Knowing that an aged loved one has suffered unnecessary harm is a hard pill to swallow—especially when it occurs at the hands of people you trusted to care for them. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is all too commonplace. Approximately 10 percent of adults aged 60 or older experience some form of elder abuse, although an estimated 13 out of 14 cases go unreported, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA).
If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact an attorney at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine today. We can help you take legal action and collect compensation for your loved one’s losses. Call 800-747-3733 and speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Pompano Beach today about your case. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.
How do I know if my loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect?
Many victims of nursing home abuse and neglect are either too embarrassed to let their family members know it is happening or they lack the mental or verbal capacity to tell anyone about the problem. The general signs of elder abuse include a strained or volatile relationship between the caregiver and the resident, as well as changes in the resident’s personality or behavior.
Look for other physical and behavioral signs of abuse, such as:
- Bruises and welts;
- Fractures and sprains;
- Broken glasses;
- Signs of excessive restraint, like marks on the wrists;
- Dementia-like behavior, such as mumbling to self, sucking, and rocking;
- Unsanitary conditions, bedsores, and unsuitable or dirty clothing;
- Unusual weight loss; and
- Avoidance of eye contact and withdrawal.
Sometimes, the signs of abuse can mimic the symptoms of dementia. In fact, some caregivers may offer this as an explanation for your loved one’s strange behavior. If your gut indicates something is amiss, it probably is. Report the abuse and speak to one of our lawyers about your options.
Can I take legal action against the nursing home for my loved one’s injuries?
To file a personal injury claim against the nursing home for your loved one’s injuries, we must establish several elements in your case. First and foremost, we must show that the caregiver or facility somehow breached their duty of care. In other words, the administration or attendants must have acted in a substandard, careless, or malicious way that put your loved one at risk of harm. In legal terms, failing to uphold one’s duty of care constitutes negligence, and it is the cornerstone of a liability claim.
Negligence can come in many forms. Below are just a few examples:
- Failing to keep the resident clean or failing to provide safe, sanitary living conditions;
- Depriving a resident of attention, guests, food, or other basic necessities;
- Deficient, inconsistent, or insufficient medical care;
- Physical assault or battery, emotional abuse, or unwanted sexual contact; and
- Excessive use of restraints or confinement.
Next, we must show the caregiver’s negligence directly caused or worsened your loved one’s injuries—or led to their death. In other words, we must prove that there is a nexus between the nursing home or caregiver’s actions and your loved one’s injuries. These cases are often technical and contested, but our attorneys can investigate your claim and prove this link before we take action. We can make sure your case qualifies for restitution.
Where can I report nursing home abuse?
Reporting nursing home abuse to the proper agencies not only protects your loved one from more harm, but it could help prevent future residents from experiencing the same thing. If you feel your loved one is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911. Once your loved one is safe, you can report the abuse or neglect to one or more of the following authorities:
- Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman;
- Local law enforcement;
- Florida Abuse Hotline;
- Agency for Health Care Administration;
- Florida Department of Elder Affairs; and
- National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
In some cases, the state may open an investigation to examine the nursing home and reports of abuse. It may even file charges against a provider for unlawful acts. Any criminal case the provider or caregiver faces will be separate and distinct from any civil lawsuit you file to recoup your loved one’s losses and collect damages.
What types of damages can I collect with a nursing home abuse case?
We will go after the full amount of damages your loved one suffered because of the abuse. We will seek compensation for losses like:
- Medical and rehabilitative care;
- Therapy and counseling;
- Alternate living arrangements; and
- Emotional harm and pain and suffering.
Some victims may also qualify for punitive damages. These are financial awards the court may order in cases where the wrongful party acted in a particularly negligent, wanton, or malevolent fashion. Cases involving abuse often warrant punitive damages, which may be as much as three times the amount of compensatory damages—with a cap of $500,000.
Protect your loved one from mistreatment. Hold the nursing home liable.
Abused seniors have a 300 percent higher risk of death compared to those who were not mistreated, according to the NCOA. If you suspect abuse, protect your loved one from future harm by reporting it the authorities and taking appropriate legal action against the liable party.
The highly qualified, caring attorneys at the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine have helped numerous families in Florida get the justice and compensation they deserve. We fight for maximum recovery to ensure that you have the means to take care of your loved one well into the future—and to send a message to the community that elder abuse is not tolerated. In nursing home abuse and neglect cases where your loved one has passed on, we may be able to file a wrongful death claim for damages.
Learn more about your rights and options. Call our firm and schedule a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys in Pompano Beach. Contact us at 800-747-3733 today.