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Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

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Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

There may come a time when you need to check your loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility. This is never an easy choice for a family. Indeed, even when it is clearly the right call, it can be an incredibly stressful decision to make. When you do check a loved one into a nursing home, you are putting a lot of faith in the hands of that facility. Nursing homes have legal duties to protect the health and safety of their residents. Yet, sadly, all too often, these facilities fail to live up to that responsibility.

We understand the devastating impact caused by nursing home abuse and neglect. When a care facility violates your trust, we can help. We strive to protect other residents and their families from maltreatment and substandard care, and to honor the dignity of their loved ones whose safety and rights have been disregarded. Oftentimes nursing homes think they can hide the truth and they should be held accountable for the damage they cause.

At Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm, our experienced Minnesota nursing home abuse lawyers have extensive experience fighting back against bad acting nursing home and assisted living facilities. We can help you take action to protect your loved one and bring a legal claim against the responsible parties. If your vulnerable loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect as at Minneapolis-St. Paul nursing home, please contact our team today.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

In the video above, attorney Mark Kosieradzki talks about abuse of the elderly and vulnerable in nursing home and other care facilities.

How Does Abuse in Nursing Homes Happen?

Mark talks about some of the issues that lead to abuse happening in American nursing homes. One of the biggest issues he identifies is the unfortunate understaffing of many care facilities. This understaffing makes it difficult for facility staff to be accountable to one another. They are often alone with residents leaving the opportunity for abuse wide open. Mark points out in the interview that one of the important things that can be understood more thoroughly through the litigation process is not only what happened but why it happened.

Nursing Home Abuse is an Epidemic

Tragically, nursing home abuse is a very serious problem in Minnesota and throughout the United States. According to data provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), 10 percent of all nursing home residents face abuse or neglect on a semi-regular basis. Notably, within this data, the NCEA includes a caveat stating that the true figure is almost certainly far higher, because nursing home abuse and neglect is chronically underreported.

More must be done to combat this widespread problem. In the coming years, the nursing home population in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region is expected to explode due to the aging of the baby boomer generation. The NCEA expects the total nursing home population to double between 2010 and 2040, and abuse and neglect could become an even bigger problem if corrective action is not taken.

Patients Have Important Rights

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have legal obligations to protect the rights of patients. Indeed, nursing home residents have important legal rights under both federal law, such as 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, and state law, including the Minnesota Health Care Bill of Rights. Specifically, some of the most important legal rights include:

  • The right to live in a safe environment, free from abuse, exploitation and discrimination;
  • The right to have full information regarding their living arrangements;
  • The right to reasonably participate in health care decision making;
  • The right to complain about the facility without worrying about facing punishment;
  • The right to privacy, lifestyle choices and visitation time; and
  • The right to overall dignity and respect.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

To prevent your loved one from becoming a victim, it is imperative that you know the common warning signs of a nursing home abuse and neglect. Whenever you visit with or communicate with your loved one, you should always keep a close eye out for the following:

  • Untreated medical conditions, such as cuts, wounds and sores;
  • Unacceptably dirty clothing or bed sheets;
  • Bruises, abrasions or other injuries;
  • Signs or smells of poor hygiene;
  • Sudden and unexplained weight loss;
  • Changes in behavior, including fearfulness or withdrawal;
  • Any other strange personal behavior;
  • Unusual or unexplained financial transactions;
  • Problems with staff members;
  • Disorganization within the facility;
  • Direct complaints from your loved one; and
  • Anything else that makes you feel ‘anxious’ or ‘uneasy’.

It is important to note that some of the warnings signs of abuse are consistent with other underlying medical problems. The most important thing you need to remember is that you should always follow up on any potential problems. By addressing things thoroughly and quickly, you can be sure that you have provided the best possible environment for your vulnerable family member.

What Should You Do If You Suspect a Problem?

In the unfortunate event that you suspect your loved one is currently being mistreated in a Minnesota nursing home, you need to take immediate action. In many cases, family members of the victims report not being sure that any abuse or neglect is actually occurring at all. This is a common problem. Nursing home neglect is difficult to catch. If you have suspicions or if your loved one is making complaints, you need to follow up on the issue: It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

If you need assistance, a compassionate Minneapolis nursing home abuse attorney can help you take action to ensure that your loved one is being properly protected. Generally, concerns of ongoing abuse should be reported to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center. Though, in cases where there is a medical emergency, you may need to call 911 for immediate assistance. The state of Minnesota provides services that can help you get your vulnerable family member medical treatment and into a temporary location that is safe. From there, your attorney will be able to assess the legal issues and determine exactly what needs to be done to hold the negligent assisted living facility responsible for your loved one’s damages.

Compensation Available to Nursing Abuse Victims

If you or a family member has been a victim of nursing home abuse in Minnesota, you need to take legal action. Our team can help you seek full compensation for your damages. Depending on the specific circumstances of your claim, we may be able to assist you in obtaining financial relief for:

  • Costs associated with relocation;
  • Incidental economic damages;
  • Any medical expenses related to the abuse or neglect;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental distress;
  • Wrongful death damages; and
  • Punitive damages.

Our Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help

At Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm we are privileged to help our clients to make sure, without question, that vulnerable adults and the elderly are treated with the respect they deserve. Visit our MN Nursing Home Abuse blog to find resources that can help your family make the right decisions for your loved one. Learn how to identify and report abuse and learn about recent cases and troublesome nursing homes.

If you believe that your loved one has been mistreated in a Minnesota nursing home, we will help. To set up a free review of your claim, please do not hesitate to call us today at (763) 225-2695 or to contact us directly through our website. Our firm is located in Plymouth and we serve communities throughout the Twin Cities, including in Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Wright County, Carver County and Dakota County.

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