We Stop Financial Abuse, Sue Nursing Homes & Contest Wills

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Are You or a Loved One a Victim of Neglect or Abuse at a Nursing Home?

Our experienced elder law attorneys can help.

Nursing home abuse is a massive problem nationally and it’s getting worse. As baby boomers grow older and begin to enter nursing homes and other specialized facilities, the problem is likely to increase. A Congressional study revealed that a staggering 30% of nursing home facilities nationwide have been cited for abuse – that represented 9000 cases of patient abuse in just two years!

As we grow older we trust that nursing homes, rehabilitation hospitals and home health aides (personal care attendants) will take good care of us and of our loved ones. Unfortunately, inadequate training, low pay, poor oversight and greed continue to mean that our elderly and those suffering from cognitive disabilities remain at great risk.

Until now, finding a qualified, aggressive lawyer willing to take on these cases was difficult. Many lawyers claim to handle nursing home neglect and elder abuse cases. Unfortunately, most of these firms are nothing more than personal injury law firms better adapted for car accidents cases.

We are the first law firm and multi-state network of nursing home abuse lawyers to have an emphasis on elder law and the specialized needs of our older and disabled clients. If you have been asking the question, “How do I sue a nursing home?”  Call us or fill out the online review form to learn how our elder abuse lawyers can help you.

No Healthcare Chain or Company is Too Big for us to Take on for Violating Elder Rights

Our team of skilled nursing home abuse attorneys understands the unique needs of elderly and disabled clients. We also have decades of courtroom experience. No firm, healthcare chain or company is too big for us. Whether your case involves a skilled nursing facility, rehabilitation hospital, hospice, home care agency or individual health care worker, our goal is to help you get the maximum compensation and insure the neglect or abuse never happens again.

Many lawyers that handle these cases simply look to obtain a quick settlement. They operate on a volume basis. We are different. Our lawyers were picked because of their trial skills and willingness to roll up their sleeves when the wrongdoers won’t pay or play fair. Because we give each case the individual attention it deserves, we can take the time to craft relief that prevents future harm and misconduct. Money is important but so is protecting our clients from additional harm.

If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, rehabilitation hospital, long term care facility or by a personal care service, contact us immediately. We will connect you with an experienced hand-picked lawyer in your state. (Unlike some mass market lawyer referral networks, our lawyer biographies are published and available online. You know exactly who is handling your case.)

Our consultations are always free, confidential and without obligation. If you are not sure what to do, please call 833.201.1555 or contact us online anyway. There are specific time limits in every state about bringing claims. Wait too long and you could lose your rights.

Additional Information on Nursing Home Abuse:                          

More Information on Nursing Home Abuse and Related Claims:

Types of Abuse

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse occurs when the patient is roughly treated or physically harmed. In the nursing home context, physical abuse can be an assault, overmedication, theft / denial of pain medications, and improper use of physical restraints.

The abuse need not be intentional to be actionable. Nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and individual care givers can be responsible even if the physical abuse results from poor training or negligence.

Also, the owners, managers and staff can be held responsible for assaults that take place in their facilities even if they are caused by third parties. Nursing homes and their administrators have a responsibility to protect their residents from assaults by other patients and outside service providers.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can take many forms. Although physical abuse often generates the most attention from law enforcement, regulators and family members, psychologists say that neglect and emotional abuse can be more damaging in the long run. This type of neglect is often also harder to spot.

Common forms of mental abuse include isolation (locking residents in their rooms or preventing them from participating in activities), verbal degradation and humiliation (for example, name calling when a patient soils herself), unwarranted sarcasm and manipulation.

Emotional manipulation is a frequent type of nursing home abuse and can occur in several ways. Examples include a staff member who threatens to withhold services if a patient complains about poor treatment or a patient who becomes afraid to ask for help because they will be scolded or mocked.

Intentional invasions of privacy and stripping a patient of their dignity can also be forms of emotional abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Closely related to both emotional and physical abuse are sexual abuse claims. These can include forced or coerced sex, intentional evasions of privacy and sexual contact when the patient is incapable of giving consent.

Sexual abuse claims don’t always involve staff. Often they involve unwanted sexual contact by other patients, visitors and even strangers. Once again, nursing homes and their owners have a duty to make their facilities safe for all residents.

Elder Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is covered in a separate section of this website. Nursing home staff, owners and management can be responsible if a staff member takes money, jewelry or other property of the resident, solicits gifts in return for continued care or forces him or her to alter the terms of a will or power of attorney.

Warning Signs of Abuse

Maintaining close contact between residents and friends and family members is the best way to prevent abuse. Studies show that residents with frequent outside contact are at a lower risk of abuse or neglect.

We understand that it is often difficult to maintain frequent contact, however. And sometimes, even those residents that are seen daily by family members are still being neglected or abused. For that reason, pay particular attention to the following warnings signs and note that these warning signs can all be indications of more than one form or type of abuse.

Remember that those guilty of abuse will usually deny their crimes or negligent behavior. DO NOT LET caregivers claim that your loved one is simply showing signs of old age, dementia or that these signs are typical when someone transitions to life in a residential facility.

These claims may or may not be true but should always be investigated. Remember, that the elderly and those with cognitive disabilities are often extremely vulnerable. Many are ashamed to come forward or fearful that things will get worse if they complain. Take any observations or appearances of neglect and abuse seriously.

Common warning signs include:


Physical Abuse

  • Bed sores
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Dry skin
  • Bruising of genital areas
  • Broken bones
  • Constant pain (may signal theft of pain medications)
  • Stupor or lethargy (may signal overmedication or use of chemical restraints)
  • Patient becomes suddenly withdrawn near caregiver

Emotional Abuse

  • Constant crying
  • Sudden or unexplained behavioral changes and mood swings
  • Complaints of abuse or neglect
  • Withdrawal
  • Unexplained anxiety
  • Unexplained depression
  • Fear of being left alone
  • Rude staff behavior

Financial Abuse

  • Changes to resident’s will or power of attorney
  • Unexplained financial difficulties

Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

Congress and state lawmakers have long been concerned with protecting nursing home residents. The federal government enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act. The Act resulted from a 1986 Congressional study that found nursing home patients were often neglected, abused and frequently received substandard care.

Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, nursing home residents are assured certain basic rights. These rights are designed to protect each resident’s dignity, privacy and individuality.

They also assure that each facility must provide proper medical care and a maintain a high quality of life for residents. The law requires that every nursing home resident receive care that is free from neglect, abuse, isolation and improper medical care.

In addition to the federal Nursing Home Reform Act, many states have their own patient bill of rights.

These laws are enforced by both the federal and state regulators. Some of the common requirements of these laws include:

  • Regular inspections of the facility
  • Ability of residents to participate in their own care plan
  • Regular treatment plan assessments
  • Resident’s access to treatment information
  • Significant restrictions on chemical and physical restraints
  • Residents must always be treated with dignity
  • Certification standards for all facilities
  • Minimum standards for healthcare programs
  • Grievance process (the grievance process must also be free from fear of retaliation)
  • Resident’s ability to participate in meaningful activities
  • Ability to have frequent visits
  • Accommodation of physical and mental needs
  • Full time social worker for facilities with 121 or more beds

Grounds for Suing Nursing Homes

There are many theories and laws that can be used to sue nursing homes and other involved in long term patient care. In addition to the obvious claims for neglect, patient physical abuse and sexual abuse, facilities and care givers can be sued for:

Improper Medical Care

Every nursing home patient is entitled to quality healthcare. If the level of care falls below industry and legal standards, the facility can be held responsible. Improper medical care includes overmedication and medication errors.

Staffing Levels

Many states and Medicare / Medicaid require facilities to maintain certain staffing levels. Some facilities cut corners, particularly on nights and weekends. If an emergency occurs, these same facilities could find themselves without the required resources to properly treat and care for patients.

When staffing levels are constantly low, residents do not receive the quality care for which they are entitled and workers become stressed and angry. The latter can lead to abuse and intentional patient neglect.

Poor Training / Improper Credentials

Closely related to understaffing are situations where facilities cut corners by employing healthcare workers with lesser certifications than are required by law or by not providing sufficient training to workers. An example is using LPNs as substitutes for RNs when the latter is required by law.

Improper Hiring

A facility and its administrators can be held liable for negligent hiring. All employees should be carefully checked for prior acts of violent behavior, prior or pending criminal charges and substance abuse or dependency issues. An employee addicted to drugs is much more likely to steal medications from patients who are unable or too frightened to report the thefts.

Safe Environment Claims

Even if a resident is physically or sexually abused by another patient, the facility and its administrators can be held responsible. Facilities have a legal duty to make their premises safe for patients.

Financial Abuse

Although covered in another section, financial abuse is actionable meaning nursing homes, their owners, managers and individual staff members can he liable for theft and will schemes involving patients.

Protecting Loved Ones from Abuse and Neglect

When you or a loved one is neglected or abused, there are three avenues of relief to consider:

  • Regulatory
  • Criminal
  • Civil Lawsuits

Complaining to the state’s office of the elderly or adult protective services is useful to insure the care giver or facility is investigated and the misconduct stopped. Most states have the authority to censure or fine caregivers and their employers.

In serious nursing home abuse cases they can even shut down a facility or revoke the caregiver’s license.

Criminal cases are initiated by the district attorney or state attorney general. These agencies have the authority to put wrongdoers in jail. We often see criminal prosecutions in connection with intentional and severe physical and sexual abuse. Criminal charges are also common when a caregiver steals from a resident.

A civil lawsuit is used to obtain compensation from the wrongdoer and address pain and suffering claims. Civil courts also have the power to “enjoin” or stop future misconduct.

Our network of experienced nursing home neglect attorneys understands the unique needs of elderly and disabled clients and know how to aggressively prosecute claims against nursing homes, home care agencies, their care givers and administrators.

Unlike some personal injury lawyers that like to settle (“cut and run”), our lawyers are all handpicked for their skill, experience, and willingness to take cases to trial. We have the financial depth to hire the right expert witnesses when the wrongdoers deny responsibility or refuse to settle on favorable terms.

If you or a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, rehabilitation hospital, long term care facility or by a personal care service, contact us immediately. We will connect you with an experienced hand-picked lawyer in your state. (Unlike some mass market lawyer referral networks, our lawyer biographies are published and available online. You know exactly who is handling your case.)

The consultations are always free, confidential and without obligation. If you are not sure what to do, please call us at 833.201.1555 or contact us online anyway. There are specific time limits in every state about bringing claims. Wait too long and you could lose your rights.