Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Philadelphia PA
When families make the decision to place their loved ones in a nursing home, it is usually because they need more care than the family is able to provide. Many elderly people required around-the-clock care because of age and medical conditions, making it almost impossible for a family member to be the primary caretaker. So, the family will find what they hope is a nursing home in Pennsylvania and entrust the care of their loved one to the staff of the home. Unfortunately, far too many families discover their loved one’s care is being neglected. In these cases, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA clients recommend should be contacted.
The effect aging has on an elderly person’s physical and mental abilities leaves them especially vulnerable. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), one in six seniors are victim of some type of abuse. Even more alarming is that two out of three healthcare workers that provide aid to the elderly admit to having abused a senior in their care. This abuse can have a significant impact on a nursing home resident’s health, so it is imperative that family members learn to recognize the red flags that indicate abuse or neglect is taking place. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA advises to watch for the following:
- Signs of physical abuse: There are many ways that a resident can be subjected to physical abuse, including pinching, hitting, slapping, and even refusing care. Watch for any bruises or cuts. If your loved one has broken a bone, make sure to question staff thoroughly to find out the specifics of how the incident occurred.
- Signs of emotional abuse: Emotional abuse doesn’t have the obvious marks that physical abuse does, but there are still signs that it could be happening to your loved one. Some of the more common are sudden changes in personality, depression, and anxiety. Also, take note if your loved one becomes quiet or uncomfortable around certain staff members. That can indicate those staff members are the ones who are abusing your loved one.
- Signs of neglect: As mentioned above, the majority of seniors are in nursing homes because their families are unable to provide the care they need. The expectation is that the nursing home will do that. It is also the law and requirement in order to keep their license to operate. If the resident is not getting enough food, water, personal hygiene care, and medical care, they are victims of nursing home neglect. Bedsores, weight loss, changes in appearance, skin that is paper-like in appearance, are all signs of neglect.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm for Help
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC immediately to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Philadelphia, PA nursing home abuse lawyer to find out what legal recourse your family has.
Falls in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are tasked with caring for a frail elderly population. Many nursing home residents require hands-on assistance with care to prevent injury from falls. Despite the promise of care, many nursing homes fail to implement measures to prevent resident injury from falls. Unfortunately, each year between 50-75% of nursing home residents sustains a fall. While many of these falls result in no injuries, about 10-20% of these falls result in serious injury, including fractures, lacerations, and hematomas.
When a resident is admitted to a nursing home, they should quickly be assessed for fall risk. There are several standardized risk assessment tools available, and these risk assessments typically include risk factors such as a history of falls, cognition, incontinence, vision, balance, comorbidities, and medications. Because the risk for injury from a fall is significant, a fall risk assessment should be completed within the first 24 hours of admission. Once a resident is identified as a fall risk, the nursing home is required to implement proactive interventions to minimize the risk of falls and injury. These interventions might include participation in physical or occupational therapy, non-slip footwear, and environmental modifications. Fall prevention interventions must be personalized to fit the residents’ needs; standard “cookie-cutter” approaches applied to all residents are not effective.
Causes of Falls in Nursing Homes
Our Philadelphia PA nursing home abuse lawyer shares that because the residents of our nation’s nursing homes are frail and have significant health issues, they are more prone than the average population of older adults to sustain a fall. Muscle weakness and gait problems are frequent cause of falls among nursing home residents, accounting for about 24% of falls. Loss of strength and mobility that leads to falls frequently occurs when a nursing home does not provide the opportunity for a resident to maintain their functional abilities through programs such as restorative ambulation or “walk to dine” programs.
Environmental hazards are a significant cause of falls for nursing home residents. Residents are at risk of falls when the nursing home fails to maintain adequate lighting levels, set the bed height appropriately, or provide a wheelchair that is properly fitted for the resident. Additionally, wet floors and tripping hazards, such as floor mats left on the floor while the resident is out of bed, pose additional risks.
Inappropriate or duplicative medication therapy can increase fall risk and injuries from falls. Medications such as anxiolytics, sedatives, and narcotics are known to increase the risk of falls in older adults. Nursing homes that fail to recognize that residents on multiple medications for the same condition (for example, a resident who has both Ativan and Buspar for anxiety) put that resident at high risk for falls with injury.
If your loved one has fallen
While not all falls in nursing homes can be prevented, many falls could or should have been. When a facility fails to avoid a preventable fall, serious injuries can occur. Injuries sustained during a fall – such as fractures and subdural hematomas – can have lasting or permanent effects on the resident’s function, mobility, and independence. Additional medical care and treatments needed for post-fall care can also have a devastating impact on an elderly’s resident’s finances.
Take the first step to protect your loved one
By contacting a nursing home injury lawyer, you can take the first step in pursuing fair compensation for the pain and devastation caused by unnecessary fall injuries. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC, will take the time to listen, review your unique situation, and provide the skilled advice you need to take action.
Managing Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect that your aging parent or loved one is experiencing abuse while in the care of a nursing home, you may require the guidance of a nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA families depend on. Choosing a nursing home is not something that families take lightly, and chances are there were several reasons you and your family chose nursing home care for your aging family member. However, we share that there are several types of abuse that an older adult might be susceptible to when cared for in a nursing home facility. While there are many excellent facilities, the sad reality is that some nursing homes do not take proper care of their residents. Families must protect their loved ones by taking immediate action to protect their loved ones by ensuring their safety and contacting the Wieand Law Firm, LLC, might be appropriate.
Common Reasons Families Choose Nursing Homes
Deciding to place your aging family member in a nursing home was probably an incredibly difficult decision to reach. However, taking action was probably critical for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Care provided by family has become more than they can handle
- Your loved one is unable to care for themselves and requires assistance with daily living
- They need more intensive medical care or suffer from long-term disease
- It is not safe for them to remain in the home or receive care from a loved one
- Caregivers are experiencing feelings of stress and are overwhelmed
In most cases, choosing a qualified nursing home should provide your family member with quality services: 24-hour support, medication management, recreational activities, socialization, personal care, and, in some cases, rehabilitative services and care for special needs.
Abuse Comes in Many Forms
Our Philadelphia, Pennsylvania nursing home abuse lawyer knows that entrusting a nursing home and their staff to care for your loved one probably wasn’t something taken lightly by your family. When you choose a nursing home, you expect that they will provide them with exemplary care. Unfortunately, poor administration, low staffing, overworked, underpaid, and underqualified staff are all reasons nursing home residents may suffer from abuse. There are several types of abuse, such as:
- Physical abuse: hitting, pushing, unexplained injuries or unnecessary restraints
- Financial abuse: stealing money or valuables and, taking control of finances unnecessarily
- Neglect: isolation, poor hygiene, lack of socialization, medication mismanagement, lack of food, general lack of care
- Sexual abuse: unwanted touching, tears, lesions or bruising near genitals, unexplainable STDs
- Emotional abuse: verbal abuse, not allowing the family to visit, not allowing residents normal freedoms, preventing access to resources
It’s incredibly common for the abuser to be employed within the confines of the nursing home. Families who suspect harm may feel completely powerless. However, it will be critical for the family to take immediate action to prevent further abuse.
5 Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
Recognizing that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse can be a devastating and difficult to comprehend. Many families who witness signs of nursing home abuse feel unsure of what steps to take or how to help. This list will help you capably take the steps needed to make sure the suspected abuse is investigated and ensure that your loved one is safe and protected.
1. Call the Police
If you suspect that a crime has been committed against a nursing home resident, the first step to take is to contact the police. Crimes against older adults, such as physical assault, sexual assault, or financial abuse, occur all too frequently. It’s critical to involve the proper local authorities to assure that a potential criminal act is thoroughly investigated.
The Elder Justice Act requires that nursing home staff members report suspected crimes and abuse of older adults. However, not all nursing homes fulfill the required reporting. Nursing home abuse lawyers Philadelphia PA counts on for these cases highly recommend that you personally notify local authorities if you suspect a crime against an older adult who is living in a nursing home.
2. Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.
The Pennsylvania Department of Aging investigates nursing home abuse. According to the Department, common signs of abuse may include bruises, broken bones, weight loss, and unusual withdrawals from bank accounts.
The department operates a 24-hour elder abuse hotline. Reporters may remain anonymous and have legal protection for retaliation and discrimination. You can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505 to report suspected abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is responsible to investigate this report within 72 hours.
3. Report a Concern the Pennsylvania Department of Health
File a complaint of abuse or neglect with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. This Department is responsible for regulatory monitoring of nursing homes through performance of annual inspections. These inspections help assure that nursing homes follow state and local regulations, including regulations on nursing home abuse and neglect.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is also responsible for investigating nursing home concerns and complaints. You can report a concern by:
- Calling 1-800-254-5164
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax 717-772-2163
- Via mail: Division of Nursing Care Facilities Director, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Nursing Care Facilities, 625 Forster St, Room 526, Health and Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120
4. Notify the Nursing Home Administrator
Federal regulations state that nursing home residents have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Once the nursing home administrator is notified of suspected resident abuse, they are required to take immediate steps to protect residents and investigate the allegation.
If possible, speak to the nursing home administrator directly to demand an immediate investigation of any suspected abuse or neglect. Request a grievance form or follow-up from the conversation via email so that your concern is lodged in writing.
Even if an alleged violation was reported to law enforcement, a nursing home is required to fully conduct its own internal investigation. In Pennsylvania, the results of the investigation must be submitted within 5 working days of the incident to the PA Department of Health.
5. Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help
The nursing home abuse lawyers Philadelphia PA trusts at the Wieand Law Firm. Our attorneys are well-versed in both federal and state regulations governing nursing homes, and we know how to hold nursing homes liable when residents suffer from preventable abuse and neglect.
Our firm offers a free claim evaluation to help you understand your legal rights and options. If you decide to pursue a claim, our lawyers work under a contingency fee agreement. This means that our law firm bears all financial risk in the case, and we don’t earn any fees unless we win money for your claim.
If your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, it’s critical to act quickly to ensure their safety. No resident should have to suffer from nursing home abuse and neglect. The nursing home abuse lawyers Philadelphia PA counts on at the Wieand Law Firm are relentless advocates for nursing home neglect victims and their families. Call 215-666-7777 or send a message via the online firm to speak directly with an attorney.
Having the ability to recognize signs of abuse is critical when an aging loved one receives care from a nursing home. This can not only protect your loved one but can help to prevent possible mistreatment. If your loved one has been injured or suffered losses due to abuse in a nursing home facility, you may have the ability to take legal action against the liable party. To learn more about how Wieand Law Firm, LLC, can help you hold those who caused harm accountable, contact our nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, PA to schedule a consultation.
When you would like to bring a lawsuit against a nursing home for abuse or neglect, you are likely wondering who is the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Wieand Law Firm, LLC would like to help you with your lawsuit. We understand that it can be hard to understand how a caregiver at a nursing home could abuse your loved one. Your loved one should not be suffering from abuse or neglect and you may be wondering what you can do when it comes to proving damages. If this situation sounds familiar, do not wait any longer. We are known for having one of the Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyers and we would like to help you now. Give us a call to schedule your appointment.
How do I file a civil lawsuit?
As one of the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia knows, one of the first steps you need to take for pursuing a claim is to speak with an attorney. While you are under no obligation to hire an attorney, we understand this area of the law because it is our specialty. You want to ensure that you work with someone who does not focus on another area of the law (like divorce or truck accidents) because they will not have the knowledge it takes when fighting on your behalf.
First, we will work to file a complaint with the court clerk. The nursing home we are filing against will then take similar action and we will be in the discovery period. During this time, we would gather witnesses and exchange documents with the nursing home’s legal team. It is possible that before ever going to court, we may reach some type of resolution that you and your family would be happy with. If this is the case, we would not need to pursue the matter any further.
On the other hand, we may end up going to trial. When this happens, we will need to prove certain elements. This is where it is particularly handy to research the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia. We will need to show:
- The nursing home your loved one resided in owed them a duty of care. This should not be difficult since that would be written into the contract.
- The nursing home failed to live up to this duty of care by doing something they should not (like abuse) or not doing something they should have done (like neglect).
- Because of the actions of the nursing home, your loved one has suffered from harm.
When it Matters you Need the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Philadelphia
When a family member has been abused, you need the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia to advocate diligently for your family member. We know the horrifying national statistics – that approximately one in 10 seniors in this country are victims of some form of abuse on a regular basis. This includes emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. It also includes neglect.
Many families find it necessary to place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes because they require constant care. But it is in these facilities where many elderly abuse victims suffer the abuse. The medical conditions they suffer – Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other medical conditions – often make them more susceptible to the abuse.
Wieand Law Firm, LLC: Nursing Home Lawyers You Can Trust
When you are looking for the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia, you might realize there are many different firms available; however, there is only one like Wieand Law Firm, LLC. For years we have been helping families protect their rights and defend against abuse and neglect in a nursing home. Guided by our extensive experience and determination for getting justice on behalf of the elderly of America, we have successfully recovered millions in damages. It is important to seek a consultation with one of the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia if you have a case.
Wrongful Death and Negligence in A Nursing Home
When you place your elderly loved one in a nursing home, you might naturally expect that they will be in good hands. You assume they will be given the care, respect, and support they deserve – especially when you are paying thousands of dollars every month. What goes on behind closed doors might be very different from what you can imagine. All of the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia are appalled by data released by the U.S. Medicaid system which suggests 1 in 3 elderly Americans will suffer some kind of abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Recognizing the Signs of Abuse
The Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys at Wieand Law Firm, LLC are often consulted by family members who are unsure how to even know what signs may indicate there is abuse or neglect happening. Victims of nursing home abuse are usually too frightened to tell anyone about what is happening to them so it is crucial for families to know what to look for. Some of the things we share with clients include:
Visit You Loved One Frequently: Most nursing home abuse victims are isolated, this is why it is so easy for the perpetrator to target them. Families who visit their loved ones on a regular basis can help prevent the abuse for several reasons. First of all, visiting the victim ensures they are not left isolated. The second reason is that families will be able to pick up on any signs of abuse if they are seeing their loved one frequently.
Watch for the Signs of Abuse: Some of the more usual signs of abuse include bruises, cuts, or other unusual or unexplained marks. Failure to keep the patient clean or development of bed sores are also signs your loved one is being neglected by nursing home staff.
Know the Staff: When a victim is being abused in a nursing home, the person abusing them is often one of their caregivers. Make sure you get to know each member of the staff that is taking care of your elderly family member. Having a relationship with the staff will allow you to observe the interactions between them and your loved one. How is the staff with your loved one? Are they patient and concerned or are they belittling and in a rush? How is the staff with family? Do they share details of your loved one’s day and answer all questions or are they evasive and provide hardly any information?
Recognizing nursing home abuse is not always easy, which is why many American families don’t realize what is going on until it’s been happening for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, some don’t see the abuse until it’s too late.
Nursing home abuse can result in the death of the elder. The following are some of the most common reasons for an elderly person to lose their life because of neglect or abuse in a nursing home:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Bed sores (when left untreated)
- Medication error
- Extreme abuse
How You Can Take Legal Action for a Wrongful Death
If you lost a loved one who was living in a nursing home, and you believe it resulted because of abuse or neglect, you should contact the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia to explain the details of your case. Nothing can fully heal the pain that may have resulted from what happened. However, by taking legal action you might be able to prevent it from happening to another person. Furthermore, it can bring forth a sense of justice and relief. Compensation for any medical expenses, pain, suffering, emotional anguish, and funeral costs may be attainable.
It is believed that 70% of nursing home abuse cases are not reported. If you believe your loved one was abused in a nursing home, silence can, and should, be broken. Even if you don’t have evidence or all the facts; if you feel something isn’t right, please call the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia for help.
Contact the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Philadelphia
Anyone who purposely causes harm to an elderly person should be legally pursued in civil, and when possible, criminal court. To explore your legal options, please call the nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia today.
If you suspect your family member has suffered mistreatment or abuse at the nursing home they reside at, contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC for help. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorney can discuss the details of your case, as well as what the legal options are that your family may have. In addition to reporting the abuse to the proper municipal and state law enforcement and other agencies, your family may be entitled to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. Call our office for details and assistance.
Nursing Home Abuse
Elderly and frail nursing home residents are often unable to adequately express or advocate for themselves. They are often completely dependent on the nursing home staff. Too often, this staff is improperly trained or there is the issue of understaffing, increasing the risk of abuse to the nursing home resident. These incidences of abuse can result in serious, or sometimes grave injuries. The inability of residents to advocate for themselves can make nursing home abuse cases difficult to prove. Finding the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia is critical for getting justice for your loved one if he/she has suffered abuse.
Nursing home abuse is one of the biggest fears that any family of a nursing home resident has when admitting a loved one into a long-term care facility. If you think your loved one has suffered abuse at a nursing home, you should seek assistance from the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC represents elderly nursing home residents and their families in their time of need.
Types of Abuse
Abuse can take many forms and can happen when a nursing home fails to properly screen or oversee staff. Physical abuse is the intentional infliction of bodily harm to a resident and may result in physical injuries such as welts, bruises, or more significant injuries such as fractures. Sexual abuse can be evidenced by trauma to the genitals or bleeding from the vagina or anus that is not supported by a clinical diagnosis.
Neglect is a very common type of resident abuse. Residents who are not attended to may endure painful skin breakdown, such as pressure ulcers, or dehydration. Neglect to follow a resident’s plan of care for transfers or not answering a call bell in a timely manner can result in significant injury from falls. You will want the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia to address these serious concerns and help residents and families obtain financial payment to address medical costs caused by nursing home abuse.
Some nursing homes push for residents and their representatives sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition for admission to the facility. An arbitration agreement requires that the parties use an arbitrator (usually who favors the nursing home and wants to get more nursing home business) to resolve disputes rather than filing a lawsuit. This puts nursing home residents at a disadvantage.
Another problem with using arbitration to resolve nursing home neglect claims is that the hearing is confidential and does not become part of a public record. Therefore, problems such as abuse at a nursing home are hidden from the public.
Pre-dispute arbitration agreements are frequently not explained to residents or their representatives. Additionally, residents may fear that failure to sign an arbitration agreement will be the cause of their unjust discharge from a nursing home. It’s important for you to understand your rights regarding mediation agreements. You should seek the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia to help you understand and examine the legality of these types of agreements.
Filing a Nursing Home Claim or Lawsuit
Hiring the nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia is key to holding a negligent facility account for their actions. At the Wieand Law Firm, LLC we recognize that you need an advocate on your side to navigate the complicated legal battles associated with nursing home abuse. The experienced nursing home lawyers at Wieand Law Firm, LLC will offer professional and empathetic advice and representation that you deserve. To speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer at Wieand Law Firm, LLC call us at today. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation
Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and is not legal advice.
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