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Are Bruises a Sign of Nursing Home Abuse?


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We trust nursing homes to take care of our loved ones when they are most vulnerable. If you visit your loved one in a nursing home and notice bruising, this might be a sign of abuse.

Patients in nursing homes are often unable to care for themselves and rely on nursing home staff to help them. Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is not unheard of, and bruising may be a tell-tale sign. Bruising often comes from physical violence but might also indicate other forms of neglect or abuse.

If you notice bruising on your loved one, you should get them medical attention immediately and bring the bruising to the attention of nursing home administrators and file a report with the state. If you suspect abuse, you may also be able to place a security camera inside your loved one’s private room. You should also contact a qualified nursing abuse attorney who can help guide you through this process, advocate to stop the abuse, and help hold the nursing home responsible for breaking its promises to you.

If you suspect the bruises on your loved one are from abuse in their nursing home, our Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers can get you the help you need right away. Call Wruck Paupore Injury Lawyers for a free case review now at (219) 322-1166.

What to Do if You Notice Bruises on Your Loved One in a Nursing Home

If you notice bruises on your loved one that do not have an immediate explanation, you should get them medical attention immediately. People who live in nursing homes often have various medical complications and are particularly vulnerable. Even something as minor as a bruise might be a serious injury for them.

You should also contact the local or state agency in charge of the nursing home. Nursing homes are medical treatment facilities subject to strict standards and usually overseen by a government agency or entity. Our nursing home abuse attorneys can help you determine who to report the bruising incident to and hopefully initiate an investigation. Most states - including Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin - have state agencies which are required to investigate any reports of abuse or neglect.

You may also need to contact the police. If the bruising came from physical abuse, the person responsible has committed a crime and should be removed from the nursing home. A police investigation might also turn up important evidence we can use in any claim for compensation against the nursing home.

It is also a good idea to call an Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorney. The process of investigating suspected nursing home abuse can be complicated. You need someone who understands how the process works and can look out for your loved one’s best legal interests.

Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Abuse if I Discover Bruises on My Loved One?

As discussed above, a lawsuit against the nursing home is possible. There may be multiple parties to your lawsuit. Of course, the nursing home should be held liable for the negligent role it played in the abuse. You can also sue the person or people who abused your loved one, although this might be difficult to prove. Nursing homes are full of staff members and patients, and if nobody speaks up or comes forward about the abuse, the specific abusers are sometimes hard to identify.

You can seek recovery for the medical bills incurred from the treatments for the bruising and other abuse-related injuries. In many cases, bruises are only the tip of the iceberg, and victims have been suffering from other abuses for a long time. There might be other injuries, both physical and emotional, that you do not know about which require attention.

You can also seek damages for your loved one’s immense physical and emotional pain and suffering and the diminished quality of life your loved one has endured. Abuse is always a very painful experience to but can be especially traumatic for vulnerable people in nursing homes who cannot escape their abusers and depend on them for the basic needs in their life.

Our Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyers can help you assess the damages in your loved one’s case, so they get the maximum compensation possible and obtain justice against the nursing home causing the abuse.

Causes of Bruises on Nursing Home Patients

Determining the cause of bruising is the first step to uncovering likely abuse. Abuse may take many forms, and it is not always easy to spot. In fact, most abusers make efforts to hide the abuse, and it often goes unnoticed for some time.

Abuse may take the form of physical violence from staff members or even other nursing home patients. Things like hitting, punching, slapping, or beating can easily cause bruising and other injuries. The bruising might instead come from other forms of abuse. For example, if nursing home staff refuse to assist a patient who has trouble standing and walking, then that patient falls and gets hurt, the nursing home and the staff members can be held liable for their neglect. If they caused the injuries by knowingly failing to assist, their actions might be deemed intentional abuse.

Our nursing home abuse attorneys have experience with a wide variety of abuse cases and can work with your to identify the cause of your loved one’s bruises and other injuries. The best thing you can do in most cases is get immediate medical care for your loved one so a doctor can try to diagnose the source of the injuries. Then contact nursing home management, state investigators, and a nursing home abuse law firm. If you contact us we can talk you through the process.

Monitoring Your Loved One for Abuse in a Nursing Home

If you suspect your loved one has been abused in their nursing home, you will want to take steps to collect evidence of the abuse and try to deter abuse in the future. You should always question your loved one about the abuse. They may tell you all the information you need to know, like who the abuser is and how long it has been going on. Unfortunately, many nursing home patients have trouble communicating clearly, and you might need to take other measures.

One increasingly common thing families are doing to protect their loved one is to place a security camera in their loved one’s private room. This can help document any abuse issues and also serve as a deterrent to would be abusers.

Whether you are permitted to use a private camera in your loved one’s room varies by state and the nursing home facility. At the time of this writing, for example, Indiana has not passed a law requiring nursing facilities to allow this, so you will need the facility’s permission. You should ask for this permission and if they decline, you may wish to consider whether a different facility may be better for your loved one.

Increasingly, other states have passed laws that require nursing homes to allow cameras. For example, Illinois statute makes it legal to put your own security cameras inside your loved one’s private room in Illinois and the nursing home cannot prevent this. The Illinois Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act provides that nursing home patients may place security cameras in their own private rooms so long as (1) the camera is visible to anyone entering the room, (2) visitors are made aware of the cameras before entering the room, (3) any roommates consent to the cameras, and (4) you assume all costs for the cameras.

As of this writing, Indiana has considered passing a similar law but has not yet done so. You should contact the legislative representative for your district to encourage their passing such a law. If you contact us, we can provide you with the latest information on nursing home camera laws.

Assuming that you are able to place a camera in your loved one’s room, state investigators and our nursing home abuse attorneys can review the footage from these cameras for instances of abuse. Abuse caught on camera is some of the strongest evidence we can hope for and may help end the abuse your loved one has been living with. Talk to our South Bend attorneys for nursing home abuse about the possibility of installing cameras and whether it is legal in your state.

Call Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for Help Right Away

If you notice bruises on your loved one and suspect they are being abused in their nursing home, call our Hammond nursing home abuse lawyers for help immediately. For a free case review, call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166.

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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.

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