Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Daytona Beach, Florida
When our loved ones and family enter the twilight years of their lives, we want to feel assured they will be treated with love and respect as they transition into a nursing home or retirement community. However, abuse and neglect in nursing homes is a very real problem that affects residents and their families. While the state of Florida has plenty of upstanding nursing facilities, it is important to understand that they have responsibilities.
When those responsibilities are neglected and the rights of the residents are abused, you have legal recourse. You can sue the employees responsible, as well as the nursing home that employed them. With the heavy burden of proof required, you’ll legal help to win the case. If you believe someone you know has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, the attorneys of the Eberst Law firm can help you hold them accountable.
What is nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse refers to any type of physical, emotional, or financial harm that happens to elderly residents of long-term care facilities. Families put their trust in these facilities to watch over their loved ones when they can no longer do it themselves. Yet these homes sometimes don’t provide the environments that families expect.
Cases of nursing home abuse have made headlines in recent years, with reports of beatings, neglect, and swindling. Many of these incidents stem from nursing home staff or other residents, but some are the result of large corporations that sacrifice proper training and quality of amenities to make a profit.
Causes of nursing home abuse
- Burnout: Nursing home staff may work long hours dealing with residents’ needs. This can be taxing, and the staff members may not have proper ways of letting out their frustrations, leading them to lash out at residents.
- Greed: Residents of nursing homes often saved for retirement throughout their lives. Staff members may try to swindle those life savings and use them for their own gain.
- Lack of supervision: Staff members may operate with a lack of supervision, meaning residents could be neglected for days at a time.
- Understaffing: Low levels of staff can place great stress on current employees – studies have shown that low nurse to resident ratios have a significant impact on the overall health of a home’s residents.
- Corporate decisions: Some nursing homes are part of a collective that is run by a corporation, which often try to maximize profits by cutting corners. They may hire staff with little to no experience for cheap and fail to properly train and monitor them.
No matter what the cause of the nursing home abuse, there is never an excuse for it. Any and all of the above can factor into a lawsuit as the main cause of the abuse, and proving them is key to winning the case.
Signs of nursing home abuse
The signs of nursing home abuse are as varied as the forms it can take. Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional or financial, with each showing different signs in the behavior of your family member.
Signs of physical abuse:
- Broken bones
- Pressure marks from grabs
- Flinching or cowering in the presence of certain staff
Signs of neglect:
- Medical needs going unattended
- Wrong prescriptions
- Unclean bedding
- Dirty clothes
- Unusual weight loss
Signs of financial abuse:
- Unexplained withdrawals from your relative’s bank account
- Checks that bounce
- Keeping Secrets
- A sudden change to their will or estate
Proving Nursing Home Abuse
If your case goes to court, you must prove to the jury that your relative in the nursing home suffered harm. Often injuries caused by staff members will be easy to prove, as injuries result in medical treatment, which leads to a paper trail. Even in instances of abuse where documentation is not done, that lack of records can also serve as evidence.
Emotional abuse can be trickier to document, and the evidence used to support a claim of emotional abuse can be as varied as the individual causes. Emotional abuse also leaves no physical evidence like bruises and cuts, making any claim of them heavily reliant on documentation.
Documentation that may prove useful in proving claims of abuse might include:
- Diaries or journals kept by the resident or their family
- Photographs of injuries, both immediately after they happen and when they have healed
- Notes of conversation with staff either kept on paper or electronically
- Photos of prescriptions given to residents, showing that they were being given medicines that they weren’t supposed to\
Getting compensation for nursing home abuse
Nobody wants to think about their relative being on the receiving end of mistreatment in their care facility. We want to give these facilities the benefit of the doubt and assume they are treating our loved ones with respect and care. But that is not always the case, and when abuse happens, it is vital we hold those responsible to account. The best way to do that is with experienced legal help.
At the Eberst Law firm, we have the legal knowledge to handle nursing home abuse cases with tact and sensitivity as we gather evidence to prove the abuse and take it to court. We can be reached online, or at 386-224-6544. Our experienced Daytona Beach team can help you and your family attain peace of mind.