Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are widespread problems in elder care facilities throughout the United States. Abuse and neglect can both lead to serious accidents, injuries, and in some cases, even wrongful death. If you suspect your parent or other relative may be a victim of negligent care or intentional mistreatment, you need dedicated professional support to help evaluate the situation, exercise your legal rights, and most importantly, get your loved one out of danger.
To set up a completely free and confidential legal consultation, call the Wieand Law Firm at (215) 666-7777. Our Montgomery County nursing home injury lawyers are committed to providing aggressive legal representation for elderly abuse victims and their families, and will fight hard in the pursuit of justice and compensation for all the suffering your loved one has gone through. We represent clients throughout Montgomery County, including but not limited to Bryn Mawr, Conshohocken, King of Prussia, Narberth, Norristown, and Plymouth Meeting.
Like many other institutions, nursing homes are required to meet a strict set of federal standards consolidated under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, sometimes referred to as OBRA ’87 or the FNHRA. The FNHRA establishes basic guidelines and care standards which homes must abide by. Noncompliant facilities are subject to financial penalties, denial of payment, and termination of their agreements with residents. However, despite the many protections provided by the FNHRA, abuse and neglect still persist in many facilities throughout the country. But how are these two issues different?
Abuse means deliberate, intentional mistreatment. While many people equate abuse with physical violence, elder abuse can also be sexual, emotional, or even financial in nature. Needless to say, some forms of abuse are more visible and obvious than others, so it is critically important to communicate with your loved one, and not to be afraid to ask nursing homes tough questions about any injuries, unusual expenses, or personality changes you might notice.
Neglect means a careless failure to live up to the normally accepted standard of care, which is also referred to as negligence. For example, while it is not necessarily abusive to accidentally give a resident the wrong kind of medication, it is extremely careless and negligent. Even though neglect may not be as vicious or willful as abuse, the effects can be just as devastating to both the affected resident and their family members.
Both abuse and neglect can lead to severely harmful accidents and injuries, which can even be fatal in extreme cases. Some common results and signs of mistreatment include but are not limited to:
Signs and symptoms of abuse in a long-term care facility can manifest in a number of ways. Sometimes, a victim shows clear physical signs that abuse has taken place. Others display noticeable personality and mood changes. The physical and mental health of a victim as well as the type of abuse that was experienced are determinants of the sort of signs that may be expressed. Red flags that could be interpreted as elder abuse and neglect include:
If your family has suspicions that their loved one is being abused, do not stay silent out of fear of being wrong. It is better to be safe than sorry. The health and wellness of your loved one is a priority. Consulting with an attorney who has expertise in nursing home litigation is vital. The Montgomery County nursing home attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm, LLC take these types of cases very seriously, and their goal is to provide aggressive representation to victims and their families so neglectful nursing homes are held accountable.
Be advised that you only have a limited amount of time to file a claim against a nursing home in Montgomery County, or anywhere in Pennsylvania. This period of time is called the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations expires after two years beginning from the date of the personal injury or death. If you miss the deadline and the statute expires, you will be left without any further legal recourse to pursue your claim. Even if you are well ahead of the deadline, it is ideal to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Getting an early start will help grant the maximum amount of time for an in-depth investigation.
The death of a loved one is always painful and difficult to cope with. This is especially true of cases where the death was caused by another person’s incompetence, carelessness, or failure to take appropriate medical measures. Pursuant to Pa. Cons. Stat. § 8301(a), Pennsylvania legally defines wrongful death as “the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.” Pennsylvania wrongful death claims must be filed by the person who represent’s the decedent’s estate. Depending on the circumstances of the death, you may be able to receive compensation for damages such as burial and funeral costs, medical expenses prior to death, and any earnings or benefits which are lost.
If your elderly loved one has been hurt by abuse or neglect, or if he or she passed away due to avoidable injury or illness, your family may be eligible for compensation. To arrange for a private case evaluation completely free of charge, contact the Wieand Law Firm LLC today.
Disclosure: This website is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The Wieand Law Firm is based in Philadelphia, PA. We proudly serve clients throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.