Modesto Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
When you entrust your loved one to the care of a nursing home, you expect the facility to provide care for them and assist with their daily needs. You do not expect your loved one to end up injured or even pass away because of the nursing home’s intentional or negligent actions.
Your loved one might have a right to financial compensation when they suffer injuries in a nursing home, but you must take strong legal action first. Otherwise, the nursing home may get away with what it did to your family member.
The dedicated Modesto nursing home injury lawyers at the Silva Injury Law can help your family hold the nursing home accountable for what they did. We can help you get justice through financial compensation for nursing home injuries. Your first step is to contact our attorneys to discuss your case in a free initial consultation.
Nursing Homes Often Put Profits Over People
About 14 percent of the Modesto population are seniors, and many of these older adults require a move to a nursing home for their later years.
Those seeking long-term care in the Modesto area have many options, including:
- Acacia Park Nursing
- Gardens of Modesto
- El Rio Memory Care
- Dale Commons
- Valley Comfort
- Samaritan Village
Unfortunately, most nursing homes are for-profit enterprises. Some nursing homes provide high-quality care for residents, truly caring about those whose lives and well-being are in the facility’s hands. Unfortunately, not every nursing home puts people over profit.
Many nursing homes try to squeeze every penny they can from their Medicaid reimbursements, and the money families pay for care. They view their residents as profit centers and any costs related to their care as hits to their own bottom line. Too many nursing homes are out to make money, and it can come at the expense of your loved one’s well-being.
Nursing Homes Do Not Have Enough Qualified Staff Members To Care For Your Loved One
One way the nursing home tries to profit at their residents’ expense is by keeping staffing levels below what is necessary to properly care for their residents. Even though California has state rules that dictate a minimum level of staffing, nursing homes do not always follow the law.
Although some nursing homes have the required number of staff members, they may be lower-cost personnel, such as certified nursing assistants. These days, nursing homes claim they cannot hire due to staffing shortages when they simply do not want to pay market wages for experienced and qualified employees.
Understaffed Nursing Homes Put Your Loved One’s Life At Risk
When a nursing home does not have enough staff, it will cause many problems. Staff members are the first line of care, monitoring residents frequently and giving them the help they need with daily activities.
There have been numerous heart-wrenching news stories in the local media about understaffed nursing homes causing serious injury to patients. The pandemic brought to light the serious crisis in state nursing homes. Still, the regulators have not been effective in stamping out harmful conduct by nursing home operators motivated by greed.
The Problems Caused By Unqualified Nursing Home Staff
A lack of staff members can cause serious problems, including:
- Not frequently changing the resident’s position, causing them to develop bed sores (and then not properly treating the bed sores, leading to potentially deadly infections)
- Improperly feeding and hydrating residents
- Not changing the resident often enough, or paying attention to their hygiene, leading them to develop serious infections
- The failure to properly supervise residents, especially those who are a high risk of falling
- The failure to follow medical care plans and give correctly give residents their medication on time
Staffing Issues Can Lead To Nursing Home Abuse
In addition, staffing issues can also lead to the nursing home hiring someone who is unqualified for the job or cannot handle the stress and pressures of working in a skilled nursing facility.
Nursing home staff members can be extremely stretched and taxed when there are too few staff members. Some who have either not been properly screened, or cannot handle the pressures of the job, may abuse nursing home residents.
Nursing home abuse can take on numerous forms, including:
- Physical abuse, where the staff or another resident is violent towards the resident
- Sexual abuse, where the staff or another resident sexually exploits the nursing home resident
- Financial abuse, where someone steals from the resident, deceives them, or pressures them to change their will
- Emotional abuse, which can include singling out the resident for harsh verbal treatment
- Neglect, where the staff fails to provide the necessary level of care for the resident. Even though nobody is actively and physically harming the resident, neglect is still nursing home abuse because it places their health and well-being in jeopardy.
Nursing Homes In The Modesto Areas Have Been Responsible For Resident Injuries
One Modesto area nursing home has been in the news for its long pattern of neglecting residents in the name of profit. Pacifica Senior Living received 79 citations from the State of California for numerous offenses, such as the failure to report injuries to families and sexual assault to the relevant authorities.
Other Modesto-area nursing homes have faced accusations of wrongdoing during the COVID-19 pandemic as the virus spread throughout their facilities. Families need to seek answers when something happens to their loved one under the care of a nursing home.
Nursing home regulators are several steps behind these nursing homes. They only issue citations and fines after residents have suffered an injury. In the meantime, families feel powerless to stop abuse and neglect as it is happening, if they even know about it at all.
Nursing Homes May Make It Hard For You To Get Records
One of the major problems your family may face when your loved one suffers an injury at a nursing home is getting the records you need to make your case. Even though resident records belong to the family, you can expect the nursing home to give you the runaround because they know you will use them to file a lawsuit. Nursing homes might throw up all sorts of barriers to families trying to learn about what happened to their loved ones.
Another hurdle that you must overcome is the fact that your loved one might not be capable of testifying. Many nursing home lawsuits are wrongful death cases filed after your family member has died. Even if your family member were still alive, they might not have the mental capacity to testify due to dementia or another condition. Therefore, you will need to reconstruct what happened to your loved one using their medical records and expert witness testimony.
You Cannot Count On The Nursing Home’s Actions To Speak For Themselves
Some things should simply not happen to a nursing home resident. For example, infected bed sores only occur when the nursing home has not followed a plan to shift the resident’s position and then failed to properly treat and clean them after they developed.
Nursing home residents should not become malnourished and dehydrated. However, you still need to meet your burden of proof to show that the nursing home failed to live up to its duty of care. The nursing home may always have an excuse or justification for what happened that you need to overcome.
How To Win A Nursing Home Injury Lawsuit
Nursing home cases are like any other personal injury case in that negligence is the legal standard that controls your case.
To win your case, you must prove:
- The nursing home owed your loved one the duty of care.
- The nursing home failed to uphold its duty of care by not acting as a reasonable nursing home should under the circumstances.
- Your loved one suffered an injury
- Your loved one’s injuries happened due to the nursing home’s actions.
You Need An Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney To Overcome Defenses
Nursing homes often try to defend your lawsuit by claiming:
- They did not act unreasonably and provided your loved one with the necessary care.
- Your loved one would have died or suffered a medical injury anyway because of their condition and not because of anything the nursing home died.
Therefore, you need an attorney from Silva Injury Law who has specific experience in nursing home cases. A prompt and thorough investigation (before the nursing home has the chance to cover its own tracks) is often the key in your case. You must learn exactly what the nursing home did and show why and how it injured your loved one.
Negotiating A Settlement
Nursing homes may try to settle your case. They know that some fact patterns will play very poorly in front of the jury. Nursing homes are aware that jurors are human beings with emotions, and they may be very angry at certain types of mistreatment of elderly residents. However, nursing homes are not always in control of decisions about whether to settle. They have insurance policies, and insurance companies make many decisions about your case.
Still, your family may receive a settlement offer at some point during your case. You should not let the nursing home off the hook by accepting a settlement for less than your case is worth. The attorneys at Silva Injury Law work with you to estimate the value of your case before we file a lawsuit, and we know how to negotiate with nursing homes and their insurance carriers.
Your Damages In A Nursing Home Injury Lawsuit
The more your loved one suffered, the more your case will be worth. When an elderly person dies from nursing home abuse or neglect, their final days might involve intense physical and emotional pain. The nursing home must compensate your family for this in a settlement or lawsuit. Your family may receive compensation both for what you lost if your loved one died and for what they endured before they passed away.
Here is what your family might receive in a nursing home injury lawsuit:
- The costs of any medical care that was necessary to treat your loved one
- The pain and suffering that your loved one endured
- The emotional distress that your family member lived with while being abused or neglected
- Your loved one’s loss of enjoyment of life
If your loved one died from their nursing home injury, your family can be entitled to wrongful death damages on top of the damages listed above. Your family also suffered grief and lost an important part of your family unit.
If the nursing home does not make an adequate settlement offer, you should either hold out for more money or continue to take your case to trial. One thing that may motivate the nursing home to settle your case for a reasonable amount of money is the prospect of punitive damages. Juries may react angrily when they see a for-profit company making money while a vulnerable resident under their care suffers a horrible injury.
Contact A Modesto Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Today
If your loved one has suffered an injury while they were under the care of a nursing home, Silva Injury Law can help your family fight for the justice that you deserve. Filing a lawsuit against the nursing home can not only help your family get justice, but it may also keep other families from having to endure what you did. Nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits are a powerful way to send a message to the facility and hold them accountable. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer.
To speak with one of our Modesto nursing home injury attorneys, you can send us a message online or call us today at (209) 308-8924.