Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are supposed to provide the care that private citizens can’t. Sadly, many facilities employ staff members who abuse the residents they are supposed to protect. Under financial pressure to turn a profit, other facilities simply fail to hire enough staff members to care for all the residents, resulting in neglect, isolation, and seriously diminished care.
If you suspect your elderly loved one was injured or passed away because of low quality nursing home care, you don’t have to face the legal challenge alone. Nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand is proud to serve the communities of Schuylkill County, including Tremont, Union, East and West Brunswick, Washington, New Castle, and Pottsville. Brent offers free, no-obligation consultations for all new clients, and will always keep your information private.
To schedule your free case evaluation, call Brent at (800) 481-5206 today.
Neglect and Injury Claims Attorney Brent Wieand Handles
Many people imagine abuse as physical violence. However, there are many different ways nursing home neglect and abuse can manifest. Even if a nursing home resident is not being physically harmed, he or she could still be a victim of emotional abuse or financial exploitation. In other cases, Schuylkill County nursing homes disregard the law and violate Pennslvania residents’ legal rights to privacy, tenancy, or quality medical care.
At The Nursing Home Injury Help Center, we handle a wide variety of abuse and neglect claims, including:
- Bone Fractures
- Dosage Errors
- Limb Amputations
- Poor Wound Care
We also handle claims related to under-staffing and resident elopement. Residents can “elope,” or wander off facility premises, if staff members are careless or inattentive. Residents who elope are at a high risk for being injured, robbed, assaulted, or missing a critical dose of medication.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse: Falls and Bedsores
While some falls are purely accidental, many result directly from negligence and a lack of proper care. Nursing homes are supposed to take special precautions for residents who are designated fall risks, such as supplying wheel chairs, canes, or walkers, or simply being there to help steady residents as they walk around or move between pieces of furniture.
When staff members disregard the needs of fall-prone residents, the results can be devastating. The CDC reports that among people aged 65 or older, falls are the leading cause of both hip fractures and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), both of which are serious and potentially deadly medical problems. Invasive surgery to repair hip fractures can lead to fatal infections and immune system issues, while TBI can cause symptoms ranging from paralysis to chronic pain to mental disability.
Bedsores are another widespread problem in care facilities. Bedsores, which are also called pressure ulcers or decubitis ulcers, tend to affect bony areas such as hips, elbows, knees, and ankles. They typically develop because caregivers fail to take such basic measures as changing residents’ bed sheets and occasionally re-positioning bed-bound residents. If your loved one develops bedsores, there’s a strong chance that neglect or intentional abuse is to blame.
Not only are bedsores incredibly painful — they can also lead to a fatal condition called sepsis. If sepsis goes untreated, it can cause septic shock, or lethally low blood pressure. Septic shock is an extremely serious condition that can kill in a matter of days, particularly if the victim is already suffering from diminished health.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit in PA?
Even if you aren’t yet positive that abuse or neglect is to blame for your loved one’s death or injuries, it’s still important to contact an attorney. All too many Pennsylvania residents lose out on potential cases because they wait until it is too late to initiate the process of filing a lawsuit.
In all but a few exceptional cases, a law called the “statute of limitations” fixes a very strict deadline for personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death actions. Pennsylvania plaintiffs have only two years from the date of death or injury to bring a claim against an abusive or negligent nursing home.
Two years may sound like a long time if the death or injury recently occurred, but there are a few important reasons to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later:
- You want to fix the situation and get your loved one out of danger as soon as possible.
- It will give your attorney more time to complete a thorough investigation, which includes combing through medical records and sending evidence away for lab analysis.
- Pennsylvania’s civil courts are frequently bogged down with an enormous number of cases, which can cause lengthy scheduling delays.
If you’re worried about the quality of care your loved one is receiving at his or her Schuylkill County facility, nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand can help. For a free and private consultation, call Brent today at (800) 481-5206.
Disclosure: Attorney Brent Wieand’s office is located in Philadelphia, PA. He provides legal services throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.