Elder Abuse Lawyer in Palm Harbor35686 US Highway 19 N,
Palm Harbor, FL 34683
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Elder Abuse Attorneys in Palm Harbor
Florida is home to the second-largest percentage of residents at least 65 years old. The state offers year-round easy-to-take weather for the snowbirds that migrate for a winter stay or decide to make Florida their permanent home. Warm weather allows seniors to participate in a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, from shuffleboard at a beach to 18 holes of golf at one of the state’s renowned courses. Independent living communities such as The Villages provide seniors with a home nestled among the homes lived in by their peers.
However, some seniors require some degree of care, from home care provided a few times a week to facilities that offer care 24 hours a day. With such a large population of seniors living in Florida, it is not surprising to learn that the state reports an alarming number of elderly abuse cases. When you decide to place a loved one in an elder care facility, you expect the workers at the facility to treat your loved one with the utmost care and respect. Unfortunately, some elderly care facilities commit elder abuse, which in many cases does not get reported until a victim has suffered intense physical, emotional, and even financial abuse.
If a loved one is a victim of elderly abuse, act with a sense of urgency by contacting one of the elder abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor, Florida. As a type of personal injury law, elderly abuse cases require the experience and legal expertise of a lawyer who has handled similar cases in the past. One of the best elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor conducts an exhaustive investigation to discover physical evidence, as well as to speak with witnesses that include workers at the elderly care facility where your loved one lives. An elderly abuse lawyer also determines whether you have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
The team of elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor from Morgan and Morgan understand the highly sensitive nature of learning that a loved one has to deal with abuse at a facility responsible for providing quality care. Since 1988, we have helped clients located in Palm Harbor and throughout the United States fight back against the abuse committed by elderly care facilities, as well as individual caretakers that have earned a license to provide elderly care services in Florida. Our experienced elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor ensure you receive the best legal representation to deliver justice to the party or parties that hurt your loved one.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about how the elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor from Morgan and Morgan can help your loved one receive compensation for the physical and emotional pain produced by elderly abuse.
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What Are the Most Common Causes of Elderly Abuse?
After your elderly abuse lawyer and an investigator from Morgan and Morgan complete an exhaustive investigation, you should know the reason or reasons why your loved one suffered from elderly abuse. Discovering the cause of elderly abuse forms the foundation for building a strong enough case that warrants the filing of a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
The State of Florida has established a list of credentials an elderly care worker must have before working at a facility or providing care as an independent contractor. In addition to state-mandated credentials, elderly care facilities and individuals who hire independent contractors must conduct comprehensive background checks to ensure every hire does not have a criminal record, especially one that includes a history of elderly abuse charges. Improper screening allows individuals to work in the elderly care industry that should not be taking care of seniors that require special assistance.
An elderly care facility that does not have enough caretakers runs the risk of inadvertently causing harm to one or more residents. Caretakers have to assume more caretaking responsibilities during an already incredibly busy workday. The result of an understaffed facility includes workers cutting corners to provide services to every resident. Overworked employees also often miss the signs of elderly abuse. Since they are on the front line of providing elderly care, missing the signs of elderly abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and emotional scars.
One of the most important roles of an elderly care worker involves ensuring each resident takes the right medication, as well as the correct dosage. Overworked elderly care employees sometimes make medication errors that cause serious physical issues. If a resident sustains an injury caused by a medication mistake made by a facility’s pharmacist or one of the caretakers, the resident might have enough evidence to prove the facility committed at least one act of negligence.
Lack of Training
The labor crunch negatively impacting elderly care facilities across the United States has led to a decline in the quality of care received by residents. Another result of the labor crunch is facilities that recruit caretakers need to train the caretakers as quickly as possible. This can mean sacrificing the quality of training that gets workers up to speed to care for elderly residents. Working at an elderly care facility requires completing a comprehensive training program before any caretaker is given the green light to care for residents.
What Are the Signs of Abuse?
The workers on the front line of caring for elderly residents should be the first to notice any signs of abuse. However, some workers either ignore the signs or do not know how to detect the signs of elderly abuse. This means friends and family members must remain alert to notice the signs of abuse sustained by a loved one.
Bed sores and pressure ulcers indicate serious neglect. Other physical signs to look for include cuts, bruises, and lacerations. A fractured bone is another sign of elderly abuse that frequently occurs because of the frustration experienced by a caretaker. You should also be alert for signs like malnutrition and chronic fatigue. Other indicators such as dirty bed sheets and a filthy bathroom might demonstrate signs of physical abuse.
Detecting the signs of emotional abuse can be difficult to do, especially for a loved one who suffers from some form of dementia. However, if you notice the signs of depression and acute anxiety, something more than old age might be causing the emotional distress symptoms. Physical abuse can generate emotional distress issues as well, including the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Signs of physical trauma can indicate the worst type of emotional abuse.
If you are not sure whether a loved one suffers from emotional elderly abuse, consult with one of the elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor from Morgan and Morgan.
Elderly abuse is not limited to physical and emotional signs. Manipulative workers also take advantage of the vulnerability of elderly residents by committing financial abuse. Examples of elderly financial abuse include stealing sensitive data such as a bank account number or coercing a resident to delegate financial responsibilities to a caretaker. If you notice your loved one has opened a bank and/or credit card account, your loved one might be a victim of elderly financial abuse.
How Do I Report an Elderly Care Facility in Florida?
The first step to take if you detect signs of elderly abuse is to contact one of the highly-rated elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor, Florida from Morgan and Morgan. One of our experienced lawyers walks you through the process to report elderly abuse. Your attorney works with you to file an accurate and fully completed report to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) at the Florida Health Care Complaint Portal. The Florida DOH does not take phone calls that report elderly abuse at a facility or in a home care setting.
According to Florida law, the DOH must ensure your anonymity to prevent a facility or a caretaker from retaliating against your loved one. Since most elderly abuse complaints involve solving complex legal issues, your complaint might not get resolved for several months. Another benefit of hiring one of the elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor from Morgan and Morgan is that a lawyer can monitor the progress of your complaint. After your attorney helps you file a complaint with the Florida DOH, your focus should shift to the filing of a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing an Elderly Abuse Lawsuit in Florida?
Since elderly abuse is considered to be a part of personal injury law, you might expect the statute of limitations for filing a civil lawsuit to be the same for an elderly abuse case as it is for all other types of personal injury cases. Florida grants plaintiffs four years to file a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. However, for elderly abuse lawsuits, plaintiffs have just two years to meet the deadline for taking legal action. Because most elderly abuse cases require the resolution of complex legal issues, two years is not as long of a period as you might think to file a persuasive civil lawsuit.
The clock starts ticking for filing an elderly abuse lawsuit on the date of the first incident of abuse. Although detecting the physical signs of abuse is relatively easy to do, the same cannot be said for discovering the signs of emotional and financial abuse. Working with one of the experienced elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor from Morgan and Morgan can help you establish a reasonable deadline for filing an emotional or financial abuse lawsuit. If you fail to file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court clerk processing your case has the legal power to remove it from the judicial docket.
Take Action by Contacting Morgan and Morgan
When you search for one of the best elderly abuse attorneys in Palm Harbor, FL, you should consider several criteria. Morgan and Morgan offers the legal support of a lawyer who checks off every criterion box.
We have more than 30 years of experience litigating elderly abuse cases. The attorney assigned to your case specializes in handling elderly abuse cases, with a proven record of helping victims receive the compensation that they deserve. You can expect to work with a responsive communicator who provides legal support from the day of the free case evaluation to the day when your case gets resolved.
Learn more about how to win an elderly abuse lawsuit by scheduling a free case evaluation with Morgan and Morgan.