The average life expectancy of an American has risen by almost a decade since the year 1950. It currently is just below 79 years old. In the next 10 years, it is expected to be above 80. As the population of senior citizens has increased in the United States, more elderly individuals are being placed in nursing homes. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect remains an issue in many nursing facilities throughout the nation, including in New Mexico.
Families depend on nursing facilities to keep their grandparents and parents healthy and safe. However, research shows that a third of nursing facilities have received citations for nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home abuse continues to be on the rise as well.
Abuse may include not just physical harm but also even sexual or mental abuse. If people suspect that their loved ones are being abused, it would be wise for them to report this to the facilities' administrations. They should also document the evidence concerning injuries.
In a case of nursing home abuse or neglect, an attorney can pursue the maximum compensation that is available under New Mexico law through a civil lawsuit. Awarded damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and disability and disfigurement. Punitive damages may also be awarded in a case of egregious fault. Monetary compensation from a successfully fought case may not be able to undo the events leading to the harm suffered by elderly individuals due to abuse; however, it may help plaintiffs to experience a sense of justice.