A doctor holding the hand of an elderly patient as she tries to comfort her after nursing home abuse.

New Mexico is not immune to the national issue of nursing home abuse. Factors like understaffing, lack of proper training, and even financial pressures on facilities can contribute to a situation where residents’ well-being is compromised.

This can manifest as neglect in providing basic needs, physical or emotional abuse, or even financial exploitation.

The repercussions of nursing home abuse are devastating. Victims can suffer physical injuries, malnutrition, dehydration, and even develop a decline in mental health.

Loved ones, meanwhile, experience a heavy emotional burden – guilt, anger, and frustration at the inability to protect their vulnerable family member. Witnessing abuse can also cause emotional distress and can damage their trust in the healthcare system.

If you suspect a loved one is being abused in a New Mexico nursing home, you don’t have to navigate this difficult situation alone. A New Mexico nursing home abuse lawyer from Olson Personal Injury Lawyers can be a powerful advocate.

Our experts at Olson Personal Injury Lawyers can investigate the situation, gather evidence, and hold the facility accountable for its actions. They can also help you pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more and ensure your loved one is placed in a safe environment.

Contact us today at (505) 391-4149.

What Can a New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Do?

A New Mexico nursing home abuse attorney can help you in several ways if you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused in a care facility. Here’s a breakdown of their potential actions:

  • Investigate the Case: Your New Mexico nursing home abuse attorney will embark on a thorough investigation to validate your suspicions of neglect or abuse within the care facility. This process entails meticulously examining medical records, conducting interviews with relevant witnesses, and seeking insights from medical professionals to compile a robust body of evidence supporting your claims.
  • Pursue Legal Action: Upon uncovering concrete evidence of misconduct or negligence, your attorney can initiate legal proceedings by filing a lawsuit against the nursing home responsible for your loved one’s care. This legal action is designed to advocate for your loved one’s rights and interests, seeking restitution for incurred medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and other applicable damages stemming from the mistreatment.
  • Hold Perpetrators Accountable: By taking legal recourse, your attorney plays a pivotal role in holding both the nursing home management and staff members culpable for their actions. The lawsuit acts as a significant deterrent against future instances of abuse within the facility, establishing a precedent that emphasizes accountability and promotes a safer environment for residents.
  • Seek Compensation: Your attorney will diligently negotiate with the nursing home’s representatives or represent you in court proceedings to secure just compensation for the harm inflicted upon your loved one. This entails advocating for fair financial reparation to address the physical, emotional, and psychological tolls of the abuse or neglect, ensuring that your loved one receives the necessary support and resources for their recovery and well-being.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is a terrible betrayal of trust that can have devastating consequences for our most vulnerable citizens. It occurs when the very people entrusted with caring for our elderly family members inflict harm upon them, either intentionally or unintentionally.

This abuse can take many forms, from physical violence and neglect to emotional and financial exploitation. While some abuse may be blatant, like physical assault or withholding medications, other forms can be subtler.

Residents may be subjected to verbal abuse, humiliation, or intimidation. They may be denied basic needs like food, water, or toileting assistance. Social isolation, where residents are prevented from contact with loved ones, is another form of emotional abuse.

Sadly, understaffing and overworked caregivers can contribute to neglectful environments. When staff are stretched thin, it can lead to residents being left unattended for long periods, increasing the risk of falls, bedsores, and other preventable complications.

These situations can also create an atmosphere where frustration boils over into verbal or physical abuse.

Different Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

  • Physical Abuse: This includes any intentional act that causes physical harm or pain to a resident. Examples include hitting, slapping, kicking, shoving, or using restraints improperly. Residents with physical abuse may have unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or fractures. They may also be fearful or withdrawn in the presence of certain staff members.
  • Neglect: Neglect is the failure to provide for a resident’s basic needs. This can include failing to provide adequate food, water, or medication, neglecting hygiene needs, or leaving a resident in a soiled diaper for extended periods. Signs of neglect can include malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and untreated medical conditions.
  • Sexual Abuse: This is any form of unwanted sexual contact or behavior. Intimidation or threats to compel a resident into sexual activity are also considered abuse. Due to the vulnerability of residents, sexual abuse can be particularly damaging. Victims may be withdrawn, depressed, or show signs of anxiety or fear.
  • Emotional Abuse: This involves inflicting emotional pain or distress on a resident. Examples include yelling, name-calling, humiliation, threats, or insults. Emotional abuse can be devastating to a resident’s self-esteem and mental well-being. Signs may include depression, anxiety, withdrawal, or changes in eating or sleeping habits.

The New Mexico Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse

In New Mexico, if you suspect a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it’s vital to act swiftly. The statute of limitations for filing a nursing home abuse claim is three years.

While that might seem like a decent amount of time, legal matters can be complex, and evidence gathering can take time. Often, these three years can fly by, especially if you’re dealing with the emotional toll of discovering abuse and prioritizing your loved one’s well-being.

There are additional factors that can further delay your claim. Witness interviews, medical record collection, and expert consultations all take time, and you might also face pushback from the nursing home or their insurance company.

These delays can chip away at the valuable three-year window, making it crucial to take action as soon as possible.

An experienced New Mexico nursing home abuse attorney from Olson Personal Injury Lawyers can be your strongest ally in navigating this legal process. Our experts understand the complexities of these cases and can work diligently to gather evidence, build a strong case, and deal with any roadblocks that may arise.

Many people understandably hesitate to take legal action, especially against a care facility entrusted with their loved one’s well-being. However, an expert nursing home abuse attorney can guide you through this sensitive process with compassion and understanding.

Our attorneys at Olson Personal Injury Lawyers will advocate for your rights and the rights of your loved one, ensuring their voice is heard and that they receive the compensation they deserve for the abuse they’ve suffered. With their expertise on your side, you can ensure your claim is filed within the designated timeframe and that you have the best chance of achieving justice for your loved one.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, there are two main categories of damages you may be able to recover in a lawsuit:

  • Economic damages: These are the financial losses with a clear dollar value that resulted from the abuse. Examples include:
    • Medical bills: This category encompasses the expenses incurred for medical treatments and procedures necessitated by injuries sustained as a result of the abuse. It includes costs associated with hospital stays, surgeries, consultations with healthcare professionals, diagnostic tests, rehabilitation services, and any other medical services required to address the physical consequences of the abuse. Additionally, it covers anticipated future medical expenses related to ongoing treatment or rehabilitation needs resulting from the abuse.
    • Prescription medications: These are the costs associated with medications prescribed to manage the physical and psychological symptoms resulting from the abuse. It includes expenses for prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, medical supplies, and any other pharmaceutical products necessary for the victim’s health and well-being following the abuse.
    • Lost wages: This refers to the income that a victim or their family member may have forfeited due to the abuse. If the victim or a family member had to leave employment or take time off work to provide care, attend medical appointments, or recover from injuries sustained as a result of the abuse, they may be entitled to compensation for the wages they would have earned during that time. This includes both past wages lost as well as potential future earning capacity diminished by the consequences of the abuse.
    • Property damage or stolen money: In cases where the abuse involves theft or damage to the victim’s property, this category covers the financial losses incurred. It includes the cost of repairing or replacing damaged items, as well as the value of any money or possessions unlawfully taken from the victim. This could involve theft of personal belongings, damage to a residence or vehicle, or any other property-related losses resulting from the abuse.
  • Non-economic damages: These are the intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify in dollars but are still very real. Examples include:
    • Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical discomfort, distress, and anguish experienced by the victim as a direct result of the abuse. It includes the immediate pain caused by injuries sustained during the abusive incident, as well as ongoing physical suffering during the recovery process. Additionally, it encompasses the emotional and psychological suffering endured by the victim, such as fear, trauma, humiliation, and anguish resulting from the abuse. Pain and suffering damages aim to compensate the victim for the non-monetary hardships they have endured and the lasting impact of the abuse on their quality of life.
    • Loss of enjoyment of life: This represents the diminished ability of the victim to engage in activities and experiences that previously brought them joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction. It includes the loss of participation in hobbies, recreational pursuits, social interactions, and other aspects of life that were once sources of happiness and fulfillment for the victim. This loss may result from physical limitations, emotional trauma, or other consequences of the abuse that inhibit the victim’s ability to fully enjoy and participate in their daily life and activities.
    • Emotional distress: This encompasses the psychological harm and mental anguish experienced by the victim as a result of the abuse. It includes symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fear, stress, insomnia, nightmares, flashbacks, and other psychological symptoms triggered or exacerbated by the traumatic events of the abuse. Emotional distress damages seek to compensate the victim for the psychological impact of the abuse on their mental health, well-being, and overall quality of life, acknowledging the enduring emotional scars and trauma resulting from the abusive experience.

The amount of damages awarded in a nursing home abuse case will vary depending on the severity of the abuse, the specific losses suffered, and the evidence presented. It’s important to consult with a New Mexico personal injury attorney specializing in nursing home abuse cases to understand your legal options and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Olson Personal Injury Lawyers is the New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm for You

If you suspect a loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home, you don’t have to face this alone. The compassionate team at Olson Personal Injury Lawyers understands the deep worry and frustration that comes with nursing home abuse.

We are dedicated to holding negligent facilities accountable and ensuring your loved one receives the care and respect they deserve. Let Olson Personal Injury Lawyers fight for justice on your behalf.

Olson Personal Injury Lawyers isn’t just another law firm. Our New Mexico team is comprised of experienced and determined attorneys who have a proven track record of success in nursing home abuse cases.

We are passionate about advocating for the rights of the elderly and work tirelessly to secure the compensation our clients deserve. Not only will we fight for financial compensation for your loved one’s injuries, but we will also work to prevent future abuse from happening to them or others.

Don’t wait to get help. If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact Olson Personal Injury Lawyers today at (505) 391-4149 for a free consultation. We will listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and guide you through the legal process with compassion and understanding.