Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Helping Clients and Their Families in Coon Rapids
When you make the difficult choice in place your loved one in an assisted living center, you trust the nursing home to provide top quality care and prioritize his or her needs. It can be devastating to learn that many facilities engage in misconduct that violates that trust, and shirk their legal obligations under Minnesota law. Victims may sustain severe injuries, but the suffering goes far beyond the physical manifestations of abuse.
Fortunately, you can take action to identify the signs and pursue those who cause injury to a cherished friend or family member. Our dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys at the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm are at your side to assist with all legal aspects, from advising you on reporting misconduct to filing a claim for compensation. We fight to get justice for the victims of nursing home abuse and their families, because we believe no one should suffer injuries and indignity at the hands of the people they trust to provide quality care. Please contact us to set up a free case assessment with a Coon Rapids, MN nursing home abuse lawyer, and check out some important information about your legal options.
The Disturbing Rise of Nursing Home Abuse
The statistics on physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse reveal the frequency of misconduct in nursing homes, but the numbers also indicate that mistreatment is on the rise. According to data compiled by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA):
- One of every 10 nursing home residents endures abuse or neglect;
- There were 14,258 complaints alleging regarding abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation in 2014, as reported by the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS);
- A resident with dementia is more likely to experience nursing home abuse by 50 percent as compared to those without memory loss, Alzheimer’s Disease, or related conditions.
Clearly, more must be done to stop nursing home abuse, but the current outlook is grim. Some experts have suggested that knowledge and awareness of nursing home abuse is approximately 20 years behind related fields, including child abuse and domestic violence. One of the key factors is understaffing. Nursing home abuse is far too common, but it is a reality when centers are insufficiently staffed and poorly managed. Facility personnel are often left alone with residents due to staffing shortages, leading to problems with accountability. The potential for abuse skyrockets when there are no other co-workers around to confront an abuser who knows that a resident lacks the capacity to complain about violence.
Coon Rapids, MN Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Protect the Rights of Victims
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have legal obligations under federal and state law, including the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and the Minnesota Health Care Bill of Rights. These statutes are designed to protect the rights of residents of nursing homes, including the right to:
- Live in a secure environment, free from abuse;
- Participate in health care decisions;
- Lodge complaints about the facility and staff without concerns of punishment;
- Privacy, dignity, and respect.
- Make reasonable lifestyle choices; and,
- Others as specified by law.
Indications of Nursing Home Abuse
It is critical to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse, even though they may be subtle, hidden by clothing, or emotional rather than physical. Still, you need to keep a watchful eye out for some of the more common red flags, so you can take immediate action and prevent further damage. Indications may include:
- Physical abuse, such as bruises, cuts, or scrapes, broken bones, bed sores, and injuries from falls. You should also look for signs of unreasonable restraint, including ligature marks on wrists and ankles.
- Sexual abuse, which may be indicated by sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract disorders, and related medical conditions.
- Emotional abuse, often characterized by mood swings, abnormal outbursts, anger, and withdrawing from others.
In addition, you should note questionable conditions of the nursing home, such as:
- Dirty clothing or bed sheets;
- Poor hygiene, as it pertains to the resident, bathrooms, and other common areas;
- Unexplained financial transactions, which could indicate financial exploitation;
- Arguments, disputes, or other issues with staff members;
- General disorganization within the facility; and,
- Any other factors that give you an uneasy feeling.
Immediate Action is Critical in Nursing Home Abuse
Victims and their families have multiple options to counter nursing home abuse, including calling 911 for emergencies, filing a police report, or contacting the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center.
Services are available to help you get a vulnerable family member medical treatment and remove him or her from an abusive environment. Criminal and administrative penalties not only protect your loved one, but they also help prevent abuse from continuing.
Still, these alternatives do nothing to remedy the unspeakable losses the victim experiences. It is possible to recover compensation for nursing home abuse by taking legal action against those responsible, either through their actions or inaction. Potential parties may include:
- Nursing home employees;
- Administrative staff;
- Owners and operators of the assisted living center; and,
- Any other individuals or entities that intentionally or negligently failed in their duty to protect your family member.
If successful in pursuing your claim for nursing home abuse, you can recover:
- Relocation costs to move the victim to a safe assisted living center;
- Medical costs for treating the victim’s injuries;
- Damages related to pain and suffering;
- Losses for emotional anguish and distress;
- Wrongful death damages, if your loved one died as a result of abuse; and,
- Punitive damages, in situations that warrant punishment for the abuser.
Consult with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Coon Rapids, MN Regarding Your Case
If you believe a loved one suffered injuries due to nursing home abuse or misconduct, Minnesota law provides you with legal remedies to hold accountable those who violate your trust. At Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm LLC, our attorneys believe there is no excuse for negligent, reckless, or intentional acts against vulnerable victims. We are aggressive in pursuing the people who commit abuse or allow it to happen. Please call us at (763) 225-2695 or visit us online to schedule a free, no-obligations consultation. We represent clients in Coon Rapids, MN, Anoka County, and throughout the Twin Cities, to ensure the elderly are treated with the respect they deserve.