If your loved one is being mistreated in a Florida nursing home, our attorneys may be able to help your family take appropriate legal action. In addition to helping you report the abusive behavior to the proper authorities, our St. Petersburg attorneys will review the facts of your case and determine if a lawsuit should be filed.
Through a nursing home abuse lawsuit, your family member may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering caused by the mistreatment or neglect.
If you believe your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, please fill out our free case review form to learn more about your legal options. In Florida, there is a time limit in which a nursing home abuse lawsuit may be filed, so it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs when a nursing home fails to provide care that conforms to the accepted standards of the medical community. Examples of nursing home abuse include:
Negligent Care: The nursing home staff has a duty to adhere to the healthcare standards established by the medical profession. A nursing home may be negligently providing medical care if its staff does not follow these accepted standards. Common examples of negligent care cases include poor access to medical services, failure to prevent dehydration, failure to assist with personal hygiene, and failure to maintain sanitary living conditions.
Physical, Mental, or Sexual Abuse: Physical abuse in nursing homes may involve hitting, shoving, force-feeding, requiring residents to stay in their rooms, and the inappropriate use of physical restraints. Our nursing home abuse attorneys also have experience handling lawsuits involving mental and sexual abuse.
Negligent Hiring and Understaffing: Nursing homes have a duty to hire a sufficient number of nurses and other staff members to ensure that all residents receive quality care. If a nursing home tries to cut its expenses by failing to hire enough staff members, and patients receive sub-standard care as a result, our nursing home abuse attorneys may be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.
In-Home Care Negligence: Nurses and other in-home healthcare providers can be held liable for negligent or abusive behavior that occurs in a patient’s home. For example, if an in-home nurse notices that a patient is developing bedsores and fails to take appropriate action, the nurse may liable for his or her negligence.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
The following may indicate that your loved one may be suffering from nursing home abuse:
- Unexplained injuries
- Frequent falls or bruising
- Dehydration, hunger, or weight loss
- Inability of nursing home staff to sufficiently explain a change in the resident’s medical condition
- Lethargy, unexplained withdrawal from social activities, sudden change in alertness, or depression (these conditions may be a symptom of over medication)
- Bruises on wrists or ankles, or other signs of inappropriate restraint
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Disappearance of money or valuables
In many instances, residents of Florida nursing homes fail to report the abusive behavior because of embarrassment or fear of retaliation. It is therefore important that family members remain aware of potential signs of abuse.
How Can a St. Petersburg Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Help You?
The first thing your nursing home abuse attorney will do is take measures to ensure that the abusive behavior no longer occurs. Your attorney may contact the appropriate Florida authorities to report the abuse. If the state commences an investigation, your attorney may present evidence to the investigators demonstrating the abusive behavior.
Next, your nursing home abuse attorney will evaluate the facts and evidence in your case to conclude whether filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit would be a viable option. Through the lawsuit, you could seek compensation for the harm caused to the person you care for.
In cases involving particularly appalling conduct, your attorney can help you fight for punitive damages, which are large sums of money awarded to the victim in order to punish the facility and discourage other nursing homes from engaging in similar types of misconduct. In cases that involve negligent care or physical abuse, the attorney can evaluate your loved one’s medical records and work alongside a medical expert to determine how extreme the abuse was and what role the nursing home plays.
The next step is filling out our no-risk, no-obligation case review form for more information on how our St. Petersburg attorneys may be able to help you.