Nursing homes have a duty to take care of their residents. When nursing homes injure, abuse, or neglect our loved ones, there are laws that allow families in Plantation to recover damages for any injuries or losses that occur.
A nursing home abuse lawyer in Plantation at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you seek justice if your loved one suffered neglect or abuse at a local nursing home or assisted living facility. Call today to schedule a free consultation: 800-747-3733.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Determining what qualifies as nursing home abuse can be difficult. Old age can lead to falls, serious injuries, and confusion. However, nursing home abuse can take any of the following forms:
Physical abuse is the most well-known and might include anything from pinching to force-feeding to using unnecessary restraints.
Many view emotional abuse as less serious than other types of abuse but it can be just as impactful. It can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Screaming at or threatening a resident
- Humiliating a resident
- Forced isolation (e.g., refusing to allow a resident to leave her room)
Sexual abuse can be anything from showing a resident explicit photos to unwanted sexual contact.
Financial elder abuse can occur when a caregiver:
- Forges a resident’s signature on financial documents
- Convinces a resident to change her will or turn over financial power of attorney to that caregiver
- Steals money from the resident
Neglect can include various actions or inactions such as:
- Failing to adjust residents to prevent bedsores
- Failing to follow a fall prevention plan (e.g., if a resident is prone to falls, the nursing home should create a fall prevention plan such as having two staff members assisting the resident when getting out of bed or when walking to the bathroom or cafeteria)
- Failing to change soiled sheets
- Forgetting to give a resident his medication
- Forgetting a resident who requires assistance to leave his room
What Laws Protect Nursing Home Residents?
The law recognizes that nursing home residents have rights. If your loved one’s nursing home violated or ignored any of the following rights, you can hold it liable:
- The right to receive needed health care
- The right to be free from physical and mental abuse
- The right to fair treatment, the right to retain dignity
- The right to be free from physical restraints unless ordered by doctors
These violations often result from untrained staff, negligent hiring or retention, understaffing, or unsafe premises. Our team will determine why the neglect or abuse occurred as well as who to hold liable.
Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
In most cases, your liable party will be the nursing home itself. This is due to the doctrine of vicarious liability. It holds that employers are liable for their employees’ actions so long as the employees were acting in the scope of their employment.
If a staff member abused or neglected your loved one, the employer would be vicariously liable for any injuries or losses stemming from that abuse or neglect.
A nursing home can also be directly liable for:
- Negligent hiring, training, or retention
- Failure to protect a resident from abuse
- Failure to maintain safe premises
Do Medical Malpractice Laws Apply to Nursing Homes?
Yes. Many nursing homes provide medical care to residents. The homes may have doctors, nurses, or therapists on staff. Those professionals can be liable for medical malpractice if they render negligent treatment in the nursing home. However, it is important to note that the true liable party will still likely be the nursing home itself as it employs the medical professionals who work there.
How Can I Prove My Loved One Suffered Abuse?
It may be difficult to prove a loved one is suffering abuse. In some cases, a loved one might not know she is suffering abuse. This is common in dementia patients because of the short-term memory loss associated with the disease. We will investigate the case and look for all potential evidence of abuse. This might involve:
- Medical records (if your healthy loved one suddenly required multiple hospital visits, we can use this to establish a timeline of probable abuse)
- Photos of injuries
- Witness testimony (if another caregiver, visitor, or resident witnessed the abuse, her testimony can be vital in proving abuse)
- Your loved one’s testimony
- Your testimony (e.g., if you saw bedsores or if a loved one’s room smelled unclean, your testimony can help establish neglect, if your loved one seems fearful of a particular staff member, your testimony of their interaction might help prove abuse)
What Damages Can I Recover in My Loved One’s Nursing Home Abuse Case?
You can recover compensation on behalf of your loved one for nursing home abuse or neglect. What you can recover depends on the type of case you file:
If a nursing home’s negligence causes the death of a resident, family members have a right to sue for their mental pain and suffering over the loss of their loved one.
Relatives can also recover any out of pocket expenses incurred by the relatives or the resident’s estate. This may include medical bills, funeral expenses, or loss of any future income.
If the resident survives the nursing home’s neglect or abuse, the resident can recover damages for pain, suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, and loss of the quality of life.
Family members can also sue for any out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the neglect or abuse.
Seek Justice for Your Loved One. Schedule a Free Consultation Today.
Our firm helps Plantation families obtain and review nursing home records to see if they have a legal case against a nursing home. We understand how nursing homes must treat their residents. If a nursing home failed to uphold its end of your deal and allowed your loved one to suffer abuse or neglect, do not wait to get legal help. Contact the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 for a free consultation.