Families all across New Mexico rely on nursing homes to provide medical care, support, and rehabilitative services to their loved ones. Unfortunately, the facilities that are meant to care for some of our most vulnerable populations often end up doing far more harm than good. If your loved one was harmed while in the care of a nursing home, a Hobbs nursing home abuse lawyer can help advocate on their behalf.
Nursing home abuse claims can take time, so it is important to begin the process as soon as possible. Your family member’s remaining time may be limited, and recovering compensation to help address their injuries will help ensure that their final years are as happy and comfortable as possible.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It is never easy to witness a loved one’s physical and emotional decline as they age. However, it is important that you pay attention to any concerning changes in health or psychological well-being, as it could be an indication of improper treatment. Do not ignore any of the following signs of nursing home abuse:
- Bruises, red marks, or cuts
- Broken bones
- Acting withdrawn
- Fear of being left alone
- Refusal to talk
- Inability to make eye contact
- Easily startled
- Physical or emotional outbursts
- Torn or stained garments, including underwear
- Unexplained weight loss
- Missing checkbooks or debit cards
- Sudden changes to wills or other estate planning documents
- Large withdrawals from bank accounts
If you notice any of the above signs of nursing home abuse or suspect that someone is harming your loved one, immediately notify Adult Protective Services Statewide Intake at 1-866-654-3219 or 1-505-476-4912. For cases specifically occurring in Hobbs, Lea County, or other areas of southeast New Mexico, you may also call 1-575-937-5056.
Once you have reported the abuse and made your best efforts to secure your loved one in a safe environment, it may be time to explore your legal options. A Hobbs nursing home abuse lawyer from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm will be by your side as you navigate the legal system to restore justice on behalf of your loved one.
The Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
You may file a nursing home abuse lawsuit for acts of abuse as well as neglect. While ultimately abuse and neglect both cause harm to nursing home residents, it is important to distinguish between the two so that you and your lawyer can succinctly argue your case. Although it will be difficult to revisit the details of the harm that was caused to your family member, demonstrating the exact ways in which they were wronged is necessary for securing compensation.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse occurs when staff and other caretakers at nursing home facilities cause intentional harm to residents. Your loved one might have been the victim of one or more of the following types of abuse:
- Physical Abuse – Hitting, kicking, biting, pinching, or using unnecessary physical restraints are all considered forms of physical abuse. Physical abuse may worsen existing medical conditions or create new health concerns.
- Emotional and Psychological Abuse – Abuse is not always physical. Verbal threats, insults, and put downs can cause immense psychological distress among victims, limiting their enjoyment in life. It is not uncommon for victims of emotional or psychological abuse to become withdrawn or stop caring for themselves.
- Financial Abuse – Any time that a nursing home resident’s money or valuable belongings are taken from them, it is considered financial abuse. Using a victim’s debit card, taking their retirement funds, forging checks, or stealing valuable items out of their room all fall under the umbrella of financial abuse.
- Sexual Abuse – Unwanted touching (particularly of the genitals or breasts), forced nudity, forced unwanted observation of sexual acts, or any type of non-consensual sexual contact is considered sexual abuse.
Always believe a loved one who reports suffering physical, emotional, psychological, financial, or sexual abuse, and take the necessary steps to get them to safety. Remember that many victims of abuse are too afraid to tell anyone what is going on, so never hesitate to make your concerns known and to take action for their safety.
Nursing Home Neglect
While abuse is an intentional act to cause harm, nursing home neglect is a lack of action and care that results in harm to residents. Examples of nursing home abuse that we see far too often include:
- Failure to administer medications
- Not giving residents sufficient food and water
- Failing to treat illnesses or injuries
- Insufficient supervision while eating or during physical activities
- Not changing bedding or clothing on a regular basis
Failing to provide basic needs such as health care, food, and a clean environment can cause irreparable harm to residents.
Should You Hire a Hobbs Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
Nursing homes frequently deny any accusations of abuse or neglect. When it is just you and your family member’s word against a company and its insurer, your chances of securing maximum compensation are minimal. The nursing home abuse lawyers at Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm refuse to let any of our clients be pressured or bullied into settling for anything less than they are owed.
When you work alongside the experienced attorneys at our law firm, you’ll never have to worry about missing deadlines for paperwork or dealing with the insurance company and can focus on being by your loved one’s side.
Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Depending on a victim’s age and the severity of their injuries, recovering from nursing home abuse or neglect can be a life-long effort. Victims who are already living on a fixed retirement income are unlikely to have the resources to fully address the extent of the harm they suffered. Nursing home abuse lawsuits seek to provide compensation for our elderly loved ones who have suffered at the hands of others, which can help address damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional or psychological trauma
- Funeral expenses
The Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers of Buckingham Barrera Vega Are Standing By
Your loved one deserved better than to be mistreated by their caregivers. While there is nothing that can undo the past, compensation secured through a nursing home abuse lawsuit can certainly help address the resulting harm they suffered.
Our Hobbs nursing home abuse lawyers have dedicated their legal careers to helping one of our most vulnerable populations get the help and dignity they deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation so that we can discuss the merits of your legal claim.