Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes: Legal Advocacy for Texas Seniors

Putting a loved one in a nursing home is often a last resort after exploring all other options for care. When a family member is placed in a nursing home, it is usually with the expectation that the facility’s staff would offer the kind of specialized care that the family cannot.

However, elder abuse and mistreatment are far too widespread in today’s care homes. But the sooner you take action after learning of nursing home abuse or neglect, the better your chances of preserving your legal rights and the rights of your loved one. When a family discovers their elderly relative is being abused, seeking legal counsel is a crucial first step.

What Are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes: Legal Advocacy for Texas SeniorsPhysical, psychological, monetary, and sexual abuse are all possible forms of elder abuse in Texas nursing facilities. What’s more, you may find that a nursing home resident is the victim of abuse because they exhibit certain behaviors, such as dramatic shifts in character.

For instance, he or she may withdraw or develop regressive behaviors like thumb-sucking or rocking back and forth. Suddenly, they may lose their appetite and a substantial amount of weight. You may find that your loved one is always thirsty or complains of hunger often. They may even start to appear malnourished.

Nursing home neglect doesn’t always appear obvious or nefarious at face value. An older person may simply be left without the necessary eyewear or a walking aid, or their medication dosage may be incorrect. At face value, it may be difficult to tell whether nursing home staff has neglected to monitor their accommodations or whether the patient misplaced their belongings.

Clearer warning signs can include unexplained wounds, strange activity in the patient’s bank account, or dilapidated conditions at the facility. A nursing home could also want advance notification for visits from loved ones, which is often a red flag for abuse.

When Should Families Report Nursing Home Abuse?

If the situation becomes life-threatening, the family should notify the authorities to have their loved one taken to a hospital for treatment or rescued from the facility. Reporting elder abuse in Texas as soon as possible could save the life of a loved one. It also creates a paper trail that can be used as evidence of the abuse.

Investigating Elder Abuse in Texas

When family members suspect that a loved one is being abused, they may seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney. An investigation could benefit from his or her assistance. For instance, a lawyer can find evidence to back up the allegation made by the client.

Photographing the nursing home resident’s injuries or requesting medical documents that detail their deterioration are two common options. From there, the lawyer representing the victim of nursing home abuse may also interview non-victim residents and staff members.

Notifying Facilities of Nursing Home Abuse

The family may opt to notify nursing facility authorities of their concerns about possible mistreatment. They could report it to the nursing home’s management firm or to an outside entity like a licensing board or an ombudsman. It’s possible that this will help prompt authorities to begin looking into the abuse claims.

Removing Elderly Patients From a Care Facility

Unless the nursing home takes urgent steps to prevent additional mistreatment, the family may decide to take their loved one elsewhere. To get their loved one the best care possible, they may transfer them to a new facility or keep them at home until they find suitable care.

Notifying Insurance Agencies of Nursing Home Abuse

The family may first choose to submit a claim with the nursing home’s insurance provider before taking legal action against the facility. It’s possible that the nursing home has insurance that will cover a claim like this.

Moreover, the nursing home’s insurer may propose a settlement to prevent a lawsuit. Still, this type of settlement may not be adequate to recompense a family member for harm and other damages suffered by their loved one.

Does Texas Law Cover Nursing Home Abuse?

If you notice signs of nursing home abuse in Texas, you must report it. And as mentioned, it is critical to begin recording any possible neglect. On top of recording and noting your own suspicions and evidence, it’s also essential to talk to your loved one about what they may be going through or seeing while they’re housed in a care facility.

Once you’ve gathered your evidence, contact Adult Protective Services in Texas to look into your allegations. Long-term care facility residents in Texas can get aid from our state’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which fights for their rights and benefits. You can also report elder abuse to the Office of the Inspector General, which falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Filing an Injury Claim Against a Texas Nursing Facility

The next step is to take legal action against the nursing home for the abuse committed there. An attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases can explain your options in greater detail.

For instance, he or she may argue that a victim of abuse in a nursing home has the right to sue the home’s management because the home broke an agreement to provide the victim with adequate medical care and other services in exchange for payment. The family’s legal representation may also bring up the fact that they have a tort claim covering assault and battery.

Regardless of the circumstances, an attorney can explain what is needed to prove your case. A lawyer will also keep track of filing deadlines under Texas’s statute of limitations for personal injury.

Contact the Rasanky Law Firm For Nursing Home Abuse

We have extensive experience representing victims of nursing home abuse in Dallas and around Texas. At the Rasansky Law Firm, our team prides itself on serving our clients and securing justice.

Thankfully, filing a lawsuit can assist you and your family in getting the recompense you deserve, but it can also deter future abuse by holding negligent nursing facilities accountable.

Call our Dallas-area lawyers for nursing home abuse at (214) 617-1816 as soon as you can. We offer an initial no-cost consultation to discuss the facts surrounding your potential case and are ready to provide the care and compassion that you deserve.

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Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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