Nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. They deserve heightened attention, care, and treatment. This is, after all, why we place our loved ones into nursing homes in the first place. While many nursing homes and rehabilitation centers laudably care for our loved ones, unfortunately far too many nursing homes subject our loved ones to horrible care and even abuse, Physical abuse is the most common abuse that our loved ones may endure, and it is a big problem. Between 10 to 11% of all elderly residents are abused in nursing homes. Our Oregon physical abuse lawyers know that many of these elderly residents are physically unable to defend themselves or even report the abuse.
This is why many physical abusers in nursing homes get away with their crimes. The most common abusers in nursing homes are healthcare staff and techs, nurses, janitorial staff, visiting family or friends, administrators, contractors, and even other residents. Nursing home facilities have a duty to all residents to ensure that they are reasonably safe from any form of abuse, especially physical abuse. When they fail to protect residents, serious personal injuries or even wrongful death could occur.
Common Forms of Physical Abuse in Oregon Nursing Homes
There are many forms of physical abuse in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Generally speaking, any type of physical contact can constitute physical abuse if it was meant to cause harm or be offensive to a resident. This obviously including hitting a resident, but it also could be pulling a wheelchair out from a resident sitting down.
Some of the most common forms of physical abuse in nursing homes include the following:
Warning Signs of Physical Abuse in Oregon Nursing Homes
Sometimes physical abuse is easy to detect if a staff member or other resident strikes a victim in a crowded area or leaves serious injuries that need immediate medical attention. But most times physical abuse is private. It could occur during one-on-one care such as bathing or the morning ritual. Other times physical abuse could occur during the night on rounds when other residents are sleeping and staffing levels are lower. This can make detecting physical abuse more difficult.
The common signs of physical abuse in nursing homes include the following:
Liability for Nursing Home Physical Abuse Under Oregon Law
There are generally two ways or providing liability and victims should attempt both. Physical abuse in nursing homes can be intentional or unintentional (negligent). The physical abuser could be liable for the intentional acts against a resident which constitute physical abuse. This could be civil tort liability or criminal liability. Usually both apply and can help a victim of physical abuse prove his or her case.
The nursing home or facility could also be liable for the acts of the physical abuser. This could be through the doctrine of respondeat superior which renders an employer liable for the actions of employees that are committed in the scope of employment. While physical acts like abuse do not always confer liability on an employer, in a healthcare setting where there is obvious interaction between residents and staff, physical abuse could render a facility liable.
In addition, nursing home facilities or rehabilitation centers could be liable for the negligent hiring, training, or supervision of nursing home staff that caused the physical abuse. This means that healthcare employers could have their own negligence for making poor hiring decisions, such as hiring employees that have a track record of abusing residents.
Bend/Portland, Oregon Physical Abuse Lawyers
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
We handle cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.