Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
All residents in California’s nursing homes have the right to live lives free from abuse and neglect. Indeed, California has recognized the unfortunate reality that residents face abuse on a daily basis. As a result, they passed a collection of statutes dedicated to protecting residents.
These include rights ranging from a requirement that contracts for admission clearly state all costs, to protections from evictions, to rights to be treated with dignity. Despite these well-enumerated laws, many nursing homes are in constant violation of these laws resulting in serious injury or even death for residents.
Escondido nursing home abuse lawyers represent residents and their families who have fallen victim to abuse. However, many cases must be filed within two years of the abuse so time is of the essence, and you should contact a compassionate injury attorney as soon as possible.
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can be separated into two main categories: intentional abuse and neglect. Intentional abuse involves a staffer, doctor or nurse outright denying a patient necessary medication or food. In some instances, it can even take the form of assaults or verbal abuse. Prominent examples of intentional abuse include:
- Slapping, striking or otherwise inappropriately touching residents
- Withholding food
- Withholding medications
- Denying visitations
- Restricting the patient to their room
Civil Versus Criminal Proceedings
Any of these examples is not only a cause of action for a civil lawsuit, but also for criminal charges to be brought against the defendant. While the result of any criminal case will not award monetary damages to the resident, a conviction can be used as evidence in a separate civil trial for compensation.
Even if California’s investigation results in an acquittal or charges are never brought in the first place, the plaintiff may still bring a civil case. Regardless, it is always incumbent upon the resident or their family to bring a civil suit if they wish to be compensated for their injuries.
Cases Involving Neglect
The other main form of abuse comes about when the level of care is poor due to neglect. In these cases, the nursing home may not intentionally mean to harm the resident, but due to inattentiveness or sloppiness, harm still occurs. This is similar to any other case alleging personal injury in that the facility has a duty to care for the residents and when that duty is violated, the resident is harmed.
Common examples of neglectful practices include infrequent bathing, a lack of proper laundry facilities, unnecessarily rough nursing staffs, and bedsores resulting from a lack of turning in bed.
While a criminal investigation may not come about from allegation of neglect, the consequences are no less serious for the resident. Indeed, the injuries that result from neglect can be just as serious as those resulting from intentional abuse. In many cases, the resident may face mental trauma, loss of physical functionality or even death.
How an Escondido Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
Escondido lawyers examine every case of nursing home abuse to determine a number of factors. They listen to the allegations of abuse with both sympathy and an open mind to determine if the case is intentional abuse or neglect. Armed with this information, they are able to file suits alleging the proper causes of action and damages. No one should have to endure abuse, especially not those who are the most vulnerable.
Thankfully, victims of abuse have the right to both file complaints with the State of California and sue the nursing facility for compensation. Escondido nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help hold the abuser responsible, so contact today.