Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
Experienced trial lawyers for residents who suffer physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse
Nursing homes need to be very careful that they hire staff and institute safety procedures that protect their residents. Nursing abuse and neglect can dramatically affect a senior’s health and well-being – especially since many seniors already have some health issues before they enter a nursing home. Some residents never recover from abuse or neglect. Seniors who are between 60 and 100 – and older – have the right to hold nursing homes accountable when the homes fail to protect them.
At Carmody and Ging, our Pittsburgh nursing home lawyers understand the unique difficulties in filing claims to protect parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other seniors when they are abused or neglected. We are skilled at moving quickly to stop the wrong and seek compensation for the harm. We identify the type of abuse, why the abuse happened, and why it was preventable. Our trial lawyers demand compensation for the senior’s financial and personal damages including their medical expenses and pain and suffering. A legal claim does more than help the senior, it helps all the other seniors in the nursing home.
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What would you like to know?
- What is nursing home abuse and neglect?
- What symptoms and indicators of abuse should family members look for?
- What injuries does nursing home abuse and neglect cause?
- What are common causes of Pittsburgh nursing home abuse and neglect?
- What laws regulate Pittsburgh nursing homes?
- What rights do Pennsylvania nursing home residents have?
- What is the value of my Pittsburgh nursing home abuse claim?
- Do you have a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer near me?
What is nursing home abuse and neglect?
Pittsburgh has numerous nursing homes to serve its senior population (65 and older). The CDC defines seniors as 60 and older. Further, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines senior abuse as any intentional conduct or failure to act, if that conduct or failure harms or puts a senior at risk. The CDC categorizes senior abuse as one or more of the following:
- Physical abuse. This abuse involves the intentional use of physical force. Examples include hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing, and burning. Other examples include not giving a patient his/her medication in the correct amounts at the correct time and the use of physical or chemical restraints. Physical abuse can cause pain, injuries, loss of function, illness, distress, and death.
- Sexual abuse. This abuse involves “forced or unwanted sexual interaction of any kind” with a senior. Examples include any sexual contact that is unwanted, penetration, and sexual harassment. Many seniors are not capable of giving consent.
- Emotional abuse. This type of abuse includes any psychological conduct that causes mental suffering, fear, or distress. It includes verbal statements and nonverbal behavior. A few examples are humiliating a senior, disrespecting a senior, any type of isolation, and threats.
- Financial abuse. This abuse includes the use of the senior’s assets, money, benefits, or belongings by unauthorized, illegal, or improper means. Examples include obtaining a power of attorney from a senior without their cognizant approval, forging the senior’s signature, improper bank withdrawals, unauthorized credit card use, and pressuring the senior to name the abuser as a beneficiary in their wills and trusts.
Nursing homes neglect their senior residents if they fail to provide the shelter, nutrition, medications, clothing, and medical care they need. Neglect also includes failing to prevent falls and other types of accidents.
What symptoms and indicators of abuse should family members look for?
Family and friends should visit their loved ones regularly to ensure they are getting the care they should. They should actively look for signs of abuse such as:
- Bedsores and pressure sores
- Improper nutrition including malnutrition and dehydration
- Cuts, bruises, wounds, and other indicators of abuse
- Isolation from other residents
- Expressions about dying
- Financial transactions that are unexplainable or unexpected
- Difficulty sleeping
- Anxiety, irritation, and depression
- Signs a loved one isn’t taking their medications
- Poor hygiene
Prompt review of your concerns with our experienced Pittsburgh nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can help your loved one and other seniors in the nursing home get the care they need.
What injuries does nursing home abuse and neglect cause?
It’s difficult enough for seniors to manage their health as they age. Injuries that require prompt treatment for nursing home residents include:
- Orthopedic injuries – spinal cord damage, fractures, and head trauma
- Poor nutrition
- Psychological injuries
- Financial damages
- Other injuries
Seniors often won’t speak up for themselves. They rely on family and friends to speak for them – and for our skilled personal injury lawyers to fight for them. At Carmody and Ging, we file personal injury actions and wrongful death actions if a senior is injured or tragically dies due to nursing home abuse or neglect.
What are common causes of Pittsburgh nursing home abuse and neglect?
Our Western Pennsylvania nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers are skilled at showing how and why abuse or neglect occurred. Common causes include:
- Noncompliance with federal and Pennsylvania nursing home laws and regulations
- Noncompliance with nursing home standards, including failing to have written protection protocols
- Failure to conduct background checks of the employees
- Failure to respond to complaints of abuse or neglect
- Failure to hire quality staff and enough staff
- Failure to anticipate common senior health problems, such as mobility issues
- Additional reasons, depending on the senior’s injuries
At Carmody and Ging, our lawyers understand the protocols nursing homes should follow to protect their residents. We work with nursing home professionals when necessary.
What laws regulate Pittsburgh nursing homes?
There are many federal and Pennsylvania laws that regulate the nursing home industry. The Pennsylvania Department of Health conducts yearly inspections of Pennsylvania nursing homes. Pennsylvania also has long-term care ombudsman program aimed at resolving complaints by long-term care residents, including nursing home residents.
What rights do Pennsylvania nursing home residents have?
Medicare provides numerous rights and protections for nursing homes that accept Medicare payments (most nursing homes do). The nursing home must give the residents the list of these rights in writing. The rights include the right to:
- Freedom from discrimination
- Freedom from abuse and neglect
- Exercise your US citizenship rights
- Notify your representative
- Be protected against involuntary transfer or discharge
- Be treated with dignity
- Obtain proper medical care
- Freedom from restraints
- Engage in activities
- Have visitors
- Spend time with visitors
- Participate in resident activities
- Manage your money
- Learn about the nursing home fees and services
- Register complaints
- "Proper privacy, property, and living arrangements”
What is the value of my nursing home abuse and neglect claim?
Seniors have the right to enjoy every moment of their lives – whether it’s for a short time or a few more decades. When nursing homes are responsible for abuse or neglect, our personal injury lawyers demand compensation for the senior’s:
- Medical expenses necessary to treat the senior’s injuries and keep those injuries from getting worse
- Any financial damage
- Pain and suffering, loss of function (including sexual function), and loss of dignity
- Any changes in the senior’s quality of life
If the nursing home’s conduct was unconscionable, we seek punitive damages. If your loved one died in a Pittsburgh nursing home due to abuse or neglect, we file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the senior’s family.
Do you have a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer near me?
Carmody and Ging is located at 801 Vinial Street in Pittsburgh, on the 3rd floor of the Deutschtown Center building. We’re right across the street from Penn Brewery. There is parking onsite. We do discuss nursing home claims by video conference. We also make arrangements to see seniors at their nursing home, a family’s home, or another convenient location.
Our attorneys explain how the claims process works. We work with relatives and guardians when seniors have cognitive difficulties.
Get help now. Speak with our respected Pittsburgh senior care lawyers today
Don’t delay. If it seems like a senior is being mistreated, it may be worse than you think. Prompt action can help put the nursing home on notice that the misconduct must stop. Skilled representation helps nursing home residents obtain the compensation they deserve so they can enjoy their remaining years.
At Carmody and Ging, we help seniors stay active and in control. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh nursing home and abuse lawyer, please call 412.281.2929 or fill out our contact form. We take great pride in helping Allegheny County injury victims of all ages.