Putting Our Knowledge And Experience To Work
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Kentucky and Ohio
“For decades, nursing homes have been plagued with reports suggesting widespread and serious maltreatment of residents, including abuse, neglect, and theft of personal property.”
– National Institutes of Health
When a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility is injured or neglected, family members often do not know where to turn. We understand the emotions and anxiety you are likely feeling at this time, and we want to help you take action. At The Lawrence Firm, PSC, we have decades of experience and knowledge in various nursing home negligence matters. With offices in Covington and Cincinnati, we represent nursing home negligence and abuse victims throughout the states of Kentucky and Ohio. Let our Ohio and Kentucky personal injury attorneys use our many years of experience to help you.
If your elderly loved one has experienced neglect or abuse in a care facility, call our nursing home abuse attorneys at 800-698-4054 today.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home and long-term care facility residents are several times more likely to be abused and neglected than their senior counterparts who live at home. To make matters worse, these residents often find it increasingly difficult to report nursing home abuse due to conditions such as dementia and isolation from friends and family. This can make it hard for family members to spot signs of nursing home abuse and neglect, so it is imperative that those with family members in these facilities pay attention to the common indicators of negligence and abuse. Learning and watching for these signs can help you notice when your loved one is in danger before it’s too late.
Here are some of the more common signs of nursing home abuse and/or neglect:
- Pressure sores (bedsores)
- Unexplained infections
- Bruises or bleeding
- Failure to maintain personal hygiene
- Unease or a sense of anxiety around caretakers
- Sudden weight change
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Emotional withdrawal
- Sudden financial issues
- Unwarranted changes in legal documentation (e.g., power of attorney, will and testament)
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
According to the Administration on Aging, nursing home abuse is defined as intentionally causing physical harm or mental anguish on a resident of a long-term care facility. This is a particularly broad statement, as nursing home neglect or abuse can take on a variety of different forms. More specifically, nursing home abuse may include:
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse occurs when pain or injury is inflicted upon the resident. Examples may include hitting, shoving, squeezing, and kicking, to name a few. However, physical abuse is not limited to actual physical assault or battery and doesn’t always require physical contact. Things like force-feeding and overmedicating can also be considered physical abuse.
- Mental Abuse: There are many different types of mental abuse. In a nursing home, mental abuse can take the form of verbal, emotional, or psychological abuse. This may include things like threats, seclusion, caustic remarks, or insults. Emotional manipulation, which occurs when a staff member wrongfully influences a resident for their own personal gain, is also a form of mental abuse. Nursing home residents, for example, may be coerced into overlooking abuse due to the fear of not being fed, washed, groomed, or otherwise properly cared for.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse is a very prominent form of nursing home abuse. This occurs when someone, typically a staff member, steals money from a resident or employs manipulation techniques to obtain a resident’s money. Financial abuse may include stealing cash, credit cards, or other valuables directly from a resident, stealing from a resident’s financial records, changing a resident’s will, or preventing a resident from accessing their own funds.
- Sexual Abuse: When a resident is subjected to any sort of unwanted sexual contact, including groping or improper touching, this is considered sexual abuse. Unfortunately, sexual abuse in nursing homes often occurs against those who are disabled mentally or physically and are generally unable to provide consent. As a result, sexual abuse can lead to both bodily and mental harm. Indicators of sexual abuse may include signs of bruising, scraping, or sores around the genital area and may potentially lead to a variety of sexually transmitted diseases being contracted by the resident.
- Neglect: Nursing home neglect occurs when a resident’s caregiver fails to provide the level of care that is required of someone in their position. Failure to assist with personal hygiene, provide necessary medical treatment, address health and safety hazards, acknowledge unsanitary conditions, and provide appropriate food, clothing, or shelter are some of the more common forms of nursing home neglect.
- Willful Deprivation: Willful deprivation is defined as denying a person who requires medication, medical care, shelter, services, food, therapeutic devices, or other physical assistance due to age, health, or disability, and thereby exposing that person to the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm.
- Unreasonable Confinement: Unreasonable confinement is another common type of nursing home abuse. This occurs when a staff member unnecessarily isolates a resident or employs the use of restraints, whether it be physical or chemical. Physical restraints may include shackling or strapping a resident to their bed, while chemical restraint may include the use of sedatives or other drugs to restrict a resident’s movement.
Do not accept excuses about lack of staff or poor training. Our lawyers take action to both rectify any substandard situation and obtain compensation for any damages suffered from nursing home errors or intentional abuse and neglect. We have helped numerous clients obtain justice and compensation for additional medical treatment and other costs associated with a nursing abuse injury or wrongful death in Kentucky and Ohio.
How To Prove Nursing Home Abuse
While nursing home errors, abuse, and neglect are all too common, they can be rather difficult to prove in a court of law. That is why it is important that you take the necessary steps to identify and prove this abuse if you believe your loved one is suffering at the hands of their caretaker(s).
The first thing you need to do is watch for signs of abuse. We discussed these signs earlier. If you notice any indication that your loved one may be suffering, be sure to document these signs to the best of your ability. This may include obtaining nursing home and medical records and/or taking photographs of any injuries or unacceptable conditions you find your loved one in.
Another thing that can significantly help your case is locating former complaints against the nursing home or their staff. Previous allegations of abuse or neglect can help solidify a history of substandard care. While looking into any complaints lodged against the facility, you should also try to locate past inspections, citations, and licenses. This can help in establishing a record of the facility’s violations of state requirements. Witness statements or testimony can also help prove a pattern of error, abuse, or neglect. These statements may come from other residents, visitors, family members, or even employees of the facility.
Overall, the best way to prove nursing home abuse is with the help of an experienced legal team. By hiring nursing home abuse attorneys, you can ensure that every aspect of your case will be investigated to the fullest extent. Your elderly abuse attorneys may assist you in obtaining relevant records and filing the necessary motions to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
When it comes to filing any kind of claim, you must make sure you do so within the specified legal time frame. Otherwise, your claim may be denied and you will not be able to receive compensation from the responsible parties. Each state has its own statute of limitations for how long a plaintiff is able to file a lawsuit, including those seeking to file a nursing home abuse claim. Below, we will provide the statute of limitations required for both Kentucky and Ohio residents.
Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse in Kentucky
According to Kentucky’s Revised Statutes § 413.140, most personal injury lawsuits have a one-year deadline to file. This includes cases involving Kentucky medical malpractice claims, KY birth injury claims, and yes, nursing home errors and abuse that lead to injury. This means that a plaintiff has one year from the date of the injury or incident to file a claim, or otherwise one year since they knew or should have known that the abuse was taking place.
Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse in Ohio
In general, personal injury lawsuits in Ohio have a two-year statute of limitations from the day the cause of action arose. In congruence with Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10, the time period begins once you discover the harm or reasonably should have discovered it. However, note that the statute of limitations may differ for nursing home abuse cases involving medical malpractice, as medical malpractice claims in Ohio are subject to a one-year time limit.
If you provide a formal notice to the defendant that you’re exploring a medical malpractice claim against the health care provider before the deadline, the one-year time limit may be extended. In this case, you may have an additional 180 days to launch a lawsuit once the provider receives the notification.
How The Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at The Lawrence Firm Can Help
At The Lawrence Firm, our legal team strongly believes that the elderly deserve the utmost respect and dignity and that their mistreatment goes far beyond illegal to immoral. By terms of their state licenses, skilled care facilities are required to provide an accepted standard of care at all times. When they do not and injury or death occurs as a result, they have violated the terms of their license. Equally important is that they have violated the trust of their patients and their patients’ families.
In addition to obtaining medical records and fighting on behalf of the victim, our Ohio and Kentucky nursing home abuse attorneys have access to professional medical witnesses who can testify in court and explain how the nursing home’s negligence caused your loved one’s injuries. This testimony may be critical to the success of your nursing home abuse lawsuit. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at The Lawrence Firm immediately to schedule a free consultation if you feel your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home. You can reach us by calling 800-698-4054 or by completing our online intake form found below.
Allow us to help you obtain the justice you and your loved one deserve.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.