Nursing home residents cannot always protect themselves from abuse or neglect. For this reason, their families must stay cognizant of the risk and watch for any signs of a problem. If your aging loved one does suffer injuries because of an abusive nursing home employee or another caregiver, they may be eligible for compensation for their damages.
If your family member experienced abuse in a South Florida nursing home, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you recover the compensation they deserve. Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer can help you file a claim against the nursing home owners and administrators and hold them responsible for the harm they caused.
What Compensation Is Involved in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
Getting your loved one proper care after abuse or neglect is your and our top priority. Concerns about paying for that care should not take up your attention when you’re dealing with the aftermath of abuse. Instead, a personal injury lawyer from our team can work to pursue compensation to pay for:
- Diagnostic testing
- Skin treatment
- Medical equipment
- Prescription medication
- Mental health support
Your family member’s needs will depend on the kind of abuse they suffered, their health history, and their specific experiences. We use these specifics in our evaluation of your case.
Compensation for Financial Abuse
Financial abuse often ranks as the second or third most prevalent type of abuse suffered by older adults, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). Damages for this type of abuse are focused on reimbursement or replacement of what was lost, such as:
- Compensation for stolen assets
- Accrued interest from accounts
- Any income made with assets or accounts
- Reimbursement for legal fees
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Paying for care and reimbursing losses still cannot compensate your loved one for the violation of their autonomy and dignity. To recognize the personal pain of being an abuse victim, we can pursue damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Reduced quality of life
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving West Palm Beach, 800-747-3733
How Can I Recognize the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
There are a number of different ways nursing home residents suffer abuse. Understanding the signs of each can help you recognize abuse quickly and take action to protect your loved one.
Regardless of the type of abuse, be aware of any changes in your family member’s behavior or emotional state. Subtle changes in your loved one, such as a lack of energy, can point to a larger problem.
Physical abuse is, perhaps, the most obvious type of mistreatment. While seniors tend to bruise easily, you should question any unexplained injuries. Look for marks around the wrists or defensive marks on the hands.
Emotional abuse is much more difficult to spot, especially if your loved one cannot report what is happening. If your loved one seems withdrawn or demonstrates fear of a particular caregiver, this employee may be using intimidation or threats when dealing with your family member.
Sexual abuse is often identified because of bruising on the breasts or around the genitals. In some cases, seniors also report this type of abuse, or a doctor finds the evidence during a visit.
Financial abuse happens in a number of ways, but all stem from a caregiver who tries to benefit from a resident’s income or assets. The abuser may steal items or money from your loved one’s room, make unauthorized charges to their account, or even charge them for services they did not perform.
Neglect is the most common type of nursing home abuse and the only kind that can occur unintentionally. However, just because the facility lacks the proper staffing or the caregivers lack training does not mean your loved one should suffer. Common signs of neglect include:
- Untreated bedsores
- Frequent falls
- Hygiene issues, including soiled linens or clothing
- Extra medications
- Missed medications
Abuse can be difficult to spot. Our attorneys have experience in this area of law and can help you understand if abuse is occurring. However, if you suspect something is off, it is essential you act quickly.
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What Should I Do if I Suspect Abuse at My Loved One’s West Palm Beach Nursing Home?
To protect your family member or another nursing home resident from further abuse, you must report your suspicions as soon as possible. Even if you are unsure of what is happening, you should report any suspected abuse. Do not wait for additional signs or try to investigate the incident on your own. Your quick action could mean the difference in life or death for the abuse victim or other residents.
To report the abuse, you can:
- Call 911 or the local police department, if the senior’s life is in immediate danger
- Report it to the nursing home administrators, if you believe they can help
- Call the Florida Department of Elder Affairs at 800-962-2873 to file a report
In some cases, facility administrators can get to the bottom of a minor issue quickly. However, you should keep your eye on the situation and file a report with the Department of Elder Affairs if you turn up additional signs of abuse or if they do not address minor concerns quickly.
If you suspect serious neglect, physical abuse, ongoing emotional abuse, or sexual abuse, you should file the report even if the administrators claim they are on the case.
Other Steps You Can Take to Hold Abusers Accountable
In addition to taking official action with authorities, you can contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to learn how our nursing home abuse attorneys can help. We can investigate and gather evidence that could support your report.
Moreover, we can help you pursue civil action if you feel appropriate steps have not been taken or your loved one’s ordeal has not been properly recognized. Your loved one’s case may be one of many reported to an official organization, and care facility administrators may have different priorities. By contrast, our only focus in your case is getting justice for your family member.
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What Happens When I Contact a Lawyer About My Loved One’s Nursing Home Abuse Case?
We can often help victims and their families collect compensation for the damages—including pain and suffering—they endured. However, these cases can be especially complex. We need to quickly determine exactly how the abuse occurred and who the liable parties are.
Nursing homes and other similar care facilities must follow strict state regulations and federal laws. There are also numerous areas of law involved in many of these cases, including contracts, medical malpractice, personal injury, and sometimes premises liability. Our attorneys have experience dealing with these types of cases and can successfully navigate the claims process, no matter how complex it becomes.
Preparing for Your Meeting with Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
After you report the suspected nursing home abuse, you should document your loved one’s injuries with pictures. Keep a journal recording your actions and any responses you receive. When you call us to schedule your complimentary consultation, bring this information to your first meeting.
That being said, you don’t need to wait and put together a case in order to talk to our injury attorneys. In fact, the sooner you seek help, the better. We can work to compile additional evidence based on your initial information.
Holding the Right People Responsible for Abuse and Neglect
Possible liable parties we can identify in your family member’s case include:
- Support staff
- Other residents
- Property owners
Some of these possible liable parties can be tied to a specific form of abuse. For instance, the staff member in charge of meds may have overmedicated or improperly medicated your loved one.
While other types of abuse certainly do occur, most of the cases we encounter relate to nursing home neglect. When neglect occurs, we can usually hold the nursing home administration and owners financially responsible for the damages your family member suffered.
Many nursing homes are chronically understaffed or use untrained caregivers to provide care that requires specific skills or certifications. If your loved one’s nursing home engaged in these negligent practices, we can hold them responsible for the suffering they caused. We can collect the evidence to prove this is what happened to your loved one and file a claim for compensation on their behalf.
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How Can I Reach a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
If your aging loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, their well-being is probably your top concern. By recovering compensation for their medical care, therapy, and pain and suffering, you can ensure they receive the best care possible. This may allow you to move them into a better facility or even provide in-home nursing care.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today for a free case evaluation. We are ready to fight for your family.
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