Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
n recent years, the United States has experienced dramatic growth in its senior population. As the “Baby Boomer Generation” ages, growing numbers of older Americans are moving into long-term care facilities, where some will live for many years, or even decades. Unfortunately, as the nursing home population has grown, the number of nursing home abuse cases has also increased. Despite the greater enforcement of state laws and the oversight efforts of governmental agencies, more than one million elderly residents experience nursing home negligence or abuse every year. Most cases of nursing home negligence are not reported because seniors are often unable to understand the care to which they are entitled. In other cases, they may be physically unable to share information about the abuse. Tragically, as the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown, seniors at nursing homes constitute the most vulnerable population in the United States. They need and deserve our help! A Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Protect the Ones You Love Whether the abuse consists of recurrent negligence or a single incident that causes injury, the victim has a right to damages. In addition, by filing a lawsuit, seeking accountability, and partnering with a nursing home abuse law firm, residents and their families can help protect other residents from suffering the same fate. In most cases, the nursing home in question can lose its certification for failing to supply the expected care, leading to a loss of federal funding.
That’s where The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP comes in. For over 50 years, our team of experienced attorneys has helped Pennsylvania state residents collect millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We succeed by thoroughly understanding the factors which can influence the outcome of these cases. Our qualified Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys leverage all necessary resources to ensure that responsible parties are held accountable. That said, our legal team approaches the attorney-client relationship with compassion for the victims. We know how difficult it can be to cope with nursing home abuse, and that seeking assistance from an attorney in pursuing a nursing home negligence claim can be intimidating or stressful. With our help, you can relieve some of your emotional burdens. Serious personal injury cases are not just business for us – they’re personal. When we take on a new client, we adopt them as part of our family, and we fight for them in every way possible. That has been our motivating force in capturing hundreds of millions of dollars for clients we have represented during the past 50-plus years. It is also the reason we aspire to be the top personal injury firm in the state of Pennsylvania. ****Do not let a senior suffer in silence – take action today! Contact us for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to find out if you should pursue a nursing home abuse lawsuit. **** Our nursing home abuse attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not collect anything from you unless and until we are successful in winning compensation for you.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nursing home neglect is often defined as the failure of a caregiver to properly provide for an elderly person, which can include the failure to provide proper care, food, supervision, medicine, health care, and treatment, clothing, and shelter. Elder neglect includes many different circumstances that may jeopardize an older adult’s health and safety and possibly lead to serious injuries. Common forms of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical injury from falls
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Bedsores, pressure ulcers
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Poor medical care
- Medication mistakes
- Lack of supervision
- Financial abuse and exploitation
- Property theft
- Ineffective equipment
- Sexual abuse
- Physical or mental abuse
- Poor personal hygiene
- Broken bones
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Wrongful death
Nursing Home Negligence and Bed Sores
Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are one of the most common signs of nursing home neglect. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 11% of nursing home residents suffer from bedsores, which are often a direct result of negligent care. Depending on the severity of these pressure ulcers, older adults can experience severe repercussions.
What Are Bed Sores?
The CDC defines bedsores as “wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin” which typically develop over a person’s “bony prominences,” including elbows, heels, hips, shoulders, back, and in some cases even the back of the head. Bedsores are among the most serious medical conditions that occur at nursing homes, and their presence in nursing home patients is often an indication that a nursing home is not providing quality care. Medical professionals use a staging system for rating the severity of bedsores. Typically, these systems focus on the depth of the damage to soft tissue, which can range from “least severe” to “most severe.” According to the CDC, the stages typically look like this:
- Stage 1: a persistent redness in the skin;
- Stage 2: loss of partial thickness of the skin, which can look like an abrasion, a blister, or a shallow crater;
- Stage 3: loss of full thickness of the skin, which usually looks like a deep crater;
- Stage 4: loss of full thickness of the skin such that muscles or bones are exposed.
The CDC suggests that “Stage 2” pressure ulcers are among the most common in nursing home residents who have been victims of neglect. If you discover that an elderly loved one has developed bedsores, consult a lawyer for legal advice to discuss your options in suing a nursing home for negligence.
Complications Arising From Bed Sores
Bedsores can cause a number of medical complications, including:
- A variety of different types of infections, such as cellulitis (skin), osteomyelitis (bone), endocarditis (heart lining), meningitis (cerebrospinal fluid), sepsis (blood), and even different forms of necrotizing fasciitis (commonly referred to as flesh-eating bacteria);
- Septic arthritis, a form of the joint disease caused by bacterial infection;
- Abscesses, a type of skin and soft tissue lesion;
- Heterotopic bone formations, a medical condition where bone deposits form in the soft tissue, typically around the hip joints, resulting in pain and impaired mobility.
Facts and Figures about Nursing Home Bed Sores
How often are nursing home residents diagnosed with a bedsore? Based on data collected by the CDC, more than 10 percent of nursing home residents have suffered from a bedsore. Of those patients, about half of those diagnosed had Stage 2 bedsores. Some other significant facts and figures include:
- Age: nursing home residents aged 64 years and younger were actually more likely than older residents to be diagnosed with bed sores.
- Time of Residence: residents who were at a nursing home for one year or less were more likely than long-term residents to be diagnosed with a pressure ulcer.
- Weight Loss: about 20 percent of nursing home residents with recent weight loss also had a bedsore.
- Wound Care Service – More than one-third of all nursing home residents with bedsores rated as “Stage 2” or higher required “special wound care services.”
According to a study published by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, up to 27 percent of nursing home residents suffer from medication errors. Some of the most common causes of medication mistakes and medical malpractice are:
- Understaffing, which forces nursing home staff to work when they are fatigued and more likely to make mistakes.
- Careless mistakes, when nursing home care workers make preventable mistakes such as misreading prescriptions and medical records and administering the wrong medication.
- Misdiagnosis, when a nursing home fails to take the resident’s personal medical history into account.
The experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP have years of experience working with clients who have suffered from medication errors and other forms of medical malpractice at nursing facilities. Let the experienced legal professionals at our firm help you obtain the benefits and the money you deserve.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Family members should be on the lookout for common signs of elder abuse and neglect at their loved one’s assisted living facility. Common signs of abuse and mistreatment include:
- changes in a resident’s behavior or personality;
- demeaning or controlling behavior by staff members, or significant tension between a resident and the caregiver, which may be a sign of emotional abuse;
- unexplained broken bones, welts and bruising, and if the caregiver refuses to allow family members to be alone with a resident, which may be a sign of physical abuse; and/or
- unsanitary conditions in the resident’s room.
Contact a Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have an elderly loved one who was recently diagnosed with bed sores or has shown any of the signs or symptoms of other forms of neglect or abuse, it is important to discuss your legal options with an experienced lawyer. It is important to act in a timely manner. Statutes of limitations in Pennsylvania limit the amount of time that an injured individual can file a lawsuit to seek justice and financial compensation for his or her damages. It is impossible to make generalizations about the value of any nursing home case without knowing the details of the injuries and how the abuse took place. Pennsylvania law allows recovery for a wide range of situations, many of which may not be readily apparent to the injured party. This includes past medical bills, future medical and rehabilitation costs, therapy, lost past wages, lost future income, punitive damages, pain and suffering, and more. A personal injury attorney with years of experience will fight to obtain money for you and your loved one to compensate your family for all of your damages, past, and future. Contact our personal injury law firm today for real-time assistance from a real person by calling us at 1-800-624-8888 or by submitting a free online case evaluation. The Rothenberg Law Firm services clients in a broad array of practice areas in the greater Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York areas. We have been helping clients in the city of Philadelphia for over 50 years and will work hard to take care of you and your family!
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