The Role of a Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer: How We Can Help Protect Your Loved One

The Role of a Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer_ How We Can Help Protect Your Loved One

As our loved ones age, we expect nursing homes to provide the care, respect, and dignity they deserve. Regrettably, some facilities fall short of this expectation, and the consequences can be tragic. In these times, a Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer from Ward + White is an essential advocate for victims and their families.

At Ward + White, our nursing home abuse lawyers advocate for the needs of nursing home residents every step of the way. In Texas nursing homes, we understand that elderly residents and their families place their trust in the care of nursing home owners, managers, and nursing home staff members. Sadly, elder abuse is more common than many people realize.

Learn more about nursing home abuse cases below, and if your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse in an assisted living facility, reach out to us to schedule a free initial consultation.

Nursing Home Negligence: Protecting the Most Vulnerable

Elderly and dependent adults in care facilities are among the most vulnerable members of society. They trust their caretakers to provide safe and compassionate care. Unfortunately, nursing home negligence is prevalent, leaving our loved ones at risk of physical harm, emotional trauma, and financial exploitation.

Nursing home negligence refers to situations where the care provided falls below the standard reasonably expected, resulting in harm to the resident. This negligence can take many forms, from failing to provide adequate medical treatment to ignoring residents’ basic hygiene needs and financial abuse. Every care provider and nursing home must protect the dignity and rights of their residents.

Texas Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

While numbers in Texas are hard to find, mainly because many cases of nursing home abuse are not reported, one study indicates that as many as 5 million people in the United States every year fall victim to nursing home abuse. These numbers suggest that it is critical for anyone who suspects their loved one has been abused in a nursing home to reach out to a legal professional for help. 

Types of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Abuse in nursing homes can manifest in several ways, resulting in significant harm and suffering for the victims.

Physical Abuse

Types of nursing home abuse or neglect

Physical abuse in nursing homes is a distressingly common form of maltreatment. It can involve a range of harmful actions like striking, slapping, shoving, or using restraints. Physical abuse may also encompass force-feeding, improper handling during transfers, or administering medication harmfully. The objective is often to control or punish the resident. Signs of physical abuse can be visible injuries like bruises, abrasions, cuts, burns, or fractures.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Emotional and psychological abuse is a subtle but equally damaging form of mistreatment. It entails subjecting residents to actions or behaviors that cause emotional pain, fear, or distress. This can manifest as verbal aggression, including yelling, threats, belittling comments, or humiliation. Residents may show signs of emotional abuse through changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, exhibiting symptoms of depression or anxiety, showing signs of fear around certain caregivers, or exhibiting unusual behaviors like rocking, biting, or sucking.

Financial Exploitation

Financial exploitation in a nursing home involves unauthorized or inappropriate use of a resident’s funds, assets, or property. Sometimes, the resident might be deceived into thinking they’re helping a needy staff member. Signs of financial exploitation can be sudden changes in a resident’s economic situation, missing belongings, unexplained withdrawals or transfers from bank accounts, or the resident showing signs of fear or distress when money is discussed.

Neglect and Inadequate Care

Neglect and inadequate care in a nursing home occur when staff fails to meet a resident’s fundamental needs, such as food, hydration, personal hygiene, clothing, shelter, or necessary medical care. This can lead to severe health complications, including malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, infections, and even death. Signs of neglect can include poor personal hygiene, unattended health problems, dirty or unsuitable clothing, unsafe or unclean living conditions, and the resident expressing consistent hunger or thirst.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in nursing homes involves non-consensual sexual contact with a resident. This can range from sexual harassment and inappropriate touching to forced sexual interactions or rape. Signs of sexual abuse can include unexplained injuries or infections in the genital area, torn or stained underwear, difficulty walking or sitting, and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such as severe anxiety, depression, or withdrawal. The resident might also engage in behaviors that are sexually inappropriate or aggressive.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

Signs of nursing home neglect and abuse

Nursing home abuse and neglect can be challenging to identify as the signs are often concealed or mistaken for age-related conditions or illnesses. However, awareness of these indicators can be critical in identifying and preventing further abuse or neglect. The symptoms can be categorized into four groups: physical, behavioral and emotional, financial, and environmental.

Physical signs are often present as visible changes or injuries on the resident’s body. These may include:

  • Unexplained injuries: These could be bruises, burns, cuts, fractures, or any other injuries that don’t correlate with the provided explanation.
  • Poor hygiene: If a resident appears unkempt, messy, or smells bad, it could indicate a lack of proper personal care.
  • Signs of malnutrition: If a resident displays sudden weight loss, seems consistently hungry, or shows other signs of malnutrition, such as pallor, confusion, or decreased immune response, neglect could be a concern.
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers: These are often a sign of inadequate care and occur when the resident is not moved or repositioned frequently enough.
  • Repeated infections or illnesses: Frequent or untreated illnesses can signify neglect or inadequate medical care.

Changes in a resident’s behavior or emotional state can often indicate abuse or neglect. These may include:

  • Depression: A resident may exhibit signs of depression, such as persistent sadness, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, or changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
  • Fear or anxiety: If a resident shows heightened fear or anxiety, particularly around certain staff members, it could be a sign of abuse.
  • Withdrawal: If a resident begins to withdraw from social interactions or activities they previously enjoyed, this could signal emotional abuse.
  • Agitation or changes in behavior: Unexplained changes in behavior such as agitation, aggression, or confusion may be signs of abuse or neglect.
  • Unusual behaviors: These can include actions like rocking, biting, or other repetitive behaviors that can be signs of emotional distress.

Financial exploitation can be more brutal to detect, but certain signs can indicate a problem. These can include:

  • Unexplained withdrawals or changes in the financial situation: Sudden or frequent withdrawals, particularly if the resident is unclear about these transactions, can be a sign of financial exploitation.
  • Missing belongings: If the resident’s personal belongings begin to disappear without explanation, it could indicate theft.
  • Changes in legal documents: Changes to wills, powers of attorney, or other legal documents, especially if the resident seems unclear about these changes, could indicate financial exploitation.
  • Unpaid bills: If a resident’s bills are unpaid, despite having sufficient funds, it could indicate that someone is misappropriating their money.

The living conditions in the nursing home can also provide signs of neglect. These can include:

  • Dirty or unsanitary conditions: Lack of cleanliness in a resident’s room or common areas can be a sign of neglect.
  • Lack of necessary aids: If residents lack essential aids such as glasses, dentures, hearing aids, walkers, or wheelchairs, it could indicate neglect.
  • Unattended safety hazards: If there are apparent safety hazards like poor lighting, wet floors, unsafe furniture, or poorly maintained equipment, it could indicate neglect.
  • Poor building maintenance: This can include peeling paint, broken windows, or other signs of disrepair.

Recognizing these signs can be the first step in ensuring your loved one is safe and receiving the care they deserve. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take immediate action.

The Most Likely Victims of Nursing Home Neglect

While any residents can be victims of nursing home abuse or neglect, some individuals are particularly vulnerable. These often include residents with cognitive impairments like dementia or Alzheimer’s, those with limited mobility, or residents without a strong external support system. Being vigilant for signs of abuse or neglect in these residents is vital.

What to Expect When Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Texas

What to expect when filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit

Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit is a multi-stage process that demands attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of the law. It involves several steps:

  • Recognizing signs of abuse or neglect: The first step in any nursing home abuse lawsuit is recognizing the signs that something is amiss. Understanding and recognizing the signs above is critical to stepping in and stopping further harm.
  • Consulting with an attorney: Once concerns have been identified, the next step is to consult a skilled nursing home abuse attorney, like the ones at Ward + White. 
  • Gathering evidence: Building a strong case requires substantial proof of the abuse or neglect. This can include medical records, photographs of injuries or living conditions, witness testimonies, and any other documentation that might support the claim.
  • Filing the necessary legal documents: Once enough evidence has been collected, the attorney will help file the necessary legal documents to initiate the lawsuit. This involves drafting and filing a complaint, outlining the allegations and the relief sought. 
  • Negotiations and potentially a trial: The defendants can respond after the lawsuit is filed. There may be settlement negotiations, or the case may go to trial if an agreement cannot be reached. 
  • Post-trial processes: Additional legal steps may be taken after the trial, such as filing appeals or collecting the awarded judgment. The attorney will continue to support victims and their families through these steps.

Victims and their families can expect dedicated support and representation from their Ward + White attorney throughout the process.

Kinds of Compensation You Can Receive in a Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

The compensation for nursing home abuse is meant to alleviate the financial strain caused by the mistreatment and to compensate for the physical and emotional pain endured by the victim. It can come in many forms, including:

  • Medical Expenses: This can include costs for hospital visits, physical therapy, counseling, medication, and any other medical needs arising from the abuse. The objective is to ensure the victim receives the necessary medical care without bearing the financial burden.
  • Pain and Suffering: This compensation covers the physical pain and emotional distress endured by the victim. It acknowledges that the victim has suffered in ways that go beyond just financial loss or medical needs.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: This compensation is awarded in recognition of the decrease in the victim’s quality of life due to the abuse. It aims to compensate for the loss of enjoyment in everyday activities and hobbies and the overall diminished joy.
  • Future Care Costs: In some cases, compensation might also cover the anticipated costs of future care, especially if the victim’s health has been significantly compromised due to the abuse.

The exact amount of compensation varies depending on the circumstances of each case. Factors like the severity of the abuse, the level of negligence involved, the victim’s age and overall health, and the actual financial loss incurred all play a role in determining the amount. 

How Our Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You With Your Case

How our nursing home abuse lawyer can help you with your case

A Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer from Ward + White is not just a legal representative. They are advocates, counselors, and partners in your quest for justice.

Case Evaluation and Legal Advice

We provide a comprehensive case evaluation and expert legal advice tailored to your situation. This includes interpreting complex legal jargon and helping you understand your rights.

Investigation of the Abuse Allegations

Our team will thoroughly investigate the abuse allegations, working with medical professionals and experts in elder care to build a solid case.

Gathering Additional Evidence and Documentation

To strengthen your case, we will help gather all necessary evidence and documentation, from medical records to witness statements.

Communicating With Nursing Home Administrators and Staff

We will handle all communications with the nursing home administrators and staff, ensuring your loved one’s rights are protected, and your claims are properly addressed.

Pursuing Compensation and Justice Through Legal Action

Our experienced legal team will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you are entitled to while seeking justice for the harm suffered by your loved one.

Representing the Victim’s Interests in Negotiations and Litigation

From settlement negotiations to courtroom litigation, our attorneys are committed to representing your interests every step of the way.

Advocacy for Policy Changes and Systemic Improvements

Beyond individual cases, we strive for policy changes and systemic improvements to prevent future abuse and neglect in nursing homes.

Our Ward + White Texas Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You Protect Your Family Members | Call Us Today!

Our Ward + White Texas nursing home abuse lawyer can help you protect your family members

No one should ever suffer the indignity and pain of nursing home abuse or neglect. If your loved one is a victim, we are here to help. Contact Ward + White today for compassionate, expert representation. Together, we can protect your family and bring those responsible to justice.


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