Nursing Home & Elderly Abuse Lawyers

Every year, millions of elderly Americans suffer abuse at the hands of relatives, friends, caretakers, scam artists or other people they trust, yet less than 20% of this abuse is reported to the authorities.

At Levin Papantonio, we are dedicated to helping elders and their loved ones who have been the victims of intentional or negligent abuse — whether the abuse is physical, emotional or financial.

Nursing Home Abuse

What is Elder Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse

Elder abuse is any knowing, intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. When a family member places a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or elderly care facility, they count on personalized, professional care.

Unfortunately, neglect and abuse are all too common. When a loved one is taken advantage of in their vulnerable state, it can often go undetected and becomes a devastating revelation when finally brought to light.

Elder abuse can be physical, financial, or mental. Look for the following types of signs if you believe your loved one may be suffering abuse or neglect:

  • A caregiver who changes social or health care providers frequently, or who refuses to apply for outside economic aid or services for the senior
  • A caregiver who isolates the senior from the outside world, friends or relatives
  • Abnormally pale complexion
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
  • Absence of food, water, heat or ventilation
  • Absence of needed dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, walkers or wheelchairs
  • Animal or insect infestations
  • Bedsores, skin rashes, infections or soiled bandages
  • Bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints
  • Confusion and disorientation, which may be the result of malnutrition
  • Dehydration, evidenced by low urinary output, dry and fragile skin, dry and sore mouth, apathy, mental confusion or lack of energy
  • Emotional distress such as crying or depression
  • Excessive and sudden weight loss
  • Fear of the caregiver
  • Fecal/urine odors
  • Fleas, lice, or dirt on the elder or in the elder’s room
  • Improper clothing for the weather
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping
  • Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
  • Overcharging for services or products
  • Poor personal hygiene or other unattended health problems
  • Signs of medical mismanagement, including empty or unmarked bottles of outdated prescriptions
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Theft of money or property
  • Torn clothing or broken personal items
  • Unexplained withdrawals or unusual activity in bank accounts
  • Using a person’s property or possessions without permission

Who Can Bring a Nursing Home or Elder Abuse Claim

A family member, guardian, or close loved one who feels abuse may be taking place can report it, and consult an attorney on behalf of the elderly person being abused. The victim may not be able or willing to report the abuse, and it can only be stopped when the abusers have been brought to justice.

There are avenues one can take when abuse is suspected, but all are sensitive and should be handled with care out of respect to the victim. It is vital to speak with an attorney familiar with elder abuse. Many times, your case can be dealt with outside of the courtroom; but time is always of the essence in order to receive the most favorable outcome and protect the person being abused.

Who Can Be Sued for Nursing Home & Elder Abuse

In the case of a nursing home or other elderly care facility, the owners of the business providing the care (generally a corporation) and the persons performing the abuse can be sued if it can be shown they violated their duty to provide safe care to the elder and the violation led to harm.

How Long Do I Have to Bring a Nursing Home & Elder Abuse Case

All legal claims are subject to limitations periods in which they must be pursued. This means if a case is not brought within a specific time period after the harmful act, it may be barred forever even if it is valid.

There are numerous factors that determine how short of a period you have to file a lawsuit arising out of elder abuse, such as: (1) where an injury or death occurred; (2) the type of injury sustained; (3) whether the abuser is an individual, company or governmental entity; and (4) when you became aware, or should have become aware, of the injury.

The most important thing is that you immediately seek legal advice when you become aware of a potential injury, even if you decide not to hire a lawyer. We will provide you a confidential and free consult, even if you decide not to hire us. This way you at least can determine your rights, and how long you have to pursue those rights.