We trust nursing homes to take care of our elderly loved ones and provide them with a high level of care. Most nursing facilities offer older adults a safe, comfortable home and give them the care they need. When nursing home abuse or neglect happens, however, the residents are even more vulnerable than most victims. This is due to their advanced age and often frail condition. Physical abuse in nursing homes can cause long-term physical and psychological damage and can even be fatal.
If your loved one suffered physical abuse in a nursing facility or at the hands of a caregiver, they deserve compensation for their damages. By taking legal action, you can fight for your loved one’s rights and stop the abuser from mistreating other victims. A physical abuse in nursing homes lawyer in Bucks County can help you pursue a case against the at-fault party.
At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our Bucks County attorneys focus on nursing home abuse law. We care about protecting the rights of our clients and their elderly loved ones. Our team investigates your claim, gathers evidence, identifies the responsible parties, and builds a case seeking maximum damages.
We do our work on contingency. This means you do not pay us until you recover compensation. We offer free initial consultations, so there is no risk in coming to talk to us. We can answer your questions, listen to your concerns, and offer straightforward advice. To schedule a consultation right away, call 215-642-2335.
Our Attorneys Fight All Forms of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes.
What defines physical abuse in nursing homes? Does it mean a caregiver or nursing home employee physically attacked an elderly resident? While, sadly, that happens more often than it should, physical abuse in nursing homes can take several forms, each as serious and deplorable as the others.
Active Physical Abuse
Active abuse is the mistreatment that often comes to mind when one considers the term "physical abuse." It involves a perpetrator intentionally inflicting physical pain or injury on a defenseless victim. In this case, an elderly nursing home resident is often far too frail to defend themselves and, due to mental decline, not cognitively able to realize what is happening.
Cases of active physical abuse in nursing homes our team has seen have involved punching, kicking, burning, shaking, shoving, and even smothering elderly victims.
In Pennsylvania, caregivers and nursing home staff can physically restrain residents—but only when it is medically necessary. For instance, restraint may be necessary if a resident requires a shot of medicine but refuses to sit or lie still while it is administered. Residents with dementia might also require restraint from time to time, particularly if they try to leave the premises.
Beyond these limited cases, however, the use of restraints is forbidden. Staff members are never allowed to use physical restraint as a disciplinary measure or a way to avoid dealing with a particularly challenging resident. Doing so can constitute physical abuse.
Physical abuse can take other forms, as well. If you see signs of mistreatment, it is essential you act quickly to protect your loved one’s safety.
Recognize the Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
To put a stop to your loved one's abuse, you must recognize the signs. Not all signs of physical abuse are immediately obvious or visible. Some are psychological, making them more difficult to detect.
If you notice any of the following warning signs in your loved one, you should investigate further to determine if abuse is taking place:
- Cuts and bruises;
- Broken bones;
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Burns or skin lesions;
- Changes in appetite;
- Refusal to take medication;
- Depression or social withdrawal;
- Talk of suicide; and
- Fear or apprehension around a particular caregiver.
Remember, it is better to investigate and be wrong than to stay silent while your loved one continues to suffer.
Know the Steps to Take to Protect Your Loved One
If you notice any of the above signs or otherwise suspect abuse, it is important to take the right steps to protect your loved one.
Most crucially, you must take action. Even if your worries are only suspicions and you lack evidence, you are never wrong to follow up. The best-case scenario is that your suspicions are wrong and you can rest easy.
Take the following steps if you suspect nursing home abuse:
- Make sure your loved one gets any needed emergency care;
- File a report with the facility owner or manager, unless you suspect this person is complicit in the abuse;
- Report your suspicions to the police;
- File a report with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; and
- Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
We Fight for Full Damages in Cases of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes.
You and your loved one might be eligible to recover compensation for a host of economic and non-economic damages. Judgments and settlements in nursing home abuse cases often include payment for the following damages:
- Current and future medical bills, covering the cost of treating injuries from the abuse;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- The cost of transferring to a new facility;
- Punitive damages, awarded to punish the abuser for their wrongdoing; and
- Wrongful death, awarded in a worst-case scenario in which a nursing home resident dies from physical abuse.
Our commitment is to aggressively pursue every form of damages for which you and your loved one are eligible. We fight to hold the responsible party or parties fully liable.
For a Free Consultation With a Bucks County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, Call Cordisco & Saile LLC at 215-642-2335.
The attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC are ready to start working on your case right away. Come in for a free consultation to have all your questions answered. To schedule an appointment, call 215-642-2335.