Nursing home abuse and neglect are all too common in many nursing homes throughout the country. Family members who have a loved one in a nursing home and suspect neglect often wonder, “can you sue a nursing home for abuse?”
The short answer is yes, you can file a lawsuit against a nursing home facility for failing to meet a standard of care. If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in New Orleans, LA.
What Qualifies as Nursing Home Abuse, and What Can You Do About It?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, elder abuse has five subtypes, including:
- Financial exploitation
- Neglect and abandonment
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
Family members may not always recognize the signs of neglect or abuse, particularly if they cannot visit their loved one in a nursing home very often. It’s important to know the signs of nursing home abuse to look for, the difference between abuse and neglect, and whether your loved one or a family member can file a lawsuit against the nursing home facility.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
How can you tell if your loved one in a nursing home is suffering from neglect or abuse? Signs of abuse in your loved one can include:
- Unexplained bruising or injuries
- Untreated bedsores
- Repeated injuries
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Poor hygiene
- Unchanged or soiled bedding
- Head injuries
- Sudden personality or emotional changes
- Crying or panic
- Fear or nervousness
- Emotional withdrawal
- Diminished engagement during visits
If your loved one displays multiple signs of abuse, you should report it to the appropriate authorities to initiate an investigation into the nursing home facility and their caregivers.
Nursing Home Negligence
Abuse and neglect are not the same thing in the eyes of the law. Abuse generally requires intent and action, while negligence often describes failing to meet a basic standard of care. There are three common types of neglect in a nursing home facility:
- Living needs neglect. People need food, water, sleep, functional bathroom facilities, and other basic necessities. Failing to provide these for residents can lead to malnourishment, skin irritation, dehydration, and death.
- Medical neglect. Failing to treat bedsores or other injuries, provide medication in a timely manner, or call 911 during an emergency constitutes medical neglect.
- Hygiene neglect. People need clean clothes and clean bedding, as well as regular bathing to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Failing to provide these for residents can lead to a host of other health problems.
Who Can File Nursing Home Lawsuits?
Can you sue a nursing home facility for abuse on behalf of your loved one in a nursing home? Nursing home lawsuits are complex. If your loved one is mentally and emotionally competent, they are the one who should file the lawsuit. However, if your loved one is incompetent and you have guardianship or power of attorney for them, you may file the lawsuit on their behalf.
If your family member passes away under a nursing home facility’s care, certain members of your family can file a wrongful death suit against the facility. In Louisiana, the surviving spouse and children have the right to file a wrongful death suit, or either living parent if the decedent has no surviving spouse or children.
Contact an Attorney for Nursing Home Abuse in New Orleans, LA
Can you sue a nursing home for abuse? Yes, you can sue a nursing home for physical, emotional, or sexual abuse or neglect. If your loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, was injured after being discharged too early, or was the victim of medical malpractice, you need an experienced personal injury attorney at your side.At the Voorhies Law Firm, we strive to provide compassionate and communicative attention to each of our clients and their cases. Call us at 504-875-2223 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.