Nursing home neglect lawyers near me are monitoring the alarming rate of elder abuse in Pennsylvania. According to the Older Adult Protective Services Annual report from 2020-2021, caretaker neglect ranked as the second highest category for both alleged and sustained abuse incidents. The same report identified that caretakers accounted for 35% of perpetrators of elder abuse in Pennsylvania. This category includes neglect perpetrated by staff members of local nursing homes, personal care homes, and assisted living facilities. Nursing home neglect lawyers near me provide legal representation to clients who have been neglected or abused by caretakers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Are Nursing Homes Required to Report Neglect and Abuse?
The Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA) was amended in 1997 to require mandatory abuse reporting for administrators and employees of nursing homes and facilities defined by OAPSA. The law requires that any nursing home employee or Administrator that suspects abuse must immediately report the abuse to their local Area Agency of Aging.
Mandatory abuse reports in Pennsylvania decreased markedly during fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. In fact, in reports of abuse dropped 38% from fiscal year 2018 to fiscal year 2021. Nursing home neglect lawyers near me fear that one reason for the drop in reporting is due to families and friends having less access to visit nursing facilities during those time periods. It is often the careful eye of resident families and other visitors that raise the initial alarm to advocate that a resident is being neglected or abused at a nursing home. During 2019-2021, visitor access at nursing homes was often completely shut down and at other times limited by location, frequency or duration. Therefore, many believe that the reported dop in abuse reports does not reflect a true drop in abuse. Instead, Pennsylvania nursing home neglect lawyers believe that it may reflect a decline in family access and advocacy that resulted in less mandatory abuse reporting.
What Are Four Types of Serious Abuse in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, abuse that falls into one of the below categories is considered serious abuse. These types of abuse must be reported to the Area Agency of Aging and also have to be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and law enforcement. The Older Adult Protective Services Act (OAPSA) defines the four types of serious abuse as:
Sexual Abuse – Knowingly or recklessly causing or attempted to perpetrate rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, indecent assault, statutory sexual assault, or incest
Serious Physical Injury – An injury that causes severe pain, or temporarily or permanently impairs a person’s physical functioning.
Serious Bodily Injury – An injury that causes a substantial risk or death or causes permanent disfigurement, protracted loss, or impairment of function
Suspicious Death – while not defined in the Older Adult Protective Services Act, a general definition for suspicious death is an unexpected death that is not medically or legally explained.
Should I Contact Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Near Me?
If your loved one has suffered from neglect or abuse in a Pennsylvania or New Jersey Nursing Home, you may want to reach out to Pennsylvania nursing home neglect lawyers for representation. Nursing home abuse can take many forms. Our attorneys can help guide you on your legal options if your loved one suffered from one of these abusive acts in a nursing home:
- Physical Abuse – use of intentional physical force against a nursing home resident. This may include hitting, kicking, pinching, or physically restraining them against their will.
- Sexual Abuse – forced on non-consensual sexual contact with an older adult. This can be committed by nursing home staff, other residents, vendors or anyone who comes into contact with the resident.
- Neglect – Neglect occurs when the nursing home fails to protect and older adult from harm or meet their needs. This can result in serious injuries or illnesses.
- Emotional abuse – Intentional acts to inflict mental pain, fear and distress.
- Financial abuse – Unauthorized and improper use of an older adult’s resources, such as stealing their credit cards or siphoning their pension checks.
What Should I Look for When Hiring Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Near Me?
It can be difficult to know what to look for when hiring a nursing home neglect attorney. There are a few things you can look for to help decide which attorney may be a good fit for your nursing home neglect lawsuit.
- Look for an attorney who has positive Google Reviews and testimonials. This can help you feel confident that other clients have had a good experience in working with this lawyer.
- Ask the attorney about their experience litigating nursing home neglect cases. Not every personal injury attorney has experience in this niche case type.
- Ask the attorney about any awards or accolades they have received.
Contact the Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm Today
Call our team of Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at the Wieand Law Firm. Our team of attorneys have years of experience in litigating these types of cases. Our in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations governing the nursing home industry enable us to pursue the best possible result for your case. Most importantly, we litigate these cases because we want to help victims of nursing home neglect get justice, and that negligent nursing homes are held liable when they cause serious injuries or death. Call 215-666-7777 or send us a message via the online form to speak directly with an attorney.