Representation for Elder Abuse Victims in Milwaukee & Southeast Wisconsin
When you entrust your elderly loved one to the care of a nursing home, you expect the staff to provide the best level of care possible. You want your loved one to have all of his or her needs met in a safe environment. For many families, nursing homes are the best option for long-term, professional care – but in some cases, these facilities fail to live up to that standard of care.
If your loved one experienced abuse, mistreatment, or neglect at the hands of a nursing home, you may be able to pursue legal action. The Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyers from Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. can assist you in seeking justice for your case.
Our clients select the injury lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy for their elder abuse claims due to our compassion, tenacity, and significant litigation experience.
- Our attorneys have experience practicing multiple forms of personal injury law, including elder abuse. We are familiar with the litigation process and can guide you and your family towards settlement, answering questions every step of the way.
- Our firm has the resources and network of experts necessary to conduct a full-scale investigation into the circumstances of the abuse. We can review security footage, review medical records, and conduct interviews to uncover evidence you may not have access to.
- Our attorneys understand the traumatic and sensitive nature of elder abuse cases. We aim to practice compassion, understanding, and open communication with you and your family from consultation to settlement.
What Is Neglect in a Nursing Home?
Nursing home neglect and abuse are serious concerns that impact the health, safety, and wellness of your elderly loved ones. Millions of older adults entrust their care to nursing home facilities across the United States. Elder abuse within a facility can be difficult to detect and prosecute.
Many abusers tend to hide the elderly person’s injuries from his or her family or supervisors. Abusers can also intimidate an elderly person into keeping quiet about the abuse. If the elderly person suffers from a neurological condition, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, he or she may not be able to tell a friend, family member, or caregiver about the abuse. As a result, many cases of elder abuse go unreported.
Many nursing homes are safe and professional facilities. However, abuse in elder care facilities is a prevalent and widespread issue. Knowing the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse can help you identify if your loved one is experiencing harm and allow you to seek help.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The Center for Disease Control classifies nursing home abuse into five main categories: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment and neglect, and financial abuse.
- Financial abuse is the most common type of elder abuse. This action occurs when a nursing home caregiver misuses, steals, or improperly distributes an elder person’s funds or assets. Examples of financial abuse include misuse or theft, forgery, coercion or deception to surrender assets, and improper use of guardianship privileges.
- Physical abuse refers to the use of physical force to cause pain, distress, impairment, injury, or illness to an elderly person. Physical abuse could include hitting, choking, slapping, burning, kicking, shaking, or suffocation.
- Emotional abuse is another common, although often overlooked, form of nursing home abuse. This abuse refers to nonverbal or verbal behaviors that cause anguish, fear, distress, or mental pain to an elderly person. Controlling an elderly person’s access to resources, isolating him or her from family and friends, threats, and humiliation are all examples of this type of abuse.
- Abandonment and neglect refer to the complete failure of a caregiver to provide necessary care to an elderly person. This abuse can include failure to protect the elderly person from harm or basic necessities, such as medication, hygiene, exercise, water, and food. The caregiver can also abandon an elderly person in the nursing home or in a public place.
- Sexual abuse involves any forced, coerced, or unwanted sexual contact between a trusted caregiver and an elder adult. Sexual abuse also occurs when an elderly person is too incapacitated to consent to the act. Penetration, unwanted touching and fondling, and attempted sexual assault are all forms of sexual abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect and abuse in Wisconsin can go unnoticed for a long period of time. Abusive caregivers can limit a family’s access to an elderly person and hide his or her injuries before a visit. An elderly person may not have the capacity to describe what happened to him or her, or he or she could feel shame at the incident.
However, common physical and psychological signs can point to an incidence of elder abuse.
- Bed sores
- Unkempt physical appearance
- Broken bones and fractures
- Emotional outbursts
- Bruises and cuts
- Dehydration signs, such as dark urine, dry skin, sunken eyes, fatigue, and rapid breathing
- Mood swings
- Hovering caregivers who do not allow a family to be alone with their loved one
- Frequent infections and open wounds
- Sudden and unexplainable weight loss
- Signs of poor hygiene, such as a foul odor, dirty hair and skin, and soiled clothing
- Reclusiveness and refusal to speak
- Refusal to eat
- Refusal to take medications
- Changes in mental health
- Missing funds and unexplained asset loss
Some forms of nursing home abuse, such as sexual assault or financial abuse, can be difficult to detect. If your elderly loved one tells you that he or she is experiencing abuse, seek help from a Milwaukee nursing home abuse attorney as soon as you can. If you notice any of these signs, report the abuse to the nursing home supervisor or contact the police or the Georgia Division of Aging Services.
Suing a Nursing Home for Abuse and Negligence
Unless the nursing home has an arbitration agreement in place that limits your right to filing a lawsuit, you can file a claim against a nursing home for abuse and negligence through Wisconsin civil court. If an arbitration agreement is in place, you will have to bring a copy of the document to an attorney who can advise you of possible legal pathways.
Under Wisconsin law, you have three years from the date of the discovery of the injury or abuse to file this lawsuit. You can file a claim on behalf of your loved one if you are the legal guardian or personal representative of your loved one’s estate. You can also take your loved one to a free consultation with a Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney to discuss his or her legal options.
To file a claim against a negligent nursing home, you will need to prove the following three elements:
- You must prove that the nursing home had a legal obligation to provide care to your loved one.
- You must prove that the nursing home failed to uphold its legal obligation to provide care to your loved one.
- You must prove that the nursing home’s breach of care caused your loved one’s injuries.
Contact Cannon & Dunphy Today
Do you have a loved one who suffered from abuse at the hands of a nursing home caregiver? Cannon & Dunphy can assist you throughout the litigation process.
- Our nursing home abuse lawyers will launch an investigation into the circumstances of the abuse. We will obtain and fact-check all relevant information to the case. This investigation may include witness interviews, medical record analysis, consultation from an expert witness, and review of video and photographic evidence.
- We will prepare you and your loved one for trial, ensuring open and honest communication so that you always remain up-to-date with the case’s standing.
- We have the resources, network, and litigation experience necessary to craft a compelling case on your loved one’s behalf.
Contact Cannon & Dunphy today to schedule your free consultation at our Milwaukee offices.