Families trust nursing homes to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their elderly family members when they can no longer fully care for themselves. Unfortunately, not all care facilities uphold this responsibility, and nursing home abuse can occur, resulting in physical, emotional, and financial harm to residents. In Kansas City, as in many other places, victims and their families have reliable legal avenues to pursue nursing home abuse damages to compensate for their suffering.
Here’s what the compassionate professionals at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet want you to know about proving an elder abuse case and protecting your loved one’s rights.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a disturbing and unacceptable act that occurs when residents of long-term care facilities suffer harm due to the negligence or intentional actions of the staff or other residents. This harm takes various forms, including:
- Physical and emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Sexual abuse
Identifying signs of nursing home abuse can be challenging, as victims may be unable or unwilling to report the abuse. Common indicators include, but aren’t limited to:
- Unexplained injuries
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- New bedsores
- Frequent falls
- Sudden changes in bank accounts or other finances
Types of Nursing Home Abuse Damages You Can Recover
If care facility staff or administration are found negligent of nursing home abuse, victims may be entitled to the following types of damages.
An elderly resident who suffers nursing home abuse frequently requires medical treatment to address injuries or health issues resulting from the harm. Compensation may cover hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical care.
Pain and Suffering
Nursing home abuse causes immense physical and emotional suffering. Victims may experience pain, anxiety, depression, and a reduced quality of life. Compensation for pain and suffering aims to acknowledge and alleviate the emotional and psychological toll of the abuse.
Emotional distress damages cover the psychological trauma and anguish experienced by an elderly victim due to nursing home abuse. It considers the fear, anxiety, and humiliation resulting from mistreatment.
In cases of extreme negligence or intentional misconduct, the court may award punitive damages. These types of damages are meant to punish the responsible party and deter future misconduct. Punitive damages can be significant, and are designed to deter nursing homes from engaging in abusive behavior.
Tragically, nursing home abuse can lead to the death of a resident. In such cases, surviving family members may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Compensation for wrongful death may include funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship and financial support, and more.
How a Kansas City Lawyer Helps Protect Your Family
If you believe a loved one has suffered nursing home abuse, seek the expertise of skilled Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyers like the professionals at Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet. Our team evaluates your case, determines liability, and advises you on the appropriate legal action to take. They will also guide you through the legal process and advocate on your behalf. Here are some of their methods.
To build a strong case, it’s essential to collect as much evidence as possible. This may include medical records, photos of your loved one’s injuries, witness statements, and any other documentation related to the nursing home's history of abuse or negligence.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Often, care facilities and their insurance companies prefer to settle nursing home abuse cases out of court to avoid negative publicity and potentially larger punitive damages. Your attorney can negotiate a settlement with the insurer that adequately compensates your family member’s damages.
File a Lawsuit
If negotiations with the nursing home or its insurance company don’t result in a fair settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit. This initiates the formal legal process, and the skilled legal team at work to prove liability and secure compensation through litigation.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case could go to trial. At Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet, we have the reputable abilities to represent you in court, presenting evidence and arguing your case before a judge and jury.