Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Health care for the elderly has drawn generally poor reviews from many sources. Until recently, the incentive for change rested solely upon an individual corporation’s ethics. The results have not always been encouraging.
At the Branch Law Firm, our nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to protecting the rights of the elderly and their families. If you or someone you love has suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse, call the Branch Law Firm today for a consultation with a New Mexico nursing home neglect lawyer. Protect the rights of your loved one. Get them the compensation they deserve. Call our office at (505) 243-3500 or fill out our online contact form.
Why Choose Our Albuquerque Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
- We have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of injured residents of New Mexico.
- We understand what a difficult time this is for you and your loved one, both emotionally and financially. We will not ask for any money upfront and will only get paid when you do.
- We are dedicated to serving our clients to the best of our ability with courtesy, compassion, and respect.
Elder Abuse Facts
In our home state of New Mexico, a study has indicated the wide scope of abuse, which can range from physical, emotional, sexual, and financial. In a report commissioned by New Mexico Rep. Tom Udall, it was found that over 80 percent of the nursing homes in New Mexico violated federal health and safety standards during recent state inspections. Almost 20 percent of these homes had a violation that caused actual harm to residents or placed them at risk of death or serious injury.
We find these numbers absolutely unacceptable. As litigators, we believe that we have a personal responsibility to family, the elderly, and our society as a whole to seek maximum compensation for those injured as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect.
How Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur and Who is Liable?
Nursing homes owe a responsibility, or strict duty of care to residents, and can be held accountable for any damages resulting from the following negligent acts:
- Failing to adequately staff nursing homes
- Failing to properly screen the hired staff members
- Inadequate training
- Falsely claiming to provide superior care, while cutting costs
- Cutting costs to the point that the care is inadequate
- Abusive verbal communications
- Abusive physical handling of the elderly
- Improper use of physical or chemical restraints
- Failing to provide adequate nutrition and fluids
- Medication errors
- Negligent security leading to attacks and/or theft of property
- Intentional abuse by staff members
There is no excuse for these types of harmful behavior. Nursing homes have an obligation to their residents to hire personnel who are qualified and properly trained to provide the level of care required by law, and expected by the public.
The moment you suspect that nursing home abuse is occurring, document any signs and incidents. Take photos of injuries or tangible warning signs, and gather any records you have access to that could indicate abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Do you believe that your loved one is suffering from negligent care in a nursing home? The following signs are often an indication:
- Persistent falls leading to fractures
- Decubitus ulcers, also known as bedsores or body sores
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Sudden change in behavior
- Inappropriate medical and/or nursing treatments
- Unexplained bruises, welts, black eyes or broken bones
- Open wounds or lacerations
A nursing home should be monitoring the vitals of its patients. If you discover any of the above, contact the Branch Law Firm® right away. Our nursing home attorneys can assist you with your investigation and give you an accurate assessment of your case.
Proving Nursing Home Abuse
For the court to award damages or compensation for your loved one’s losses, there must be evidence that:
- The nursing home owed the resident a duty of care (care contract)
- The nursing home breached that duty by either doing something they shouldn’t have or failed to take action.
- As a result, the resident suffered harm.
Assuming there is evidence that can prove the abuse or neglect, the court may award damages to compensate the victim for their injuries. Those typically include physical and mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the cost of medical treatment. In cases involving egregious behavior, the court may award punitive damages as a form of punishment for the nursing home facility.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse?
If you’ve discovered that your loved one has been enduring abuse, negligence, and carelessness at their nursing home, you typically have a limited amount of time to pursue compensation for justice. Under New Mexico law, you are entitled to bring a lawsuit within three years of the date the injury was discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered (N.M. Stat. Ann. §37-1-8).
What to Do if You Suspect Abuse in a New Mexico Nursing Home
Call 911, if you believe your loved one is in imminent danger. Otherwise, report elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation by calling:
Adult Protective Services Statewide Intake
1-866-654-3219 Toll-free / 24/7
There are procedures in place for handling reports of abuse, and Adult Protective Services required to investigate the report, as well as continue to monitor the nursing home. They may then choose to file a petition with the court. A judge may decide to take further measures, which might include entering an order to provide involuntary protective placement for an adult who is incapacitated, unable to consent to an alternative placement, or if an emergency exists.
Contact Us Today
Contrary to the ideas of some, there are good nursing homes. However, allowing a person in the twilight of their lives to suffer personal injury or have their life cut unnaturally short is wrong. The Branch Law Firm is committed to providing assisted living care facilities and nursing home residents and their families’ insight and assistance into the possibilities of legal recourse. Let our skilled nursing home lawyers get you the compensation you deserve. You can reach our Albuquerque office at (505) 243-3500 or through our online message system.