All abuse is unacceptable, and sexual abuse is particularly dangerous not only because it can be so harmful to vulnerable elderly residents, but also because it is far more widespread than many people realize or expect. Whether perpetrated by nursing home staff members, administrators, or even other residents, sexual abuse in Los Angeles nursing homes is all too common and can be incredibly damaging.
If you suspect your loved one has been sexually abused by anyone inside their nursing home or other assisted living facility, taking action on their behalf as quickly as possible could be essential to protecting their physical and psychological wellbeing. By working with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer, you can more proactively and effectively ensure that your family member is safe from further harm and that no other residents suffer the same harm in the future.
Possible Signs that a Nursing Home Resident Has Been Sexually Abused
Identifying sexual abuse in Los Angeles nursing homes can be difficult because affected residents may have physical and/or cognitive difficulties that prevent them from communicating what they are going through. It can also be practically difficult to check for physical signs of sexual abuse, such as unexplained bruising, irritation, or bleeding around the genitals.
Other things that could potentially indicate a nursing home resident is being sexually abused include:
- Contraction of sexually transmitted diseases
- Newfound difficulty walking or sitting comfortably
- Torn or soiled undergarments
- Symptoms of PTSD and/or panic attacks
- Changes in normal mood and/or behavior
- Fear of being left alone at night and/or around a particular staff member or other resident
A compassionate nursing home abuse attorney can discuss concerning developments in a confidential setting and offer guidance about whether abuse may be occurring and what legal approach might be best.
Sexual Abuse as Grounds for Civil Litigation
Sexual abuse that takes place in Los Angeles nursing homes can result in criminal prosecution of the offending parties, as well as of any employers or other authorities who enabled their misconduct. Importantly, any civil litigation filed by an abused nursing home resident or their family based on this kind of mistreatment would proceed separately from any related criminal case.
Furthermore, the outcome of that related criminal case has no bearing on the outcome of a civil action based on the same offense(s). Even if someone is acquitted of criminal charges related to sexual abuse of a nursing home resident, they may still be held civilly liable for various economic and non-economic damages suffered by the person they targeted, including:
- All ensuing medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma, including PTSD
- Lost enjoyment of life
An experienced legal professional can detail during a private initial meeting what losses might be compensable in a particular case.
Discuss Sexual Misconduct in Los Angeles Nursing Homes with a Skilled Lawyer
It can be absolutely devastating to learn that a loved one has experienced it at the hands of the people entrusted with their daily care. Fortunately, you have rights in this kind of situation that seasoned legal counsel can provide vital help enforcing.
Addressing sexual abuse in Los Angeles nursing homes as proactively as possible begins with contacting a seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer. Call today to learn more.