legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Cape Coral Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse is a severe problem in the US, even in picture-perfect cities like Cape Coral. As the country’s older population continues to grow, more and more nursing home residents are experiencing mistreatment at the hands of the people supposed to care for them.
Has your disabled or elderly loved one suffered nursing home abuse? The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC could help you take legal action against responsible parties. Our nursing home abuse attorneys defend victims' legal rights and help them recover financial compensation for their pain and suffering.
Call our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys at (800) 926-7565 or use this contact form for a free case evaluation. Our legal team assists victims of mistreatment in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities for disabled and elderly individuals.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes physical or psychological harm to senior citizens or disabled individuals in a nursing or assisted living facility. It can result from negligence, carelessness, or malicious acts and can be perpetrated by staff members, visitors, or other residents.Types of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Knowing the type of abuse your loved one suffered can tell you the best way to help them. Mistreatment in a nursing or assisted living facility can occur in many forms, including:
Physical abuse is the deliberate use of force against a patient, resulting in injury, pain, or impairment. It includes violent acts such as kicking, slapping, burning, pinching, shoving, striking, and restraint without medical authorization.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Unexplained injuries (e.g., bruises, cuts, burns, black eyes)
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Broken eyeglasses
- Restraint or grip marks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Emotional or Mental Abuse
Mental or emotional abuse involves verbal or non-verbal acts that harm the resident psychologically. Emotional or mental abuse can involve verbal assault, intimidation, humiliation, and isolation.
Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Being withdrawn or non-responsive
- Depression or anxiety
- Strange behavior around specific individuals
- Unexplained paranoia
- Weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Frequent crying
Sexual abuse involves non-consensual sexual acts with a resident, such as groping, forced nudity, pornographic photography, verbal harassment, and rape.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Unusual behavior
- Unexplained injuries around breasts or genitals
- Sexually-transmitted diseases or genital infections
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Unexplained pregnancy
- Bruising around the groin, thighs, and upper arms
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
Financial abuse is the illegal or unauthorized manipulation of a resident’s resources, including bank accounts, credit cards, and valuables. It may involve forged checks, unauthorized bank transactions, and theft of a patient’s belongings.
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Unexplained bank transactions
- Unauthorized transactions on credit cards
- Missing belongings
- Unnecessary services on the resident’s bill
- Forged signatures on financial documents
Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide for a patient’s basic needs, intentionally or unintentionally, putting the patient’s health and well-being at risk. Neglect may involve failing to provide a patient with food, water, shelter, clothing, activity, and medical care.
Signs of Neglect
- Weight loss
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Untreated health conditions
- Inadequate heating or lighting
- Medication mistakes
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Poor hygiene
- Inappropriate clothing for the weather
- Lack of medical aids (e.g., hearing aids, walkers, glasses)
- Accumulation of untaken medication
Once you notice signs of mistreatment in your disabled or elderly loved one, ask them about their experiences in the nursing facility. If they confirm they are suffering from mistreatment, remove them from the premises and contact the authorities.
However, some victims of nursing home abuse may hesitate to speak up for fear of facing the consequences. Therefore, it is best to take your loved ones to a private setting where they feel safe enough to talk.
Abuse may also manifest through less noticeable signs, such as changes in personality or behavior. Sometimes, these signs may mimic those of mental illnesses. The indicators of elder abuse may also be similar to symptoms of dementia. If you are unsure whether your loved one is being abused or going through an unrelated problem, consult a medical professional.Factors That Lead to Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, all residents risk being mistreated in a care facility, even in high-quality nursing homes. However, the risk of abuse and neglect is much higher in facilities with the following issues:
- Understaffing: An unbalanced patient-caregiver ratio often leads to high-stress environments, which, in turn, can increase the risk of abuse. Not having enough staff members also increases incidences of neglect.
- Underqualified or Improperly Trained Staff: Disabled and elderly residents in care facilities require special care and attention. If staff members are untrained or underqualified, they may be unable to give residents the care they need.
- Poor Management: A lack of organization, accountability and proper scheduling can increase the risk of mistreatment as staff members do not have the structure they need to provide adequate patient care.
Mistreatment is always a risk in all nursing homes and assisted living facilities. However, some patients are more vulnerable than others, including:
- Patients with physical or mental disabilities
- Women and children
- Patients with access to bank accounts
- Patients not frequently visited by their loved ones
- Patients with additional needs
Mistreatment in a nursing or assisted living facility may lead to:
- Physical injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Depression and anxiety
- Monetary losses
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced family or societal ties
- Wrongful death
Common Injuries in Nursing Home Negligence Cases
The following are the most common injuries sustained by victims of nursing facility abuse:
- Hip fractures and other broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, burns
- Spinal cord trauma
- Head injuries
- Bed sores
If you suspect mistreatment in your loved one’s nursing facility, don’t hesitate to seek help. Even if your loved one’s injuries or behavioral changes are signs of something else, it is better to err on the side of caution than to let the abuse worsen.
Call the Cape Coral Police Department to report known or suspected nursing home abuse. Local law enforcement will investigate your concerns. They may file criminal charges against responsible parties if they find evidence of abuse.
You can also contact the following:
- Florida Department of Elder Abuse
- Florida Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)
- Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (ACHA)
- Florida Senior Legal Helpline
These authorities investigate nursing home negligence claims made by nursing facility residents or their families.
Call 911 if you think your loved one or another nursing home resident is in immediate danger. Remove them from the premises, if possible.Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Cape Coral
Once you determine that your loved one’s Cape Coral nursing home or assisted living facility was responsible for your loved one’s injuries, you could hold the facility accountable by filing a personal injury claim.
Your attorney must establish liability to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions (or inaction). Depending on your case, they may be multiple parties involved in your loved one’s abuse or neglect, including:
- Staff members
- Other patients
Regardless of who is responsible for the mistreatment, the nursing home or long-term care facility will be held liable for failing to prevent the abuse or neglect of their patients.
You can use the following forms of evidence to prove the nursing home’s liability:
- Medical records
- Psychological evaluations
- Photos of your loved one’s injuries
- Financial records
- Video evidence of the abuse
- Witness accounts from staff members or other patients
- Police reports
- Incident reports
- Torn or bloody clothing, broken eyeglasses
- Hospital bills
Your nursing home abuse lawyer might also source a medical expert to prove that the nursing home is responsible for your loved one’s injuries or trauma. One of our Cape Coral lawyers will tell you what forms of evidence you need to collect during your free consultation.
Filing a personal injury claim against your loved one’s nursing home or assisted living facility could help you recover the following damages:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for the costs of medical care for your loved one’s injuries or illnesses, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, and emergency transportation.
- Disability: Payment for disability-related damages if your loved one becomes disabled due to mistreatment. These damages may include loss of quality of life, mobility aids, and physical therapy.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for your loved one’s physical and psychological injuries, such as physical pain and mental anguish.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for your loved one’s loss of enjoyment in life after the abuse or neglect.
- Punitive Damages: Payment on top of compensatory damages used to punish perpetrators of abuse or neglect for their harmful behavior.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for the economic and non-economic losses resulting from your loved one’s death, including funeral and burial costs, grief, and predeath medical treatment.
The Role of Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Resolving a nursing home abuse claim requires the help of a lawyer. You can file a claim against the nursing home or assisted living facility alone, but doing so may reduce your chances of recovering a fair settlement.
Your Cape Coral nursing home abuse lawyer can help you:
- File a claim against your loved one’s nursing or assisted living facility
- Establish the liability of at-fault parties
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Negotiate settlement values with the defendant
- Manage claim-related paperwork
- Report the abuse to proper authorities in Cape Coral
- File a civil lawsuit against responsible parties, if necessary
After you file a personal injury claim against the nursing home or assisted living facility, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. However, it is unlikely that the insurance company will offer you fair compensation outright. If you accept the offer, you can no longer sue the facility for additional damages.
Your nursing home abuse lawyer will negotiate settlement values on your behalf. However, your attorney could take the case to a civil court if negotiations are unsuccessful (or if the nursing facility denies responsibility for the abuse or neglect).
If that happens, a judge or jury will hear your case. Based on the evidence from both sides, the court will decide if the defendant (nursing or assisted living facility) deserves to pay the plaintiff (you) compensation and how much they should pay.
Most nursing home abuse cases settle out of court to avoid hefty legal fees and extensive trials. But if you think that the at-fault party is not offering you the settlement you deserve, our nursing home abuse lawyers can help.
Statute of Limitations
If the case is founded on negligence, Florida law states that a person has four years from the date of the incident to take legal action against the responsible party. However, certain circumstances can modify the deadline, such as:
- When the victim was a minor at the time of the incident
- When the injuries are discovered later
- When the case involves medical malpractice
A free consultation with one of our lawyers will help determine how long you have to file a case against your loved one’s abuser.Hire a Cape Coral Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Resolve Your Case
Are you or a family member a victim of abuse or neglect in a Cape Coral nursing home? Did the mistreatment cause significant injuries, trauma, and losses to you and your family? If so, the southwest Florida nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC can help.
Our Florida nursing home abuse lawyers help victims of abuse in a nursing or assisted living facility to recover fair financial compensation through litigation or out-of-court settlements. Furthermore, our skilled attorneys help punish negligent Cape Coral nursing homes to the fullest extent of the law.
Call our Cape Coral law offices at (800) 926-7565 for a free case review. All sensitive information you share with our nursing home abuse lawyers will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.
We handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning your family does not have to pay unless we win your case.
Apart from the Cape Coral area and southwest Florida, our lawyers serve clients throughout the state, including cities such as:
- Cape Coral, FL
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Fort Myers
- North Fort Myers
- Lehigh Acres
- Port Charlotte
- Orlando, FL
- Port St. Lucie
- Tampa, FL