Prescott Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you believe your loved one was neglected or abused in a nursing home, contact an experienced attorney is a step you should consider. He or she may be able to file a claim against the nursing home for physical, financial and emotional damages.
The attorneys at Phillips Law Group have been helping personal injury victims in Arizona recover from the negligence of others for over 27 years – we have obtained over $750 million on behalf of our clients. Managing attorney Timothy Tonkin is certified by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization in injury and wrongful death litigation.
Contact a Prescott nursing home abuse attorney at the Phillips Law Group today for a free consultation. We charge no upfront fees and you are not obligated to let us represent you, even after your complimentary consultation. We do not get paid unless we help you recover fair compensation for your claim.
Am I Eligible to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
The answer to this question depends on your specific situation. Our attorneys are prepared to review what happened and how negligence may have been involved.
Negligence means more than simple carelessness or mistakes. We must prove the abuser violated a duty of reasonable care owed to your loved one and link this directly to your loved one’s injuries.
Building a nursing home abuse case is a complex task that requires a detailed investigation. The dedicated legal team at Phillips Law Group, consisting of licensed attorneys, paralegals, investigators and other support staff, is prepared to get to work on your behalf, if you have a case and hire our firm.
There are several steps that may be included in the investigation, such as gathering medical records, reviewing the background of the abuser and facility records for past instances of abuse, and consulting experts to help prove negligence and the value of your loved one’s damages.
Our Prescott nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to review your situation in a free consultation. Call for answers to your legal questions.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents in Arizona
Nursing home residents in Arizona are protected by federal and state laws that grant them numerous rights related to their care and treatment.
For example, federal law says long-term care facility residents have the right to live free from abuse, neglect or mistreatment. Residents also have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Take part their medical treatment
- Privacy in their communication and visits with family members
State law reiterates many of the same rights. Arizona’s Office of Long Term Care Licensure has a list of rights for Arizona nursing home residents, including the right to:
- A full explanation of all facility fees and services available
- A clean, safe and comfortable living environment
- Reasonable security for personal property
- Manage their own financial affairs
- Keep personal and health records private
- Apply for Medicaid or Medicare and receive help in doing so
- Refuse to receive medical treatment
- Participate in community, social and religious activities
Residents also have the right to have a relative or legal representative exercise these rights on the resident’s behalf if he or she is unable to do so.
Our Prescott nursing home abuse lawyers at Phillips Law Group have detailed knowledge of these rights and how they are often violated by staff members and others.
Call 1-800-706-3000 for a confidential, free consultation. You may be eligible to pursue compensation.
Who Can Be Held Accountable for Abuse or Neglect?
Nursing home abuse and neglect are perpetrated by various individuals at facilities and even outsiders:
- Staff members – This often includes people who directly care for residents, such as doctors, nurses, assistants, nutritionists and dieticians.
- Company owners – Owners of these facilities may have liability because they were responsible for hiring administrators and others to run the facility.
- Third parties – This may include contractors, medical device makers or individuals visiting other residents.
Some examples of negligence by these individuals/entities can include:
- Understaffing the facility, which can result in severe neglect of residents physical and psychological needs
- Inadequate security, which could allow people who are not supposed to be in the facility to come in and abuse residents
- Failure to monitor staff members who care for residents
- Negligent hiring, resulting in staff members being unqualified or inexperienced
- Failure to meet residents’ nutritional needs
If you have a valid case, our team of trusted legal professionals is prepared to launch a thorough investigation to uncover negligence and determine who may be responsible.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect to Look Out For
There are many forms of nursing home abuse or neglect. Residents are often too afraid to speak up or they may be unable to verbally communicate what is going on.
However, there are some common signs of abuse and neglect that you may want to look out for, because you may be the only one who can put a stop to it.
Below, review the main types of abuse and neglect and signs to watch for:
Not all forms of neglect may be easily detected. Some of the more common signs to look out for are:
- Poor hygiene – Filthy clothing and dirty bedsheets may be a sign of neglect.
- Malnutrition – Loss of weight, dry skin and repeated infections can be signs of malnutrition.
- Dehydration – Excessive thirst, dry skin and canker sores can be some signs of a dehydrated individual.
- Overmedication – Too much medication can lead to prolonged sleeping, anti-social activity, hallucinations and seizures.
- Bedsores/pressure sores – Red and/or discolored skin, blisters or open wounds usually means the victim has not been moved or turned for extended periods of time.
This can include any form of malicious contact including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, shoving, slamming or biting. This activity can result in:
- Broken bones
This is when non-consensual sexual contact occurs between the resident and someone else. Some signs may include:
- Injuries to the pelvic area
- Bruising on the arms, legs, breasts or genital area
- Difficulty walking and/or sitting
- Sexually-transmitted diseases
- Torn underwear
- Unexplained bleeding
- Panic attacks
A common example of this could be a caretaker constantly yelling and bullying the resident. Although the signs may not always be obvious, some common characteristics of victims may include:
- Body rocking
- Thumb sucking
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of appetite
Nursing home residents can be taken advantage of financially. Sometimes caretakers do this by stealing a resident’s checkbook, debit card or credit card. Some residents may even be intimidated to sign over power of attorney to an abuser.
Another form of financial fraud is when the resident’s health care provider is billed for unusual services or medications. Caretakers may try to gain access to a controlled prescription for their own benefit.
Some common signs of financial abuse include:
- Missing personal items
- Unusual purchases
- Unexplained cash withdrawals
- Unusual treatments or medications listed on medical bills
Who Can I Notify About Abuse?
If you feel that your loved one is in a life-threatening situation, we suggest calling 9-1-1 immediately to report the issue.
Under Arizona law (A.R.S. § 46-454), health care professionals are required to report any signs of nursing home abuse and/or neglect. This applies to physicians, nurses, assistants, emergency medical technicians (EMT’s), psychologists, psychiatrists, hospital interns, home health providers and many others.
If it is not a life-threating situation, you can call the Arizona Adult Protective Services hotline.
After reporting the abuse, there are some other steps you can take to document the situation. The evidence you collect may help your attorney in building a case:
- Take pictures or record video of any visible signs of neglect, suspicious injuries, activities or behaviors.
- Keep a journal to record the date of any odd or suspicious activity by the staff or your loved one.
- Document any important conversations with the staff members who may be responsible for the care of your loved one.
Contact a Prescott Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
For nearly three decades, Phillips Law Group has given a legal voice to over 155,000 consumer clients in the Arizona area.
We offer a free review of your case and you are not obligated to hire us to represent you. There are no upfront or hidden fees because we work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we help you obtain compensation for your elderly loved one’s damages.