Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023: Do You Qualify for Compensation?

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023

Older adults living in nursing homes are entitled to proper care from the caregivers in the facility. A caregiver can be brought to the book if they deliberately or negligently cause them harm.

There are laws stipulating the quality of care nursing homes should provide, and state agencies conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance.

Despite this, nursing home abuse continues to be a prevalent problem across numerous facilities in the country.

This article will help you understand when you can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit, whom you can hold accountable, and the compensation you can collect for your damages.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

When a caregiver at a residential facility for older adults delivers inappropriate care, it is considered nursing home abuse.

Abuse can take the form of beating or harassing an older adult in a nursing home. Or it could happen due to a caregiver’s negligent failure to attend to the needs of older adults for whom they are responsible.

Nursing home

Everyone has legal rights, including victims of nursing home abuse or their families. A nursing home abuse lawsuit enables those harmed to be “made whole” or get compensation for damages resulting from abuse or neglect.

How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Abuse is widespread in nursing homes, mainly due to insufficient staff training, low pay, and understaffing in these facilities. Sometimes it also happens due to care institutions’ failure to thoroughly vet employees before hiring them.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year, one in six seniors aged 60 and above experiences some form of abuse in an institutional care setting.

Unfortunately, the WHO reports that up to two-thirds of nursing home staff workers admitted engaging in abusive behavior over the previous year.

Even more alarming than the incidence of documented nursing home abuse is the possibility that abuse may go unreported.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In a 2017 survey, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) examined ER records of 134 Medicare patients in skilled nursing homes whose injuries could have been caused by neglect or abuse.

28% of these cases showed no evidence that the incidents which led to ER visits had ever been reported to authorities.

These alarming figures suggest that anybody may suffer abuse. Those with loved ones in care facilities should be on the lookout and act fast when they see signs of abuse.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse takes different forms, but it usually falls under physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse occurs when a caregiver in a nursing care home intentionally harms a resident. This may entail:

  • Pushing
  • Beating
  • Burning
  • Kicking

Sexual abuse

Any inappropriate sexual contact with nursing home patients who do not consent or cannot give consent due to a mental disorder is considered sexual abuse.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse occurs when a caregiver lures an older adult into parting with cash or valuables or when they take money or valuables from a resident without consent.

Mental/emotional abuse

Mental abuse is more difficult to detect since it can involve insults or demeaning comments, threats, denying benefits, and other abusive behaviors that do not cause apparent harm.

Nursing home care

Name-calling or making insulting comments, such as saying their relatives dislike them or will not come to visit, are also examples of emotional abuse.


Lastly, neglect entails failing to offer nursing home patients appropriate care. With this abuse, there’s no form of physical force used, and it happens when a caregiver fails to meet the primary care needs of the resident.

This can happen when the caregiver fails to administer the necessary drugs or fails to move them often, which can cause bedsores.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Regrettably, residents in nursing homes sometimes cannot report their abuse. That could be because they fear the consequences or lack social support, hence having no one to tell.

Moreover, medical issues like dementia can make it difficult for older adults to express their concerns. Family members and other visitors must watch for signs of abuse and intervene when necessary.

Typical abuse warning indicators include:

  • Bedsores
  • Bone fractures
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Dehydration
  • Facial injuries
  • Malnutrition
  • Sepsis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in behavior and attitude

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023

Abuse can cause severe mental and emotional harm to at-risk adults. Sometimes, it can even be fatal.

Anyone who fears an older adult in a nursing home has been abused should immediately contact the relevant authorities and think about communicating with an expert attorney.

Doing this can help the victim file a claim and hold the perpetrators responsible for their wrongdoings.

Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

Nursing facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid payments must meet federal standards for resident care. About 15,500 nursing homes in the US are approved to accept Medicare and Medicaid, hosting over 1.4 million people.

As part of a comprehensive reform package designed to raise the standard of care provided to nursing home residents in the US, the federal government introduced a bill of rights for residents in 1987.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023

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The Nursing Home Reform Act gives residents legally enforceable rights that set a standard quality of care. Further standards introduced by individual states may have supplemented the federal standard.

Here are the rights that the federal Nursing Home Bill of Rights affords to nursing home residents:

  • Right to privacy
  • Right to communicate freely
  • Right to be treated with dignity
  • Right to voice grievances without retaliation
  • Right to the accommodation of physical, psychological, medical, and social needs
  • Freedom from physical restraint
  • Freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect

Who Can File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?

Nursing home abuse is punishable. Individuals who abuse residents may face criminal charges. Victims can also file nursing home abuse lawsuits. This is not a criminal case; instead, it is a civil litigation.

A civil claim aims to “make whole” the victims for their damages. They have a right to financial compensation for both financial and non-financial damages.

Older adults subject to abuse or neglect can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit to pursue the financial compensation they deserve. Their advocates can file a lawsuit if the older adult is mentally incompetent.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023

The senior’s estate or immediate family members still alive may file a wrongful death lawsuit if the abuse leads to death. Nursing home abuse lawsuits may rely on one of two constitutional grounds for imposing culpability to support their civil claim.

There are two constitutional grounds for assigning liability in a nursing home abuse lawsuit:

  • Breach of contract – A nursing care facility and a resident signed an agreement under which the facility pledges to offer a certain standard of care at a fee. If the facility fails to deliver the agreed-upon standard of care, a resident can file a lawsuit against them for breach of contract.
  • Violation of law – A nursing home must meet all federal and state regulations outlining the minimum standards for resident care. Nursing home residents can sue the institution for any harm caused if the minimum care requirement is unmet.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse?

A nursing home abuse lawsuit is usually filed when a nursing home works with an abuser. The nursing home will compensate the victim because they have insurance and more financial resources.

A nursing home can be held responsible for abuse committed by staff members based on the legal principle of vicarious liability.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023

Vicarious liability laws hold employers accountable for wrongdoing or negligence employees execute while carrying out their duties.

This rule stands regardless of whether the nursing homeowners themselves were negligent.

Additionally, a nursing facility is subject to liability for its negligence. For instance, if it were understaffed or had untrained staff, this would be sufficient grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Proving Nursing Home Abuse

Since patients may hurt themselves or cannot articulate what happened, it can be hard to prove nursing home abuse.

Medical records, prior complaints, pictures, and noted observations on a resident can help prove nursing home abuse.

Installing surveillance cameras in nursing home resident rooms is one way to prove and prevent abuse.

Only a few but an increasing number of US states have legislation that explicitly permits residents of nursing homes to install security cameras in their rooms.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit 2023

The regulations must balance residents’ privacy concerns and the need to monitor what goes on inside these homes. California has no law allowing nursing home residents to set up surveillance cameras in private spaces.

However, the state’s Department of Social Services has published rules for individual care homes that decide to put surveillance cameras in residents’ rooms. As long as they follow the rules, surveillance cameras are acceptable.

On the other hand, Texas allows nursing home residents to install surveillance cameras in their rooms. Each resident must cover the cost, but the nursing home should make reasonable accommodations to facilitate the installation.

Statute of Limitations for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

Nursing home abuse lawsuits are subject to the state-specific statute of limitations. You must file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, and if the deadline passes, you lose your right to pursue compensation.

The deadline for filing a claim varies by state and usually ranges from two to four years from the date of abuse or the date when the abuse was discovered.

Statute of limitations

Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit as soon as possible is crucial when abuse or neglect occurs. The sooner you file a claim, the easier it will be to gather the required proof of wrongdoing and to speak with potential witnesses whose end of life could be nearing.

But knowing the extent of the abuse and resulting damages is crucial before a claim is settled. Victims and their family members can collect evidence and file a claim at the right time with the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse

A victim can recover the following from a successful nursing home abuse lawsuit:

The resident’s estate or surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit if the abuse results in death. This can help them get compensation for the medical expenses incurred before death, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.

The victim’s attorney can help file the case, collect evidence, and demonstrate the degree of the damages to maximize compensation in these troubling cases.

File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

No one should ever have to face the wrath of elder abuse. Fortunately, you can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit if you or your loved one has been abused in a care facility.

Filing a lawsuit will help you get compensation for your damages and hold the negligent caregiver accountable for their wrongdoing.

But before filing a case, you must find a lawyer with experience in this kind of case. Legal Giant’s legal partners are ready to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact us now to get started.

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