Nursing Home Abuse
Frail older adults with functional limitations are increasingly referred to a long-term care provider, usually home health agencies, hospices, adult day cares, assisted-living facilities and nursing homes.
Nursing home abuse attorneys at Freeman Injury Law know many of these elder adults are especially vulnerable to abuse because they are unable or afraid to speak up. Our experienced legal team has demonstrated proven success in securing significant awards in nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012, estimated 8 million adults receiving these type of services, with roughly 1.4 million of those in nursing homes. In Florida, there are more than 72,000 nursing home residents.
These figures are expected to grow exponentially in the coming years – as are the incidents of nursing home abuse, neglect and negligence. As it stands, one in three nursing homes was cited for instances of abuse during a recent two-year period.
Our nursing home neglect attorneys seek not only to recover compensation for abused nursing home residents, but to hold nursing home staffers and executives accountable. Facilities that negligently hire or train staff, fail to provide proper supervision, slack on sufficient staffing levels or do not establish or follow appropriate care plans need to answer for their actions. We want to make sure these kinds of incidents don’t continue to happen.
Of those who turn 65 this year, an estimated 70 percent are going to need some form of long-term care at some point in their lives. According to the CDC, this industry currently rakes in between $210 billion to $306 billion annually. With access to these kinds of resources, there is no excuse for inadequate elderly care.
Some common forms of nursing home abuse and neglect in South Florida include:
- Physical abuse. This involves not just physical contact, but also force-feedings, overmedication and excessive use of physical or chemical restraints.
- Emotional abuse. This often refers to verbal threats or degradation, isolation, sarcasm or insults. In some cases, it may involve emotional manipulation intended to influence a resident for one’s own advantage.
- Sexual abuse. This involves any form of unwanted sexual contact or encounters wherein the patient is to weak or ill to provide consent. It may involve a staffer, fellow patient or visitor. Regardless, facilities have a duty to ensure patients are safe at all times.
- Financial abuse. This is any misappropriation of funds, property or other assets belonging to the elderly patient.
- Neglect. This is when a caretaker fails to provide adequate care, including maintenance of personal hygiene, ample food, shelter and clothing, failure to secure appropriate medical treatment or address certain health and safety standards. It also can manifest itself in the form of falls, where staffers fail to protect patients from unnecessary injuries due to falling. Falls account for approximately 40 percent of all preventable emergency department visits among nursing home patients. Bed sores are also common among neglected nursing home residents, as they occur when staff forget or intentionally avoid frequently moving the patient.
- Medical malpractice. This would typically involve failures of care by the nurse, physician’s assistant or doctor on staff at the nursing home. Health care providers who breach the applicable standard of care and harm residents as a result may be subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In Florida, oversight for inspection and licensing of nursing homes is provided by the Agency for Health Care Administration. Each month, the agency reports dozens of violations, resulting in actions ranging from fines to license revocation.
Still, these actions don’t directly benefit patients who have suffered abuse. These individuals must seek counsel from an experienced nursing home neglect or abuse attorney.
Potential grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit may include:
- Negligent hiring. Staffers must be properly qualified, have the necessary education for the position and not display a history of abuse. If a facility fails to perform background checks and residents suffer injury as a result, the facility may be held liable.
- Inadequate training. Nursing home workers must be adequately trained to work with disabled, frail and elderly patients. This too often does not happen.
- Understaffing. A nursing home may have the best-trained, best-qualified staff in the state, but neglect and abuse may still occur if there aren’t enough people to provide the appropriate level of care. When staff members can’t spend enough one-on-one time with each patient, residents are vulnerable to neglect.
- Third-party liability. This might be applicable if a resident was harmed by another resident or guest. The facility has a duty to ensure residents are safe, and when there is not enough security or supervision, and personal injury or death results, a lawsuit may be in order.
- Breach of regulatory or statutory rights. Nursing home residents are entitled by law to receive dignity, privacy and autonomy. When those rights are violated, facilities should be held accountable.
- Medication mistakes. Facilities must be cautious to ensure patients get the right medication in the proper doses and the appropriate time. Errors in this regard can have severe consequences, and may be grounds for a lawsuit.
At Freeman Injury Law, we understand these cases are both sensitive and complex. We are prepared to fight for just compensation for you and/or your loved one.
Contact Freeman Injury Law at 1-800-561-7777 for a free consultation and review of your claim. You may also email attorney Dean Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Choosing a nursing home in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm
- Florida Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys/Bed Sores
- Physical and sexual abuse
- Malnutrition / Dehydration
- Nursing Home Rights
- Nursing home guide & nursing home ratings
- Nursing home complaints
- Nursing home abuse
- Choosing a nursing home lawyer
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