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Watsonville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

For many families, deciding to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home is a difficult decision to make. However, trusting that your loved one is well cared for in a facility may ease any reservations you have. After all, California law requires facilities to strictly comply with a duty to provide proper care to elderly persons. When family members learn that nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect has occurred, that broken trust leads to anger, heartbreak, and guilt. Qualified Watsonville nursing home abuse lawyers, such as the lawyers at Silva Injury Law, can help you and your loved one pursue a nursing home abuse or neglect claim. Read on to learn more about nursing home abuse and neglect and how to identify the signs of each, and don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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What Is Nursing Home Abuse? 

Nursing home abuse occurs when nursing home staff members inflict injuries on residents. This abuse can lead to physical injuries, emotional problems, and in some cases, even death. Nursing home abuse cases are particularly traumatic because the victims may not be aware of what is happening to them or might be unable to defend themselves. 

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse? 

Nursing home abuse includes various types of behaviors. Watch closely for the symptoms discussed below if you suspect a loved one may be suffering from this type of abuse.  

Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse occurs when a nursing home employee intentionally inflicts pain or suffering on a resident. Signs of physical abuse may include bruises, cuts, broken bones, and injuries from falls. Victims may also exhibit a change in their demeanor or emotional state. 

Sexual Abuse 

Sadly, sexual abuse occurs in nursing homes. This type of abuse occurs when nursing home staff engage in nonconsensual sexual conduct with or exploitation of a resident. Victims who are unable to express what is happening to them may be particularly vulnerable. For example, those with dementia or other forms of mental incapacitation may fall victim to sexual abuse and may be physically unable to report the harm they are suffering. Signs of sexual abuse may include changes in mood, unusual bruising or bleeding, bloodied clothing, venereal disease, and genital infections. 

Psychological or Emotional Abuse 

Psychological abuse occurs when nursing home staff yell, humiliate, shame, or intimidate nursing home residents. This conduct may scare victims into submission and subsequently allow for sexual or financial abuse. The consequences of emotional abuse can be severe and long-term. Signs that a loved one may be suffering from this type of abuse can include changes in their demeanor or mood. For example, residents may express fear of you leaving them after a visit or may be nervous around particular staff members.

Financial Abuse 

Financial abuse occurs when nursing home staff take advantage of a resident by stealing or appropriating their financial assets. Actions falling under this category of abuse include:

  • Theft of money from bank accounts,
  • Coercing victims to transfer property or money, and
  • Identity theft.

Financial abuse can be a one-time event or may occur over time. Regularly checking the accounts and other assets of a loved one can help you promptly identify financial abuse before irreversible harm is done. 

How Is Nursing Home Neglect Different? 

The significant difference between nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect is that, generally, neglect occurs when staff fail to do something. Nursing home neglect commonly occurs when a facility fails to uphold the required standard of care for its residents. Because the signs of neglect can be more subtle than abuse, it can be harder to identify. Three common types of nursing home neglect can place your loved one in danger. 

Medical Neglect 

Medical neglect occurs when a staff member fails to manage a resident’s medical needs, resulting in harm or injury. For example, a patient may require regular medication to avoid the onset of symptoms or illness. A failure to administer this medication on time that causes the victim to suffer a recurrence of their condition would be medical neglect. 

Neglect of Basic Care Needs

Nursing home staff must provide your loved one with necessities such as food and water. When staff members fail to provide these basic necessities, a loved one may suffer malnutrition, dehydration, and death. 

Maintenance of Personal Hygiene 

Nursing home personnel must regularly bathe residents, change and provide clean clothes, change bedsheets, and clean rooms. Failure to do these tasks can result in injuries related to poor hygiene, illness, and emotional distress due to living in poor conditions. 

You should investigate potential neglect as soon as you suspect it is occurring. If you believe your loved one may be suffering from nursing home neglect, don’t hesitate to contact Watsonville nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss your concerns and evaluate your options. 

What Can I Recover? 

Nursing home abuse and neglect cases fall under the category of personal injury law and permit the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages. California law divides compensatory damages into two categories called economic and noneconomic damages. 

Compensatory damages seek to compensate injured victims for the harm they suffered. Economic damages include tangible losses such as medical expenses for care your loved one had to receive because of their injuries and property damage to their personal belongings. 

Noneconomic damages represent non-monetary losses from nursing home abuse and neglect. These damages include emotional distress and pain and suffering. The subjective nature of noneconomic damages makes it challenging to calculate and prove without an attorney. For example, how do you place a monetary value on the humiliation a loved one suffered because they had to sleep on soiled bed sheets staff did not change? 

Watsonville nursing home abuse attorneys know that recovering noneconomic damages often helps victims move forward with their lives and be more fully compensated for all their injuries.   

Punitive Damages 

Punitive damages are not intended to compensate an injured victim for the harm they suffered. They are intended to punish a wrongdoer for their actions and deter future similar conduct by them and others. Punitive damages are not awarded very often. Courts award these damages in personal injury claims only if a victim establishes that a nursing home staff member acted with malice, oppression, or fraud when they inflicted injuries.

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln

Contact Us

We understand how devastating it is to suspect your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse. At Silva Injury Law, we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. When you call us, we treat you like family. As you face one of the most challenging periods of your life, we are here to help you through it. With our proven track record of success for our clients, we are the legal team you need on your side. Contact us today to schedule a free in-person or remote consultation to learn how our legal team can help you.