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Las Cruces Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Las Cruces Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When we, as families, make the difficult decision to place our loved ones in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, we trust that our vulnerable relatives will receive the highest standard of care and respect.

Unfortunately, instances of nursing home abuse and neglect can shatter that trust, leaving elderly residents physically, emotionally, and psychologically traumatized. In Las Cruces, victims who’ve been abused and their families may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about their legal options for seeking justice and compensation for those affected by elder abuse.

The frightening truth is that approximately 64.2% of staff in nursing care facilities have reported they’ve committed some form of abuse in the past year according to research conducted by Brigham Young University, and those are just the ones who responded truthfully.

For the purpose of this article, “nursing home” refers to any residential facility that provides long-term care services for older people. These can include nursing homes, assisted or independent living facilities, memory care facilities, adult day cares, medical foster homes, hospice, continuing-care retirement communities, etc.

Know that if you or your family member has faced mistreatment in a nursing home, you have rights. Our attorneys would be more than happy to sit down with you to learn more about what you’ve been through and explain any legal options you may have free of charge. Contact our law firm to schedule that meeting with a lawyer to ensure proper preservation of evidence and timely filing of your prospective claim.

What To Know About Abusive Treatment Occurring in Nursing Care Facilities

Nursing home abuse encompasses a range of harmful behaviors and actions perpetrated against elderly residents at long-term care facilities.

Abuse can take various forms, including physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial exploitation, neglect of duty of care, and abandonment. Those responsible for harming residents can include caregivers, staff members, administrators, or even other residents of the facility.

Recognizing the signs of abuse is crucial for identifying and addressing these alarming situations promptly. Some of those include:

  • Physical Signs:
    • Unexplained bruises, cuts, or injuries
    • Fractures or broken bones
    • Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
    • Restrained injuries (marks from straps or restraints)
    • Signs of malnutrition or dehydration
    • Unexplained weight loss or gain
    • Poor personal hygiene or unsanitary living conditions
  • Emotional or Psychological Signs:
    • Withdrawal from social activities or interactions
    • Unusual changes in behavior or mood
    • Fear or anxiety around certain staff members
    • Agitation, aggression, or hostility
    • Symptoms of depression, such as sadness or tearfulness
    • Isolation or reluctance to speak about experiences in the facility
  • Financial Exploitation: (The annual loss by elderly victims of financial abuse in the United States is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion per the National Council on Aging.)
    • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
    • Missing personal belongings or valuables
    • Changes in financial documents or power of attorney
    • Sudden or significant changes in spending habits
    • Unauthorized use of the resident’s funds or property
  • Neglect:
    • Untreated medical conditions or infections
    • Lack of assistance with personal hygiene or grooming
    • Soiled bedding or clothing
    • Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
    • Lack of supervision or assistance with mobility
    • Failure to administer prescribed medications or treatments
  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse:
    • Harsh language or verbal threats
    • Humiliation, ridicule, or belittling remarks
    • Intimidation or coercion
    • Ignoring or disregarding the resident’s needs or requests
    • Isolation or restriction of social interactions
  • Sexual Abuse:
    • Unexplained genital infections or injuries
    • Bruising or trauma to the genital area
    • Signs of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
    • Fear or anxiety around certain staff members or residents
    • Sudden changes in behavior or mood related to sexual activity
  • Environmental Signs:
    • Poorly maintained facilities or living areas
    • Lack of cleanliness or hygiene in common areas
    • Inadequate staffing levels or high staff turnover rates
    • Failure to address safety hazards or accessibility issues
    • Lack of appropriate medical equipment or assistive devices

It’s important to note that, individually, these signs may not always indicate abuse, but if observed together or in combination, they should raise concerns that warrant further investigation.

If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected, it’s essential to take action by reporting your concerns to the appropriate authorities and also seeking legal guidance from a qualified attorney at Barrera Law Group, one that specializes in nursing home abuse cases.

You can report suspicions of nursing care facility abuse with the New Mexico Department of Health’s Health Facility Complaints line by calling 1-800-752-8649 (Toll-Free).

If you fear that a loved one is in imminent danger, you should call your local police department immediately.

The Role of a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Las Cruces

A lawyer serves as a compassionate advocate for elderly individuals who have suffered abuse or neglect in assisted living facilities like these. These legal professionals specialize in elder law and have a deep understanding of the laws and regulations governing nursing homes.

From conducting thorough investigations and gathering evidence to holding negligent parties accountable and seeking justice through legal action, a skilled attorney guides victims and their families through every step of the process with empathy and dedication. Additional support you can expect legal counsel to provide includes:

Initial Consultation and Case Assessment

The journey to seeking justice for the abusive treatment you or a loved one has endured often begins with an initial consultation with an attorney specializing in this area of law. During this meeting, your Las Cruces nursing home abuse lawyer will listen attentively to your story and assess the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect.

This consultation provides an opportunity for the attorney to evaluate the strength of the case, explain the legal options available to you and your family, and offer support and guidance during this challenging time.

Building a Strong Case

Once you’ve decided to pursue legal action, your attorney begins the process of building a strong case on your behalf.

This involves conducting thorough investigations, gathering relevant evidence, and consulting with medical experts and other professionals to establish the extent of the harm caused by the abuse or neglect.

From obtaining medical records and witness statements to documenting the conditions of the facility and uncovering any patterns of misconduct, every aspect of the case is reviewed and prepared for presentation.

Negotiation and Settlement

In many abuse cases like these, reaching a fair settlement outside of court is often preferable to protracted litigation.

A skilled lawyer will leverage their negotiation skills and legal expertise to advocate for the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Through strategic negotiations with the facility, insurance companies, and other parties involved, your attorney seeks to secure a settlement that provides compensation for the victim’s injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Trial Representation

While settlement negotiations are common, some cases like these may proceed to trial if a fair resolution can’t be reached out of court. In such instances, having a seasoned trial attorney on your side is essential.

Your lawyer will meticulously prepare for trial, presenting compelling evidence, expert testimony, and persuasive arguments to the judge and jury. Throughout the trial process, your attorney will remain steadfast in their commitment to securing justice and holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Support and Advocacy

An attorney who regularly handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases will understand the emotional toll that this mistreatment can take on elderly individuals and their loved ones and is dedicated to providing personalized attention, empathy, and reassurance every step of the way.

From answering questions and addressing concerns to offering guidance on accessing support services and resources, the attorney serves as a trusted ally and advocate for you and your family.

Victims have a steadfast ally in the skilled and compassionate legal professionals at Barrera Law Group. Each Las Cruces nursing home abuse lawyer in our office is committed to fighting for justice and compensation on behalf of elderly individuals who have been abused or neglected in these long-term care facilities.

By seeking the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney, you can pursue accountability for the harm inflicted upon your loved ones and work towards preventing future instances of nursing home abuse within their community.

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