NURSING HOME SEXUAL ABUSE LAWYER
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are responsible for their residents’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being. When nursing homes fail to take the proper precautions or neglect to protect their residents, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries. A nursing home sexual abuse lawyer at Reich & Binstock can help you and your family recover after a devastating assault.
The legal team at Reich & Binstock is experienced in all aspects of personal injury law. Our sexual abuse attorneys are fully prepared to hold nursing homes accountable for their negligent actions in the aftermath of sexual abuse. If you believe an elderly family member is being sexually abused in their nursing home, contact us today. The nursing home sexual abuse lawyers at Reich & Binstock can help put an end to the abuse and hold the responsible parties accountable. For a free evaluation of your case, call us today at (713) 622-7271.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home neglect and abuse are rampant problems that affect 95% of nursing home residents. 44% of nursing home residents surveyed said they experienced abuse. 95% of residents said they have experienced neglect or witnessed another resident being neglected.
Common forms of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse (hitting, pushing, shoving)
- Physical and chemical restraints
- Medication errors
- Financial abuse
- Psychological abuse (insulting, yelling, screaming)
- Emotional abuse
- Gross neglect
- Sexual abuse
Nearly 7% of reported complaints are complaints of sexual abuse.
Elder Sexual Abuse
The definition of elder sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact where the victim is someone over the age of 60. Older residents can be tricked, manipulated, or pressured into unwanted sexual contact. Many residents with dementia or other neurological issues cannot consent to sexual contact. Sexual abuse in nursing homes can include:
- Forced fellatio
- Sexual harassment
- Touching or grabbing genitals and/or breasts
- Removing clothes for non-medical related reasons
- Forcing residents to touch/grope genitals or breasts of other people
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. Male and female residents in nursing homes can be sexually abused by the people paid to care for them. More than 16,000 sexual abuse complaints have been reported in long-term care facilities since 2000. Many of these complaints are considered “unsubstantiated” without solid proof. Older people are seen as forgetful and are often ignored when they report sexual abuse. Nursing home patients may sometimes mix up details or dates, which makes them seem like they are making the event up or imagining it. Residents with cognitive issues may be manipulated into thinking the abuse never happened.
Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse
Nursing home staff members aren’t always the main perpetrators in nursing home sexual abuse cases. Perpetrators of sexual abuse can include other residents, visitors, and even residents’ family members.
How Does Sexual Abuse Happen?
Nursing homes are supposed to thoroughly investigate all cases of sexual abuse and report substantiated claims to state authorities. Unfortunately, many claims are deemed unsubstantiated. Many nursing homes even try to cover up abuse or destroy evidence of sexual misconduct to save their reputation. This is because nursing homes often know they are liable for the injuries and damages resulting from sexual abuse. Nursing homes can be held liable for sexual abuse in several ways.
- Negligent hiring: Nursing home employees have to meet certain requirements and pass a background check. Without proper employee screening, nursing homes can employ people with a history of sexual violence and put residents at risk.
- Negligence in training: Employees of long-term care facilities should be trained to recognize signs of sexual abuse. When these signs are overlooked or ignored by poorly-trained staff members, the facility is to blame. Failure to recognize these signs can result in more victimization in the facility.
- Poor security: Facilities should have security to prevent total strangers from being allowed into the facility. Nursing home policies should include some form of identification check to make sure the visitors have a reason to visit the facility.
Common Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Home Residents
Most nursing home abuse cases often go unreported for a variety of reasons. Nursing home sexual assault can also be underreported. This can be because the nursing home resident fears retaliation or doesn’t think they will be believed. If you have a family member in a nursing home or long-term care facility, keep an eye out for the following signs of sexual abuse:
- Sudden change in mood or behavior
- Bruises around the genitals, inner thighs, or breasts
- Vaginal or anal bleeding
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- New difficulty sitting or walking
- New sexually transmitted diseases
- Torn or bloody clothes/undergarments
- Suicidal thoughts or self-harm
If you believe your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, report the abuse immediately and start documenting as much as possible. The nursing home lawyers at Reich & Binstock are ready to help you protect your family member and get the compensation you need to recover.
Risk Factors of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Some nursing home residents are more susceptible to abuse than others. A nursing home patient with severe cognitive disabilities likely can’t report the abuse after it happens, which means the perpetrator often gets away with it. Female patients are more likely to be targeted than male patients, but both genders experience sexual abuse in nursing homes. Patients with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurological issues are likely to be targeted because people often don’t believe them after a report is made. If you believe a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, contact an experienced attorney at Reich & Binstock today.
How the Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Reich & Binstock Can Help
A Houston nursing home abuse lawyer at Reich & Binstock can help you and your family recover compensation for devastating injuries caused by sexual abuse. An attorney-client relationship can make sure your rights are protected while our experienced attorneys fight for justice. These kinds of cases can be hard to prove, especially if the care facility claims they did not know about the abuse. An experienced attorney can help you prove the nursing home’s negligent part in the abuse and recover damages for the injuries.
If the abuse occurred in a nursing home or nursing facility, they should be held responsible. The nursing home can have a part in creating a climate of abuse and neglect. As mentioned above, negligent hiring, poor training, and poor security can all have a hand in fostering abuse. Nursing homes often try to distance themselves from allegations of abuse, going as far as making a public apology and citing their “heartbreak” over the incidents. Apologies do nothing to help a victim of abuse recover. At Reich & Binstock, our attorneys perform a full investigation of the facility and explore every possible avenue of responsibility.
Damages in Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Claims
A nursing home abuse lawsuit can prevent your loved one from suffering further at the hands of a negligent facility. Financial compensation may not turn back the clock, but it can help the abuse stop and get your family members the resources they need to recover. At Reich & Binstock, our Houston personal injury lawyers are ready to fight for:
- Medical treatment (including therapy)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Punitive damages
Contact the Compassionate Attorneys at Reich & Binstock Today
If you believe that your loved one has endured abuse while in a nursing home or assisted living facility, immediately report your suspicions to the police. A nursing home abuse attorney at Reich & Binstock can help you navigate this difficult time. Our law firm has decades of experience fighting for injured victims.
For more information about how we can help in your nursing home sexual abuse case, call us today at (713) 622-7271.