New Having Nursing Home Psychological Abuse
You made the difficult and important choice to put your loved one into the care of a nursing home, knowing that professionals can keep them safer and healthier than you could. You did so, trusting that the nursing home you chose would treat your family member with respect and compassion and that it would not allow abuse of anyone in their care.
Finding out the opposite is devastating. You have every right to be upset in the aftermath of such a discovery. You need to take steps to hold the nursing home accountable for violating the trust of you and your loved one, by seeking compensation for the nursing home’s mistreatment of your loved one.
What Is Nursing Home Psychological Abuse?
Nursing homes are legally required to provide a safe and comfortable place for people under their care. When they have failed to do so because they have allowed psychological abuse to occur from their employees or another resident, they may be found negligent. If someone you love has been psychologically abused while residing in a nursing home, the nursing home can be found legally liable for the abuse.
The loved one you entrusted to the nursing home may be especially vulnerable because of their weakened physical or mental state. That doesn’t mean that they can’t be victims of the same emotional abuse as less vulnerable people. Any action or behavior that makes a nursing home resident uncomfortable and damages their emotional health could be psychological abuse. It could be verbal or non-verbal. Actions that may be defined as psychological abuse include:
- Yelling or harsh language directed at your loved one
- Joking at your loved one’s expense
- Controlling behavior toward your loved one
- Threatening to harm your loved one
- Limiting your loved one’s access to food or medicine
- Preventing your loved one’s contact with others
- Humiliating your loved one in front of others
Unlike physical abuse, which often results in obvious injuries, psychological abuse can be invisible. After suffering this treatment, your family member may show emotional or physical symptoms.
Emotional effects could include:
- Pervasive anxiety
- Chronic depression
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Physical symptoms could include:
- Trouble eating or sleeping
- Trouble speaking or communicating
- Rocking or sucking
- Self-harming behaviors
If you fear that your loved one has been psychologically abused, it is important to report that abuse to the authorities. Your first instinct might be to report it to the nursing home, but their insurance company may immediately begin steps to protect the company rather than to help your loved one.
You should also contact a Connecticut nursing home attorney to help you understand your legal options. If you contact the professional, compassionate lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, you can begin with a free, no-obligation consultation.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
If you hire a nursing home abuse lawyer, you can file a claim against the nursing home for their negligent treatment of your loved one. While legal action won’t undo the suffering your loved one, you, and your family have been through, it may help provide you with peace of mind that the responsible parties are made to answer financially for their wrongdoing.
It may also provide you the money you need to move your loved one to a safer nursing home, to pay for your loved one’s treatment as a result of psychological abuse, and to compensate for their pain and suffering. This process is distinct from any criminal prosecutions that may also be appropriate in your case.
How Would It Work?
Dealing with your own emotions after finding out that your loved one has been psychologically abused in a nursing home is difficult enough. When you choose to engage Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers on your behalf, our talented attorneys will explain every step we take and make sure nothing is a surprise. Every case is different, but here is what you can expect.
The first step your nursing home psychological abuse lawyer will take is to thoroughly and carefully investigate the abuse. They may hire experts to help gather the evidence they need to establish the nursing home’s negligence. You can help this process by saving any documents you receive from the nursing home, doctors, the police, your insurance, or the nursing home’s insurance company. These documents may serve as important evidence and will help your lawyer calculate how much you are owed.
Once your lawyer feels they have a firm legal argument, they will write a letter to the nursing home and their insurance company stating that argument. The company may immediately make a settlement offer to stop the case from proceeding. After this, you and your lawyer may decide to take their offer, negotiate, or to file a claim against the negligent party. If the nursing home feels that it can, it may deny the psychological abuse altogether and argue that they are not liable.
If you then decide to file a claim, your lawyer and their lawyer will begin investigating the case. This process is called discovery. It may include depositions (formal interviews) of your loved one or other witnesses. After this, the case may go to court to be tried before a judge.
But this rarely happens. Instead, the nursing home’s insurance company will likely choose to settle the case in mediation. In this negotiation, you and your attorney will come to an agreement with the negligent party about how much you are owed. That amount is called damages. The damages can include monetary compensation for:
- Medical bills related to the abuse that you have already paid
- Future treatment related to the abuse that you expect
- Lost wages or salary due to the abuse
- Pain and suffering
Contact Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for Help
You and your family should be treated with respect, kindness, and professionalism. At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we will do everything in our power to win you and your loved the compensation you and your loved one need to heal.
We will be with you every step of the way, starting with a free, confidential consultation. Our services are free to you up front, because we’ll only be paid when you are. We’re always available. Visit our New Haven office, contact us at (203) 397-1283, or chat with us now.