Dallas Nursing Home Attorneys Helping Victims
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Should you find an elderly loved one under less than expected care in a nursing home in Dallas, Fort Worth or metro area, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Since the legal team at The Law Office of WT Johnson has defended several cases of nursing home abuse in Dallas, your loved one will benefit from our legal representation and will enjoy the possibility of better care as soon as the verdict is read. For a no-cost, comprehensive consultation, call (800) 738-4046.
In Texas, there are many tort-reform laws and other rigid compensation regulations along with a strict statute of limitations that serve to prevent any Dallas nursing home abuse victim from filing an otherwise perfectly viable personal injury claim. The attorneys at The Law Office of WT Johnson are experienced in handling the convoluted legal system that surrounds litigation against nursing homes in all of Texas. We can help you traverse the pitfalls and obstacles often encountered during the claims process so your elderly loved one can get the compensation s/he deserves.
When Should You Decide to Intervene?
Generally, the people responsible for nursing home residents are family members, the children, or other close relatives of the resident. If the resident has a guardian other than a family member, it is important that someone with emotional vested interest in the wellbeing of the nursing home resident take part in the process of understanding whether or not nursing home abuse is taking place. Unfortunately, even the most caring guardians have the tendency to treat allegations of nursing home abuse with a dismissive attitude. If your elderly loved one is telling you s/he is being abused, it is best to take his/her claims seriously, even if s/he has a history of mental illness or things appear to be just fine.
Watch Out for Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Close family involvement in the life of a nursing home resident is a huge factor in the quality of treatment the resident receives. So be sure to visit your elderly loved one on a frequent basis, and while you’re there, look for these signs of nursing home abuse:
- Poor basic care
- Poor record keeping
- Change in behavior of the patient
- Change in mood of the patient
- Unusual bruises or scratches or other injury
- Missing medication or medication not taken
- Missing personal items
If nursing home abuse is identified, the family member most closely involved in the life of the nursing home resident should contact an attorney immediately, as statute of limitations can quickly expire, leaving your loved one without any recourse.
Dallas Attorneys Answer FAQs
How do I find out whether my elderly loved one's nursing home or assisted living facility is a good one?
What can I do if I suspect that my elderly loved one is being abused by his/her caretaker in a residential home?
What if my elderly loved one is being abused in a state operated setting or private assisted living facility?
Q: How can I tell if my elderly loved one is being abused?
A: When visiting your loved one (which should be a frequent occurrence), look for the following symptoms of abuse:
- Unexplained broken bones, bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Frequent admissions to the emergency room
- Lack of hygiene
- Skin rashes
- Significant weight loss
- Unexplained bank transactions or credit card charges
- Theft of your loved one's personal items
- Unexplained changes in behavior, especially anxiety, irritability, or unresponsiveness
A thorough medical examination or evaluation of financial activity may reveal evidence of abuse, as well.
Q: Who are the most common perpetrators of elderly abuse?
A: According to surprising statistics provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse, a large percentage of elder abuse (66 percent) is perpetrated by adult children and spouses. And this is only taking into account cases which are reported – sadly, many go unreported. Additionally, it is estimated that 36 percent of nursing homes violate elderly abuse laws and 91 percent lack adequate staff to provide proper care for residents. Clearly, elder abuse is a huge issue in both residential homes and assisted living facilities.
Q: How do I find out whether my elderly loved one's nursing home or assisted living facility is a good one?
A: You may contact your Long-Term Care Ombudsman for information about the nursing home or assisted living facility. You may also try Nursing Home Compare, a federal website that allows you to find Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes in your area and learn how they rate by various quality measures.
Q: What can I do if I suspect that my elderly loved one is being abused by his/her caretaker in a residential home?
A: You should call and discuss the suspicious situation with Adult Protective Services (APS), a Long-Term Care Ombudsman, or local law enforcement. They will ask you what you saw/heard/otherwise observed that indicated abuse and the identity of the suspected perpetrator. They will also inform you of who you can contact for further assistance.
Q: What if my elderly loved one is being abused in a state operated setting or private assisted living facility?
A: If your elderly loved one is staying in a state supported living center, state hospital, or community mental health/retardation center, get in touch with APS Facility Investigations. If s/he is staying in a psychiatric hospital or other medical facility, contact Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). If a nursing home, assisted living facility, private ICF/MR, or adult day care is involved, reach out to Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
Q: What will happen after I make a report to APS?
A: Upon receiving your report, APS will evaluate the situation and act accordingly. If it's an emergency, APS will immediately forward the report to police or emergency medical staff. If not, your case will be assigned a priority response time based on the level of victim risk and an APS staff will eventually take on your case (if your report meets the APS target population).
The assigned caseworker will contact the victim, assess his/her risk factors, and his/her capacity to understand the situation and to give informed consent for further investigation.
If your elderly loved one expresses his/her consent and allows the investigation to continue, the caseworker will make arrangements to address and resolve problems with your elderly loved one's health, home, and finances. S/he may continue to monitor service provision to assure that victim risk is reduced or eliminated.
Why choose The Law Office of WT Johnson?
We have successfully represented clients in a great number of nursing home abuse cases in Dallas and the surrounding areas over the many years of our practice. If you decide to hire us, your elderly loved one will benefit from our quality legal representation and will enjoy the possibility of better care as soon as the verdict is read. For a free case evaluation, call (214) 231-0544 now.
- Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Blog Articles
- Elder Abuse Information - Attorney General of Texas
- Reporting Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation in Texas - DADS
- Report Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation - DFPS
- National Center on Elder Abuse - Administration on Aging
- How to Advocate for Parents in Nursing Homes - AARP
If you would like to discuss your claim with a member of our team, don't hesitate to call us at (214) 231-0544. We're ready to help you, and won't rest until you receive the settlement you deserve.