McAllen Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in McAllen, TX

There may come a point in your loved one’s life when they require round-the-clock care that you cannot provide. In these cases, a nursing home might be the best option. It’s entirely reasonable to expect that your loved one will get high-quality care and be treated with kindness and dignity. Still, unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect are startlingly common.

Seeing a loved one treated improperly or abused in McAllen or the Rio Grande Valley is devastating, but our personal injury lawyers are ready to help you pursue justice and obtain the compensation you need to repair the damage.

The Patino Law Firm: Your McAllen Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

At the Patino Law Firm, we’re proud to serve nursing home abuse survivors in McAllen and the surrounding areas. Our team of skilled attorneys litigates abuse cases on behalf of our clients.

Reach out to us today to find out more about your rights and options. We empower and educate our clients throughout the legal process to help them make the best choices for their well-being. Plus, you don’t pay us anything unless we win or settle your case.

Get a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in McAllen Now

Are There Specific Laws Regarding Nursing Home Abuse?

In the Lone Star State, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services oversees nursing home regulations. These laws dictate how nursing homes must operate to ensure high standards of care.

According to Sec. 242.001 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, elder care facility residents must receive quality care. That means that a facility cannot withhold the services required to maintain residents’ physical, mental, and emotional health.

In addition to these regulations, The Nursing Home Reform Act details the rights of nursing home residents all across the U.S. These include the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect; to have their privacy respected and their medical, physical, social, and psychological needs accommodated; to exercise self-determination and communicate freely — including voicing grievances without reprisal; to participate in their care plan, and to be treated with dignity.

In addition to these rights, The Nursing Home Reform Act dictates how nursing facilities should operate. Nursing homes must meet staffing needs to offer appropriate care and develop comprehensive care plans for residents. They must also ensure nutrition needs are met, give residents proper vision and hearing care, and prevent residents from developing bedsores.

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

When you think of nursing home abuse, your mind might immediately jump to bumps and bruises. While unexplained injuries can be a sign of nursing home abuse, many more aren’t immediately visible.

Some of these include: 

  • Sudden mood changes
  • Reports of incontinence (when it was not previously a concern)
  • Bedsores
  • Passiveness or emotionlessness
  • Refusal to eat or malnutrition
  • Lack of interest in activities or hobbies
  • Missing personal items.

Tragically, many victims of nursing home abuse do not feel comfortable coming forward and confiding in their loved ones, whether through embarrassment or fear of being reprimanded or not believed. If you’re concerned that someone you know is being mistreated, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. A successful claim could result in a substantial payout that helps your loved one get the level of care they deserve and supports them during their recovery. Crucially, uncovering nursing home abuse allows you to stop so-called “caregivers” from continuing to mistreat vulnerable residents.

When these basic needs aren’t met, a nursing facility may be liable for abuse or neglect.

Answering Your Common Questions About Nursing Home Abuse

What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect differs from abuse in that it stems from a nursing facility’s failure to provide adequate care to a nursing home resident. Neglect often happens because a nursing home is understaffed or does not provide proper staff training.

Some of the common signs of nursing home neglect include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnourishment
  • Improperly administered medications
  • Bedsores
  • Infections
  • Unsanitary conditions.

What Is Physical Abuse in a Nursing Home?

The physical abuse we hear about in day-to-day life can happen in nursing homes, too. Physical abuse encompasses a wide range of physical acts — including kicking, slapping, hitting, choking, punching, cutting, and spanking — and is punishable by law. Even if staff become frustrated with uncooperative or difficult-to-understand patients, their behavior should never veer off into violence or physical abuse.

Can You File a Claim for Emotional Abuse?

Some people don’t take emotional abuse as seriously as physical or sexual abuse, but it should be given just as much attention. Emotional abuse can have a profound and lasting impact on someone’s life — and it does happen in nursing homes.

Emotional abuse in nursing homes may involve bullying, verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation, humiliation, and other forms of psychological abuse. Many people who suffer this type of abuse are afraid to tell their loved ones. They may instead become withdrawn or act differently.

Some of the most common signs of emotional abuse in nursing homes include:

  • Reports of abusive or inappropriate activity
  • Unusual behavior such as biting or sucking
  • Alterations in behavior or personality
  • Becoming withdrawn
  • Becoming easy to upset or agitate.

Does Sexual Abuse Happen in Nursing Homes?

Sexual abuse can and does happen in nursing homes. It’s possible for nursing home residents to be sexually coerced, assaulted, or abused under various circumstances. Often, these scenarios involve nursing home caretakers or employees who take advantage of their authority over residents.

It’s very common for nursing homes to fail to respond to reports of sexual abuse. If you or someone you love has been sexually abused in a nursing home, it’s critical to contact law enforcement and a qualified nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.

What Is Exploitation?

Unfortunately, it is very easy for nursing home staff to exploit residents. Some people who live in nursing homes may have a vague understanding of their finances or want financial assistance. Caretakers may take advantage of this and use seniors’ accounts to move money without permission.

Any time a nursing home staff member uses a residents’ property or bank account for personal gain, they commit an act of exploitation. This is a legally punishable offense.

Can You Prevent Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse isn’t always preventable, but you can take steps to identify the signs earlier. Maintaining a relationship with your loved one’s caregivers is one such way. It’s easier to notice when care goes wrong if you understand how it should be administered and you’re familiar with the people providing it.

You can also ask your loved one about their care. This should make it easier for instances of abuse to come to light. However, those suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect won’t always admit to being mistreated, so you should never consider an “all clear” from your relative to be the total truth.

What Are Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores, or bedsores, are very common in abusive and neglectful nursing home settings.

Many elderly people have restricted mobility. When someone can’t move from one position (like lying in a bed) for a long time, they exert continuous pressure on certain spots on their bodies. Most people’s nerves send messages to their brains to remind them to move and shift in these situations, but someone with limited mobility may need assistance from a caregiver.

In abusive and neglectful nursing home settings, it’s very common for residents to develop bedsores. These injuries can be treated, but they are entirely preventable and shouldn’t happen in the first place. Staff should take active measures to prevent pressure sores (like helping residents move regularly), but they often fail to do so when a facility is understaffed or staff aren’t adequately trained to assist residents.

What Is an Assessment and Care Plan?

You might already know about assessment and care plans if you have a loved one in a nursing home.

If you haven’t had to sort out documentation from a nursing home yet, here’s a rundown:

  • The Nursing Home Reform Act requires nursing facilities to create assessment and care plans for residents.
  • They must complete assessment and care plans within 14 days of a resident’s admission to a nursing home. The deadline is seven days if the resident has Medicare.

A resident’s assessment and care plan outlines the care a nursing home resident should receive. Caregivers should review these assessments annually or when a patient’s condition changes, whichever comes first.

What Are the Signs of Malnutrition?

Malnutrition is one of the primary symptoms of nursing about abuse or neglect, so it’s essential to understand the signs.

Some of the most common include:

  • Hair loss
  • Muscle weakness and lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry mucous membranes.

What Should I Do if I Believe Someone I Love Is Suffering From Nursing Home Abuse?

If you think someone you love is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should first report it to the Department of Health.

Then, you should retain a lawyer. If you’re in the McAllen area, our nursing home lawyers at the Patino Law Firm can help you fight for the rights of your loved one.

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Texas?

While the evidence in every case is unique, to prove that your loved one was abused, you must generally show that:

  • The nursing home owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (if the plaintiff is a resident, this is automatic).
  • The nursing home breached this duty of care (by failing to abide by their legal duties).
  • The breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

How Much Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Cost? Are Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Expensive?

The cost of a nursing home lawyer will vary based on the attorney you choose to pursue your claim and the complexity of your case. Most firms, including Patino Law Firm, work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay legal fees unless we win your case.

Have You Seen or Suffered Nursing Home Abuse? Call the McAllen Nursing Home Attorneys at the Patino Law Firm

At the Patino Law Firm, we’re committed to helping our clients pursue justice. Our team of qualified, compassionate nursing home abuse lawyers can help your loved one after the stress and trauma that abuse brings. Contact your McAllen Law Ninja today by calling 855-LAW-NINJA and connect with a qualified legal professional who can answer your questions and assess your case.

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Highly recommend this law firm! Mr Patino is very professional, he keeps you informed, listens to your concerns and works hard to get you the best possible outcome on your case in the least amount of time possible.

-Margarita T.

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Patino Law Firm
1802 N 10th St
McAllen, TX 78501
956-631-3535

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