When you make the courageous decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you should be confident that he or she is safe and being well cared for. Unfortunately, these institutions sometimes act as conduits for abuse, ranging from theft and misappropriation to neglect or even intentional physical harm.
However, just because these abuses may be common does not mean that a resident must experience them. Federal law, in conjunction with the State’s Department of Human Services, establishes a baseline for competent care in nursing homes, and chief among the associated requirements is the obligation to keep residents safe.
A Fort Collins nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer may be able to help if you or a loved one has suffered harm or neglect in a nursing home. Once retained, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney could investigate the matter, establish your legal rights, and file a claim against negligent nursing home administrators or staff.
Common Forms of Abuse that Occur in Nursing Homes
The most common forms of abuse in assisted care facilities stem from neglect. Examples of injuries that may result from such circumstances include:
- Slips and falls
- Lack of socialization
- Inadequate training for staff on moving residents
- Errors in medication or physical rehabilitation
- Bedsores from inattention
To succeed with a neglect claim, you must demonstrate that the nursing home was negligent. This generally means that a nursing home’s inattention gave rise to an injury.
Conversely, other injuries are the result of intentional abuse. Workers may commit intentional abuse when they use physical violence as a means of discipline, berate residents, or intentionally withhold food, water, or medication.
Unfortunately, many residents of nursing homes are unable to defend themselves or lack the means to speak out in case of abuse. A Fort Collins nursing home abuse attorney could help identity the causes of a nursing home resident’s injuries and take appropriate action.
Holding Abusers and Workers Accountable
If a worker is negligent or outright abusive in their handling of a resident, that worker may of course be personally liable. However, nursing homes themselves may also bear a certain degree of responsibility, even if the abuse may have been the result of an accident.
Under 42 Code of Federal Regulations §483.10, all nursing home residents have a right to a dignified existence that is free of abuse. Some of the very basic standards nursing homes must meet include but are not limited to:
- Making sure residents are properly fed
- Providing the proper amount of fluids
- Giving the right medications at the right times
- Providing the proper supervision
- Administering adequate grooming
- Preventing bed sores, pressure ulcers, and other injuries
In the event a nursing facility fails to uphold these standards, an ensuing civil lawsuit may claim a variety of damages as compensable. For example, elderly residents are especially vulnerable to broken bones, sprained ligaments, and internal bleeding, and associated treatment costs may be factored into a civil suit.
In addition, many incidents may also inflict emotional trauma, which may be recoverable as non-economic damages. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Fort Collins could help evaluate the effects of abuse on a nursing home resident and work towards holding all responsible parties liable for the resulting damage.
A Fort Collins Nursing Home Abuse Attorney May be Able to Bring Peace of Mind
Failures to provide appropriate medical care, safe living conditions, and even appropriate food and water can all constitute nursing home abuse. Fortunately, a Fort Collins nursing home abuse lawyer could help you if you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse.
We could work to evaluate the effects of the abuse on a resident, investigate the matter at the nursing home, and help you enforce your legal rights and pursue a claim for all appropriate compensation. If you believe your loved one’s rights to good treatment has been violated in any way, get in touch with us.