Austin Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Texas has 1,227 skilled nursing facilities, which is more than any other state. Nearly 100,000 seniors currently reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities statewide. The decision to move a parent or elderly relative into a nursing home is difficult. When the transition is complete, family members expect their loved ones to receive quality care. As a society, we are taught to treat elders with dignity and respect. However, the people who are entrusted with their care don’t always follow this credo.
Nursing Home Lawsuits
At The Law Office of Joel A. Levine, Personal Injury Lawyer, we have a proven record of protecting the rights of seniors and holding nursing homes accountable for the actions of their employees. When it comes to the care of loved ones, everyone wants the best. That’s why it’s essential to hire a qualified nursing home abuse attorney. Joel Levine has been practicing elder law in central Texas since 2008. He understands what it takes to win your case and will guide you through the process personally.
If your relative was injured or neglected while in the care of a nursing home, we’ll help you recover compensation for additional medical care, pain and suffering and any financial losses or emotional hardship that your loved one endured. We will gather evidence, assess the facts and present your case before a jury. A powerful litigation strategy, a complete body of evidence and significant trial experience ensure that your loved one will receive the compensation due to them.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Elderly abuse is a widespread problem that doesn’t receive enough attention. Instances of abuse and neglect can occur any time and at the most prestigious nursing facilities. When family members aren’t present, mistreatment is more likely to happen. Nursing home abuse can occur at the hands of a caregiver or even another resident. Either way, the facility is responsible for failing to meet the accepted standard of care.
Even when instances of neglect or abuse are reported, facilities often conceal the extent of the situation. A congressional report found that about 30 percent of nursing facilities were cited for at least one violation in the two-year investigation period. At least 10 percent of complaints involved serious incidents that had the potential to harm, severely injure or even kill the resident.
In Texas and many other states, elder abuse laws require anyone to alert law enforcement to abuse, neglect or any form of physical or financial exploitation involving an elderly individual. Nursing facilities have a duty to self-report falls, lapses in care and all medical treatment. Unfortunately, many elder care providers don’t follow the rules. More than 40 percent of the time, instances of nursing home neglect are only revealed after a family member, fellow resident or community ombudsman makes a complaint. This is unacceptable. If a facility director, caregiver or company is responsible for nursing home negligence, they need to be dealt with according to Texas law.
Elder Abuse Laws
To prevent this widespread problem, government leaders in Austin TX have created a bill of rights to protect those in the care of nursing facilities. This legislation requires assisted living facilities to make residents aware of their rights, to allow them to participate in their treatment plan, to let them manage their own finances and to permit them to see visitors freely. Residents have a right to choose their own doctor and pharmacy. Providers aren’t permitted to use physical restraints or pharmaceutical sedation without reason. They aren’t allowed to prohibit residents from participating in community activities. Furthermore, residents and family members have a right to review medical records, charts and findings from all official inspections. Residents also have a right to file a complaint without fear of retaliation.
Examples of Elderly Abuse
Elder abuse can manifest itself in many ways, including physical injury, emotional trauma and depression. Because many seniors are afraid to complain, family members need to be involved and inquire after their well-being. Being an active participant in a loved one’s care is the best way to prevent nursing home abuse. If you believe that something is wrong, ask questions, and familiarize yourself with these common signs of nursing home neglect.
- Bed sores
- Unexplained bleeding
- Changes in mood
- Poor hygiene
Nursing home negligence has severe consequences. If your loved one isn’t receiving the kind of care you expect, contact a nursing home abuse attorney immediately. You can visit our office in Austin TX, or we can come to you. The law office of Joel A. Levine represents clients throughout central Texas. Attorney Joel Levine has been serving the local community since 2008, and he will work hard to take your nursing home lawsuit to trial and achieve a successful verdict. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.
FAQs Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
What type of abuse occurs in nursing homes?
Nursing home abuse can take many forms from abusive actions to neglect. Physical, emotional, sexual, and even financial abuse can occur. Neglect is another form of abuse, where a nursing home facility fails to provide necessary care resulting in negative health consequences.
What is financial abuse from a nursing home?
A nursing home may financially abuse patients and families in a variety of ways. The facility may bill for a higher amount than what was agreed upon or add in additional fees and charges. You may be charged for services that are not being provided.
How will I know if my loved one is being abused?
There are signs you can look for that may indicate an abusive situation. Obvious signs are bed sores, bruises, and other injuries. Less obvious signs would be if your loved one suddenly shows an increased level of anxiety or their eating and sleeping habits change.
Is there any way to prevent nursing home abuse?
The best thing you can do is to visit your loved one frequently at the nursing facility. Show up unannounced at different times of the day. Ask them about their daily activities and about the care they receive. Thoroughly research any nursing home facility you are considering.
How do I know what is legal when it comes to my loved one’s care?
You may be wondering whether some of the behaviors of the staff that you’ve seen or heard your loved one tell you about are legal. This is when it helps to speak to a lawyer. If you have the slightest worry that something isn’t right, contact the Law Office of Joel A. Lavine to discuss your concerns.
How will I know if a nursing home is understaffed?
Staffing regulations for nursing homes is a state mandated requirement. Number of staff and level of training factors into a nursing home’s rating. There is not necessarily a set minimum number of staff required, making it difficult to determine whether staffing is sufficient. If you have concerns about low staffing, contact us.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
As with other personal injury lawsuits in the state of Texas, you have 2 years from the date the abuse occurred to file a lawsuit. It may be difficult to determine when the abuse first occurred in cases of ongoing abuse, but it is best to speak to a lawyer as soon as you are aware of the abuse.
What if I can’t afford to pay a lawyer?
Nursing home abuse attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning the attorney will only receive payment if there is compensation awarded in a lawsuit. You and your attorney will establish a contract before the lawsuit is filed stating what percentage they will receive.
How much will I receive in financial compensation?
Nursing home abuse cases vary. The best way to get a general idea of what your case may be worth is to discuss it with an attorney. Contact the Law Office of Joel A. Lavine today to schedule a consultation.