When you make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, you count on the facility to provide quality care and kindness. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are all too common.
Has a loved one suffered an injury as a result of nursing home abuse in Houston, TX? Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. is here to fight for you.
With over 45 years of combined experience, our law firm is here to help you protect your loved one and seek fair compensation. Call us today for a free consultation with a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer who can help.
How Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. Can Help After Suffering Nursing Home Abuse in Houston
After a loved one suffers neglect, abuse, or even wrongful death at the hands of a negligent nursing home, you may be left with anger, guilt, and confusion. How was your loved one allowed to be mistreated? How can they be held accountable?
An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. can help your family seek justice and hold the negligent nursing home accountable for the harm they have caused. We have more than 45 years of combined experience representing the most vulnerable residents of Houston, Texas. We will fight for you.
Founding attorney Brian White is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, a prestigious designation shared by just 3% of Texas attorneys. He has earned nationwide recognition including a 10 rating on AVVO and membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Choose Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. to represent your family members and we will:
- Conduct an independent investigation into your loved one’s case
- Identify the cause of your loved one’s injuries and liable parties
- Gather evidence to prove negligence
- Negotiate with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement
- Present your case to a jury if a settlement can’t be reached
- Fight for your loved one’s rights and dignity to ensure they receive the care they deserve
Contact our Houston nursing home abuse attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. We will review your case and discuss how we can help.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse in Houston, TX?
Nursing home abuse and neglect are shockingly common in the United States. It is estimated that more than 24% of residents experience physical abuse at least once.
The average U.S. nursing home has 20 complaints related to the quality of care, staff levels, or safety according to one study.
Long-term care facilities must be routinely inspected and receive a star rating. However, a General Accountability Office study found state nursing home surveys frequently under-report problems. 70% of state nursing home inspections miss at least one deficiency. 15% miss a deficiency that poses an immediate or actual risk of harm.
Sadly, Texas is ranked as the worst state in America for nursing home quality. The state frequently ranks with the highest percentage of one- and two-star nursing home facilities. Up to 51% of state facilities are ranked “below average” or “much below average.”
In 2017, AARP Texas published a report titled “Intolerable Care: A snapshot of the Texas nursing home quality crisis.” The report found that a large share of facilities in Texas have numerous severe, chronic problems that lead to worse care than most states.
Texas is noteworthy for having the highest share of for-profit nursing facilities at 86%. In 2003, many Texas nursing homes have also been allowed to “go bare” and forego liability insurance that could pay for claims of negligence and abuse.
The 2003 tort reform repealed a Texas Health and Safety code requiring nursing homes to carry minimum liability insurance. A separate bill made it harder for administrative violations to be submitted as evidence in a case of abuse and neglect.
Despite the notoriously low quality of care offered in many Texas nursing homes, tort reform in the state has made it harder for nursing home abuse and neglect victims to collect damages. This makes it crucial to work with a Houston personal injury attorney with extensive experience with nursing home claims.
How is Nursing Home Abuse Defined in Texas?
Under the Texas Administrative Code, Texas nursing homes must meet specific standards of care. Nursing home residents are entitled to necessary care and services to maintain or attain the best quality of life possible. This includes mental, physical, and psychosocial well-being.
Each resident must also have a care plan outlining their needs for social services, medical equipment, medication, housing, and more.
Texas law also outlines other standards of care that facilities must meet. This includes not giving residents unnecessary drugs, maintaining a medication error rate below 5%, providing an environment free of accident hazards, and preventing bedsores.
Nursing home residents in Texas also have the right to be free of mental and physical abuse.
When nursing homes fail in their duty to provide the standard of care, it may be considered nursing home neglect. Nursing home abuse, on the other hand, refers to willful infliction of pain, mental anguish, or physical harm. It can encompass sexual, emotional, and physical abuse.
Texas law allows nursing home residents and their families to hold facilities accountable for nursing home abuse or neglect.
Are There Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home residents in Houston can be vulnerable to neglect and abuse in many forms. Sometimes harm is the result of intentional actions such as berating a resident, the use of restraints, or physical assault. It can also be the result of neglect such as allowing bedsores to develop or failing to provide sufficient nutrition and help with grooming.
Nursing home staff may be guilty of nursing home abuse. Importantly, abuse can also come from other nursing home residents. In both cases, the facility may be responsible for the abuse.
Physical abuse can occur when other residents or staff hit, slap, kick, or harm a resident. It can be the result of a staff member attempting to punish a resident, using restraints to control a resident, or taking out their anger and frustration on the resident.
A resident may be emotionally abused when they are subjected to threats, insults, humiliation, or harassment. Most emotional abuse is verbal but not always. For example, forcing a resident to remain in soiled clothing to humiliate them can be emotional abuse.
Nursing home residents can be sexually abused by staff or other residents. It may include unwanted touching, sexual comments, and sexual assault.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect occurs when a nursing home resident is not properly cared for and suffers mental or physical problems. This may be the result of understaffing, poor training, inexperienced staff, or overworked staff.
Neglect can come in many forms such as allowing residents to develop bedsores, failing to provide the correct medication on schedule, and failing to provide enough assistance with personal care.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Houston?
Abuse and neglect may be obvious, but not always. Sadly, many nursing home residents are vulnerable to abuse and neglect because they are unable to speak for themselves and report mistreatment.
Your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Infections, particularly recurring infection
- Injuries from a fall
- Sedation or overmedication
- Dehydration or malnutrition. You may notice unexplained weight loss.
- Unusual bruising or unexplained injuries
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden or unusual changes in behavior. This may include becoming withdrawn, non-communicative, agitated, rocking, fear of being touched, or reluctance to speak near staff
If you suspect a loved one is being neglected or abused, it can be reported to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The next step is contacting a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer to protect your loved one’s rights.
What Is My Nursing Home Abuse Case Worth?
All personal injury claims are unique. There are many factors that affect the value of your claim.
Outside economic damages with a clear financial value, the following may impact your family’s claim:
- Whether liability is clear
- The type of abuse your loved one suffered
- The type of treatment your loved one required
- The amount of pain, suffering, and anguish your loved one suffered
- Whether the abuse or neglect was egregious
- Whether your loved one must be relocated to another facility
- How much the defendant can pay and their insurance coverage
During your initial free consultation, our Houston nursing home abuse lawyers will discuss these factors and help you understand what your case may be worth.
What Compensation Can I Recover for Nursing Home Abuse in Houston, Texas?
Nursing home abuse is devastating to entire families. You have trusted a facility to protect your loved one, not subject them to harm. Many families are left with a great deal of guilt and anguish. Abuse is particularly unforgivable when it affects especially vulnerable residents who do not have a voice.
When a long-term care facility’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing allows your loved one to suffer harm, you have the right to hold them accountable.
A personal injury lawsuit can help abuse victims and families recover economic and non-economic damages that include compensation for:
- Medical expenses including anticipated future medical costs associated with the injuries
- Transportation to a new nursing home and any increase in cost of care
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your loved one was killed due to nursing home negligence, your family may be entitled to damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages in this type of claim can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and support, and more.
How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Texas?
In most cases, you have just two years to file personal injury claims related to nursing home abuse in Texas. This statute of limitations usually begins when the abuse or neglect was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered. However, your statute of limitations may be different if the nursing home is owned by a government entity like a county.
If you do not file a claim before this statute of limitations expires, you lose your right to hold the negligent nursing facility financially accountable. This is why it’s crucial to begin working with an experienced nursing home abuse and medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to investigate and protect your claim.
Contact Our Houston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Has your loved one been the victim of abuse in a Houston nursing home? Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. is here to help you seek justice and hold the responsible parties accountable. We have spent decades fighting for the rights and dignity of nursing home residents and we put this experience to work for you.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation with a Houston nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you take the next legal steps to win your case.