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The thought of nursing home elder abuse is disturbing. The idea that a caregiver, nurse, or other facility employees could inflict harm on a vulnerable, defenseless senior citizen is almost beyond imagining. Yet thousands of elderly people deal with daily neglect and abuse in nursing home facilities. Statistics aren’t accurate with this issue because researchers believe it goes largely underreported. Many victims have dementia and cannot talk about their plight. It’s up to you to detect and put an end to elder abuse against your loved one. Sean Claggett and his elder abuse and neglect attorneys can help.
At Claggett & Sykes Law Firm, we know what a family needs during a nursing home abuse lawsuit. 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. We can provide the following services during a nursing home abuse lawsuit:
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. As your legal representatives, our lawyers will work tirelessly to secure the results that you and your family deserve.
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 are 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.
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.
State law defines exploitation as betraying the trust and confidence of an older person to obtain or control the victim’s assets. Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide for the basic needs of an older person. Isolation is intentionally keeping an older person from having contact with others. The definition of abandonment is a caregiver deserting an older person in an unsafe manner. Finally, abuse is the willful infliction of pain or injury on an older person, as well as the infliction of psychological and emotional injuries or the deprivation of the necessities (food, shelter, clothing and medical services). All of these acts are crimes that can make the abuser accountable for related injuries.
The negligent or intentional mistreatment of a senior citizen can cause serious and life-threatening injuries to a victim. A senior is 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:
Sadly, many victims of elder abuse are never the same again after these crimes. They may suffer physical or mental injuries that are too great to overcome. This is why it is critical to search 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.
Putting a stop to elder abuse starts with detecting there is an issue. As a close friend or family member, visit your elderly loved one often to check for signs of neglect or abuse. There are four main types of elder abuse: physical, mental, financial, 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 show signs such as:
Financial exploitation may come in the form of stolen property, last-minute changes in wills, or extravagant gifts to strangers. Check your loved one’s financial accounts regularly, and investigate unusual withdrawals. There is also elder neglect, or the lack of proper care. Neglect can lead to 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 him or her out of the facility immediately.
Take your loved one’s allegations seriously, even if he or she has dementia. Investigate any claims of abuse or strange behaviors from your loved one. Do not write them off 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.
If you have encountered any type of nursing home abuse in Las Vegas, you will need to file a claim through the Nevada State Board of Nursing. The Board issues licenses to Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Advanced Practitioners of Nursing (APNs) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), and also manages standards and disciplinary action for license holders. All types of nurses have a duty to act in the best interests of their patients. When they violate this duty, the Nevada State Board of Nursing can take corrective or disciplinary action to prevent similar behavior in the future.
To file a complaint against a Las Vegas nurse, you can do so online or via a written letter to the Nevada State Board of Nursing. Your complaint should include as much information about the nurse and the incident as possible, including name, place of employment, the details of the complaint, any documentation to support your complaint, and your contact information for the Board to reply to your complaint. The Board will investigate your complaint and take action against the responsible nurse if they deem it appropriate. Nurses engaged in unprofessional conduct or who abuse their patients face loss of license as well as civil penalties from their victims’ lawsuits.
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 has been neglected, a personal injury lawsuit 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 & Skyes attorney, we’ll carefully review the details of your case to determine which types of compensation may be available to you. Some common damages in nursing home abuse cases include:
Our team will start by reviewing whatever evidence you can compile and then launching an investigation of our own. Your attorney can also issue a subpoena for security camera footage or other evidence from the nursing home to strengthen your case. 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.
As soon as your loved one is in a safe place, give our firm a call. We can help you file a personal injury claim for the senior citizen’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, lost enjoyment of life, and physical injuries. You can file this claim at the same time as an ongoing criminal investigation. Retaining an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney can increase your chances of a successful claim. We want to help you and your loved one escape from abuse and pursue justice against the offender. Call (702) 333-7777 for a free case evaluation today. We offer home, nursing home, and hospital visits.
“Claggett & Sykes Law Firm is THE absolute best! They are extremely professional, thorough with every detail, and consistently keep you informed of each progression of your case. Their team of lawyers, especially Jennifer M. and Christian A., go above and beyond; their customer service is Amazing and I highly recommend them!”
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