Physical assault without legal justification is an intentional act and a form of nursing home abuse. Under Kentucky law, a person might be physically injured from an assault, but an injury isn’t legally required. There are four levels of assault in the Commonwealth. In most cases though, unjustified physical contact with the victim along with an injury is sufficient to sustain an assault conviction. Kentucky Revised Statutes 508.030 makes misdemeanor assault the least serious of the assault offenses.
Physical Contact With the Victim Isn’t Necessary
It doesn’t matter whether a nursing home resident was assaulted by a nursing home employee, another resident or a family member. Protection must be sought for the victim. An example of an assault with no physical contact might be when a nursing home worker might attempt to slap a resident, but the worker missed. In flinching, the intended victim hit his head on a wall. Although there was no physical contact between the worker and the nursing home resident, the resident was still injured when he hit his head on the wall.
Observing Active Nursing Home Assault
Active physical assault is intentional. It’s meant to cause pain or injury to the victim. It’s easy to observe abuse in a Lexington nursing home. It might consist of shoving, slapping, punching or kicking a nursing home resident inside of the facility. It might even consist of misuse of restraints.
Signs of Active Nursing Home Assault
If you believe that a nursing home resident has been the victim of active physical abuse, here are some signs to look for:
- Staff might not want the resident to be alone with family.
- Unexplained injuries, especially cuts, bruising or fractures.
- Dental injuries.
- Injuries without satisfactory explanations.
- Recurring injuries to the same part of the body.
- Sudden loss of patches of hair.
- Torn, stained or bloody clothing.
- Physical signs of restraint like abrasions or bruising.
Preventing Nursing Home Assault
There are measures that you can take on your own initiative to prevent nursing home assault. Be aware of the signs and look for them when visiting your friend or loved one. If you see them on a fairly consistent basis, articulate your concerns with both nursing home staff and authorities. Don’t be afraid of asking any questions either.
Should you see clear signs of physical assault, notify local police immediately and contact the Kentucky Office of Adult Protection Services at 800-753-6200. This agency has been given authority by the legislature to investigate allegations of nursing home abuse in the state. Then, contact us here at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, and we’ll arrange for a free consultation and case review with a professional and effective nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm. You can tell us what you believe might be happening at the nursing home and your questions will be answered. Then, all of your legal options will be explained to you. Being aware of nursing home assault and taking appropriate measures can prevent serious injuries or even save your friend or loved one’s life.