All nursing homes in California must be licensed, the majority of which are licensed as ‘skilled nursing facilities.’ Under California state law, a skilled nursing facility is defined as “a health facility that provides skilled nursing care and supportive care to patients” on an extended basis. Approximately 110,000 California residents live in nursing homes throughout the state.
Unfortunately, the care that is given to patients with nursing homes is not always supportive or skilled; rather, elderly resident neglect and abuse are both concerning issues within California’s nursing homes. If your loved one has suffered a serious injury at a nursing home, a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney can help you. Here is what you need to know about nursing home injuries, how to report suspected abuse or neglect, and the benefits of a legal aid.
What Are the Most Common Nursing Home Injuries?
When nursing home residents are abused or neglected, the result is often serious injuries. Sometimes, these injuries can be severe enough to cause decline in health and eventual death of the patient. Some of the most common nursing home injuries and include:
- Fall injuries, causing broken bones, head injuries, internal injuries, and more;
- Medication errors; and
Sometimes, injuries can also be caused directly from physical or sexual abuse. Psychological injuries can also be incurred from emotional abuse or financial exploitation. Withdrawal, depression, anger, refusing to eat, and fear are all signs of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
Who Do I Contact if a Loved One Is Injured in a Nursing Home?
If you believe that your loved one is in imminent harm or danger of death, you should call the police immediately. Otherwise, you should take action to document the injury—and any signs of abuse or neglect leading up to the injury and following the injury—and report it to the proper authorities. You can report an injury or suspected abuse to:
- County Adult Protective Services (APS);
- California Department of Health Services – Licensing and Certification District Office;
- California Department of Aging – Long-term Care Ombudsman’s Office; and/or
- California Attorney General Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.
In addition to the above, you should also contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help report abuse, and take legal action against the nursing home facility.
Why Do I Need to Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
If your loved one’s injuries have stemmed from nursing home abuse or neglect, your family member may be entitled to damages. An attorney can help you to prove that the injury would not have occurred but for the negligence of the nursing home facility or staff member, and that the nursing home should therefore be held liable for injuries.
The skilled San Diego nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at the offices of Berman & Riedel, LLP want to make sure that your elderly loved one’s rights are protected. To learn more about nursing home injuries and why cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect are different from cases involving acts of medical malpractice, contact our team today online or by calling 858-350-8855.