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The attorneys at Morgan & Morgan understand that when a family places an elderly relative in a nursing home, they expect their loved one to be treated with the utmost care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; nursing homes are capable of inflicting physical, emotional, and psychological pain through abuse or neglect.
Our Tallahassee attorneys are committed to helping nursing home residents and their families recover compensation for their distress and related costs, and most importantly, find an end to the abuse.
If you suspect or know an elderly loved one is being abused in their nursing home, it is important to contact an experienced attorney to learn about your legal options. To find out how our nursing home abuse attorneys may be able to help, please complete our case review form. Our Tallahassee office is currently offering free consultations to all potential clients.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home residents have certain rights that were established by the Nursing Home Reform Amendments. This law aims to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of nursing home residents. These rights include:
- The right to choose their own doctor and access their medical information
- The right to practice the religion of choice and to ensure the confidentiality of personal information, etc.
- The right to be free from restraints or mistreatment as a means of punishment, unless under doctor’s orders
- The right to receive information, including facility inspection results, prior notice of room changes, and knowledge of which services are covered and which require an additional fee
- The right to visits by their primary care physician, family, and friends
- The right to remain in the facility (unless the resident feels unsafe and/or a transfer to another facility is in his or her best interest)
- The right to retain their financial assets
Nursing home abuse is a violation, no matter how small, of these rights by any party employed by or associated with a nursing home. A number of parties can be held accountable for nursing home abuse, including, but not limited to, the following: the nursing home; the resident’s doctor, nurse or counselor; nursing home volunteers; and regulatory agencies that fail to properly inspect the home.
How Can a Tallahassee Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Help?
You should speak with an experienced Tallahassee nursing home abuse attorney if you believe your loved one is being abused by a nursing home or at-home care provider. Your attorney will listen to your story and note any potential signs of abuse. He or she can also speak with the resident and request a medical evaluation by your family doctor. If there is any indication of elder abuse—no matter how minor—your attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the nursing home, its staff, and regulatory agencies who oversee the nursing home.
The evidence your attorney collects will establish the basis for your lawsuit, which will seek compensation from the nursing home or other liable party. You can also use this information to report elder abuse to regulatory agencies, the state of Florida, and any other entity that oversees nursing homes in Tallahassee and the surrounding area.
Types of Abuse
Emotional Abuse is the act of intentionally inducing fear, anguish, and other mental trauma on a resident through verbal or behavioral acts. Signs of emotional abuse can include unusual behavior such as rocking, depression or other psychiatric disorders, low self-esteem, and fear.
Physical Abuse is the inflicting of physical pain, whether intentionally or because of negligence, onto a resident. In this case, staff might claim that the resident’s injuries were caused by his or her own behavior, mental condition, or motor coordination problems when, in fact, they were caused by physical abuse. Signs of physical abuse can include bruising, infections, cuts, broken bones, improper medication, or bedsores.
Financial Abuse and Elder Fraud refers to the financial exploitation of the elderly’s money or assets for the facility or employee’s own personal use.
Negligence refers to a caretaker’s failure to execute an appropriate level of care to nursing home residents. Indications of negligence can include dehydration and malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, failure to provide necessary medication, mental health issues and death.
What Type of Compensation is Availabale?
The amount of compensation you may be able to recover will hinge on the severity of the injury and the degree to which the home breached its legal responsibilities. Generally, damages can include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and in the case of death, funeral costs and related expenses.
Our attorneys will, in some cases, pursue punitive damages, which are awarded in addition to compensable damages. Punitive damages are pursued to punish the abusive home and are intended to deter future abusive or wrongful treatment of nursing home patients.
Do you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home and suspect they are being abused or neglected? If so, contact a Tallahassee nursing home attorney today to learn about your legal options and how we may be able to help. Our Tallahassee office is currently offering free consultations to all potential clients, so please complete our case review form today to learn more.