When your loved one lives in a nursing home, you may worry they’re not getting the care they deserve. Nursing homes that fail to provide proper healthcare and maintain resident safety could put your loved one at risk of illness or injury. While discovering your loved one has not been getting the care they deserve, their health may have been affected. You may be eligible to take legal action against the nursing home for endangering your loved one’s wellbeing. In New Mexico, the Albuquerque nursing home abuse lawyers from Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm can help you fight for your loved one’s rights.
Deciding to pursue legal action can put a lot of stress on someone to the point where they may not think it’s worth it. However, the people who put your loved one in danger need to be held accountable and the costs of the injuries or illnesses can be extensive. The compensation from the claim can help with these costs. A skilled legal representative will know the best way to maximize your compensation.
The Advantages of Having a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If your loved one has been abused and you’re taking legal action, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer at your side. Our lawyers have fought for those who have been abused in New Mexico. We understand how devastating it can be to see your loved one was treated poorly, and their health suffered because of it. As we investigate your case, we’ll assess the full damage the elder abuse caused.
The damages can be split into two categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages would cover costs with a monetary amount, like hospital care and continued medical care. Noneconomic cover the hidden costs of the abuse—your loved one may have experienced pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other repercussions that don’t necessarily relate to a financial amount. When our lawyers review your loved one’s case, we’ll take everything into account when determining what your loved one’s compensation should be.
Our lawyers will help you at every step of the way. Your case may be settled outside of court, but if the other party isn’t offering a fair settlement amount, you may need to take the matter to the courthouse. While this can seem intimidating, our attorneys in Albuquerque know how to present a case to the jury and can help prepare you so you feel confident and ready.
Timing is a crucial factor in personal injury claims. Our lawyers will know which laws apply to your case and will act accordingly so you make all the important deadlines and other requirements to make your claim valid.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
You may be wondering if you have grounds for a nursing home abuse claim. There are many ways that abuse can occur and often have signs you can look for that indicate abuse.
The National Institute on Aging lists the following as signs of abuse:
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Violent or agitated behavior
- Depressed mood
- Development of bedsores
- Dirty or soiled clothes or bedsheets
While an occasional bump or bruise may happen, if your loved one seems to have consistent injuries like serious lacerations or contusions, then physical abuse may be occurring. The staff could push, hit, shove, or grab too roughly.
Change in behavior and mood can be a result of physical and psychological abuse. If staff use harsh tones, insults, or purposefully ignore your loved one, it can severely affect their self-esteem, sense of self, and can make them feel isolated and withdrawn.
If you notice bed sores or dirty clothes, it may be evidence of neglect. Sometimes residents don’t get the care they need because the nursing home doesn’t have the staff to meet your loved one’s requirements. The nursing home may try to save money by having fewer staff members, which can result in the staff being overworked. This puts additional stress on the staff and their priorities may be centered around getting through their shift instead of providing quality care to residents.
Residents who are bedridden need to be rotated or moved to prevent bedsores from developing. If your loved one is in dirty clothes or has an odor it could be because staff wasn’t able to get to them, but these are tasks that need to be done each day. There’s never an excuse for neglect and your loved one shouldn’t suffer because the nursing home is dysfunctional.
Elopement in Senior Communities
Seniors who live in nursing homes may suffer from dementia or other forms of memory loss, which means they can become confused. Sometimes, seniors may wander and try to leave the facility. If a senior leaves, they may become lost and not know how to get back. Falling accidents can happen as well, which can be deadly. The staff may not be aware of their absence for hours, and the senior could be in danger of hypothermia, dehydration, and other life-threatening situations.
When you’re visiting your loved one’s nursing home, you should ask the staff about their safety protocols to keep residents safe and prevent wandering. If they don’t have precautions, it can be a sign they’re not the safest home for your loved one. Let’s look into other signs of nursing home quality.
How Can You Assess the Quality of a Nursing Home?
You can find out a lot about the quality of care in a nursing home by staying attentive and asking questions. At the first visit, take notice of the cleanliness of the residents and the environment. Then, you can see if the meals are nutritious and good. The nursing home should also have activities planned for residents, so they maintain healthy social lives.
If you’re able to, consider asking other visiting families questions. Ask about their satisfaction with their loved one’s care, if their loved one enjoys living there, and if they feel there’s something the nursing home could do better. It’s a red flag if the staff will not allow you to visit with your loved one alone. When speaking to staff, it’s also a problematic if they seem to have vague answers or don’t want to talk at all.
Our Lawyers in Albuquerque
Buckingham Barrera Vega Law Firm is here for those who have been abused in New Mexico. Families deserve to get justice for their loved one. Our attorneys will diligently look into the case and put together the evidence of how your loved one was hurt, what happened, who caused it, and how it affected them.
Beginning your legal journey can start with a simple phone call. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation. You’ll take the first step in helping your loved one recover from the abuse they faced and move forward.