Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Helping Clients and Their Families in Braham
You expect high standards of professionalism and courtesy from the nursing home staffs who care for an elderly family member, and Minnesota law demands that these facilities comply with the legal duty to provide proper care. Unfortunately, assisted living centers and their employees fail to meet these obligations all too often. We put our cherished loved ones in their care, yet many nursing homes are understaffed, underfunded, and poorly managed. The victims are among the most vulnerable because they may not have the capacity to raise concerns about nursing home abuse, which may lead to life-threatening injuries and even death.
At the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys a give a voice to victims who may not be able to speak up. We are committed to pursuing the rights of patients who sustain injuries due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of those they rely upon for their care. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Braham, MN nursing home lawyer, and read on for some important information about what you can do to address misconduct.
Nursing Home Abuse is Shockingly Widespread
The statistics on physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse in nursing homes are disturbing, both in the types of misconduct and the frequency. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA):
- One in ten of all nursing home residents experience abuse or neglect;
- Dementia is a risk factor for victims, as around 50 percent endure some kind of abuse. This figure is especially distressing as there are currently an estimated 5.1 million adults over age 65 who have some form of cognitive or memory-related medical conditions. Almost half of adults 85 or older have a variation on dementia conditions.
- The National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) reports that there were 14,258 complaints alleging regarding abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation in 2014.
Of course, the true statistics on nursing home abuse are most likely higher due to underreporting.
Understaffing is one of the top contributing factors in nursing home abuse, which is a particular problem for accountability. Caretaker shortages often lead staff members to be alone with a resident, presenting opportunities for abuse. Plus, staff members may experience significant frustration with long hours and little support from administration. They are more likely to lose patience and lash out at residents. Understaffing is also a considerable problem when it comes to abuse by one resident against another. Some reports indicate that this situation could even be more common than physical abuse by nursing home employees, and understaffing prevents more active monitoring of residents.
Braham, MN Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Fight for Patients’ Rights
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to protect the rights of patients, as established by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, the Minnesota Health Care Bill of Rights, and other state and federal laws. A resident of an assisted living center resident has the right to:
- Live in a safe, abuse-free environment;
- Access information regarding the residential arrangements;
- Participate in decisions regarding healthcare and lifestyle;
- Raise concerns about the nursing home without fear of retribution;
- Privacy, dignity, and respect;
- Exist free from exploitation and discrimination;
- The right to reasonable visitation time; and,
- Other rights as designated by law.
Spot the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It is critical to be proactive to prevent your loved one from becoming a victim of nursing home abuse, so you need to become familiar with some of the common red flags. Take action immediately if you observe:
- Untreated lacerations, wounds, or sores;
- Unexplained abrasions, bruises, or similar injuries;
- Signs or smells of poor hygiene, such as dirty clothing and bed linens;
- Weight loss;
- Mood swings;
- Changes in demeanor, such as becoming withdrawn, anxious, or fearful;
- Problems with staff members, whether yourself or your loved one;
- Suspect financial transactions;
- Disarray within the assisted living center;
- Direct complaints from your loved one; and
- Anything else that is suspicious, concerning, or uncharacteristic of a nursing home.
Legal Remedies for Nursing Home Abuse Victims
Time is of the essence when you believe a loved one is subject to abuse in a Minnesota nursing home. Even a hunch is enough to take action, as mistreatment can be difficult to catch. In an emergency situation, call 911 for immediate help. For ongoing concerns, you should report abusive circumstances to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center.
However, these legal options do nothing to remedy losses the victim sustains. Under Minnesota law, it is possible to recover compensation he or she suffered due to nursing home abuse by filing a lawsuit against:
- The facility;
- Specific employees who engaged in abuse;
- Administrators and executives; and,
- Any other entities who acted or failed to act to protect your loved one from abuse.
The nursing home abuse lawyers at Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm LLC can assist you in obtaining the compensation your loved one deserves. We initially file a claim through the insurance company that covers the facility and/or care providers. In doing so, our attorneys would include a request for such damages as:
- Medical expenses to treat any injuries caused by abuse;
- Relocation costs;
- Losses related to financial exploitation;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Wrongful death damages, in a claim you and your family bring if your loved one dies due to abuse;
- Punitive damages, where available under Minnesota law;
- Attorneys’ fees; and,
- Any other types of damages depending on the details of your case.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Braham, MN Today
At Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm LLC, our attorneys have the dedication and persistence to pursue those who cause injury and harm dignity through nursing home abuse. If you believe that your loved one has suffered due to misconduct in a Minnesota nursing home, please call us right away to schedule a free consultation. You can reach us by calling (763) 225-2695 or visiting our website. Our nursing home abuse lawyers advise families in Braham, MN, Isanti and Kanabec Counties, and throughout the Twin Cities, and we look forward to serving you.