Do you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse?
An Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer at McGuire Law Firm can help you seek justice and fair compensation for your loved one’s pain.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to review your case.
How the Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys at McGuire Law Firm Can Help
Nursing home abuse can leave vulnerable seniors with life-changing and sometimes permanent effects.
Despite this, nursing homes employ teams of aggressive attorneys to defend them against claims.
Engaging in a legal battle with a team of experts is intimidating, but with our experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers, you don’t need to do it alone. McGuire Law Firm is a small firm that delivers big firm results.
You will work directly with Kent R. McGuire, our founding attorney, who spent 13 years with insurance companies and has represented victims for more than three decades.
We will leave no stone unturned to uncover evidence of your loved one’s abuse and demonstrate the damages they have suffered. If the facility’s insurance company will not reach a fair settlement that fully compensates your loved one, we will take your case to court.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
The decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility is a difficult one. You carefully research Oklahoma City nursing home ratings and hope that your loved one will receive the care, attention, and dignity they deserve. If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, you may be left with a great deal of grief, guilt, and anger.
The sad truth is nursing home abuse is shockingly common. More than 24% of nursing home residents report experiencing at least one incident of physical abuse by a staff member or another resident. This figure likely underreports the problem as many victims are unwilling or unable to report the abuse they have suffered.
In one recent case, three long-term care facilities in Oklahoma were shut down, felony charges were filed, and multiple workers were fired after serious allegations of abuse and neglect.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms. It refers to any type of abuse or neglect a resident suffers in a long-term care facility including:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual assault
- Financial exploitation
It’s a common misconception that nursing home abuse only comes at the hands of facility staff members. Resident-on-resident abuse is very common. In a major study, 1 in 5 nursing home residents reported mistreatment by another resident in the last month including verbal abuse (16%), physical abuse (5%), and sexual abuse (1%).
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Oklahoma City
You may notice several signs that a loved one has been abused in a nursing home. Unfortunately, some of these signs may be subtle and mimic signs of dementia or other cognitive issues.
If you suspect your loved one has been abused, watch for the following warning signs of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect:
- Unexplained fractures or dislocations
- Unexplained welts or bruises
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Unexplained weight loss
- A caregiver refusing to allow you to be alone with your loved one
- Soiled clothing or bedding
- Easily startled or frightened
- Unexplained STDs
- Vaginal or anal bleeding
Not all nursing home abuse involves neglect or physical abuse. Your loved one may have suffered emotional abuse with common signs that include:
- Wanted to be isolated
- Afraid to be alone
- Sudden or strange changes in behavior such as a fear of being touched or rocking
- Reluctance to speak in the presence of staff members
- Agitation, extreme withdrawal, or becoming non-communicative
Many instances of nursing home neglect or abuse in Oklahoma City are long-term and subtle. This can allow the abuse to go on for some time before it is discovered. This is particularly true when the victim has cognitive decline, a disability, or suffers from PTSD, depression, or anxiety.
Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a shockingly common problem across the United States. The following statistics offer insight into the extent of the problem and the risks seniors face in long-term care facilities.
- Seniors who have suffered abuse are 300% more likely to die than those who were not mistreated.
- In 2007, the average nursing home had 20 complaints related to staffing, quality of care, safety, and other factors.
- A 2008 study by the U.S. General Accountability Office found that state surveys underreport problems in facilities. 70% of state surveys miss one or more deficiencies and 15% miss actual or immediate harm to a resident.
- Seniors with dementia are at the highest risk of abuse. About 50% suffer some form of abuse.
- An estimated 24% of nursing home residents experience at least one incidence of physical abuse.
- In 2014 alone, 7.6% of complaints reported to Ombudsman programs involved exploitation, gross neglect, or abuse in care homes.
- 2 out of 3 staff members in long-term care facilities reported they have committed abuse against a resident in the last year, according to WHO.
- The Oklahoma Department of Human Services received 4,502 reports of nursing home mistreatment in 2015. Over 25% of the claims were substantiated through a formal investigation.
We likely do not know the full extent of nursing home abuse in Oklahoma. What is certain is the problem is very serious and leads to lasting physical and psychological problems for victims. At McGuire Law Firm, we represent victims and their families in seeking justice.
Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse in Oklahoma City?
When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you trust that the facility will protect your loved one and give them the care they need. Sadly, vulnerable nursing home residents often face abuse in a care setting. When a resident is abused or neglected in a nursing home by staff members or other residents, Oklahoma law may hold the nursing home responsible.
Nursing homes in Oklahoma have a legal duty to protect residents from neglect and abuse while providing proper care. A failure in this duty that leads to a resident’s injury or death can constitute negligence which makes the nursing home legally liable.
A nursing home may be found liable for abuse or neglect due to any number of deficiencies:
- Negligent hiring, training, and retention of staff
- Improper maintenance of the facility or equipment
- Inadequate staffing, one of the most common reasons for neglect
- Failing to keep the facility reasonably free of hazards
- Failing to maintain proper health and safety policies
- Negligent supervision of residents
- Failing to provide adequate medical care
Nursing home residents and their families have the right to file a lawsuit for compensation if they are harmed due to the negligence of the facility staff or the facility’s operators. This includes cases in which a resident is hurt or abused by another resident.
In 2013, Oklahoma passed a law allowing cameras in rooms in nursing homes which was extended to assisted living facilities in 2020. Families may place cameras in their loved one’s room after completing a consent form to notify the care facility. This law can give families peace of mind and security while providing strong proof of liability if a loved one’s abuse is captured on camera.
Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse Claims in Oklahoma
If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s crucial to understand the statute of limitations in Oklahoma. This is the amount of time you have to file a claim or lose your legal right to compensation completely.
In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse claims is just two years.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse in Oklahoma
Victims of nursing home abuse may be entitled to monetary compensation for the economic and non-economic damages they have suffered. When a nursing home is found liable for neglect or abuse, victims may recover compensation for:
- Current and future medical expenses related to the abuse or neglect
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Punitive damages in some cases of extreme misconduct if the case goes to court
If a loved one has died as the result of nursing home abuse, family members may pursue compensation through an Oklahoma City wrongful death claim.
Contact an Oklahoma City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
Cases involving nursing home abuse or neglect are among the most heartbreaking and tragic. If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, the compassionate legal team at McGuire Law Firm is here to help you seek justice and the compensation your loved one needs for the medical care and safety they deserve.
Contact an Oklahoma City nursing home abuse lawyer at McGuire Law Firm today to schedule your initial free consultation. We will review your case, help you understand what the case may be worth, and aggressively pursue maximum compensation to make your loved one as whole as possible.