Las Vegas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Protecting the rights of seniors and the elderly from nursing home negligence
The decision to place our loved one in nursing home or assisted care is always a difficult one. However, when an elderly family member needs the care you can no longer provide, you turn to professionals for help. Sadly, in some circumstances a caregiver, nurse, or other facility employees inflict harm on a vulnerable, defenseless senior citizen, through negligence, carelessness, or even intentionally.
A national survey of nursing home staff revealed that 36 percent of residents witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of a resident in the past year, 10 percent committed at least one act of physical abuse towards a resident, and 40 percent admitted to psychologically abusing patients. This is unacceptable. If you believe your loved one is suffering physical or emotional abuse in a nursing home, we can help.
At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we understand what your family needs during a nursing home abuse claim. We can address all of your needs and concerns using proven and tailored legal strategies. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys in Las Vegas can take care of the legal side of your case while your family focuses on healing and moving forward. Contact us today.
“The team at Claggett and Sykes were amazing! They were quick to respond, were extremely helpful with my case and kept me informed the whole time.” – Leah V.
What is nursing home abuse and negligence?
Elder abuse is the crime of intentionally causing harm to a senior citizen, or someone over the age of 65. Nursing home abuse specifically refers to this type of wrongdoing taking place in an elder care facility, such as a nursing home, hospice, long-term living facility or rehabilitation center. Most cases of nursing home abuse involve a caretaker or employee of the facility abusing or neglecting a vulnerable resident.
However, there can also be cases where family members or friends are the abusers. Caretakers may take advantage of their positions of power or authority over a senior to commit crimes such as physical abuse, fraud, sexual assault or exploitation.
What are Nevada’s nursing home laws?
Yes. There are laws in place in Nevada to prevent nursing home abuse and neglect. There are also federal rules for the proper treatment and protection of senior citizens. Nevada Revised Statutes Section 200.5099 criminalizes exploiting, neglecting, isolating, abandoning or abusing anyone who is 60 years or older. Doing so is a class C felony or a gross misdemeanor for a first offense. If the victim suffers substantial physical or mental harm, a first-time conviction is a class B felony and can carry up to 20 years in prison. All of these acts are crimes that can make the abuser accountable for related injuries.
Further, all residents in long term care facilities are guaranteed certain civil rights. Just a few of these include:
- The right to exercise his or her rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States.
- The right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights.
- The right to be informed of rules and regulations regarding patient conduct and responsibilities.
- The right to participate in discussions about care, treatment, and access to their records.
- The right not to be unfairly transferred or discharged either to another room or from the facility.
- The right to voice concerns and to have complaints resolved.
You can read more of Long Term Care Residents’ Rights here. If you have questions about the rights of your loved ones, the nursing home abuse attorneys at Claggett & Sykes have answers.
What injuries are caused by nursing home abuse?
The negligent or intentional mistreatment of a senior citizen can cause serious and life-threatening injuries. The elderly are already vulnerable to injuries, illnesses and infections, even with proper caregiving and medical attention. When living in an environment that is dangerous, unsanitary or abusive, a senior citizen can suffer serious health consequences, including:
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Many victims of elder abuse take a long time to recover, or never recover, after these types of injuries. They may suffer physical or mental injuries that are too great to overcome. This is why it’s so critical to stay alert for signs of elder abuse that may be affecting your elderly loved one, as well as to speak up immediately if you see signs of potential abuse or neglect.
What are the signs of elder abuse and neglect?
Putting a stop to elder abuse begins as soon as you notice the symptoms. As a close friend or family member, visit your elderly loved one often to check for signs of neglect or abuse. There are three main types of elder abuse: physical, mental, and sexual.
Physical and sexual abuse may show visible signs, such as bruising, slap marks, restraint marks, cuts, burns, and unexplained injuries. Mental abuse is more difficult to detect, but it can manifest in symptoms like:
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Nursing home residents may also experience elder neglect, or the lack of proper care. Lack of proper staffing often leads to neglect. Neglect can cause bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, poor hygiene, overmedicating, ulcers, wounds, and wrongful death. As soon as you detect any potential sign of elder abuse, report your suspicions to the facility. If you fear for your loved one’s health and safety, take them out of the facility immediately and contact an attorney.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?
Always take your loved one’s allegations seriously. Investigate any claims of abuse or strange behaviors, even if staff attempts to explain them away. Don’t write off your loved one’s behaviors or accusations as hallucinations or lies. Once you report your suspicions to the facility, see if the nursing home does anything to remedy the situation, such as fire the alleged offender or launch an investigation.
If this approach feels like a dead end or if the harm to your loved one is of a criminal nature (e.g., assault and battery), contact local Las Vegas police. Then, call the injury trial lawyers at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm to determine your next steps.
How do I file a claim against a Las Vegas nursing home?
If you believe a complaint against the nursing home as a whole is more fitting for your situation, you can accomplish this through the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH). Some individuals may wish to file such complaints anonymously. For example, an employee of a nursing home who notices unethical treatment of patients from other staff members and supervisors may worry about losing his or her job for reporting the behavior.
Filing a complaint anonymously will trigger an investigation at no risk to the employee’s job. You may also choose to file a complaint with your real name, but request for the investigators keep your personal information confidential until they conclude their investigation.
Submitting a formal complaint about a nursing home or nurse is just one way to handle nursing home abuse, but you shouldn’t stop there. If your loved one has suffered physical injuries, emotional distress, or neglect, a personal injury claim against the responsible parties can help you recover damages and may help pay for better quality nursing care afterward. When you meet with a Claggett & Sykes attorney, we’ll carefully review the details of your case to determine what damages may be available, including:
- Medical expenses, if nursing home abuse led to necessary medical treatment, hospital bills, surgeries, or other medically related expenses.
- Pain and suffering. You can also claim damages for your loved one’s physical pain, emotional anguish, and mental suffering resulting from nursing home abuse.
- Lost income, if you had to miss work to handle your nursing home abuse situation.
- Punitive damages. In cases involving gross negligence, intentionally harmful conduct, or reckless disregard for patient welfare, a jury may award punitive damages to discourage similar behavior from the nursing home in the future.
Our team will start by reviewing whatever evidence you can compile and then launching an investigation of our own. Ultimately, your first priority in any nursing home abuse situation should be to remove your loved one from harm’s way as swiftly as possible.
We understand the importance of pursuing accountability for a crime as despicable as nursing home or elder abuse. Our attorneys are passionate about standing up for defenseless and victimized senior citizens in Las Vegas, and will stand up for you and your family.
Talk to our experienced Las Vegas nursing home abuse lawyers
As soon as your loved one is in a safe place, call the elder abuse attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm. We can help you file a personal injury claim for their pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, and physical injuries. And, you can file this claim at the same time as an ongoing criminal investigation. We want to help you and your loved one escape from abuse and pursue justice against the offender. To talk to a member of our team and set up a free consultation, call 702-333-7777 or fill out our contact form today.