Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse – Ron Bell Injury Lawyer
If you believe your loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Albuquerque at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case and help you understand your options. We may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation on your loved one’s behalf to pay for his or her medical care and other losses.
We handle all nursing home abuse cases on a contingency fee basis, so you pay no attorney’s fees until we get your loved one the payout he or she deserves. Call us today at 505-898-2355 to get started.
New Mexico’s Nursing Homes Do Not Have a Good Reputation
While there are a few truly excellent long-term care facilities in and around the Duke City, New Mexico’s nursing homes overall do not fare well under scrutiny. In fact, a 2018 ProPublica analysis ranks New Mexico’s nursing homes the worst in the nation.
According to the analysis, inspectors found “serious deficiencies” in 36 of the 74 Medicare and Medicaid facilities they inspected between January of 2015 and April of 2018. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also reported more than 2,200 infractions in these facilities as well. A violation can range from a relatively minor incident to a confirmed case of physical or sexual abuse.
Knowing this, it pays to keep on guard and watch for signs of abuse, both with your loved one and with other residents. If you believe abuse is occurring and you have not already filed a complaint, you can:
- Report the Abuse by Phone – You can report potential nursing home abuse by calling the New Mexico Health Facility Complaints Hotline at 1-800-752-8649.
- Report the Abuse by Mail or Fax – You can also print a complaint form and fax or mail it in.
- Address Immediate Concerns with Police – If you believe a long-term care facility resident is in immediate danger and the nursing home administration fails to act, do not hesitate to call Albuquerque police. The police can ensure the resident gets prompt medical care, as well as file a complaint and possibly arrest the abuser.
- Contact Us to Learn More About Your Next Steps – If the abuse victim is your family member or a close friend, go ahead and give us a call as soon as possible. We may be able to help you collect evidence to prove the abuse occurred and to hold the nursing home liable for your loved one’s damages.
Damages Available in an Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse Case
We cannot tell you how much your loved one’s nursing home abuse case might be worth until we conduct a full investigation. However, the value of your loved one’s case will depend on:
- The type of abuse he or she suffered
- The treatment he or she required
- The evidence we have against the liable parties
- The severity of his or her pain and suffering damages
We can, however, help you understand the types of damages we may be able to recover if we can negotiate a settlement or win an award for your loved one in court.
Common damages our clients collect in Albuquerque nursing home abuse cases include:
- Medical care and related expenses, when physical injuries occur
- The cost of therapy and counseling
- Repayment of any stolen money or other assets
- Damages for physical pain and emotional suffering
- Mental anguish
- Other emotional losses
The Five Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse is not always as apparent as you might expect. Physical violence such as hitting and pushing may leave bruises and cuts, but other types of abuse are often much subtler. Unfortunately, though, all can cause lasting emotional scars.
Neglect is not usually intentional, and many people do not recognize the signs as abuse. However, it can be the deadliest type of abuse for seniors who depend on their caregivers for help with almost everything. Neglect often leaves nursing home residents unfed, unbathed, and unmedicated. They may develop bed sores and infections or suffer other complications because of the lack of routine care for chronic medical conditions.
Neglect usually occurs when the nursing home administration fails to adequately staff the facility based on the number and needs of their residents. Neglect may occur because of:
- Budget concerns leading to untrained staff handling nursing care
- Chronic issues with staff retention
- Lack of supervision for staff
When looking for signs of abuse and neglect, many people may not consider emotional abuse since it does not cause any physical harm to the resident. However, it causes mental anguish, suffering, and emotional harm. Emotional abusers may also engage in physical, sexual, or financial abuse. Emotional abuse often includes:
- Threats and harassment
- Humiliation and embarrassment
Sexual abuse covers a vast array of actions. This may include:
- Inappropriate comments
- Unnecessary nudity
- Unwanted touching or fondling
- Unwanted sexual activity
Financial abuse commonly includes:
- Stealing cash from the senior’s room
- Stealing valuables to pawn, sell, or keep
- Using the senior’s credit card or checks to buy things for themselves
- The nursing home or caregiver billing for services the senior does not receive
- Forcing, coercing, or tricking the senior to change his or her will
Watch for Signs of Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse
As a vital part of keeping your loved one safe, you should keep an eye out for signs of abuse and document anything you see that may point to neglect or abuse. This can play a crucial role in proving your case later.
While it is true that falls are common among nursing home residents and many may suffer minor bumps and bruises regularly, watching for a pattern of abuse is essential to ensuring your loved one’s health and safety. This may include:
- Unexplained injuries such as bruises, cuts, and burns
- Broken bones with no known cause
- An unexplained change in alertness, usually becoming less alert
- A sudden personality change unrelated to a medical condition
- Bruises or other signs of sexual abuse around the breasts and genitals
- Fear or avoidance of a particular person
- Chronic and untreated bedsores
- Soiled clothes or sheets, and other hygiene issues
- Skipped medication or use of too much medication
- Missing cash or valuable assets
- Unauthorized use of checks, bank cards, or credit cards
- A sudden change to a will or other estate planning document
If you notice one or more of these signs of abuse and neglect, we encourage you to document them then bring them to the attention of the nursing home administration. If they cannot give you a satisfactory answer, call 911 to get your loved one out of immediate danger or file a complaint in a non-emergency situation.
Talk to Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Albuquerque About Your Case
If you believe a loved one suffered physical or emotional injuries or financial losses because of abuse or neglect in an Albuquerque nursing home, we urge you to get serious – Ron Bell Injury Lawyers serious. We offer free consultations to help you understand your options for holding the person and facility that hurt your loved one accountable for their actions.