Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Tulsa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Oklahoma state law requires facilities that house and provide care for people who are elderly or disabled to meet and maintain certain standards of care for their residents. The law specifically requires facilities to pass inspections from pertinent state departments; obtain and renew licenses and certifications; implement and enforce policies for safety procedures, hiring best practices, and staff training; and see that their residents’ rights are upheld.
There are unfortunately cases where care facilities fail to meet these requirements, and it can lead to the abuse or neglect of a resident. Even when a facility has done all the state requires, there are still incidences when a resident suffers an injury or hardship because of staff recklessness or negligence. In these cases, the at-fault party can and should be held accountable.
At Oxford Lehr, our personal injury attorneys are advocates for victims of neglect or abuse in long-term care facilities. We understand that these unfortunate happenings can be costly, often in ways that are difficult to quantify. When you choose us to represent your case, however, we will do all that we can to help you and your loved one receive the support you need through proper compensation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities have different definitions in our state:
- Abuse is when a staff member deliberately harms a resident through neglect or direct action.
- Neglect is when a facility fails to provide a resident with suitable care or something they need.
Abuse and neglect can take many forms in long-term care facilities. Failing to provide a resident with food, water, and other basic needs constitutes neglect. Ignoring wounds or other physical conditions that need attention or treatment is another form of neglect. For abuse, it could look like a staff member hitting a resident or ridiculing them.
No matter the case, if you believe your loved one has experienced abuse or neglect, you should take action. To start the process of seeking justice, contact our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers in Tulsa.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect
The signs of abuse and neglect are not always obvious, but the hardships residents face as a result are very real. At Oxford Lehr, we know that sometimes family and friends find it hard to identify neglect or abuse because they are not around when incidents happen, or their loved one’s condition prevents them from adequately remembering or communicating.
Below are some common signs of neglect and abuse:
- Sores, cuts, or bruises that appear between a loved one’s visits without explanation
- Sudden weight loss or gain, differences in personality, or a lack of energy
- Evidence of malpractice, such as inappropriate use of equipment or improper dosages for medication
- Unforeseen illnesses or the death of a loved one
- The facility staff does not allow you to visit the resident during regular business hours, or they will not let you be alone with them
Should you suspect that your loved one has been subject to neglect or abuse because of any of the above reasons, there are a few important steps you should take. First and foremost, if it is apparent that the resident is in immediate danger, call 911 for assistance. In other cases, you should contact the facility’s management directly and explain why you are concerned and ask to file an official report.
If nothing has improved after subsequent visits or there is still cause for worry about the safety of your loved one, you can file a report with the Oklahoma Human Services by submitting information online. For children that are residents of care facilities, call the state’s hotline at 1-800-522-3511. At this time, you should also contact our lawyers at Oxford Lehr. We can help you navigate the often-complex legal processes of seeking justice for your loved by building your case as soon as possible.
Oklahoma’s Statue of Limitations
Oklahoma’s statute of limitations for neglect or abuse in a care facility is two years. In the event that a loved one died wrongfully under the facility’s care, their family also has two years to pursue a case.
Courts can award damages for neglect or abuse in a care facility that include the costs of medical bills, damage to property, stolen goods, and compensation for non-economic issues such as emotional suffering or a decrease in quality of life.
A plaintiff may also seek punitive damages, but Oklahoma places a cap of $100,000 on these awards, unless they are for “intentional or malicious acts.” In these cases, compensation is capped at $500,000 or twice the amount of the compensatory damages, whichever is greater.
When you seek our help for your case, our Tulsa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can examine the facts of your case and help you pursue compensation that will provide you and your loved one with necessary support.
Call us at (918) 779-1987 or contact us online. We serve Tulsa, Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Claremore, and Muskogee.
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