If you need legal assistance regarding nursing home abuse/neglect matters, contact us online or call us at (615) 800-7096 today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
When we send our elderly to nursing homes, we believe we are sending them to a place where our trust won’t be broken. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect happen more often than it should. This type of abuse can appear in many forms, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. It would be wise to have the help of an experienced attorney who understands the ins and outs of nursing home abuse on your side.
Fortunately, the dedicated nursing home abuse lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard help residents of the Nashville area and elsewhere in Tennessee try to hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions against your loved ones. We assist victims and their families by asserting their rights to compensation. If you or a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, we look forward to discussing what legal options you should take next.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
In Tennessee, it is important to take action against any negligent party who is abusing an elderly person in a nursing home or an assisted living development. In order for this to happen, you need to be aware of the symptoms of abuse. The common warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
Sudden weight loss or gain, which may be due to poor nutrition
Slow-healing or unexplained wounds or bedsores
A change in personality
Changes in medication
Injuries indicating a person has fallen, which may be due to lack of attention or oversight
If you or your loved one is experiencing one of the above-mentioned symptoms and believe you are being outright abused or neglected, it is important to file a complaint immediately. This will begin the process of making sure you or your loved one’s rights are protected.
Tennessee Nursing Homes Laws
Tennessee state law requires nursing home employees to report abuse if they have established a reasonable cause that another employee has abused a nursing home resident. The state defines abuse as any action that causes pain, mental anguish, or injury to a resident.
Nursing home facilities must have a nursing service that is available 24 hours per day with at least two staff members on duty at all times. Other requirements include providing residents with good hygiene, including having immobile patients being moved every two hours to avoid bedsores from developing. Dietary requirements are a major issue too. State law requires every dietary need of a resident to be met. Three meals must be served within a twenty-four-hour period, with no resident going more than 14 hours without food.
Every nursing home in Tennessee is also required to have the services of a physician, dentist, and nurse available. Counseling must be given to nursing home residents suffering from emotional or mental issues.
The Tennessee Adult Protection Act
To protect the elderly throughout the state, Tennessee enacted the Tennessee Adult Protection Act (TAPA). This law created a civil right of recovery for nursing home residents who have been abused or neglected. Along with receiving compensation and damages for the abuse, TAPA provides the recovery of attorney fees if it is proven by evidence that nursing home abuse “resulted from intentional, fraudulent or malicious conduct by the defendant”. In some extreme cases, punitive damages may be available.
Under TAPA, the person who abused the resident is subject to felony charges. Any nursing home employee who knew about the abuse, neglect, or misconduct could be charged with a misdemeanor.
Our Tennessee Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help
If your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in Tennessee due to carelessness or malicious intent at a nursing home, the nursing home abuse lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard can help you. With years of experience on our side, we aim to seek justice for your loved one in the form of compensation and damages.
We represent victims of nursing home abuse in Nashville, Springfield, and throughout Tennessee. Contact us today for a consultation. We look forward to helping you.