Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys In Florida
Nursing homes are supposed to be places where elderly adults go to receive round-the-clock supervision and medical care. Placing a loved one into a nursing home is often a difficult decision for the individual’s family. However, it is frequently the only possibility for people who can no longer live independently. When we choose a nursing home for our loved ones, we trust the facility and its staff to treat them with dignity and provide the appropriate care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Cases of nursing home abuse and neglect occur all too often; this issue is particularly relevant in Florida, which has a higher proportion of elderly adults than other states.
The Florida nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience successfully representing clients in personal injury cases. Our attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse and neglect victims. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. We work on a contingency fee, meaning you do not pay attorneys’ fees unless we win your case.
How Do Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Happen?
Nursing home residents often need constant supervision and medical care. If the nurses and other caregivers are not diligent in their jobs, residents in nursing homes can sustain serious injury, illness and death. Sometimes nursing home residents are hurt through direct abuse, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse or financial abuse.
In other situations, nursing home injuries result from neglect. This is particularly true when a nursing home is understaffed and caregivers are overworked, making it easy to forget certain tasks or overlook red flags.
Cases of nursing home abuse and neglect are unacceptable. Sadly, however, cases often go unidentified. This is partly due to the fact that many residents are unable to communicate abuse or neglect, or may not even realize that it is occurring. Some abusers take advantage of this vulnerable population, knowing their actions will go unpunished. Even when residents do report abuse, many times their complaints are not believed.
CNN released an investigative report in February 2017 calling attention to sexual abuse in nursing homes. “It’s impossible to know just how many victims are out there,” CNN reported. “But through an exclusive analysis of state and federal data and interviews with experts, regulators and the families of victims, CNN has found that this little-discussed issue is more widespread than anyone would imagine.”
“Even more disturbing: In many cases, nursing homes and the government officials who oversee them are doing little — or nothing — to stop it.”
How to Recognize Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect often cannot speak up for themselves. As such, it is helpful to beware of certain signs that could possibly indicate that a resident is being abused or neglected. These hidden signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Injuries from falling
- Unexplained bruises
- Bone fractures
- Drug overdose
According to Mayo Clinic, bedsores typically appear on bony areas of the body such as the heels, hips or tailbone. Bedsores are caused by unrelieved pressure, friction, humidity and poor nutrition. These lesions are also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers. Bedridden nursing home residents can develop bedsores if they are not being moved or turned frequently enough.
If your loved one died in a nursing home and you suspect that they suffered from abuse or neglect, look at the death certificate to see if any injuries or accidents are listed. If so, it could be cause for suspicion. In Florida, you may bring a claim for wrongful death if the nursing home abuse was a significant contributing cause; it does not have to be the only cause of death.
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the authorities immediately. Document the abuse as best you can, including taking pictures of injuries. Contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today.
Damages in a Nursing Home Lawsuit
In Florida, a nursing home abuse victim or their family can recover certain damages related to the abuse. This includes medical expenses related to the injury, even if costs were covered by an insurance company or Medicare/Medicaid. Nursing home abuse lawsuits can also recover for lost wages, both past and future.
Many Florida nursing home lawsuits allege wrongful death. A Florida nursing home wrongful death claim alleges that a person’s death was caused by a wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract or warranty.
Survivors in a wrongful death claim can seek damages for mental pain and suffering for loss of a spouse or parent, lost companionship, medical/funeral expenses, lost support and services and loss of protection and guardianship. The estate can also recover damages for lost earnings, loss of net accumulations, and medical and funeral expenses.
Florida Nursing Home Negligence Case Produces $1.1B Verdict
In 2013, a Polk County jury awarded $1.1 billion to the family of a Florida woman who died at Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center in Auburndale. The nursing home negligence lawsuit was filed in 2009. The wrongful death claim states that the decedent lived in the facility from 2004 until her death in 2007.
According to the negligence claim, the woman fell repeatedly at the nursing home and did not receive the proper supervision. The suit named Trans Healthcare Inc. and Trans Healthcare Management as defendants. A default judgment was entered against the companies in 2011 when they stopped participating in the lawsuit. Jurors were only asked to determine total cost of damages and not liability. The verdict is one of the largest ever handed down against a nursing home.
The companies were hit with a $114 million nursing home abuse verdict in 2010. The verdict was handed down by a different Polk County jury.
Filing a Florida Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuit
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit, contact one of our Florida personal injury attorneys today. Parker Waichman offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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