Physically violent conduct toward nursing home residents is all too common in California. Unfortunately, abuse of this nature can also be deceptively tricky to detect, even for diligent family members. It can be even more challenging to take effective legal action against the abusers and hold the facilities accountable.
Stopping physical abuse in California nursing homes is an essential but challenging endeavor requiring assistance from seasoned legal counsel. By working with a compassionate nursing home abuse lawyer, you could more effectively protect your loved ones from sustaining additional injuries and demand fair compensation for their mistreatment.
What Does Physical Abuse Look Like in Nursing Homes?
Physical abuse in California nursing homes often meets the legal definition of criminal assault, just as it would if it impacted someone outside of such a facility. Any nursing home employee or manager who injures a resident by punching, kicking, shoving, or otherwise physically attacking them could face both civil and criminal liability for the physical, financial, and psychological consequences of their actions.
However, not every form of physical abuse in nursing homes is overtly malicious, and not every act of abuse looks like traditional assault. For example, some nursing home residents in California may suffer injuries from excessive and/or unlawful use of physical restraints. These may be appropriate in certain circumstances to prevent cognitively impaired residents from harming themselves, but restraints should be applied carefully and always with the resident’s wellbeing prioritized.
Our California attorneys also handle cases involving physically abusive behavior from other nursing home residents rather than staff members. In these circumstances, facility staff members and administrators may still be civilly liable for ensuing injuries based on their negligent failure to keep residents from harming each other.
Identifying Symptoms of Physical Abuse
Any time a nursing home resident sustains a physical injury, concerned family members and friends should be proactive about looking into the situation. Physical nursing home abuse in California can result in open and obvious injuries like broken bones or deep lacerations, especially in cases where one staff member is maliciously harming residents.
However, more subtle symptoms that might indicate physical abuse is occurring include:
- Multiple minor external injuries like bruises, welts, and burns
- Refusal to eat or drink and/or inexplicable weight loss or gain
- Sleeping disorders like insomnia
- Decline in personal hygiene
- Dramatic changes in mood or personality, especially around a particular staff member or member(s)
- Bedsores and/or marks on arms or legs from prolonged use of restraints
Discussing possible signs of abuse with an experienced legal professional could provide much-needed clarity for anyone worried that an elderly family member is being mistreated by nursing home staff.
Talk to a California Attorney About Physical Nursing Home Abuse Litigation
Physical mistreatment of nursing home residents is a serious issue that warrants immediate action. However, establishing that physical abuse occurred and effectively pursuing compensation can be challenging without support from experienced legal counsel.
Fortunately, legal help is available from our dedicated nursing home abuse lawyers. We are here to discuss legal options for addressing physical abuse in California nursing homes and help pursue the compensation your family needs to set things right. Call today to schedule a consultation about your case.