The dedicated legal team of Caputo & Mariotti
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
There are over 1.4 million people who live in nursing homes in the United States. And with the recent Covid-19 pandemic, many have opened our eyes to the often ignored issue of abuse and neglect in nursing homes across Pennsylvania. These residents are our most vulnerable and need to be taken care of as such. Yet, thanks to understaffing and poor management, nursing homes do anything but take care of our elderly.
At Caputo & Mariotti, our nursing home abuse lawyer has over decades of experience handling nursing home negligence lawsuits in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Pittston, and across Northeastern Pennsylvania. As personal injury lawyers, we understand the problems these cases can face without the right lawyer fighting for your loved one’s rights. With millions in compensation earned for our clients, we will get the justice your family members deserve for these acts of negligence.
What Constitutes Neglect in a Nursing Home?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration of Aging, abuse is defined as “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.”
Not all abuse involves a visual injury. In fact, sometimes you may not even see the abuse occur until it’s too late. There are five common types of negligence those that live in nursing homes can endure:
- Physical abuse: The most easily recognizable form of abuse, physical abuse includes hitting, slapping, pushing, and other types of attacks. Physical abuse can also refer to violent actions such as physically restraining a nursing home resident.
- Emotional abuse: Constant verbal degradation, threats of violence, even sarcastic remarks can cause a person can experience fear, anxiety, and depression.
- Sexual abuse: Any type of unwanted sexual interaction, from the slightest unwanted touch to suggestive comments to sexual assault, falls under this category.
- Financial abuse: This occurs when the person responsible for handling the finances of another individual exploit their position. This can result in late bill payments, taking money out of the individual’s account without permission, or even tricking a resident into changing their will.
- Neglect: Examples of neglect include poor hygiene, malnutrition, failing to provide medications, or overmedicating.
In addition, many nursing home residents may be considered “difficult” by staff members and are bullied into thinking that a simple request is considered troublesome. For example, a nursing home resident may go hungry because they’re too afraid to ask for something to eat for fear of being reprimanded.
How Can You Prove Nursing Home Negligence?
To prove nursing home abuse can be difficult if you’re not sure what to look for. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents are too ashamed or afraid to come forward and let their families know what is going on behind closed doors of a long-term care facility.
If you suspect your loved one is experiencing nursing home neglect, there are some warning signs of nursing home abuse you should watch out for, such as:
- Bruises, cuts, or bleeding
- Changes in emotion or personality, such as someone who once was outgoing and bubbly is now withdrawn
- Bedsores if the resident is bed-bound
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unpaid bills or changes to the resident’s will or power of attorney
- Unexplained diseases or infections
- Physical discomfort
If your loved one is experiencing any of these signs, the next step is crucial to any claim you may file later on. The first thing you should do is try to talk with your loved one and see if you can get the full story of what is going on. Ask if they are being harmed or feel threatened living in the facility. They may not admit to it so you may need to trust your instincts on the matter.
Your next step is to speak with the nursing home administrators and bring them your concerns. Ask what can be done to ensure your loved one’s safety. The facility should have a grievance resolution procedure in place that you can follow.
Try to gather as much information and evidence as possible. Take photos of the injuries, save any medical reports, and keep a journal of any concerns you may have about abuse or events of abnormalities that make you suspect abuse. You may also want to consider moving your loved one out of the facility and get them into a safer environment.
If the facility fails to address your concerns or the abuse continues, it’s time to speak with the nursing home abuse attorneys at Caputo & Mariotti. Our nursing home neglect lawyer will help you pursue legal action against the nursing home to make sure this abuse will never happen again.
What Can You Sue a Nursing Home For?
When suing for nursing home negligence, you can hold either the employees and/or the nursing home liable for the acts of abuse. There are several grounds for filing a claim such as negligent hiring practices, understaffing issues, inadequate training by the facility, and even medication errors and medical malpractice.
If your claim is successful, you could receive the following in compensation:
Economic damages: These would include any medical expenses that accrued because of the abuse.
Noneconomic damages: These include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment.
You may also receive punitive damages as a way to punish the defendants so these acts of negligence never happen again. However, this is only rewarded in rare cases of drastic abuse.
Why Choose a Nursing Home Lawyer at Caputo & Mariotti?
The nursing home abuse lawyer at Caputo & Mariotti is dedicated to the concerned, aggressive representation of our clients regardless of the case they are handling. We pride ourselves on the personal relationships the principals develop with each and every client.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't have to pay anything if we fail to get you the compensation that you deserve following an accident. With only two years to file your personal injury claim, your time may be running out. The sooner you call us, the quicker we can get to work, gathering and protecting evidence.
If you suspect or know that your loved one is experiencing abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility, now is the time to act. Contact Caputo & Mariotti today to schedule a free consultation.
Personal injuries can cause permanent disabilities, financial losses, and a greatly reduced quality of life. Lawsuits cannot repair the harm you may have suffered, but they can help you obtain the financial losses you may have experienced following the accident. Settlement offers can pay for medical treatment, replaced lost income and property, and provide security for both you and your family for years to come.
Remember the insurance company is not there to make friends -- it is trying to get the lowest possible settlement available. Do not take the first settlement it offers.
If you or your loved one have been seriously injured, call Caputo & Mariotti's Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at (570) 342-9999, or use our online contact form to contact us now for a FREE Consultation.