Chester County, Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When a family places a parent or loved one in a nursing home, they are promised the highest quality care, and that their loved ones will be treated with dignity and respect. Nursing facilities that fail to deliver on these basic promises should be held accountable for the emotional, physical, and financial damage they cause. Litigation is a powerful tool that can be used to bring justice and get compensation for residents that have been injured due to poor quality care or abuse.
If you’re concerned about someone you love being victimized by cruel treatment or neglect at a care facility, you need a committed and aggressive attorney on your side. To schedule a completely free and confidential legal consultation, call Chester County nursing home abuse lawyer Brent Wieand at (215) 666-7777.
Why Choose Brent Wieand?
When you’re worried about a loved one residing in a nursing home, it can feel like a hopeless and overwhelming situation — but you don’t have to face this difficult time on your own. Experienced trial attorney Brent Wieand has obtained numerous settlements and monetary awards for victims injured due to the negligence or carelessness of others, and regularly handles a wide variety of elder abuse and neglect matters, including but not limited to:
- Bedsores (Pressure Ulcers)
- Bone Fractures
- Dosage Errors
- Improper Wound Care
- Malnourishment and Dehydration
- Medication Errors
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Understaffing and Negligent Supervision
- Wandering and Elopement
- Wrongful Death
Creator of The Nursing Home Injury Help Center website, Brent Wieand was recently named to Super Lawyers’ highly selective “Rising Stars,” which accepts only 2.5% of Pennsylvania attorneys.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse has many manifestations — some of which are more subtle than others. It’s extremely important to be vigilant if you suspect your loved one may be in danger, because abuse is not always obvious or immediately apparent.
Physical abuse warning signs can include:
- Broken Bones
- Cuts and Lacerations
- Limping Gait
Psychological abuse is invisible to the eye — but its effects can be just as harmful. Psychological mistreatment may involve:
- Forced Isolation
- Intentional Neglect
- Verbal Harassment
Financial abuse occurs when nursing home staff exploit a resident’s financial resources. Common forms include:
- Encouraging Poor Decisions
- Forging Signatures
- Theft of Money
- Theft of Possessions
Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact, and can inflict devastating physical and psychological harm on elderly victims. Warning signs may include:
- Depression or Agitation
- Difficulty Sitting or Walking
- Pelvic Injuries
- Social Withdrawal
- STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
What is Caregiver Neglect?
Under federal law, Section 42 U.S. Code § 1397j(16)(a) defines neglect as:
The failure of a caregiver or fiduciary to provide the goods or services that are necessary to maintain the health or safety of an elder.
Neglect occurs when nursing home staff provide substandard care, or fail to provide basic necessities. For example, the most common causes of nursing home injuries are falls, which often occur due to poor supervision and understaffing. Neglectful medical care may also cause serious injuries, such as bedsores (pressure ulcers), dehydration, malnutrition, or infection.
How Long Do I Have to File an Injury Claim?
If you are considering bringing a claim, it is crucial to consult with an attorney immediately. In Pennsylvania, there is a two-year statute of limitations on negligence actions, which means that you have two years to file a claim. If you miss your window of opportunity, you will be left without legal recourse.
Where possible, you should consult with an attorney well before the two-year deadline in order to allow time for a thorough and comprehensive claim investigation. This process may include collecting medical records, conducting interviews, and consulting with medical experts.
Can I Bring a Lawsuit if I Signed a Binding Arbitration Agreement?
Many Chester County nursing homes will request that a new resident signs something called a binding arbitration agreement upon admission to the facility. Unfortunately, the core purpose of these agreements is to limit the resident’s rights to a jury trial in the event of personal injury or wrongful death. Typically, these clauses provide that a resident may not file a lawsuit if a claim arises, and must submit to arbitration instead.
However, these agreements are frequently being struck by the courts as unconscionable or unenforceable. Whether your agreement is considered enforceable will depend on your unique set of circumstances. If your claim involves an arbitration clause, it is important to consult with an attorney, who will help keep you compliant with the law while protecting and exercising your legal rights.
Free Chester County Resources for Families and Seniors
The Chester County, Pennsylvania Department of Aging Services is an excellent resource for questions you may have concerning elder care. This agency provides home- and community-based protection, information, and assistance to people aged 60 and over, and offers services including:
- Access to support programs, which may allow elderly persons to receive services in their home.
- Nursing home assessment and transition assistance.
- Protective services which investigate reports of elder neglect and abuse.
Your loved one deserves to feel comfortable and safe. To arrange for a private case evaluation completely free of charge, call Chester County nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand at (215) 666-7777, or contact us online.
Disclosure: Attorney Brent Wieand’s office is located in Philadelphia, PA. We happily serve clients throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.