Sexual abuse in nursing homes is one of the most unrecognized and underreported types of elder mistreatment. Families place their trust in staff to care for their loved ones, but assisted living facilities do not always provide the safe environments that families expect. Compassionate Mesa nursing home sexual abuse lawyers understand what people go through when they find out their loved one was abused at an assisted living facility. An experienced attorney could help you hold the responsible parties accountable and prevent other residents from suffering the same misconduct.
In cases of sexual abuse, warning signs may include new difficulty standing or walking, pelvic injury, bruising on inner thighs and genitals, torn or bloody underclothing, vaginal or anal bleeding, and unexplained infections or venereal disease. Emotional signs may include depression, panic attacks, negative moods, and withdrawal from social interactions. A knowledgeable attorney knows the warning signs of sexual abuse and could hold the responsible Mesa nursing home accountable.
Arizona law requires individual professionals, like physicians, attorneys, accountants, and social workers, to report cases of elder or dependent adult abuse. They must have a reasonable basis to believe that abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult has occurred. These professionals are required to report the circumstances to a designated agency, including the Adult Protective Services, police department, and Department of Health Services (DHS). The Department of Health Services Licensing and Certification offices are required to investigate all reports of elder abuse.
Even if only one person is responsible for the sexual abuse, the assisted living facility as a whole could be held liable by a Mesa lawyer. Facilities with inadequate training and staffing leave elderly residents with cognitive and physical disabilities particularly vulnerable. Facilities may also leave residents vulnerable by not providing adequate training to staff, implementing monitoring systems, or performing background checks on potential workers.
Assisted care facilities are required to have sufficient nursing staff to provide nursing and related services to maintain the highest physical, mental, and emotional well-being of each resident. Nursing home abuse often occurs when facilities have insufficient staffing levels to maintain quality of oversight for all residents.
To establish nursing home sexual abuse, a claimant must prove the elements of negligence requiring:
Under Arizona law, there is no damages cap for negligence or wrongful death claims. In civil cases, a claimant may seek economic damages to compensate for their financial losses, like medical expenses, physical therapy services, and prescription drugs. They may also seek non-economic damages for physical pain and emotional suffering, including anxiety, trouble sleeping, and depression.
The family of an abused assisted living facility resident has two years from the date of the misconduct to file a claim. However, there is no statute of limitations for violent sexual assault. An experienced Mesa attorney could examine the nursing home sexual abuse case and ensure the suit is filed before the deadline expires.
A Mesa nursing home abuse lawyer could help you hold a negligent assisted living facility accountable for your loved one’s harm. If you suspect that a loved one was sexually abused in an Arizona nursing home, an accomplished attorney could help you. Schedule your initial case consultation today.