Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. You can only collect on damages that you prove with evidence and pursue with a well-drafted claim or lawsuit, and your experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney from Bryant Law Center P.S.C. handles everything from gathering evidence through collecting your compensation. We are a client-focused firm, and with us on your case you can rest-assured that you will collect the full amount you are entitled to.
Why Choose Our Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
- With decades of combined experience, our legal team has an in-depth understanding of the complex laws and regulations governing nursing homes, including federal and state statutes that protect the rights of elderly residents.
- We have a strong reputation for vigorously advocating for our clients’ rights and achieving settlements or verdicts that reflect the harm suffered.
- We understand the emotional toll that nursing home abuse takes on victims and their families. We approach each case with empathy, providing compassionate support to our clients throughout the legal process.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse if a form of elder abuse that is increasingly concerning in the United States. According to the National Institute on Aging, hundreds of thousands of older persons experience elder abuse or nursing home abuse each year.
Common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bumps or bruises
- Unexplained injuries
- Open wounds
- Bite marks
- Marks on wrists or other signs of restraint
- Appearing overmedicated or undermedicated
- Bleeding from the genital area
- Torn or bloody clothing or undergarments
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or genital infections
- Withdrawal, anger, depression, or other emotional changes.
- A noticeable change in mood or demeanor
- An increase in antisocial behavior
- Frequently arguing with the staff.
- Drastic weight loss or malnutrition
- Deteriorating health
- Poor hygiene
- Smelling of urine and/or feces
- Stained or bloody clothing or bedding
- Prohibited from seeing visitors
- Incorrect type or administration of medication
- Duplicate bills for the same appointment, prescriptions, or procedure
- Inappropriate billing
- Inaccurate information on an explanation of benefits paperwork
- Wrong information on a bill (i.e., the provider, location, or date information)
- Waived deductibles or copays
- Unauthorized or abnormal withdrawals from bank accounts
- Changes in regular banking habits
- Abrupt changes to a will or estate plan
Missing personal items with no explanation
What to do if Your Loved One is Being Abused
If your loved one is being abused, it is important to immediately report the abuse. As detailed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky Attorney General, Kentucky Law KRS Chapter 209 protects vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, and requires the reporting of such activities. If abuse is suspected, you should report it to the Adult Protective Services (APS) agency. Once you have filed a report, contacting a nursing home abuse attorney will provide you support through every step of the process.
Who is Liable in a Nursing Home Negligence Case?
When you or your loved one has been injured due to nursing home abuse, the nursing home will generally be liable for the costs and damages associated with the injuries. Employees are required to follow the rules of their workplace and to engage in safe and responsible activities. Their employer is likewise responsible for ensuring that quality care is delivered and that patients are not abused. Generally the insurance company of the nursing home will ultimately be liable for your damages from a nursing home negligence case, and a claim with evidence will have to be submitted to them.
Recoverable Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
If you or your loved one has experienced abuse or neglect due to the negligence or intentional actions of a nursing home or its staff, you may be eligible to seek compensation for the losses suffered. The specific recoverable damages can vary based on unique case circumstances, but here are some common types of damages awarded:
Economic damages are awarded to reimburse measurable losses, such as:
- Medical expenses: Any bills related to the care and treatment for the abuse.
- Anticipated Future Medical Expenses: Any costs for ongoing medical care and any treatment you may require in the future.
- Lost Wages: However, nursing home residents are typically not earning an income. Therefore, they likely will not have lost wages.
Compensation for incalculable or subjective losses, such as:
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical pain and suffering the resident endured.
- Emotional Distress: Any emotional distress or psychological conditions caused by the abuse, such as depression, loss of sleep, anxiety, PTSD, etc.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the abuse has impacted the resident’s quality of life. For example, permanent impairments caused by the abuse leave them unable to do things they were able to do before.
- Disability or Disfigurement: If the abuse resulted in a permanent disability or disfigurement with lasting physical, emotional, and social repercussions.
When a defendant’s (at-fault party’s) actions are particularly egregious or intentional, the court may also award punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant and deter others from similar behavior.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are not measurable monetary losses. Therefore, a Paducah personal injury attorney can help you estimate their value, but it is ultimately up to a jury to decide their worth.
Do I Have a Lawsuit?
Whether or not you have a lawsuit, and how much it is worth, depends entirely upon the unique facts and circumstances of your case and how the law and case precedent applies. When your loved one has been injured due to the neglect of the nursing home, a complex legal term, you are entitled to compensation. Identifying when this is the case can be difficult without a thorough understanding of Kentucky law, which your Kentucky nursing home negligence attorney has.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
- In 2020, more than 15,000 complaints were filed with nursing home ombudspersons related to abuse or neglect.
- According to the National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC), nursing home abuse complaints in 2018 were broken down as follows:
- 29% – Physical abuse
- 22% – Resident-on-resident abuse (physical or sexual)
- 21% – Psychological abuse
- 14% – Gross neglect
- 7% – Sexual abuse
- 7% – Financial exploitation
- Approximately 24% of nursing home residents experience at least one instance of physical abuse.
- As many as five million older adults are impacted by abuse every year, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
- A 2020 WHO study reported that more than 65% of nursing home staff members admitted to committing some form of abuse or neglect. In addition, nearly 1 in 3 staff members admitted to committing emotional abuse.
- 60% of self-reported elder abuse complaints were related to verbal or emotional harm.
- With 66% of elder abuse victims being female, women are more likely to be abused than men.
- Physical elder abuse is increasing at an alarming rate, with reports of assault against men aged 60 or older up by 75% and women up by 35% between 2002 to 2016.
The Difference Between Abuse and Neglect
Abuse and neglect both involve harm inflicted upon nursing home residents, but there are differences in their definitions and characteristics. Here is an overview of each:
Abuse refers to intentional actions or omissions that cause harm or distress to an older person. It involves the willful infliction of harm on an older adult by a caregiver, family member, or other individuals in a position of trust or authority. Abuse can take various forms:
- Physical Abuse: The use of force that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment.
- Emotional/Psychological Abuse: Inflicting mental anguish, fear, or distress through verbal or non-verbal actions such as insults, threats, isolation, or humiliation.
- Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact or any form of sexual exploitation.
- Financial Abuse: Unauthorized or improper use of a person’s funds, assets, or property.
A specific form of abuse involving the failure to fulfill caregiving obligations and provide the necessary care and support for a resident’s well-being. Neglect can be intentional, where the caregiver purposely withholds care, or unintentional due to inadequate resources, knowledge, or capacity to meet the resident’s needs. Neglect can be categorized into different types:
- Physical Neglect: Failing to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, or medical care.
- Emotional/Psychological Neglect: Ignoring the emotional needs of a resident, such as isolation, lack of social interaction, or withholding attention.
- Medical Neglect: Failure to provide necessary medical treatment, medication management, or assistance with healthcare appointments.
- Abandonment: Deserting or intentionally leaving a resident alone without appropriate support or care.
Both abuse and neglect can have severe physical, emotional, and financial consequences for nursing home residents. Detecting and addressing these issues require vigilance, awareness, and proactive efforts from individuals, families, caregivers, and society as a whole.
Who is Most at Risk?
Anyone in a nursing home can potentially be at risk, but the following factors make individuals particularly vulnerable:
Residents with Cognitive Impairment
Individuals with dementia or other cognitive conditions may be at a greater risk of abuse or neglect due to difficulties in communication and reduced ability to advocate for themselves. In addition, they may have trouble recognizing or reporting abuse, making them more susceptible. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 50% of patients with dementia worldwide suffer from some form of abuse.
Physically Dependent Residents
The more reliant a nursing home resident is on the staff, the more susceptible they are to abuse or neglect.
Residents with Limited Social Support
Those who lack regular visits or involvement from family and friends may be more isolated and have fewer advocates to raise concerns or notice signs of abuse. Social isolation can make it easier for abuse to go unnoticed or unreported.
Nursing homes with insufficient staffing levels or high staff turnover rates can increase the risk of abuse or neglect. When caregivers are overburdened or stressed, it may lead to inadequate supervision, rushed care, or burnout, potentially compromising the quality of care provided.
Facilities with Inadequate Training and Policies
Nursing homes that lack proper staff training on abuse prevention fail to implement comprehensive policies and procedures or have a flawed reporting system are more likely to experience abuse or neglect incidents.
Residents with Limited Financial Resources
Older adults with limited financial means can be at an increased risk of financial exploitation in nursing homes. Perpetrators may attempt to exploit or steal the resident’s assets, take advantage of their financial vulnerability, or manipulate them into providing money or valuables.
How Much Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Cost?
Many nursing home abuse lawyers, including Bryant Law Center P.S.C., accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer’s fee is contingent upon winning the case. Typically, the attorney will receive a percentage of the final compensation awarded or received through a settlement. Contingency fees often range from 25% to 40% of the recovery amount. If the case is unsuccessful, you typically do not owe the attorney any fees.
Call our Kentucky Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
To discuss options on your nursing home abuse claim, reach out to Bryant Law Center P.S.C. for a risk-free, cost-free assessment by scheduling a consultation or by calling (270) 550-1230. Our highly experienced Kentucky personal injury attorneys are standing by to review the facts and circumstances of your loved one’s injuries, and to determine if nursing home negligence entitles you to damages. If so, we will handle your claim every step of the way, communicating and negotiating with the nursing home and their insurance company and attorney to collect what you deserve.