The thoughts of a loved one enduring abuse at the hands of a caregiver or in the care of nursing home can be devastating. Unfortunately, it happens all too often—especially in Florida.
If you suspect that your loved one sustained injuries or abuse in a residential care facility, you must act quickly to protect them from further personal injury. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Sunrise can help you in your quest to remove your family member from an abusive situation and help you pursue appropriate legal action.
The committed attorneys of the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine fight for the legal rights of nursing home abuse victims and their families. Call 800-747-3733 today to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your claim.
What is nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse happens when a caregiver or facility employee, either intentionally or through neglect, causes harm to someone in their care. A residential care home can also commit abuse if the facility does not uphold minimum health and safety standards or fails to provide appropriate comfort or care for residents.
Chapter 400 of the Florida State Statutes establishes these health and safety standards. In addition, the Florida Administrative Code elaborated on the statutes to publish the state’s minimum standards for nursing homes.
If a nursing home or care facility fails to uphold the duty of care outlined in these statutes, they may be guilty of negligence. If that is the case, we can hold them liable for the damages your loved one has suffered.
Our attorneys understand the state regulations that govern nursing homes. We can gather the evidence necessary to prove a facility violated these standards.
How does nursing home abuse happen?
This crime can take many forms, few of which are blatantly obvious. Often, family members fail to notice mistreatment or neglect for weeks or months, either because they do not suspect a problem or they do not know the signs.
Caregivers or staff members may commit physical abuse by pushing, hitting, or restraining patients. Administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage also constitutes physical abuse. Signs of physical abuse include:
- Cuts and bruises;
- Fractures and dislocations;
- Untreated infection;
- Medication reactions;
- Burns or scalds; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Emotional or Mental Abuse
Caregivers commit mental or emotional abuse with they threaten, berate, or intimidate a patient, or otherwise cause undue stress or anguish. Signs of emotional or mental abuse include:
- Agitation; and
- Inhibited speech.
Nursing home staff and caregivers commit neglect when they intentionally or unintentionally fail to meet the patient’s basic needs for food, water, clothing, and care. Signs of neglect include:
- Dirty bedding or clothing; and
- Poor hygiene.
Sexual assault does occur, both in the residential care setting and in-home caregiver arrangements. Signs of sexual abuse include:
- Pelvic pain;
- Trouble walking;
- Reluctance to sit down;
- Urinary tract infections;
- PTSD symptoms;
- Bruises or irritation;
- Fearfulness; and
- Emotional withdrawal.
Family members may have more trouble detecting this type of nursing home abuse. Signs of financial abuse include:
- Unexplained banking activity;
- Unexplained credit card activity;
- Missing possessions;
- Bills for services not rendered; and
- Identify theft.
Unfortunately, the above list of potential abuses is far from exhaustive.
How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help me?
If you suspect a nursing home or caregiver has victimized a loved one, alert the police immediately. Next, contact us as soon as possible.
We can assist you in getting your family member to safety so they can receive any medical care or treatment they may need. We can also help you explore your legal options.
If your loved one sustained injuries, you may have legal grounds to seek compensation on their behalf. A financial settlement can help ensure they receive the medical care they need for their injuries and pay for alternative care in a location where they are safe.
The value of your claim will include any current medical bills and care costs, the estimated cost of their future medical treatment, costs for moving them to a new location, and fair compensation for their pain and suffering.
Although a settlement will not make up for the abuse your loved one suffered, it will help ensure their future safety and care. It will also send a clear message that may prevent another family from enduring these horrors.
How common is nursing home abuse in Sunrise?
According to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (FDEA) and Office of Economic and Demographic Research (OEDR), our state experienced approximately 54,000 reported cases of elder abuse during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Many more cases go unreported every year.
The most commonly reported types of abuse include:
- Broken bones;
- Medical neglect;
- Physical injury;
- Malnutrition and dehydration;
- Confinement or restraint;
- Sexual abuse; and
These incidents occurred either in a residential care home setting or in the victim’s home.
How can I report nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a crime. If you have evidence of abuse or if you witness an incident of this nature, call 911 or the Sunrise Police Department. If you suspect a problem may exist, you can contact the FDEA at 800-962-2873 or via the elder abuse reporting hotline. You can also file a report via fax or online.
Carefully document any incidents you witness or that your family member relates to you. Note the date and time, the names of the people involved, as well as any other pertinent details. This can aid the police in their investigation and can help us build a solid case for your claim.
The Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help with your nursing home abuse claim.
Because nursing home abuse may involve both criminal and civil violations of the law, these cases can pose a complex legal puzzle. A lawyer with the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand your legal rights and your options for pursuing a claim.
We understand how difficult this time can be for you and your family. We provide a complimentary consultation and case review to help you determine the next step. Call us today at 800-747-3733 to schedule an appointment or to speak directly with a local nursing home abuse lawyer.