Tragically, the mistreatment and neglect of the elderly residents in nursing homes happens every day and can take the form of physical, emotional, and/or financial abuse. If you suspect that an elderly loved one is being abused, mistreated, or neglected, you should consider reaching out to one of the personal injury attorneys at Domnick Cunningham & Yaffa. A Belle Glade nursing home abuse lawyer could investigate your situation to determine whether you should take legal action against the facility and its staff members to pursue justice for you and your family. En Español.
Signs of Elderly Abuse
Neglect and abuse of the elderly can manifest in many ways. For example, the following could be signs that something is wrong:
- Inexplicable open wounds
- Rapid weight loss
- Medication errors
- Stolen or missing items
- Unsanitary conditions such as dirty clothes or unchanged bed sheets
- The individual seems nervous or distant
- The staff does not permit the resident’s loved ones to visit with them alone
- The individual wants to be left alone or denies visitors
- The individual appears to be out of it or heavily sedated
Any sudden or dramatic behavioral changes could indicate abuse. Additionally, abused residents rarely tell their families something is wrong because of shame, fear, or embarrassment. In certain cases, especially vulnerable residents may be unable to communicate or understand that abuse is taking place.
The Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Those living in nursing homes and assisted living communities in the state of Florida are protected under both state and federal laws. Florida Statute §400.022 establishes the basic rights of nursing home residents, some of which include:
- To be free from physical and mental abuse, prolonged involuntary seclusion, corporal punishment, and chemical and physical restraints other than those ordered by an individual’s doctor
- To be treated fairly, courteously, and with dignity
- To be afforded uncensored and private communication
- To recommend changes in polices and voice grievances without interference, restraint, discrimination, reprisal, or coercion
- To be visited by any individual providing social, health, legal, or other services
In order for a Belle Glade lawyer to bring a successful nursing home abuse claim, they must work to establish several elements. For instance, it is essential to prove that the facility and its staff members owed a duty of care to the resident, violated this duty, and subsequently caused the resident’s injury, loss, damage, or untimely passing.
A claimant could pursue economic damages related to their injuries, including past and future medical bills associated with any necessary surgeries, medicine, physician’s visits, specialists, therapy, and rehabilitative services. The individual could also sue for non-economic damages to offset intangible losses such as pain and suffering and emotional turmoil. Furthermore, if the resident died because of improper care or negligence, their surviving relatives may file a wrongful death claim with the help of an attorney.
Local Nursing Home Regulations
Florida Statutes §429.296 establishes the statutory deadline that all civil lawsuits must adhere to, although the time frame varies depending on the nature of the claim. It generally gives plaintiffs two years to pursue legal action for nursing home abuse.
If an injured resident or their surviving relatives delay in filing their claim, they could be barred from recovering any damages whatsoever. Those seeking legal remedies for elderly abuse or neglect should consult with a Belle Glade attorney to learn which deadline applies in their case.
Have Your Case Evaluated by a Belle Glade Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Compensation recovered in a successful nursing home abuse case could help families and their loved ones heal from the mistreatment they suffered and hold the facility as well as its staff members accountable. If your loved one suffered an injury, emotional distress, or even a wrongful death in an assisted living facility, reach out to a Belle Glade nursing home abuse lawyer now to schedule a consultation.
Speak to a member of our team today.