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According to U.S. News & World Report, Minnesota contains 364 nursing homes, including 86 that received five-star ratings. Unfortunately, nursing home residents suffer injuries from negligence even in highly rated nursing homes, to say nothing of the nursing homes that don't rank so highly. Neglected residents can find themselves with bedsores or other ailments that attentive staff would always prevent.
If a Minnesota nursing home injured you or your loved one, let an experienced Minnesota nursing home negligence lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers evaluate your case. Our attorneys will determine if you or your loved one are eligible to receive compensation.
Federal and state laws guarantee rights to nursing home residents to ensure that they get the care they need. This care includes providing food, shelter, prescribed medication, and access to health care services.
Additionally, nursing home residents have the right to determine their activities and what they will eat, whenever reasonably possible, and the right to live free from physical or chemical restraints, abuse, discrimination, and other mistreatment.
Nursing home negligence occurs when nursing home staff fail to provide the standard of care required to meet the residents’ rights. This negligence can take several forms and attributes to many factors, including not providing enough staff to adequately meet residents’ needs or supervise everyone in their care.
Minnesota saw more than 25,000 allegations of neglect, abuse, unexplained serious injuries, and thefts in one year in state-licensed nursing homes. Despite broad authority by the state Health Department to intervene, including ordering corrective measures such as better staff training, fines, or even revocation of the facility's license—as well as a state law requiring the health department to notify prosecuting authorities of evidence of abuse—the state Health Department rarely takes action. It didn't investigate 97 percent of these allegations. Investigations can drag on for months while fines go uncollected and abuse continues.
Families are often unaware of the abuse and neglect of their loved ones and must report suspected abuse themselves. It can be difficult to determine if the changes they see in their loved one’s overall health and behavior are due to the aging process or if they are evidence of neglect and abuse. Family members complain that the state does not inform them when an investigation involving the mistreatment of their loved one occurs or will not keep them updated on the investigation results.
While many people consider nursing home negligence to involve physical or sexual abuse, several other types of negligence injure residents. Here is a look at the most common types.
Nursing home neglect refers to the failure to provide goods and services needed to keep the elderly resident safe and meet their daily living needs.
Some examples of nursing home neglect include:
Warning signs of nursing home resident neglect include the resident appearing dirty, malnourished, or dehydrated; new or worsening bedsores; wearing unsuitable clothing for the weather; unsafe living conditions, such as no heat or water at the facility, bed bugs, and other signs of facility disrepair; and desertion of the resident in a public place.
Nursing home physical abuse involves a staff member or another resident inflicting physical harm on a resident by pushing, kicking, slapping, or punching the resident. Physical abuse can also occur from using physical restraints or sedating medications to prevent the resident from freely moving around.
Some warning signs that indicate physical abuse include unexplained injuries such as bruises or welts on the resident’s body, recurring injuries, and unexplained fear of a staff member or other resident.
Emotional abuse consists of verbal or non-verbal behavior designed to cause the resident emotional harm or anguish.
This behavior can include:
Some behavioral changes indicating that a nursing home resident is enduring emotional abuse include: depression and withdrawal; self-isolation; agitation; new unusual behaviors such as rocking or sucking their thumb; and refusal to eat or take medications.
Sexual abuse in a nursing home setting includes subjecting the resident to sexual activity. While sexual penetration is one form of sexual abuse, others include unwanted intimate touching, particularly to the breasts or genitals; forced nudity; taking sexually explicit photographs, videos, or audio-recordings of the resident; and forced observation of sexual acts or pornography.
Warning signs that a resident was sexually assaulted in a nursing home include bruising on the thighs, genitalia, or breasts; unexplained genital infections or new sexually transmitted infections; unexplained vaginal bleeding or irritation; difficulty sitting or walking; and torn or blood-stained underwear.
Financial exploitation occurs in a nursing home setting when someone takes the resident’s money or belongings. This abuse can include the staff’s failure to prevent residents from stealing other residents’ belongings, staff members stealing residents’ belongings, or staff using the resident’s bank cards or gaining access to their financial accounts through deceptive means.
Warning signs that give rise to concerns about financial exploitation in a nursing home setting include:
If you suspect a Minnesota nursing home has abused or neglected your loved one:
An experienced nursing home negligence lawyer can provide many services to assist you in seeking compensation through a claim, including:
Many nursing home residents and their family members are reluctant to hire an attorney to help them seek compensation for nursing home negligence because they believe they cannot afford one.
Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers work through a contingent fee billing method that allows the claimant to withhold payment for their legal team’s services until after winning compensation through settlement or litigation.
Additionally, many personal injury lawyers—including those at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers—provide free case evaluations, which allow a potential claimant to meet with an attorney and obtain guidance about the process and answers to their legal questions without obligation. This opportunity ensures that anyone who needs help with the personal injury claims process has access to it.
If nursing home negligence injured you or a loved one, an experienced lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can seek compensation and hold the negligent nursing facility accountable. We are dedicated to helping our clients repair and rebuild after injury, providing customized services to meet the unique needs of our clients. We have experience with the legal process and understand families' difficulties after an injury from nursing home negligence.
For your free case evaluation, contact us online or call (612) 688-4459.
225 South 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Phone: (612) 446-3999