Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Pearland TX
Texas has long had a reputation for being one of the worst states in the country when it comes to protecting nursing home residents. Each year there are several thousand reports of abuse and neglect–often including serious crimes–involving nursing home residents. This often comes as a shock to family members who believe their loved one is receiving appropriate care.
Although federal and state prosecutors have become more assertive in recent years in bringing criminal cases against the most horrific abuse cases, individual victims and families still need to consider taking direct civil action to obtain appropriate compensation and relief from negligent nursing homes. A Pearland nursing home abuse lawyer can help you in this process. Attorney Keith B. French is an experienced litigator who can help you in building and proving a case for nursing home abuse in court.
Holding Nursing Homes and Their Staff Accountable for Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms. Some of the more common problems known to exist in Texas nursing homes include:
- physical abuse, such as beatings or assaults by nursing home staff;
- sexual abuse (i.e., rape);
- emotional abuse;
- financial exploitation;
- intentional deprivation of a resident’s physical and medical needs; and
- false imprisonment (i.e., confining a resident against their will and without a legitimate purpose.)
There are often a number of individuals and companies that can be held civilly liable for these forms of abuse. For example, a doctor or nurse may be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit for providing inadequate or substandard care. Non-medical nursing home staff may be personally liable for individual acts of abuse. And the company that owns the nursing home can be sued for its negligence in failing to properly screen, train, and supervise its employees.
Damages in a nursing home abuse lawsuit can also take several forms. As with any personal injury claim, the victim is entitled to seek economic damages to cover their out-of-pocket financial losses, such as additional medical bills and costs arising from the abuse. The victim can also seek non-economic damages for their pain and suffering and ongoing mental trauma. In cases where the abuse was intentional–i.e., the nursing home resident was physically or sexually assaulted–a defendant may be ordered to pay additional punitive damages as well.
In cases where nursing home abuse proves fatal, the victim’s family and estate can also file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties. A wrongful death claim is designed to compensate the victim’s surviving spouse and children for their losses arising from their loved one’s death.
How Nursing Homes Financially Exploit Patients
While it may seem like nursing home residents often suffer from some sort of physical abuse at the hands of other residents, staff, or contractors, the truth is that financial exploitation and abuse are very common. This happens when someone takes advantage of a nursing home patient by stealing their money, assets, or even property illegally. This can happen by any means, including deceiving your loved one, coercing them, threatening them, or simply stealing. If you believe you are seeing signs that someone at your loved one’s nursing home is taking financial advantage of them, it is time to speak with a trusted lawyer who can help walk you through what steps to take.
In what ways can your loved one be taken advantage of financially?
The truth is, your loved one is likely in a very at-risk situation when it comes to their finances when they go into a nursing home. Most people are in nursing homes because they are unable to care for themselves and their loved ones cannot do so either. Typically, this means that they have physical health problems but they may also be having memory issues either. Whether it is simply old age or your loved one is dealing with a memory problem–like dementia–someone at the nursing home may target your loved one and use this to take advantage of them financially.
This could come in the form of:
- Someone coercing your loved one to transfer money into their account
- Someone getting your loved one to add them to their estate plan or sign the power of attorney
- Someone forging your loved one’s signature or forcing your loved one to sign financial documents
- Someone using your loved one’s credit or debit cards for their own purchases
- Someone stealing your loved one’s cash or valuables they have at the nursing home
- Someone opening up credit cards or other lines of credit in your loved one’s name
These are just a few examples of how someone may be using your loved one for their own financial gain.
What signs might I see?
It is not always easy to see signs of financial abuse when your loved one is in a nursing home. However, some signs might be:
- There are chunks of money withdrawn from your loved one’s bank account that you know your loved one didn’t (or couldn’t) withdraw
- There are obvious purchases on your loved one’s accounts where they don’t shop
- Your loved one shows signs of confusion over who owns certain property or assets
- Your loved one suddenly has checks bouncing and cannot afford care when you know there was money set aside for their bills.
- There are sudden changes to your loved one’s estate plan
These are just a few of the things you might notice if your loved one is being financially abused by someone at their nursing home. If you suspect financial abuse, please reach out to our team so that we can begin reviewing your case as soon as possible.
Contact Keith B. French Law Today
Nursing home abuse often goes unreported and undetected. Even when family members suspect abuse might be taking place, they fail to act promptly. Do not make this mistake. If you have any reason to suspect your spouse, parent, or another family member is being mistreated, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced Pearland nursing home abuse lawyer. Contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC, today to schedule a free consultation.