Choosing a place to retire is a highly personal decision, especially when it comes to the nursing home where you want to live out your last years. You may deliberately choose a community filled with other seniors and retirees, where you can engage in a wide range of activities, meet new people, and trust that the city has the local infrastructure necessary to support retirees.
San Antonio has a thriving senior community. With more than 100,000 military retirees calling it home, San Antonio offers a great place for seniors to retire, including a broad selection of nursing homes and retirement communities.
Unfortunately, those retirement communities and nursing homes do not always offer the high degree of care needed to help seniors live a high quality of life. When you or a loved one suffers from neglect in a nursing home, it can cause a host of medical problems that may take considerable time to resolve or even ultimately result in death.
Did you suffer from negligence in a San Antonio nursing home? Dolman Law Group can help you learn more about the compensation you may deserve for your injuries. Contact our San Antonio nursing home negligence lawyers today for a free consultation to learn more about your right to compensation.
Dolman Law Group Can Help Recover Compensation After Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence can leave you struggling with extreme financial losses, not to mention the potential loss of your overall health and vitality. At Dolman Law Group, we help our clients recover compensation for the injuries they sustained from nursing home negligence. Our team of attorneys can offer legal assistance and representation as our clients move forward with their nursing home negligence claims.
We Help Investigate the Nursing Home and Past Claims of Negligence
Sometimes, a nursing home may have a long history of negligence and abuse, past claims against the nursing home, dissatisfied residents, and a bad reputation within the senior living community. At Dolman Law Group, we investigate the nursing home and the circumstances that may have led to that negligence, including the nursing home's history.
We Ensure That Our Clients Understand Their Rights After Nursing Home Negligence in San Antonio
If your loved one suffered nursing home abuse or negligence, you could recover compensation from the liable party. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents and their families do not know how much compensation they deserve or what they should expect after they identify the negligence and start moving forward with a claim.
At Dolman Law Group, we help ensure that our clients know how much compensation they deserve and can negotiate from a position of understanding, rather than confusion. We also answer questions you may have about filing a claim on behalf of a family member who cannot act on their own, or how to hold an abuser legally responsible for their actions.
We Help Present Your Claim in the Best Light Possible, Whether You Need To Negotiate With the Nursing Home's Insurance Company Directly or Present Your Claim in Court
Often, the way you present your claim can have a substantial impact on the way the court or even the insurance company views the compensation you deserve. At Dolman Law Group, we work to help our San Antonio nursing home neglect clients present their claims in the most effective way possible.
The Dangers of Nursing Home Neglect in San Antonio
The Texas nursing shortage is the second-worst in the United States. With thousands of nurses already missing from the workforce, many nursing home facilities struggle to find the highly-trained nurses they need to provide a high standard of care for their patients. This lack of adequate staffing can make it incredibly difficult for the nurses in the facility to provide the high standard of care patients deserve.
Nursing home neglect sometimes occurs because of lazy nurses—or nurses who do not have adequate training—especially because of high staffing turnover at San Antonio nursing homes. In some cases, administrators hire people who are not nurses to provide care that generally should come from a highly trained nurse. This allows them to save money, but residents are not given the level of care expected and needed.
Most often, however, it occurs from understaffing problems across the nursing home. Overworked nurses struggle to provide the high standard of care those residents deserve. They care about the residents and want them to receive the support they need and deserve—it is just not possible with so few trained professionals and so many people who need care.
Unfortunately, with the nursing shortage growing each year and the population of San Antonio continuing to age—which can leave those residents requiring a higher standard of care and greater nursing support—nursing home staff may grow increasingly overworked. That overwork can have a substantial impact on residents.
Regardless of whether the staff intends to hurt patients or not, nursing home neglect can lead to many potential challenges. This includes:
Spending too much time with pressure on one part of the body, generally caused by spending too much time bed-bound, can result in severe bedsores. Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers, can occur anywhere on the body, but they most often occur on bony areas of the body.
Symptoms of early-stage pressure ulcers may include redness, broken skin, and swelling or drainage. As they become more serious, pressure ulcers can grow deeper and become infected, which may increase pain and further limit the nursing home resident. Bedsores can be deadly if not prevented or addressed as soon as possible.
Unexplained Injuries, Including Slip and Fall Injuries
In many cases, San Antonio nursing home neglect leaves nursing home residents unattended and unobserved. Unfortunately, some seniors, especially those suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia, may have a hard time regulating their own activities.
They may forget that they cannot get out of bed safely or suffer a fall because they do not have a hand to hold or support to lean on. Slip and fall injuries can cause substantial, long-term complications, especially for seniors, who have a much higher risk of suffering broken hips or broken bones in a fall. Seniors may also suffer from numerous smaller abrasions and bruises.
A senior who does not have adequate access to water in a nursing home may suffer from dehydration. Dehydration leaves your body without the fluids needed to carry out its normal functions. At its worst, dehydration can lead to urinary and kidney problems, seizures, and even stroke.
Bed-bound residents—those who are not significantly mobile on their own—and those who have a diagnosis that might prevent them from thinking clearly and meeting their own needs could become dehydrated quickly if the staff does not monitor their intake and ensure they have access to water and other fluids.
Some seniors may need help eating, especially if they have conditions like dementia, which can make it difficult to remember that they need to eat or respond correctly to hunger cues. Some San Antonio nursing homes, however, may not have adequate staff on hand to provide for those needs.
Others may forget to deliver meals on time, especially for seniors who have a hard time paying attention to hunger cues. Malnutrition can cause health complications, including immense weakness, which can make it hard for seniors to recover from other illnesses and ailments.
Increased Severity of Existing Ailments or Lack of Awareness of New Ailments
Nursing home neglect can include medical neglect, in which the senior does not receive treatment for needed medical concerns. Staff at the nursing home may not identify the signs that the patient's condition has deteriorated and seek needed medical care.
They may also fail to provide patients with medications needed to treat their existing conditions, which can cause those conditions to spiral out of control. Unfortunately, once they end up uncontrolled, those conditions can prove very difficult to bring back under control.
Common Types of Nursing Home Neglect in San Antonio
Nursing home neglect can occur in several key ways.
1. Neglect of Basic Personal Hygiene
Many elderly nursing home residents need help with basic self-care tasks, from taking a bath to brushing their teeth. When nursing home staff does not provide those residents with assistance with that basic hygiene, they may have a hard time maintaining it on their own. In many cases, that can result in a higher risk of overall infection.
2. Neglect of the Patient's Medical Needs
Seniors often choose to go into a nursing home because they need a higher overall standard of medical care. As physical condition and capability deteriorate, many seniors need advanced nursing care, including regular medication or observation of specific medical symptoms. If the nursing home fails to pay attention to those needs or does not provide for the patient's overall medical requirements, the patient's health may deteriorate quickly.
In some cases, nursing home staff members may also neglect a patient's medical care if the staff notices an injury that seems to have occurred due to neglect. Sometimes, nursing home staff members may avoid reporting the injury or seeking care for the patient because they fear repercussions for allowing the patient to suffer an injury in their care. Unfortunately, that neglect can serve to further worsen those injuries.
3. Neglect To Provide for the Senior's Basic Needs
When seniors enter a nursing home, they trust that the nursing home will meet their basic needs. They assume that they will receive food and water as needed, that they will have their medical needs met, and that they will get their clothing changed on time. They will also assume a certain level of cleanliness in the rooms and other basic standards.
Unfortunately, sometimes, nursing home staff gets busy, and some patients may fall through the cracks. Other times, lazy staff members may do only what they must to get by, which can lead to considerable neglect over time. Failing to provide for a senior's basic needs can cause the senior's health to quickly deteriorate.
4. Emotional Neglect
Studies show that seniors deteriorate quickly when neglected emotionally. They need, when possible, to spend time with friends and loved ones, both those inside the nursing home with them and those without. Overworked staff members, however, may struggle to connect emotionally with their patients, especially when they have to contend with other responsibilities.
Those seniors, especially if otherwise isolated from the greater nursing home community due to illness or lack of mobility, may suffer from significant health challenges or even die from that neglect.
What About Intentional Abuse in a San Antonio Nursing Home?
No one likes to think about someone intentionally victimizing and harming a senior living in a nursing home, but it does occur. Most nursing home abuse is neglect, which is generally unintentional. However, abusers may take jobs at these facilities to target seniors.
Those who have cognitive and mobility concerns are at an increased risk of abuse in these facilities. There are several types of intentional nursing home abuse, including
- Physical abuse
- Emotional or psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
Nursing home residents who endure abuse at the hands of staff, volunteers, guests, and others may suffer very real physical and emotional injuries that require additional treatment and care. Even when their injuries are not physical, they can affect their cognitive and emotional health by worsening depression, limiting communication, and more.
In many cases, the abuser may face criminal charges. However, it is rarely worthwhile to build a civil case against the abuser directly. This is because they do not generally have the assets to cover the resident's necessary treatment and other expenses.
Instead, abuse victims and their families can often take action against the facility. The nursing home owners have a duty to protect residents from preventable harm, and allowing abuse to occur under their roof is a breach of this duty. In addition, Texas law makes them legally responsible for the actions of their employers in many cases.
Seeking Compensation for San Antonio Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse: Who Bears Liability?
To seek compensation for nursing home neglect or abuse in San Antonio, you should work closely with a nursing home negligence attorney to determine who committed those acts of neglect and who, therefore, bears liability for it.
Often, the nursing home will carry medical malpractice insurance that will help cover the cost of damages resulting from neglect. You will typically deal with the insurance company that covers the nursing home, not the nursing home directly, as you pursue compensation for your losses.
In some cases, however, the nursing home may not bear full liability for the act of neglect, or another party may also share liability. Due to staffing issues in many nursing homes, some turn to temp agencies and staffing firms to find nurses who can help improve the overall standard of care for their patients.
Those nurses may not have the training necessary to work in senior living communities and provide the high standard of care expected by those residents. If those nurses neglect their patients due to a lack of training or necessary skills, especially if those nurses have a history of neglecting other patients, the staffing company may share liability for those injuries.
Doctors that work with nursing home facilities, especially those that work directly with the nursing home as external providers, may also bear liability for neglect of their patients. They should identify senior neglect and take action to prevent it quickly, especially if they see signs of a patient's condition deteriorating over time or note the patient suffering more frequent injuries due to that neglect.
If you or a loved one suffered neglect in a nursing home, a San Antonio nursing home neglect attorney can help identify the parties that committed those acts of neglect and who, therefore, likely bear liability for those damages.
San Antonio Nursing Home Negligence FAQs
If your loved one faced negligence in a San Antonio nursing home and suffered serious injury or illness as a result, you may have a lot of questions about what comes next. Take a look at these FAQs or contact Dolman Law Group to ask for clarification about your specific claim.
1. Can I File a Nursing Home Negligence Claim on Behalf of a Loved One Who Suffered Negligence in a San Antonio Nursing Home?
Your senior loved one suffered serious negligence in a San Antonio nursing home and suffered severe repercussions. You want your loved one to focus on recovery and not have to worry about the stress associated with a nursing home negligence claim.
You may have the right to file a nursing home negligence claim on behalf of a loved one who suffered severe neglect in a nursing home if you have legal power of attorney for your loved one. Your loved one can also choose to assign you legal power of attorney.
However, if you do not have power of attorney, and your loved one does not want to file a nursing home negligence claim or assign you that right to allow you to handle the claim on his behalf, you may not have the right to file that claim for him. Talk to an attorney to learn more about your options and how you can help your loved one following a severe case of negligence in a San Antonio nursing home.
2. If My Loved One Died Because of Nursing Home Negligence, Do I Have the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
If you establish that your loved one died from negligence in a San Antonio nursing home, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Generally, the spouse of the deceased has the first right to file a wrongful death claim.
If the spouse has died, or if your loved one had no spouse, the children of the deceased may have the next right to file a wrongful death claim against the San Antonio nursing home. If no spouse or children can file a claim on behalf of the deceased, the deceased's estate may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
In general, you have the right to file a wrongful death claim if your loved one could have filed a nursing home negligence claim, had he lived through the neglect. You can file a wrongful death claim against the San Antonio nursing home that caused your loved one's death if your loved one died from those injuries suffered due to nursing home neglect, regardless of whether your loved one died immediately.
3. Does My Loved One Have the Right to Move Out of the San Antonio Nursing Home After Suffering Severe Neglect? Who Has to Pay for It?
San Antonio and the surrounding area offer a wide array of nursing homes to choose from. After your loved one has suffered neglect in one nursing home, you may not want him to remain there.
However, moving can prove incredibly disorienting for many seniors. Carefully consider your loved one's wishes and the overall quality of care provided by the nursing home, including changes made because of your nursing home negligence claim, before deciding if a move is the best decision for your loved one.
If you do need to move your loved one, including moving him to a facility that offers a higher standard of medical care due to changing needs related to injuries sustained because of nursing home neglect, in some cases, the nursing home may have to compensate your family for moving expenses and increased nursing home fees as part of the nursing home negligence claim.
4. What Compensation Can I Recover for Nursing Home Neglect in San Antonio?
Many people wonder about the worth of their nursing home neglect claim. They may need funds fast to help pay for medical expenses or to transfer to a new nursing home or living arrangement.
The actual compensation recovered for nursing home abuse may depend on the factors related to your neglect, including who committed the neglect and the severity of the injuries that resulted. However, in general, you can include compensation for the same basic elements.
Medical expenses incurred because of nursing home neglect: Nursing home neglect often leads to substantial medical costs. You may need a stay in a higher-level treatment facility while you recover from illnesses or injuries sustained because of nursing home neglect. You may need considerable treatment or even physical and/or occupational therapy, depending on the extent of your injuries.
Seniors often heal slower and require more attention when healing to improve the odds of a positive outcome. Those medical bills can pile up fast, especially if you want to improve your overall health and return as close as possible to your former level of health and vitality. As part of your nursing home negligence claim, you can include the expenses related to your injuries.
Damages for pain and suffering due to that neglect: Nursing home negligence can mean considerable physical and emotional pain for seniors who do not receive the standard of care they expect in the nursing home. Not only can nursing home neglect mean significant physical suffering as patients struggle with the challenges left behind by the lack of care, but it may also mean ongoing emotional challenges, including anxiety and depression.
Patients who move into nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a high rate of depression even under ideal circumstances. When faced with neglect, patients may suffer even more emotional challenges, many of which can prove far-reaching and last long-term.
Compensation for expenses incurred because of the neglect: In addition to basic medical expenses, nursing home neglect victims may face the need to move to a new nursing home facility. Sometimes, the court may award compensation for those moving expenses and the additional expenses incurred due to staying in a new nursing home as part of the victim's nursing home negligence claim.
5. What Should I Do If I Think My Loved One Has Faced Severe Neglect in a San Antonio Nursing Home?
Families with loved ones in a nursing home should always exercise care in keeping up with those loved ones and making sure that they receive the high standard of care they both need and deserve.
Regular visits, including visits at different times of the day, can help you keep up with how the staff deals with your loved one and the quality of care provided within the nursing home. With regular visits, you can also keep a more careful watch on your loved one's condition.
Often, you can identify nursing home neglect faster when you see your loved one regularly. If you do start to suspect neglect for any reason, act quickly to protect both your loved one and any other residents of the nursing home.
Document signs of neglect: You noticed that your loved one has worn the same shirt every time you have visited over the past week. You might have noticed your loved one starting to smell or that he has stains from previous meals on his clothing.
Take photos of any visible signs of neglect, including injuries. If you notice injuries piling up, you should take action quickly, since repeated, frequent injuries could indicate nursing home abuse, rather than nursing home neglect.
Write down the times you have visited and any other symptoms you noticed, including signs of depression or reluctance to engage with staff members. If your loved one makes a request and it takes unnecessarily long for the staff to answer it, make a note of those times and dates.
Start a record of any signs of neglect you notice as soon as possible, since you may want to use that evidence to prove what your loved one suffered later.
Report the neglect to the nursing home staff: Ask to speak with a supervisor concerning any neglect you may have observed. Keep in mind that supervisors cannot do anything about problems they do not know about.
An overworked nursing home staff may fail to take note that a specific senior's needs have fallen through the cracks, especially in the case of a senior who might not speak up about his needs. By reporting signs of neglect or complaints issued by your loved one, you can increase the odds that your loved one will get better care.
Have your loved one evaluated by a doctor, if needed: Nursing home neglect can lead to a variety of serious medical conditions and challenges, especially if allowed to continue for some time. If your loved one has suffered from long-term neglect in a nursing home, especially if you see any signs of dehydration or malnutrition, pursue a full medical evaluation from an external doctor.
A doctor can identify any challenges and address long-term health problems that may arise from a lack of treatment during a period of neglect.
Let the doctor know that you suspect neglect and that you may need assistance proving that negligence later. The doctor may provide additional information and documentation that will make it easier to prove that neglect in your nursing home negligence claim.
Contact a nursing home negligence attorney to learn more about your rights: A San Antonio nursing home negligence attorney can help you understand your loved one's right to compensation following serious episodes of neglect. An attorney can also put together a claim on your loved one's behalf. Keep in mind that your loved one may need to decide whether to file a claim.
6. What Should I Do If the Nursing Home Offers a Settlement for the Neglect Claim?
Sometimes, after you report neglect or start moving toward a nursing home negligence claim, the nursing home or its insurance company will offer a settlement regarding your loved one's injuries.
Frequently, that offer comes before you have a chance to fully evaluate your loved one's injuries, including what your loved one's bills will look like in the aftermath of that neglect.
You may not know how high those bills will mount, especially over time. You may not know the full extent of the damages your loved one sustained, especially in cases where your loved one did not receive adequate medical care or suffered serious injuries.
Accepting the initial settlement offer may limit the compensation your loved one ultimately receives for his injuries.
Instead, consult a nursing home negligence attorney before accepting a settlement offer. Do not allow the insurance company or nursing home to pressure you to accept the offer immediately. Instead, take the time to think it over and discuss your right to compensation with an attorney.
An attorney can help you determine whether you want to continue negotiating or accept the offer issued by the insurance company.
7. How Long does It Take to Settle a San Antonio Nursing Home Negligence Claim?
Many San Antonio seniors, particularly in this generation, have outlived their retirement funds. In the aftermath of nursing home neglect, they may have substantial medical expenses and other bills to deal with. Settling the claim fast can seem more beneficial to your loved one in the short term.
A nursing home negligence claim, however, can take considerable time. Your loved one may need to make other financial arrangements while waiting on compensation from the nursing home neglect claim. If your loved one struggles to pay medical bills in the aftermath of nursing home neglect, a nursing home neglect attorney can issue a letter of protection that will help hold off collections actions until the settlement or award from a nursing home neglect claim arrives.
Keep in mind that the stages of a nursing home neglect claim take time. An attorney will need time to investigate the nursing home and the injuries your loved one sustained. You may need to go through considerable negotiation to arrive at a reasonable settlement agreement.
Finally, in some cases, you may need to take your San Antonio nursing home neglect claim to court to achieve the compensation your loved one deserves. If the nursing home administrators or owners refuse to accept responsibility for what happened, a lawsuit and jury trial may be necessary. Juries generally do not look positively on facilities that allow seniors to suffer injuries, so the nursing home may be as interested in settling your case out of court as you are.
Contact Dolman Law Group Today About Your San Antonio Nursing Home Neglect Claim
Did you or a loved one suffer neglect in a San Antonio nursing home? Dolman Law Group can help give you a better idea of the compensation you deserve. We provide free consultations for victims of nursing home abuse or neglect and their families. One of our attorneys can answer your questions and help you understand your rights and options for holding the facility legally responsible.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
San Antonio Office
921 S St Mary's St #2
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 361-2039