Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Attorneys in West Palm Beach, FL, Fighting Physical Abuse in Palm Beach County and Throughout Florida
Having to put your loved one in a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions a family can make. It becomes a tragedy when employees at the home physically or sexually abuse your loved one. Our West Palm Beach nursing home physical abuse lawyers can help you find justice and compensation for your loved one.
The elderly and incapacitated are among the most vulnerable in society, so they need us to stand up for them. Unfortunately, statistics suggest that one-third of certified nursing homes have been cited for some kind of abuse. The most severe physical abuse can range from sexual abuse to assault and forceful restraints.
Most nursing homes today are run by corporates, often on shoestring budgets. Due to loopholes in weak regulations, these companies get away with severe understaffing and hiring incompetent, underpaid workers. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect, our expert nursing home abuse lawyers can help you sue these negligent owners.
What to Do About Nursing Home Physical Abuse in Palm Beach County and Throughout Florida
Physical abuse refers to any kind of physical pain, injury, or impairment due to neglect or intentional mistreatment. It’s important to take immediate steps to stop the abuse and get the relevant authorities involved.
The first step is to notify the police, adult protective services, and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA/NCAL). They will ensure your loved one is removed from the abusive home and the offenders are handled by the law.
After that, you should consult nursing home sexual abuse attorneys in West Palm Beach, FL, to discuss your legal options about suing the nursing home.
How to Recognize Nursing Home Physical and Sexual Abuse
It can be difficult to see the signs of physical or sexual abuse since many nursing homes are good at hiding these terrible deeds. Seniors often feel too embarrassed, ashamed, or scared to talk about it, even with a loved one. However, you may be able to pick up some signs of physical abuse, such as:
- Sudden changes in behavior, where a loved one becomes withdrawn, depressed, or anxious
- A fearful demeanor that wasn’t there before, especially towards specific staff members
- Loss of interest in activities they enjoyed before
- Unexplained injuries such as sprains, fractures, and broken limbs
- Sudden changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Torn, stained, or blood-stained clothing, especially innerwear
- Unexplained STDs, infections, or vaginal bleeding
- Difficulty walking
- Medication overdose, especially of chemical restraints
Severe neglect, such as failure to provide food and water, also counts as elder abuse. If you have even a little suspicion that your loved one is being abused, it’s best to do something about it.
In addition to reporting to the authorities, West Palm Beach nursing home physical abuse lawyers can help you conduct an investigation and gather evidence that can be used in a lawsuit.
Find Out if You Have a Case for Nursing Home Physical Abuse in Palm Beach County and Throughout Florida
Knowing something happened and proving that it happened in court are two different things. Depending on the type and severity of the case, you have to bring criminal proceedings against the responsible staff members as well as a personal injury claim against the nursing home.
You’ll need evidence to prove negligence and abuse in court, as well as the defendants' liability for those actions. Some of the evidence you need includes:
- Medical records such as doctor’s notes, exam results, and prescriptions
- Files and charts from the nursing home
- Photo and video evidence
- Witness statements
- Receipts and invoices for all expenses related to the abuse case
- Admission documents to the nursing home
- Documents showing your relationship to the abused person
You can also obtain records of other cases filed against that nursing home at the local ombudsman’s office or by submitting a public request for disciplinary records with the Florida Department of Health.
Employees at nursing homes are required by law to report any cases of physical or sexual abuse, especially if the victim is in immediate danger. However, nursing homes don’t always take steps to remove or restrain an abusive elderly resident or staff member.
What Counts as Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home?
All cases of sexual abuse must be dealt with quickly and decisively. Reports indicate that 70% of all cases of elderly sexual abuse take place in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, which shows an urgent need for quick action. Examples of sexual abuse include:
- Groping or fondling
- Forceful unclothing
- Sexual assault and rape
- Being forced to participate in sexual acts
- Being forced to watch nudity or sexual acts
- Any unwanted touching
The most common offenders are fellow nursing home residents, predatory staff, or even nursing home visitors. Female residents, those with physical disabilities, and those who are neglected by family members or caregivers are particularly vulnerable.
Work With Expert Nursing Home Physical Abuse Lawyers in Palm Beach County and Throughout Florida
At Domnick, Cunningham, & Yaffa, cases of nursing home physical and sexual abuse are some of the most tragic we handle. We fight tooth and nail for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect to ensure we get justice for the victims and punish those responsible.
We’ve litigated numerous cases over the years and won tens of millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. As some of the most distinguished medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys in Palm Beach County, we have the experience, resources, and determination to get you the justice you deserve.
Talk to us today for your free case evaluation, no strings attached, to help you get started with your winning lawsuit.