loved one.
An unfortunate number of nursing home patients are instead abused each year by those entrusted with caring for them. When nursing home abuse takes place, it can be difficult to uncover, especially if the victim has memory or cognition issues. However, obvious signs like bruising or claims of abuse could justify lawsuits to help get your family the compensation they deserve.
For a free review of your potential nursing home abuse case, call The Queenan Law Firm’s Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers. Contact us at (817) 476-1797 today.
Identifying Nursing Home Abuse in Dallas Assisted Living Communities
If your loved one is in a nursing home or senior assisted living community, there are some signs of abuse that you can look for. Many signs will be obvious, such as bruising and broken bones. Other signs might be difficult to discern because of your loved one’s situation or mental state.
Many victims of nursing home abuse are not believed right away. Many elderly residents at nursing homes and senior living centers have memory problems or difficulty identifying people and recounting events. When a loved one tries to tell you about potential abuse, it may be difficult to understand what they are saying or what specific events they are discussing. For instance, calling a nursing home staff member “mean” might be as far as they get. However, when there are physical signs of abuse, these kinds of statements can often be clues as to what is actually happening.
Other signs of abuse include hard-to-see physical signs. Weight loss, reduced energy, and lack of enthusiasm are all common signs of abuse and neglect, but they are also things that happen to older adults in nursing homes. Signs that your loved one is not being taken care of could also include uncleanliness, rashes, and infections if your loved one is not being given proper assistance with hygiene. Along with bruising or broken bones, these can be clear signs of abuse.
Lastly, there are possible records and documentation of hidden injuries and abuses. Nursing homes keep logs and records of what goes on at the nursing home. Call bell logs, response times, and records of what kind of response was mounted can all help you see when your loved one is left without help. Talk to a Dallas nursing home abuse attorney about getting access to these records and other information if you suspect your loved one has been abused.
Suing for Nursing Home Abuse in Dallas
Once nursing home abuse is suspected, you should speak with an attorney about potentially filing a lawsuit. The law in Dallas and throughout Texas allows victims of abuse to seek compensation in a lawsuit. This is usually based on a theory of negligence, which means claiming that the defendant failed to give adequate care and attention to the patients in their care. The claims you make could also be based on the intentional harm done if there is evidence of direct physical abuse.
When preparing for a lawsuit, your first step will be to collect evidence. Statements from your loved one (the actual victim of the abuse) will be important. You can also collect photos of visible signs of abuse and put together a statement of your own based on any mistreatment you witnessed. Your Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer can also send letters to the nursing home asking them to save records and files pertaining to the care of your loved one so they can be used at trial.
Your case will need to be filed in court to start the actual legal mechanisms behind your case. Once your case is filed and you reach the “discovery” stage of your lawsuit, you can use the court’s subpoena power to start collecting evidence, taking depositions, and getting questions answered about your parent or grandparent’s care.
Ultimately, your case may settle, but your Dallas nursing home lawyer can help fight for a fair settlement amount. If the defense cannot reach a reasonable settlement, we can prepare to take your case to trial to get justice for your loved one.
Damages for Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Dallas, TX
In most injury and abuse cases, the court awards damages to help set things right. There are economic costs that need to be reimbursed, such as the cost of medical treatment necessitated by the abuse as well as any additional homecare or moves to other nursing facilities you need to keep your loved one safe.
Your loved one also likely faced physical and mental harm from the abuse, such as the physical pain from strikes or sores caused by physical abuse or neglect. Your loved one may have also had a decline in their overall health and physical condition, which can also entitle them to compensation.
Many nursing home abuse cases can also lead to punitive damages (often called “exemplary damages” in Texas). Often, the abuse is completely uncalled for and might lead to additional damages to punish the defendant (the abuser and the nursing home). This can lead to additional payments to elderly victims and their families. Talk to a Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer about whether punitive damages are available in your case.
Call Our Dallas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
To speak with our attorneys in a free case consultation, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers fight for victims and their families to hold negligent and abusive nursing homes accountable. Call (817) 476-1797 today.