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 other caregiver, they may be eligible for compensation for their damages.
If your family member experienced abuse in a South Florida facility, the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine can help you recover the compensation they deserve. We can help you file a claim against the nursing home owners and administrators and hold them responsible for the harm they caused. Call our office today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a complimentary compensation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in West Palm Beach.
How can I recognize the signs of abuse or neglect?
There are a number of different types of ways nursing home residents suffer abuse. Understanding the signs of each can help you recognize abuse quickly.
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 If your loved one seems withdrawn or demonstrates fear of a particular caregiver, this employee may be using intimidation or threats when dealing with your family member.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 to a loved one 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; and
- 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.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?
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; or
- 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 have concerns of 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.
Should I contact a lawyer about my loved one’s 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.
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.
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 the nursing home in your case 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.
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 Firm of Anidjar & Levine today at 800-747-3733 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. We are ready to fight for your family.