Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorneys
Nursing Home Abuse in Florida
The decision to move a family member to a nursing home is never easy, but after researching and visiting potential facilities, we tend to feel relieved, satisfied that our loved one will be well cared for in the nursing home we have chosen. Unfortunately, our relief can be short-lived.
Florida regulations require that nursing homes maintain patients’ quality of life, meet their basic needs, and provide reasonable quality care to ensure that patients are not put at risk. However, this is sometimes not the case in Florida due to understaffing, lack of employee training, and neglectful and abusive behavior on the part of the staff.
Whatever the cause of neglect or abuse, you want to protect your loved one and remedy the situation, since neglect and abuse can have serious deleterious effects on your loved one’s health and well-being. You should also work with an experienced Florida nursing home abuse attorney to make sure you get the compensation you deserve and the nursing home is held accountable for not meeting standards of reasonable quality care.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Technically, nursing home negligence differs from abuse in that negligence occurs because a staff person doesn’t do something he was supposed to do, whereas abuse occurs when someone purposely causes harm. For instance, if a staff person fails to turn a nursing home resident in bed or change his position in a chair, he is being negligent. If, on the other hand, a staff person pushes a patient so hard that he falls and breaks a bone, the staff person is being abusive.
Neglect can take many different forms, including not helping with hygiene or not attending to a patient’s basic needs. Common signs of neglect are malnourishment, dehydration, skin lesions or rashes, and the smell of urine or feces.
Abuse can also take many different forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse. Physical abuse, whether from pushing, hitting, kicking, or restraining, typically leaves signs, such as broken bones, bruises, and cuts. Other types of physical abuse, such as denying food or drinks or overmedicating, might not be as easily noticed.
Sexual abuse and psychological abuse might be more difficult to detect, since the signs of depression, anxiety, and withdrawal can readily be attributed to other factors. If your loved one is exhibiting a marked change in mood and/or behavior, it is, therefore, important to investigate the situation. A staff member, visitor, or other resident could be subjecting your loved one to sexual or psychological abuse.
Nursing home staff or others who come in contact with nursing home residents have also been known to take advantage of them financially. This financial abuse can include outright stealing, cashing checks without consent, or forcing a resident to sign over funds or other assets.
No matter what type of abuse you suspect, if you think your loved one is a victim, you should talk with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney about options for rectifying the situation and holding the guilty parties accountable for their actions.
Nursing Home Abuse Claims
If your family member has been hurt due to nursing home neglect or abuse, he may file a claim against the nursing home. Victims of nursing home neglect or abuse can settle their claims outside of court if the nursing home takes responsibility for the wrongful actions and offers a satisfactory settlement. If not, the case can be tried in court, with a jury deciding on the appropriate amount of compensation for the abuse or neglect.
The amount of compensation your family member would receive depends on the specifics of the case. However, it is possible to obtain compensation for hospital bills and other healthcare expenses, as well as for pain, suffering, disability, and loss of the ability to enjoy life.
Florida law doesn’t put a cap on the amount you can obtain in a nursing home abuse case. However, the state does have a statute of limitations for nursing home abuse claims of two years from the date of the neglect or abuse or two years from when you found out or should have been aware that an injury had occurred because of abuse or neglect. The statute of limitations may be extended beyond two years if it takes longer to discover the injury, but it cannot exceed six years.
Getting Help from a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
You moved your loved one to a nursing home because they were unable to care for themselves. Now you have every right to expect that they receive a reasonable quality of care. If they have suffered physically, psychologically, or financially because of negligent or abusive actions at the nursing home, you have the right to sue the home for damages.
If you suspect that a family member is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, don’t hesitate to get help from an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
Address the situation as soon as possible to protect your loved one and consider legal action to get compensated fairly for pain, suffering and loss and to hold the nursing home accountable for its actions.
Call us at 352.888.4878 or submit the FREE CASE REVIEW form on our website to talk with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney today. We have helped clients in Florida recover millions for over twenty years, and we want to help you.