Elder abuse is tragically common throughout the United States, including in Texas. The National Council on Aging reports an estimated 5 million older adults are abused every year, and about 1 in 10 Americans age 60 or older have been abused at some point. One of the most common forms of elder and nursing home abuse is physical violence, as many older adults cannot fight back against their abuser. Physical abuse can cause serious physical and psychological injuries, and those who have been abused deserve to hold their attackers accountable.
If you or a family member has been physically abused in Texas, Loewy Law Firm wants to hear from you. Adam Loewy is an Austin elder abuse attorney who has been fighting on behalf of the injured since opening his firm in 2005. Since then, our compassionate and dedicated team has won substantial compensation for our clients and helped them hold their abusers liable for their actions. We know how to win elder physical abuse cases, and we will do whatever we can to help you or an abused family member recover fair compensation. Contact our office today for a free case review.
Examples of Elder Physical Abuse
Physical abuse is one of the most common types of elder and nursing home abuse in Texas. Common examples include:
- Attacks by nursing home residents – This is particularly common if a nursing home is understaffed or staffers neglect residents. While some of these attacks are carried out by residents who are not aware of what they are doing, in many cases, one resident might attack another to intimidate them or coerce them into doing something they don’t want to.
- Attacks by nursing home staff – Nursing homes have an obligation to hire people who treat their residents with respect. When they fail in this obligation, they put their residents at risk of attacks by orderlies and other staffers. This could include punches, kicks, slaps, and other acts of violence.
- Nursing home staff handling residents too roughly – Nursing home staff need to be extremely careful when handling residents to avoid causing them harm. Handling someone who is frail or at heightened risk of injury too roughly can lead to broken bones, bruises, and worse.
- Restraining nursing home residents too tightly – There are cases where an older adult needs to be forcibly restrained to receive medical treatment or for their protection. However, staff should take care that the restraints are not too tight, as older adults can suffer major injuries when they are restrained too tightly.
- Forced sedation – If an older adult needs to be sedated for a medical procedure or for another reason, it needs to be done carefully. It is cruel and unfair to older adults if they spend most of their days under sedation, as it severely diminishes their quality of life. Tragically, some nursing homes are overly reliant on sedation as a tool to keep residents calm.
Warning Signs of Elder Physical Abuse
Here are a few common warning signs of elder physical abuse to watch out for:
- Unexplained falls
- Unexplained or unusual bruises, particularly on the arm
- Unexplained or unusual sprains or strains
- Unexplained broken bones
- Dislocated joints
- Unexplained weight changes
- The resident seems frightened of or overly deferential toward a caregiver or staff member
- The resident seems quiet or withdrawn
- The resident starts acting out for no apparent reason
- Nursing staff will not leave a resident alone with family
- The resident has unexplained hair or tooth loss
- The resident has burn injuries from appliances or cigarettes
Reporting Elder Abuse in Texas
If you are an older adult who is being physically abused, or you suspect a family member is being physically abused, contact the Texas Attorney General’s Office. They have information on who you can report the abuse to, depending on the specifics of the situation. You should also contact a Texas elder abuse lawyer right away, as they can help you pursue accountability and justice before the nursing home has time to cover its tracks.
Compensation in Elder Physical Abuse Cases
The harm caused by elder physical abuse goes far beyond the physical injuries its victims suffer. Physical abuse can also lead to psychological and emotional distress, and treating the injuries from the abuse can be quite costly. Working with an elder physical abuse lawyer can help you recover compensation for:
- The cost of any medical and psychological treatment you or an abused family member may need
- The physical pain and suffering caused by the abuse
- The mental and emotional distress caused by the abuse
How Long Do You Have to File an Elder Physical Abuse Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits in Texas gives you two years from the date of the injuries to file a lawsuit. If you wait until after this two-year window has closed, the perpetrator of the abuse can move to have the case dismissed as untimely. If the court agrees to this request, you will have lost your chance to hold the at-fault party liable for their despicable actions. However, you may have a little extra leeway depending on when the abuse is discovered. Talk to a personal injury attorney for more info on how much time you may have to file a lawsuit.
Why You Need an Elder Physical Abuse Lawyer for Your Case
Proving that you or a family member has been the victim of physical abuse can be difficult without the help of an experienced and aggressive attorney. A lawyer can help you by:
- Gathering evidence of the abuse and using legal means to prevent its destruction or disappearance
- Consulting with medical experts to further corroborate the extent of the abuse and its effects
- Filing demand letters and other necessary paperwork
- Negotiating with insurance companies for a settlement
- Taking your case to court if the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement
Moreover, your lawyer can handle the complicated legal work while you focus on taking care of yourself or your family member.
Contact an Austin Elder Abuse Lawyer Today
At Loewy Law Firm, we are committed to holding the perpetrators of elder abuse accountable for their actions. Let us help you demand the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with an Austin elder abuse lawyer.