Nursing homes exist to care for people who are so sick or disabled that they can no longer live independently. Unfortunately, those conditions can create opportunities for dishonorable people to take advantage of patients who cannot speak up or fight back. Physical abuse, financial exploitation, neglect and worse have all been reported at nursing homes. In some cases, the abuse can send the victims health into a decline, causing avoidable hospitalization or even a premature death. Even if administrators or criminal prosecutors are investigating, victims and their families can take action through a nursing home negligence lawsuit.