Florida residents trust nursing homes to provide medical and custodial care to their elderly, and sometimes ailing, family members. State law protects the rights of these residents. Unfortunately, there have been many reported cases of nursing home abuse and neglect in these facilities.
If your family member experienced mistreatment at the hands of their caregiver, you can rest assured that the Miami nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine will fight for justice for your loved one. Call 800-747-3733 today for a free case evaluation. Let us make sure you and your family are fairly compensated.
What constitutes nursing home abuse?
We must gather evidence that demonstrates the defendant abused your loved one. That evidence needs to clearly demonstrate that the defendant perpetrated some form of abuse, your loved one was the victim, and the abuse caused injuries and other damages.
But nursing home abuse and neglect comes in many forms. Some of the most common forms include:
- Physical abuse: Employees who slap, kick, or otherwise physically assault a resident may be liable for the resident’s injuries. Residents that have bruises, broken bones, and other unexplained injuries may be victims of physical abuse.
- Mental abuse: In some cases, nursing home employees make inappropriate comments or threats towards residents, ignore their requests, or otherwise make them fearful or anxious. Emotional or mental abuse can be just as devastating as physical abuse, but is harder to prove. We may rely on video surveillance, witness testimony, and psychological reports to prove your case.
- Sexual abuse: One of the worst things a caregiver can do is sexually abuse a resident. Sexual abuse may include rape or other forms of sexual assault, taking explicit photos of residents, or forcing residents to take off their clothes. Torn clothing, genital injuries, and STD diagnoses are often indicators of sexual abuse.
- Financial abuse: Some nursing home employees take advantage of their access to the resident’s confidential information and vulnerability of the residents. Healthcare fraud—where an employee charges the resident for unnecessary or fake services—and identity theft are common forms of financial abuse.
- Neglect: Employees at nursing homes must adhere to the appropriate standard of care when caring for residents. Some common forms of neglect include depriving residents of food or water, administering incorrect medication, failing to administer medication, failing to move bedridden patients (bedsores), or failing to maintain hygiene.
Who is at fault for nursing home abuse or neglect?
More than one person may be liable for an abused resident’s injuries. Our firm will evaluate the circumstances of your case and legal relationships between parties to identify which parties should be defendants in your lawsuit. This may include:
The Nursing Home or Care Facility
The facility where your loved one stays is responsible for ensuring the safety of the residents. Lawsuits against nursing homes usually allege one or more of the following:
- Negligent hiring or retention: The facility must to make a reasonable effort to check the backgrounds and qualifications of the employees they hire. A liable facility would have failed to conduct a proper background check on an employee with a negative record that indicated they may pose a danger to residents. The facility is also responsible for adequately training their employees.
- Negligent retention: If the facility becomes aware that an employee is a danger to the residents and fails to let them go, they are liable for injuries based on negligent retention.
- Failure to maintain: The facility should make a reasonable effort to keep the property well-maintained, provide working machinery and medical equipment, and fix dangerous conditions to ensure the residents’ safety. Failure to do so may be negligence.
- Failure to supervise: Nursing homes must have enough staff on site at all times to tend to the residents and provide supervision. If a resident suffers an injury due to a lack of nurses or security, the plaintiff in the lawsuit may contend the defendant’s failure to supervise.
- Employee negligence: If an employee’s negligent on-the-clock behavior results in injury to a resident, the nursing home may be liable for their actions under the theory of vicarious liability. If the negligent party is not an employee or is not acting within their scope of employment, the nursing home may not be liable.
The Employee Responsible for the Resident’s Injury
When a nursing home employee is abusive or neglectful towards a resident, they are liable for any injuries they cause. The suit may name any employee who neglects or abuses a resident physically, mentally, sexually, or financially.
Drug manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and other parties are responsible for providing functional products and services to the nursing home. These parties may be liable for negligence if their failure to provide safe products causes injury to a resident.
Our attorneys can help you determine who is at fault in your case. Call our office today for a free case evaluation.
How can I prove my nursing home abuse case?
Under state law, nursing home residents may file a lawsuit if another party violates their right to a safe living space. Our attorneys will do whatever it takes to prove that mistreatment occurred in your case. We will prove:
- The defendant owed your relative a duty of care;
- The defendant’s conduct or negligence caused your relative’s injuries; and
- The nursing home resident suffered damages.
The evidence we present will depend on the specific facts surrounding your case. Evidence in a nursing home case may include:
- The victim’s medical records to establish the worsening of injuries once he or she moved into the home;
- Video or photograph evidence of the abuse or results of abuse.
- Testimony from residents, employees, or other parties who witnessed the abuse.
- Expert testimony regarding the patient’s medical condition and whether abuse or neglect was the cause.
Take note that your loved one has two years to file a lawsuit after the abuse occurred.
How can my family recover damages for abuse-related damages?
If your loved one suffered an injury or died because of nursing home negligence, your lawsuit may recover damages for:
- Medical expenses;
- Funeral costs; and
- Pain and suffering.
Recoverable damages in nursing home abuse cases often differ from other personal injury cases. Victims are older and not working, for example, and so usually do not seek compensation for lost wages. Our Miami nursing home abuse lawyers will calculate a fair amount of damages for your case.
Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levin about Your Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case
Neglecting or abusing vulnerable people unable to defend themselves is one of the most despicable things a caregiver can do. The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine has extensive knowledge in the field of nursing home neglect and abuse. We will use that knowledge to fight for your rights. For more information on filing a nursing home abuse claim, contact a nursing home abuse attorney at our firm by calling 800-747-3733.