Avondale Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer | Phillips Law Group
When a nursing home resident suffers an injury, it is often due to the careless or intentional actions of caregivers, nurses, administrators or others at the facility. They should be held liable for the damage they have caused, which is why a victim’s loved ones should reach out to an attorney.
You can schedule a free consultation with one of our Avondale nursing home abuse lawyers at a time most convenient for you. There is no obligation to take legal action and no upfront fees to hire one of our licensed attorneys.
Phillips Law Group has been representing personal injury victims for more than 27 years and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. Our award-winning founder, Jeff Phillips, has secured verdicts in several Arizona counties and has served as lead counsel in more than 40 jury trials.
Contact our firm anytime, night or day. 1-800-706-3000
How do I Know if I Have a Case?
This is a question you can discuss with one of our experienced attorneys, at no upfront cost to you. There are a variety of issues to consider about whether you may be eligible to file legal action to seek compensation.
In general, our attorneys need to establish your loved one was owed a duty of care, that duty of care was breached, and the breach of the duty directly led to your loved one’s injuries and damages. We need to show your loved one’s injury would not have occurred without the breach of duty of care.
We also need to show how a caregiver, or another entity was negligent in the actions they took, or failed to act, which is often the cause of nursing home residents’ injuries.
Our Avondale nursing home abuse lawyers have extensive knowledge of these cases and how to gather evidence of negligence or abuse.
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Causes for Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
There are numerous examples of negligence that could be the cause for a nursing home resident to sustain an injury, such as a broken bone from a fall, bed sores from not being moved around while in bed, or an allergic reaction from a medication error.
- Understaffing ”“ Many facilities do not employ enough staff members to provide the care every resident needs, which makes neglect much more likely to occur. Understaffing is particularly dangerous when a facility houses residents with conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s. These residents could easily wander outside of the facility or into another dangerous situation. Understaffing can also lead to falls when residents with mobility problems attempt to get out of bed or out of a wheelchair without assistance.
- Poor hiring practices ”“ Staff members should have the proper training and credentials to provide care for your loved one. Unfortunately, facilities often cut corners in the hiring process and employ people without the proper training, or people with a history of resident abuse or applicants who did not even pass a criminal background check.
- Failing to monitor ”“ Facilities have a duty to monitor staff members to make sure they are doing their jobs properly and residents are being treated as they should be.
- Failing to maintain rooms, hallways and other areas of the facility ”“ This is often related to understaffing or simply the failure of staff members doing their jobs. An example of this form of negligence is failing to remove slip and fall hazards or clean up residents’ rooms or common areas.
There are also times when staff members or others at a nursing home intentionally abuse or neglect a resident. Staff members may be doing this as a form of punishment. This may cause residents to be socially isolated or restrained against their will. Visitors to these facilities may also sexually abuse residents, and it may be allowed to continue because understaffing prevents administrators and others from discovering what is really going on.
Who Could be Held Liable for My Loved One’s Abuse?
Multiple parties may share liability in a nursing home abuse case, from staff members and nurses to administrators, vendors, contractors and people visiting the facility. In some cases, the nursing home itself may be liable, including the owner of the facility, which could be an individual or company.
As this is a complex issue, you should strongly consider meeting with a licensed attorney to determine who may be liable for your loved one’s injuries. At Phillips Law Group, we have the staff and resources to launch an in-depth investigation of your loved one’s abuse to determine who may be liable.
Compensation for Victims
The purpose of filing a personal injury lawsuit is to obtain compensation for damages. Compensation is meant to help put the victim back into the position he or she was in before the injury or abuse occurred.
There are financial, physical and emotional damages that may result from nursing home abuse or neglect, such as:
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Prescriptions to treat injuries, such as infections or bed sores
- Appointments with doctors and specialists
- Psychological trauma
- Physical pain
- Lost enjoyment of life (your loved one cannot enjoy the things he or she used to because of his or her injuries)
- Punitive damages (if the negligence or abuse was particularly intentional, egregious or malicious)
Phillips Law Group. Experienced Lawyers Worker for You. 1-800-706-3000
What are Your Loved One’s Rights in a Nursing Home?
Nursing home abuse and neglect are not only unethical, they are also violations of residents’ rights under federal and state nursing home laws.
The Nursing Home Reform Act was passed in 1987 and granted residents many rights designed to protect them from abuse and neglect and help ensure they are provided adequate care. States have passed similar laws with much of the same language as the federal law.
Arizona’s Office of Long Term Care Licensure provides a summary of residents’ rights under federal and state law: This includes the right to:
- Be informed of your rights in a way you can understand
- Live free from abuse (verbal, physical, sexual or mental abuse)
- Live free from corporal punishment
- Live free from involuntary seclusion from others
- Be informed of the rules at the facility, particularly rules on transfer or discharge
- Review contracts and agreements before signing them
- Receive help applying for Medicare or Medicaid
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Receive quality care, free from discrimination
- Visit with your family and friends
- Have privacy, particularly during bathing, medical treatment and personal care
- Confidentiality of your health records
- File complaints or grievances without fear of retaliation
- Receive written notification of a transfer or discharge from the facility
- Have a safe, clean, comfortable environment
- Refuse restraints, unless those restraints are for treating medical symptoms and not for discipline or convenience
If any of these rights were violated, your loved one may have grounds for legal action. Our Avondale nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to discuss your situation in a free consultation.
Abuse or Neglect Common in Nursing Facilities
There are a few main categories of abuse, nursing home residents are known to suffer from, such as:
Nursing home victims are often victims of various kinds of physical violence, which may include:
- Hitting with other objects
- Being too rough in helping residents transfer or move out of bed or a chair
Bruises, fractures and cuts could all be signs of physical abuse. Your loved one may be too afraid to say anything or may not remember how he or she suffered a bruise or broken bone. It is often up to the victim’s loved ones to investigate and uncover possible abuse.
Sexual abuse is another form of physical abuse. It includes rape, sexual assault, molestation, photographing a resident in various stages of undress, posting those pictures on social media, and other abuses.
Sexually transmitted infections, social withdrawal, and fear around certain staff members may all be signs of this form of abuse.
This is a form of abuse because of the physical and psychological damage that can be caused. Neglect often means a resident is by himself or herself for hours at a time and his or her basic needs are not being met.
For example, residents may not be getting enough food and water. Their personal hygiene needs may be ignored, including assistance with toileting. Their rooms may be a mess and trash may not be taken out. Residents may not be given medicine, and this could be fatal.
Neglect could result in injuries like:
- Bed sores
- Falls because the resident tried to get up when he or she needed assistance
When residents are yelled at, threatened, harassed, socially isolated or embarrassed in front of other residents, it can cause emotional and psychological damage. Your loved one may become depressed, afraid, socially withdrawn, and may refuse to eat.
Unusual changes in behavior or personality could all be signs of emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse may be the result of understaffing ”“ overworked staffers become impatient and lash out. However, that is not an excuse. Other times, staff members may have malicious intent and may be underqualified for the job they are doing.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Avondale
Having loved ones report nursing home abuse or neglect is very important because victims may be unable to report what is going on or may be afraid because they have been threatened by their abuser. Even if a victim says something, he or she might not be taken seriously, or administrators may not do anything.
Whenever you feel like your loved one’s physical safety is in jeopardy and it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 so the police can investigate and get your loved one out of harm’s way.
You should also report the abuse to the facility. Under state law, long-term care providers and others who have responsibility for the care of a vulnerable adult must report abuse, neglect or exploitation of vulnerable adults. The report must include:
- Names and addresses of the victim and those who had control or custody of the adult
- Age and nature of the victim’s vulnerability
- Nature and extent of abuse, neglect or exploitation
However, the abuser or others at the facility may not do what is required by law. Either way, you should call Arizona Adult Protective Services at (877) 767-2385 to report what happened. They can begin an investigation and help protect your loved one.
After reporting abuse, you should try to collect evidence on your own. This may include pictures of your loved one’s injuries and statements from witnesses. Take notes on conversations with staff members and others who you reported the abuse to. This may help your attorney build a case for compensation.
Contact One of Our Avondale Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Today
At Phillips Law Group, we understand how devastating it can be to discover a loved one was abused or neglected at a nursing home. You trusted them to provide the care your loved one requires.
During this difficult time, it can be very helpful to meet with an attorney who can explain whether the facility, its staff members or others could face liability for damages. Compensation cannot erase what occurred, but it can be vital as your loved one tries to recover from his or her physical or psychological harm. Compensation helps victims to obtain the care they need, both now and in the future.
Our firm has a proven track record of recovering compensation for injury victims. The consultation is free of charge and there is no obligation, so there is no risk to you. Our attorneys are paid on contingency ”“ we do not get paid unless you do.
We are ready for your call 24/7. Phillips Law Group: 1-800-706-3000 .
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