Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Serving All of Nevada
A nursing home abuse lawyer should be contacted as soon as possible if an elderly loved one is being mistreated. Nursing home neglect and abuse can lead to tragic outcomes. Unfortunately, it is also a pervasive problem in our nation’s elder care facilities.
Instances of nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to investigate. Facilities tend to “close ranks” when faced with personal injury litigation, and residents are understandably fearful of coming forward. Burg Simpson has the experience, knowledge, and resources to handle these challenging cases and achieve justice for seniors and their families.
Call Burg Simpson Law Firm at 702-668-2070 today if you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse. At your FREE and confidential case evaluation, a Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyer will discuss the details of your case and identify your legal options for compensation.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse in Las Vegas?
A survey of the nursing homes in and around Las Vegas by ProPublica reveals a host of substantial problems. More than 60 facilities have been flagged for deficiencies related to infection control, while nine facilities in total are identified as having serious deficiencies.
Further research of ProPublica’s records for key terms like “abuse” and “neglect” reveal additional disturbing trends:
- More than 205 deficiencies involving abuse from March 2018 to March 2023.
- More than 110 deficiencies involving neglect from April 2018 to March 2023.
Nursing home abuse and neglect are not always reported. If you believe that a member of your family is being victimized in a nursing home, it is important to take immediate action.
What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
Neglect is the failure to provide necessary care to a resident in accordance with applicable standards. It may also encompass violations of Nevada’s Long Term Care Residents’ Bill of Rights and/or federal regulations that protect the residents of nursing homes.
Potential examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Failure to prevent bedsores
- Poor hygiene due to inadequate bathing, clean clothes and bedding, and/or assistance using the bathroom
- Falls caused by failure to assist residents with mobility issues
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Negligent medical care
- Failure to supervise residents at risk of wandering from the facility
Most instances of neglect in a nursing home are the result of negligence on the part of caregivers rather than deliberate wrongdoing. Nonetheless, if a resident suffers harm due to neglect, the facility and its employees may be held liable.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse typically involves intentional misconduct on the part of a caregiver. Facilities may overlook red flags when hiring staff or turn a blind eye to complaints, enabling serious abuse to occur.
Nursing home abuse may involve one or more of the following:
Any kind of physical abuse can lead to serious bodily harm. Residents may suffer multiple forms of physical abuse in a nursing home setting, including:
- Pushing and shoving
- Slapping and punching
- Grabbing forcefully
Misuse of restraints and medications to control residents also qualifies as physical abuse.
Negligent hiring practices and lack of supervision may result in predators being hired to care for the elderly. As with any demographic, sexual abuse and assault can have devastating ramifications for seniors’ physical well-being and emotional state.
Examples of sexual abuse that are tragically all too common in nursing homes include:
- Inappropriate comments and unwanted advances
- Threats of sexual abuse
- Groping of the breasts and private parts
- Forcing residents to remove clothing
- Showing the resident inappropriate or pornographic materials
Verbal & Emotional Abuse
An analysis of elder abuse studies in institutions such as nursing homes found that approximately one-third of abuse suffered by residents is psychological in nature. By a wide margin, verbal and emotional abuse is the most common form of mistreatment endured by seniors in homes.
Emotional and verbal abuse may consist of one or more of the following:
- Insults and degrading comments
- Berating residents for perceived and alleged indiscretions
- Screaming at residents
- Threats of violence
- Intentionally ignoring residents’ needs and requests
Financial Abuse & Exploitation
Financial abuse of a nursing home resident can be insidious and difficult to detect. Abusers often target residents who lack the capacity to understand that they are being exploited.
Examples of nursing home financial abuse include:
- Stealing money and belongings
- Using a resident’s credit cards and debit cards without permission
- Cashing Social Security and pension checks and keeping the money
- Unlawfully accessing a resident’s bank accounts
- Forging the resident’s signature on financial documents
- Manipulating the resident into granting the caregiver Power of Attorney or adding them to a will
- Identity theft
Financial abuse can seriously impact seniors and their families. Abusers may run up substantial debts and cause other issues that can take months or even years to unravel.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?
Identifying nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult. Residents may not report abuse due to feelings of shame or embarrassment, or they may be afraid of suffering additional harm.
Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse is crucial to protect your loved one. Here are some warning signs that may indicate nursing home abuse:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns, etc.
- Emotional or behavioral changes such as withdrawal, fearfulness, agitation, depression, anxiety, or sudden changes in mood or demeanor
- Rapid and unexplained weight loss
- Poor personal hygiene
- Soiled clothing and bedding
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Sudden decline in health
- Untreated medical issues
- Bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers)
- Marks indicating the use of restraints
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Unexplained ATM withdrawals, credit card charges, and other financial irregularities
- Lack of supervision that leaves the resident free to wander around or leave the nursing home
It often falls on loved ones to detect abuse and neglect and take prompt action to keep elderly residents safe. Visiting often and active involvement in your relative’s care may reduce the likelihood of abuse and allow you to act swiftly if something is wrong.
Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect?
Those who abuse, neglect, or exploit “older persons” (defined as someone 60 years of age or older) in their care face criminal and civil liability. In Nevada, abuse of an older person is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 (see Nevada Revised Statutes 200.5099). Seniors and their families may also sue for damages sustained as a result of abuse or neglect.
Liability for the harm suffered by a nursing home resident may also rest with the nursing home administration and/or the owner of the facility. Owners, administrators, and management of the nursing home are responsible for creating and maintaining a safe and supportive environment for residents. Negligence in these duties can result in the following, all of which increase the risk of residents being abused or neglected:
- Failure to abide by state and federal regulations
- Negligence in screening and hiring employees
- Inadequate inspection, maintenance, and cleaning of the premises
- Negligent supervision of staff and caregivers
- Failure to notify family of injuries and medical issues
- Unacceptable deviations from the resident’s care plan
- Failure to investigate resident complaints
Proving nursing home neglect and abuse can be challenging. A Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyer will investigate fully and promptly to collect all available evidence. We identify all defendants and prepare a strong case on your behalf.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Associated with Nursing Home Abuse?
The injuries stemming from nursing home abuse can range from relatively minor to life-threatening. If your loved one is injured while living in a nursing home, the staff should notify you immediately and be able to give an account of how the injury occurred. Delayed notification and/or injuries without a satisfactory explanation should be cause for concern.
Some of the injuries most commonly associated with nursing home abuse include:
- Bruises and contusions
- Cuts and lacerations
- Fractured bones—seniors are at risk for complex fractures that can significantly limit mobility and function
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Dislocation injuries
- Medication Errors
- Psychological trauma
Nursing home abuse or neglect can also result in the wrongful death of a resident. Given the vulnerability of the population, these tragic outcomes are not always discovered. If you believe neglect or abuse may have been a factor in your loved one’s death, it is important to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
What Compensation Is Available for Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home residents and their families may be entitled to substantial compensation for injuries arising from nursing home neglect or abuse. A qualified nursing home abuse attorney will evaluate your case and calculate the damages you are due.
You and your family may be entitled to recovery of the following losses in a nursing home abuse claim:
- Current medical expenses
- The cost of future medical care and rehabilitation
- Expenses associated with relocating a loved one
- Loss of income, if relocating and/or caring for an elderly family member limits your ability to work
- Reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged property
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Lost quality and enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages (if applicable)
All damages in your case must be supported by strong evidence. Nursing home abuse lawyers at Burg Simpson will review and assemble all pertinent records to ensure that your losses are thoroughly documented. We also have relationships with leading experts in multiple fields who can provide testimony in support of your claim.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
Your first priority if you believe or have proof that your loved one is being mistreated is to get them to safety. Call 911 if you suspect criminal activity and/or the resident needs emergency medical attention.
You should also file a complaint with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public and Behavioral Health. This creates an official record that may support your claim. In addition, the state will perform an investigation that may prevent harm to other residents of the facility.
How Do I File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
Collecting evidence is the first step of preparing a claim for nursing home abuse. The evidence needed for your case to succeed may include:
- Medical records
- Witness testimony
- Photographs of injuries, conditions at the facility, etc.
- Video footage (if available)
- Testimony from doctors and other experts
- Copies of communications with the management and/or owners of the nursing home
- Any bills, receipts, and other documentation of damages
Next, a nursing home abuse lawyer will either (a) attempt to negotiate a settlement of your claim with the facility and its insurer, or (b) file a lawsuit on your behalf against the nursing home. If negotiations are not successful, it might ultimately be necessary to sue for damages.
It is important to note that personal injury and wrongful death actions in Nevada must be filed within 2 years. This gives you a limited time to make a claim, so it is critical to consult a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
Will My Nursing Home Abuse Case Go to Arbitration?
Some nursing homes place arbitration clauses in the admissions paperwork stating that residents and their families agree to resolve any disputes via arbitration. It is very common for people to agree to this arrangement without fully understanding the implications. You may be barred from filing a lawsuit if you (unknowingly) signed an arbitration agreement.
Whether litigation or arbitration is involved, Burg Simpson will assist you with all aspects of preparing your case. Our firm has won multiple awards for representing plaintiffs in a wide range of personal injury matters. We understand the intricacies of nursing home abuse law in Nevada, and we will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve through a fair settlement or by going to trial.
Contact a Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
Moving a senior into a nursing home or other long-term care facility is a difficult decision for any family. One of the major questions is always: Will my loved one be safe?
Unfortunately, residents are often abused and neglected by the people who should be providing them assistance and support. Burg Simpson has a national reputation for fighting for the rights of injured people. Our attorneys can provide you with reliable legal guidance and compassionate assistance.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation, call 702-668-2070 today. Nursing home abuse lawyers at Burg Simpson serve clients in Las Vegas and all of Nevada, as well as nationwide.