Almost 6.5% of all Americans live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, some of these facilities are prime spaces for harm to occur due to potential neglect and prolonged isolation of the residents. When nursing home residents fall victim to such harm, they are at higher risk of pressure ulcers, falls and fractures, and sometimes death in extreme cases.
How Common is Neglect? Nursing Home Neglect
Picture Courtesy Sarcoa, Area Agency on Aging
It is extremely unsettling that there are many older Americans who are no strangers to nursing home abuse. A poll conducted in 2012 studying nursing homes in Michigan found that 24.3% of nursing home residents polled reported some sort of abuse by nursing home staff, which can manifest in multiple ways. Bed sores are often the result of neglect in nursing homes, and the latest official data available from the CDC shows that 11% of nursing home residents suffer from bed sores. Bed sores are ulcers that are caused by placing pressure on the skin for prolonged periods of time, mainly due to a lack of movement.
Abuse and neglect also often result in falls causing fractures of the hip, which nursing home residents are at twice the risk of experiencing. To make matters worse, mortality is approximately 70% more likely in those nursing home residents who suffer from bed sores and hip fractures concurrently.
The incidence of abuse and neglect in nursing homes in the United States worsened significantly during the pandemic, as detailed by a report by Human Rights Watch. For instance, Human Rights Watch reported that nursing homes in the U.S. saw an excess of 40,000, non-Covid related, deaths in the period between March 2020 and November 2020 alone. These excess deaths represent an unfortunate 15% increase. Looking at Pennsylvania and Michigan alone, there were 80% and 100% more reports of nursing home neglect during 2020 compared to 2019.
Elder Abuse Attorneys: Justice is On Your Side
Nursing homes who are sued for allowing abuse and neglect are already compensating plaintiffs, and they are doing so at a record rate. A study researching nursing home lawsuits found that, from claims resolved out of court, nearly 88% of nursing home neglect lawsuits result in the plaintiff being compensated, which is nearly 3 times more likely than the rate of other medical malpractice claims. The average amount of paid claims was approximately $406,000, which is almost twice the amount for a traditional malpractice claim, with Florida and Texas having the largest payments on average.
The study estimates that total payments to victims of neglect would total an impressive $2.4 billion nationwide, with Florida alone making up $1.1 billion. Out of the lawsuits examined, more than half of claims nationwide involved wrongful death, around 45% involved bedsores, and 30% involved falls.
Latest Nursing Home Lawsuits Statistics
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home neglect that led to bedsores, fall and/or a bone fracture, or death, and resides (or resided) in one of the following states, you may be entitled to compensation.
- New Jersey
- New York
Statute of Limitations and Filing Deadlines
Most of these states have Statue of limitations, or time periods in which you must file a lawsuit or else your potential claim may be forever barred. In the State of Florida, there is a two-year Statute of Limitation from the time the alleged incident giving rise to the nursing home abuse to file an action. Other states’ Statute of Limitations may differ in this time period. Since the Statutes of Limitations places filing time limitations, it is imperative you call us as soon as possible if you believe you or a loved one may qualify.
Our team at Oppenheim Law recognizes the emotional burden these impairments can have on individuals and their lives. That is why our firm provides a team of professionals committed to zealously represent our clients.