When your loved one resides at a nursing home, you assume that their medical, emotional, and personal needs are being met. Most residents in nursing homes cannot live independently, usually because of medical conditions. Mobility limitations or cognitive problems can make residents of nursing homes a target for physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Residents with conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia are more likely to suffer abuse, as their medical condition makes it difficult to report abuse allegations.
From the National Institute on Aging, there are some common signs of elder abuse:
- Withdrawn and isolated
- Sudden weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Confusion or hyperawareness
- Easily upset and violent
- Unkempt appearance and poor hygiene
- Bruises and injuries, such as bed sores
When your loved one is the victim of elder abuse at a nursing home, a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can file a personal injury claim and pursue damages on their behalf for:
- Medical and hospitalization bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death
- The cost of litigation
- And possibly more
When your loved one is living at a nursing home, it is important to check for signs of abuse. Your loved one may need to rely on you to advocate for them when they are suffering from abuse at a nursing home.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 42 §5524 requires personal injury claims filed with the courts within two years. Discussing your case with a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer promptly allows your attorney the time needed to build a strong case. If you do not file a claim within the statute of limitations, the courts could dismiss your claim, even if the conduct was egregious.
If your loved one suffered injuries because of abuse at a nursing home, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation on your legal options.
The Types of Elder Abuse
In Pennsylvania, elder abuse is both a tort and a crime. If you believe your loved one is the victim of elder abuse, it is important to report the allegations to the local authorities and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. When you report elder abuse, the authorities will investigate the claim, which may prevent other residents from being victimized as well.
Elder abuse can involve physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Physical abuse can include staff restraining residents or using excessive force, which can result in bruises, broken bones, and lacerations. If your loved one is hospitalized due to an injury, it is important to speak with their doctor because your loved one may be unable to communicate the details of the injuries. Having a condition like dementia can make it hard for your loved one to express how their injuries occurred, which is why talking to their doctor ensures you understand if the injuries were the result of an accident or intentional act. Acts of physical abuse may be documented if the nursing home has surveillance cameras.
Nursing homes must respect residents, which means verbal abuse is not allowed. Verbal abuse can involve threatening or demeaning statements. Psychological abuse can leave emotional scars and result in mental illness. Suffering from verbal abuse can cause chronic depression, anxiety, and trauma.
Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of experiencing financial abuse. Residents have limited abilities to safely store their financial items, such as checkbooks and bank cards. Individuals take advantage of nursing home residents because they are less likely to notice unauthorized transactions on their bank statements and may not notice their bank cards are missing.
Exploitation is another common form of financial abuse, as abusers may trick senior citizens and nursing home residents into providing compensation or money for services that they are not required to pay. One way to protect your loved one from financial abuse is to occasionally monitor their bank accounts and to check for unauthorized transactions.
Call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.
Recoverable Damages From Elder Abuse
A Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can recover damages for economic and non-economic losses. Your lawyer can also pursue punitive damages, if warranted.
Economic losses are actual costs you paid or will have to pay that are a result of injuries sustained from tortious conduct. A Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can use bills, invoices, and receipts to prove your economic losses. If an injury causes your loved one to incur medical bills, those bills are considered economic losses. Economic losses can include medical devices your loved one needs because of the injuries, as well as prescription medication costs.
A Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can pursue non-economic losses to compensate for how injuries limit and negatively affect your quality of life.
You can receive non-economic damages for:
- Intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
If injuries diminish your quality of life, juries can consider the limitations when calculating non-economic damages.
If the tortious conduct involves malicious, willful, or wanton behavior, a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer can pursue punitive damages.
Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me 877-751-9800
Call Morelli Law Firm Today
When your loved one suffers abuse at a nursing home, injuries can make it difficult for them to enjoy life or feel safe. Pennsylvania allows you to recover damages for injuries caused by elder abuse, making it important to discuss your case with a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected.
If you would like to discuss the details of your personal injury claim, call Morelli Law Firm today at (212) 751-9800 for a free consultation.