The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), overseen by The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), to caring for and protecting elders through litigation and regulations. According to their studies, one-in-ten elders living in nursing homes and similar assisted living facilities will experience regular abuse, most of it financial, such as stealing from their wallets or exploiting them for purchases. In another study that gathered surveys from thousands of elders, 44% of them reported that they had been physically abused at least once in a form that was not harmful neglect, such as forgetting to help them shift in bed to avoid bedsores.
Who is causing all of this nursing home abuse? The answer is unclear. There are certainly instances where caregivers lash out and abuse their positions of power, hurting the people under their care. But there is also an unknown amount of assaults conducted by fellow residents.
Who is Liable for Nursing Home Assault?
When an elderly person staying in a nursing home is physically assaulted, it creates a complicated and dangerous situation that requires immediate attention. It also creates a uniquely intricate legal situation. Who should be held accountable for the harm caused by another resident?
The obvious answer is that the aggressor is liable. Other than seeking financial compensation for physical and emotional damage, a criminal case may be necessary to penalize them. If your elder tells you that they have been attacked by another nursing home resident, you must take the accusation seriously and notify the proper authorities, as well as the management of the facility.
Which brings us to the second party liable for the assault: the nursing home itself. When an assisted living home is managed properly, orderlies should routinely visit all residents. If they see that they are sick or wounded, they should take action to treat them and prevent it from happening again, which includes investigating any claims of assault. Failure to protect the health of the people under their care is a sure sign of negligence – negligence so dire, it should be penalized through litigation.
If your elderly loved one has been harmed while staying in a nursing home, you need to be their voice and stand up for their rights by taking legal action. Contact our Stuart nursing home abuse lawyers at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today and we can begin your case. If your elder had to be relocated due to the danger present in their assisted living facility, you should also be compensated for the related costs. Dial 866-675-4427 to learn all the ways we can help you set things right again.