If you have ever visited a nursing home or other elder care facility, then you know how vulnerable the residents of these facilities are. Most residents are physically weak, and many are dealing with memory issues or other forms of mental impairment. If you suspect that someone you love is or was a victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact nursing home abuse lawyer Richard A. "Rick" Sandoval. Located in Santa Fe, NM, the team at Sandoval Firm is equipped with experience in nursing home abuse cases. By calling us for a free consultation at (505) 795-7790 or contacting us online, you can help preserve the rights of your loved ones.
Understanding the Law
The New Mexico Resident Abuse and Neglect Act contains broad language designed to prohibit all forms of elder abuse or neglect. The law defines abuse as any act or failure to act that causes or is likely to cause physical or psychological harm to a resident, including:
- Physical contact
- Inappropriate use of a physical or chemical restraint, isolation or medication
- Medically inappropriate conduct
- Threats or other unlawful acts
The law defines neglect to include any grossly unreasonable failure to provide the treatment, care, services or medication needed to guard the safety and health of a resident, or to supervise others in doing so.
Rather than dealing with associates, you will deal with Mr. Sandoval directly throughout the process.
Federal laws and regulations also govern all facets of care and services provided by nursing homes and other elder care facilities. The Federal Requirements for Nursing Facilities establish rules governing resident care plans and assessments, the quality of resident services and activities, food service and dietary needs, and training and supervision of nurses and nurses aides.
Warning Signs of Abuse or Negligence
Nursing home abuse may take many forms such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological/emotional abuse (e.g., isolation, threats), and improper medical treatment. Neglect e.g., medical neglect or dietary neglect is a passive form of abuse, but it is abuse nonetheless. Warning signs of abuse or neglect include:
- Bedsores, bruises, unexplained wounds or broken bones
- Malnutrition, dehydration
- Repeated falls
- Lethargy, excessive drowsiness or sleeping (as possible indicators of overmedication)
- Excessive pain (as a possible indicator of under-medication or other forms of medical neglect)
What to Do
Your first line of defense against elder abuse and neglect is to be proactive with the nursing home managers and staff. Visit as often as you can and be watchful for signs of abuse. Unfortunately, this is an imperfect defense because it is plainly impossible to be present and on guard all the time. If, despite your best efforts and diligence, your loved one is harmed, contact an attorney right away. Depending on facts of your case, you may have grounds for a lawsuit based on:
- Violations of the state and federal laws governing nursing home care
- Negligence, in acting or failing to act in a reasonably careful manner in providing services to your loved one
- Medical malpractice
- Wrongful death
- Violation of the New Mexico Unfair Practices Act, on the grounds that the nursing home knowingly misrepresented the quality of its services and failed to provide the quality of services you contracted for
Consult with a Lawyer Today
A personal injury lawyer can help you defend the rights of your loved one, hold a negligent or abusive party accountable, and seek compensation for injuries caused by their actions. Our team is committed to each client and will work hard to achieve the results you want. Rather than dealing with associates, you will deal with Mr. Sandoval directly throughout the process. To schedule your free consultation or discuss your legal options, send us an online message or call our office at (505) 795-7790.