Tulsa Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Lawyers
Fighting for seniors in Oklahoma who suffer mental, physical, and sexual abuse or neglect in long-term care facilities
Seniors and their families place their trust in nursing home facilities. They trust that they staff will attend to their physical and emotional needs. They trust that the workers will respect their rights. They trust that the facilities will be safe so seniors can enjoy their remaining years. When that trust is broken thorough abuse or neglect, senior citizens should hold the homes and staff accountability. Accountability is required to compensate the elder residents for any injuries they suffered. Accountability is also required to ensure that other residents aren’t abuse or injured.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, the experienced Tulsa nursing home lawyers at Biby Law Firm are ready to help you get justice. We understand how to investigate nursing home abuse cases. We demand to understand how the abuse occurred, why it occurred, and what steps should have be taken to prevent the abuse. We work tirelessly to show the nursing facility was negligent when injuries occur. Our skilled lawyers seek compensation for the resident’s physical harm, emotional abuse, and any medical expenses required to treat the senior. We work to settle your claims but we’re ready to try your case in court, if necessary.
What are the types of nursing home abuse?
There are several categories of nursing home abuse the that residents and their families should be aware of. According to the National Council on Aging, these categories include:
- Physical abuse. This abuse generally means any type of physical pain or injury.
- Sexual abuse. This horrific conduct includes any sexual activity with an adult including “touching, fondling, and intercourse… when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.”
- Emotional abuse. This abuse includes threats of abuse, harassment, verbal attacks, and intimidation.
- Confinement. This abuse is the act of isolating or restraining the senior – for non-medical reasons.
- Passive neglect. This abuse occurs when the nursing home fails to provide basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.
- Willful deprivation. This abuse is the purposeful denial of medical care, food, or other items that expose the senior to “the risk of physical, mental, or emotional harm—except when the older, competent adult has expressed a desire to go without such care.”
- Financial abuse. This is taking advantage of a senior’s finances such as by having the senior sign a power of attorney when none is required.
Did you know?
According to the National Council on Aging, “approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Some estimates range as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year. One study estimated that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.”
What are the signs of nursing home abuse?
It can be hard to tell if your elderly loved one is being abused, especially if he or she has suffered cognitive decline from aging or medical conditions. It can be even harder to tell if you lived far away, and you can’t be with your loved one often enough to note signs of deterioration. That is why so many of us rely on the nurses and staff to protect our loved one.
But there are some of the signs of abuse or neglect that you should know:
- Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers
- Overdoses and medication errors
- Broken bones
- Sepsis and cellulitis
- Cardiac arrest
Other signs include withdraw and unwillingness to engage in social activities.
When is an Oklahoma nursing home liable for my loved one’s injuries?
As we age, we lose muscle mass and bone density, and it becomes harder to maintain our balance. This is why the number one cause of death and injuries for seniors, year after year, is falls. To put it clearly, older people get hurt more often than younger people do, and sometimes those injuries are unavoidable.
But sometimes, they are the direct result of negligence or abuse by a nursing home, its staff, or other residents. When negligence or abuse is the cause, the nursing home can be held liable. Some of the causes of that neglect include:
- Negligent hiring practices. Nursing homes should conduct background checks of their workers for any records of criminal conduct, prior nursing home or elder complaints, and for their experience and qualifications.
- Underfunding and understaffing. When nursing homes don’t hire enough staff or don’t hire quality staff, the residents are bound to suffer.
- Failure to comply with health and safety standards. Nursing homes are subject to federal and state laws regarding cleanliness, safety, and health procedures.
- Failure to inspect and design the facilities so residents don’t fall. Nursing homes know in advance that seniors have mobility problems and neurological difficulties that make it hard to walk and keep their balance. Facilities should be designed and monitored to reduce the risk of falls. If they do not, they could be subject to a premises liability claim.
- Poor supervision. Nursing homes need to continually monitor their patients. If nurses or CAN’s fail in their performance, then injuries and deaths can and will occur.
- Failure to provide quality medical care. Nursing homes need to ensure that their doctors and nurses are trained and monitored for the geriatric care they provide to patients.
Nursing home abuse cases require experienced personal injury lawyers because the victims often have difficulty speaking for themselves. Some have dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many nursing abuse victims already have physical limitations. Biby Law Firm understands these challenges, and can help you seek justice for your loved one.
The Bill of Rights for nursing home residents in Oklahoma
Nursing homes that accept Medicare (as most nursing homes do) are subject to additional federal regulations and standards of care. One basic set of regulations that these nursing home residents are entitled to is a Bill of Rights. Residents should be told, in writing, that they have numerous rights. According to Medicare, these rights include the right to:
- Be treated with respect
- Participate in activities
- Be free from discrimination
- Be free from abuse and neglect
- Be free from restraints
- Make complaints
- Get proper medical care
- Have their personal representative notified
- Spend time with visitors
- Manage their money
- Privacy, property, and living arrangements
Who is liable for nursing home abuse or neglect in Tulsa?
There are two basic types of nursing abuse or neglect claims.
- The first type is a wrongful death case. This case is brought by family members if the senior dies as a result of wrongful conduct. Since many seniors are already, by definition, old, there is a reasonable chance that a senior who is abused or neglected will die.
- The second type is a negligence case. The senior has the right to file a claim for their physical pain, mental anguish, loss of quality of life, and medical expenses. Seniors who are still working at the time of the abuse or neglect generally have the right to seek compensation for their lost income. In some cases, such as when the victim has dementia, a guardian will need to be appointed to file the claim on the senior’s behalf.
In both wrongful death and personal injury claims, we may also file a claim for punitive damages. In abuse cases, the misconduct is often intentional or reckless. These wrongs deserved to be punished through monetary awards, so the wrongdoer is deterred from committing the abuse again.
Talk to a premier Tulsa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today
At Biby Law Firm, our lawyers understand how traumatic it is for a senior to be injured or suffer abuse during their nursing home stay. We work aggressively to prove the nursing home and staff member treated the senior like a paycheck instead of a person. We demand compensation for the loss of life’s pleasures at a time when everyday counts. Our Tulsa nursing home and abuse lawyers have a strong track record of success fighting for the elderly. For help with any nursing home claim, call us now at 918-574-8458 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve all of Oklahoma including the communities of Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Claremore, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Wagoner, Muskogee, and the surrounding areas.