When your loved one resides at a nursing home, you assume that their medical, emotional, and personal needs are being met. However, mobility limitations and cognitive problems can make residents of nursing homes a target for physical, emotional, and financial abuse.
According to the WHO, one in six people over the age of 60 experienced some form of nursing home abuse in the year 2021. If you suspect your loved one is being harmed by an employee or resident of their elder care facility, the attorneys at Morelli Law Firm can help.
A nursing home abuse lawyer in Philadelphia can hold the guilty party liable for your family member’s injury.
Damages a Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Recover
If your loved one has been harmed by an individual at their care facility, they deserve to receive compensation for their treatment costs and the pain they’ve been forced to endure. A lawyer can help them recover damages for economic and non-economic losses. They can also pursue punitive damages, if warranted.
Economic losses are actual costs you paid or will have to pay as a result of injuries sustained from tortious conduct. A Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney can use bills, invoices, and receipts to prove economic losses.
Any medical bills your loved one incurs as a result of their injury are considered economic losses. Economic losses can also include the cost of medical devices and prescription medication your family member needs to recover.
A lawyer can pursue non-economic losses to compensate for how injuries limit and negatively affect your loved one’s quality of life. You can receive non-economic damages for:
- Intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
If the abuse your loved one experienced was particularly egregious or malicious, a nursing home abuse lawyer can pursue punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish grossly negligent or ill-intentioned acts, and deter others from committing similar offenses.
Have You Been Injured In An Accident? Contact Morelli Law877-751-9800
A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Hold the Guilty Party Liable
In order to secure your loved one the damages they deserve, your nursing home abuse attorney will need to determine who is responsible for paying them. More often than not, your lawyer will find that an employee or the nursing home itself is liable for your family member’s injury, but in some instances, another resident of the facility may be held responsible.
If your attorney finds that the nursing home is at fault, they’ll need to show tangible evidence that the facility failed to provide the necessary “duty of care.” The duty of care requires the nursing home to foster a safe environment for residents. This includes hiring qualified staff, enforcing safety rules, providing functioning equipment, and overseeing employees.
Proving Liability in a Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Case
When an abuse claim is brought against an elder care facility, it’s common for them to point toward the victim’s advanced age and mental condition as the cause of their injury. In these situations, it’s imperative that a nursing home abuse lawyer collect enough evidence to cut through the facility’s dishonest allegations.
An attorney will collect physical evidence like medical records and treatment bills. This evidence will prove that abuse occurred, but expert testimony will be needed to show that the nursing home is responsible for it. Medical experts will be able to use their knowledge of elder abuse injuries to prove the facility violated the required standard of care.
Regardless of who is responsible for your family member’s injuries, a nursing home abuse attorney in Philadelphia will be able to secure the evidence they need to hold them accountable. Here’s some of the evidence your lawyer will gather to bring the guilty party to justice:
- Medical charts and records
- Treatment bills
- Eye-witness testimony (family members or staff present during abuse)
- Video evidence
Types of Elder Abuse an Attorney Can Build a Claim for
In Philadelphia, elder abuse is both a tort and a crime. If you believe your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, it is important to hire a skilled nursing home abuse attorney to hold their abuser accountable for their actions.
There are a number of ways that the elderly can be taken advantage of and abused. Our attorneys are familiar with all the forms that nursing home abuse can take, and will be able to build a claim for you and your loved one no matter how complex or severe their situation is.
Physical abuse can include 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 to learn about the details of their injuries.
A condition like dementia can make it hard for your loved one to express how their injuries occurred, but talking to their doctor can help you determine if their injuries were the result of an accident or an intentional act. Acts of physical abuse may have been documented if the nursing home has surveillance cameras.
Nursing homes must respect residents, which means verbal abuse is not tolerated. Verbal abuse can involve threatening or demeaning statements. Psychological abuse can leave emotional scars and result in mental illness. It can also cause chronic depression, anxiety, and trauma.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from verbal abuse, a nursing home abuse attorney in Philadelphia from Morelli Law Firm can help. They’ll hold the offending party liable for the psychological damage they’ve caused.
Nursing home residents are at an increased risk of experiencing financial abuse. Residents are sometimes incapable of safely storing their checkbooks and bank cards. Individuals take advantage of nursing home residents because they are less likely to notice unauthorized transactions on their bank statements or that 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 for services that they are not required to pay for. One way to protect your loved one from financial abuse is to occasionally monitor their bank accounts and check for unauthorized transactions.
Rights That All Nursing Home Residents Have in Philadelphia
All nursing home residents in Philadelphia have rights provided by the Department of Health, the Department of Welfare, and the contract they signed with their care facility. These rights protect them from physical and emotional abuse. If they’re violated, the nursing home can be held responsible for the losses inflicted.
If your family member’s nursing home receives money from Medicaid or Medicare, they are also legally required to follow federal laws under 42 U.S. Code § 1396r, “Requirements for Nursing Facilities.” Over 90% of nursing homes in the U.S. receive government funding, so it’s likely that your loved one’s nursing home is beholden to these regulations.
If a nursing home abuse attorney finds that your loved one’s care facility has failed to abide by government regulations or their contract, they can demand that the facility provide compensation for the damage their negligence has caused.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
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. According to the National Institute on Aging, here are some common signs of elder abuse to look out for:
- 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
If you notice any of these warning signs, make sure to contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Philadelphia as soon as possible. You may also want to report your loved one’s nursing home to the government bodies that protect the elderly from such injustices.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse
If you notice any of the warning signs of nursing home abuse the next time you visit your loved one, it’s important that, in addition to filing a claim, you report the care facility to the appropriate government entity. You can file an official report by calling the Department of Health, or by filling out a complaint form on their website.
Once a complaint is filed, the Department of Health will conduct an investigation into your family member’s care facility to verify your allegations. If they find that the nursing home is guilty of neglect or abuse, they may initiate a criminal investigation.
Legal Deadline for Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Pennsylvania
Hiring a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as you recognize the signs of elder abuse is the best way to ensure that your loved one gets the compensation they need to recover. That’s because there’s a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims in Philadelphia.
According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 42 §5524, you have two years from the date of your family member’s injury to file a claim. If you don’t file before the legal deadline, it’s highly likely that the court will dismiss your case, and leave your loved one without the payment they need to return to a normal life.
Wrongful Death Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Philadelphia
If your loved one has passed away due to injuries sustained at their nursing home, you deserve to seek compensation for their unjust suffering and loss of life. Our nursing home abuse lawyers in Philadelphia understand the pain you must be feeling, which is why they’re prepared to handle the entirety of your wrongful death claim so that you can focus on mourning.
After the death of a loved one, pursuing a claim might seem emotionally exhausting, but it’s imperative that you act fast if you want to bring the guilty party to justice. That’s because there’s a legal deadline for filing a wrongful death claim in the state of Pennsylvania.
According to Title 42 § 5524, you have two years from the date of your family member’s passing to file a claim. Failure to act within the state sanctioned timeframe will bar you from receiving compensation. An experienced attorney can make sure your claim is filed on time so that you can receive the following wrongful death damages:
- End of life treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of income (if you depended on the deceased)
- Punitive damages
No-Cost Legal Representation for Nursing Home Abuse Victims
We believe that all victims of nursing home abuse deserve adequate legal counsel and representation. That’s why our nursing home abuse attorneys are willing to represent your loved one for a contingency-fee. That means they’ll work for a portion of your family member’s compensation.
If they lose the case, your loved one won’t be on the hook for any out-of-pocket fees. Contingency-fee is a great way to get access to the legal services your loved one needs if they don’t have the means to hire an attorney.
Call Morelli Law Firm Today
If you suspect that your loved one has been injured, emotionally abused, or taken advantage of at their nursing home, the team at Morelli Law Firm is here to help. One of our nursing home abuse attorneys in Philadelphia can identify the guilty party, prove that they are liable, and demand they offer compensation for your loved one’s suffering and medical bills.
If you would like to discuss the details of your family member’s nursing home abuse case, call us or fill out a contact form to request a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have decades of experience serving victims of elder abuse, and will do everything they can to get your loved one the payment they need to enjoy their final years with dignity and comfort.