Gainesville Nursing Home Abuse
Helping Victims of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida Get Compensation
One of the most difficult decisions you can make is the one to place an elderly loved on in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Such facilities are places that can handle medical and day-to-day living needs that they cannot handle on the outside themselves any longer. The hope is that the people and facilities we entrust the care of our loved ones to would provide them the same level of personal attention that they experience on the outside. Sadly, however, nursing home abuse is becoming an epidemic in the United States as more and more people reach elderhood. An estimated 5 million seniors are the victims of some form of abuse each year, and there are innumerable other cases that go unreported. If you suspect one of your loved ones in an assisted living facility is being abused, our experience attorneys can help bring the ones responsible to justice.
Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
The different types of nursing home abuse take many forms, including physical or emotional abuse. These different forms often overlap, and can include:
- Bruises or cuts that are unexplained
- Clothing that is torn or bloody
- Broken bones unrelated to a fall
- Intimidation, either through yelling, threats, or a combination
- Humiliation or degradation
- Flat-out ignoring the patient
- Isolating the patient from other residents or activities in the facility
- Terrorizing or mocking the patient
In the worse case scenario, physical abuse can lead to wrongful death.
If your loved one has been neglected you may notice:
- Some or all of their medications being administered improperly, or not being administered at all
- Clothing or bed linens that are soiled
- Dirty or unsanitary living conditions
- Obvious signs of malnourishment or dehydration
If the abuse is sexual in nature, he or she may show or suffer from:
- Bleeding around the genitals or anal area
- Symptoms of venereal disease
- Undergarments that are bloody or torn
- Bruising in intimate areas
In some cases, sexual abuse takes the form of senior citizens being forced to watch pornographic material or sex acts performed by their caretakers.
The most common form of non-physical abuse of the elderly is financial exploitation. Unscrupulous caregivers may take advantage of a senior’s mental state and:
- Misuse checks, accounts, or credit cards belonging to the elder
- Steal cash, checks or other belongings from their rooms
- Forge signatures on check or other financial documents
- Authorize withdrawals or money transfers without the elder’s consent
- Steal the elder’s identity
Frequent rackets used to swindle elders out of their money are phony charities, shady or falsified investment opportunities, or telling them they have won a “prize.”
Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home
Nothing is more frustrating and devastating then when a nursing home does not properly care for your loved one and it leads to their premature death. Luckily, Florida Statutes §400.023 allows for the family to file a wrongful death lawsuit when your loved one’s death was the result of willful or negligent actions. If you believe your loved one’s death in a nursing was the result of negligence or malice, you may be able to get justice through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Nursing homes are required to provide their residents with a certain standard of care. For example, nursing homes are required to protect their residents from: dehydration, malnutrition, slip and falls, bedsores, unsanitary conditions, infections, assault, and abuse.
If you believe your loved one’s nursing home failed to do so, you will need to work with a personal injury attorney to prove that:
- the nursing home owed their residents a duty of care,
- that they breached that duty,
- and that the breach caused the death of your family member,
- and finally that the death created some sort of damage, like medical bills, funeral costs, or pain and suffering.
Proving these elements is not always easy, especially since elderly people often have underlying health conditions, however it is possible. Proving cases is what The Eberst Law Firm does everyday and we will work for you to prove your loved one’s wrongful death in a Florida nursing home case.
[Read: What Responsibilities Do Nursing Homes Have to Keep Seniors Safe?]
Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Gainesville
Nursing home abuse is a crime on the rise, given how often it goes unreported. If you suspect a loved one you entrusted to an assisted living facility is being abused or mistreated, you have the right to seek damages and hold them legally responsible.
We will answer any questions our clients may have, explain their legal rights, and help them through every step of this difficult process. We are committed to each client and helping them receive the compensation they deserve.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact The Eberst Law Firm online or call our Gainesville office at 772-225-4900 to discuss your case in a free consultation with one of our experienced Gainesville nursing home abuse attorneys. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys will be happy to help while exercising the understanding and care that these cases deserve.