legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
In 2008, over thirty-one percent of Florida (FL) nursing homes unlawfully used chemical restraints to restrain patients. Also, fifteen percent of FL nursing facility residents developed pressure sores because of neglect.
According to data maintained by Medicare, 692 nursing homes rated in the state regularly monitor through inspections, investigations, and surveys. Of these facilities, 159 (twenty-three) of the Florida nursing homes were deemed below average compared to national statistics after investigators identified serious deficiencies and violations.
A Florida Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help Hold Negligent Facilities Accountable
Was your loved one injured, abused, neglected, or died unexpectedly while residing in a nursing facility?
If so, contact the Florida nursing home abuse lawyers at the Nursing Home Law Center to discuss your claim for compensation during a free case evaluation to recover your damages.
Until anything is done to improve these disturbing conditions in nursing home facilities, nursing home residents have legal grounds to pursue claims against assisted living facilities for their injuries.
A Florida nursing home abuse attorney will aggressively conduct their investigation of a nursing home facility and hold influential individuals in these facilities accountable for their disturbing and neglectful actions.
Each of our affiliated Florida nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to getting justice for your loved one. All of our nursing home negligence cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where we only receive a legal fee when we are successful in obtaining a financial recovery for you.
A Signs of Abuse in Florida Nursing Homes
Family members must recognize signs of abuse when they occur in nursing home facilities.
The resident could suffer from injuries which frequently are related to nursing home negligence:
- Pressure sores / bed sores
- Infections or sepsis
- Open wounds
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Physical discomfort
- Silence and fear of speaking in front of caretakers
- Depression and constant anxiety
- Broken or fractured bones
- Weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden death
Family members and staff workers noticing a resident suffering unexplained serious injury should file a report with the appropriate authority and get in touch with a Florida nursing home abuse attorney.
Florida Nursing Home Laws to Protect Seniors
The State of Florida maintains strict laws regarding caregiving center residents' rights and standards that the nursing staff must meet. The Florida law governing standards of nursing homes can be found in Chapter 59A-4.
For example, every nursing home must appoint a full-time employee to ensure patient records' confidentiality. The resident's condition might be compromised if the nursing staff left out pertinent information in their medical records.
State laws have been designed to protect against the exploitation of elderly and disabled individuals. Abuse occurs when a worker intentionally inflicts injury or willfully neglects a resident.
A worker who commits this abuse will be liable for a third-degree felony punishable by Florida Statutes s.775.082, s.775.083, or s.775.084.
Nursing home residents are also entitled to specific rights under Florida law, including the right to:
- Private communications
- Freedom from restraint and coercion
- Manage their personal financial affairs
- The informed of medical treatments and recommendations
- Receive adequate medical treatment when necessary
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Be free of physical abuse and sexual harm
Do you suspect that your loved one's rights have been violated under state law? If so, speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you today.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Report with the State of Florida Authorities
If you suspect your loved one is not being properly cared for in a Florida long term care facility you can report the incident to Florida's Ombudsman's Office.
The state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Office handles reports of abuse and fraud in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and conducts an inspection into the abuse.
Once a report is filed, investigators will review the complaint. Emergency protective services might be necessary to remove your loved one from the nursing home facility for their protection.
The state currently maintains a statewide system of seventeen district councils with a volunteer ombudsman that can be contacted at any time.
Get Help from Florida Nursing Home Lawyers Today
Do you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home? If so, protect their rights with help from Florida nursing home abuse attorneys.
We use our decades of experience to help families and residents throughout Florida, including in cities such as:
- Cape Coral
- Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Fort Myers
- Orlando, FL
- Port St. Lucie
- St. Petersburg
- Tampa, FL
Florida nursing home abuse lawyers can aggressively protect your loved one by fighting for the compensation they deserve. Please schedule an initial consultation with one of our lawyers today to begin the process.
Cases Involving Nursing Home Neglect
At its most basic level, neglect refers to any situation where nursing home staff members fail to provide the prescribed medical care to elderly patients. When the medical needs of patients go unmet, a patient may suffer an acute illness or a gradual decline to the point when they require outside medical care or even die.
Situations involving neglect in a nursing home include:
- Bed sores (discussed in more detail below)
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Medication errors
- Dropped patients
- Clogged breathing tubes
- Broken bones
- Systemic infection or sepsis
Call them what you like, when a facility's systemic neglectful care results in an injury or death of a patient, the family may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the facility to recover compensation for the patient injury under Florida law.
In order to determine the viability of a case against a nursing home, medical records from the facility examine the type of medical care that was prescribed versus the care that was provided.
In some circumstances, a nurse or doctor will review the patient's medical chart to evaluate the conduct of the facility to determine if there was negligence.
Once nursing home negligence has been established, the experts will need to establish that the facilities negligence caused the patient's injury or death.
These cases can be very fact dependent and require the input of a skilled personal injury or nursing home abuse attorney to fully evaluate the circumstances.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serving Florida Victims of Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers
There has been a significant increase in the demand for nursing home beds throughout the state in recent years.
A survey conducted by the nonprofit Florida Center for Nursing shows that by 2015 more than 11,000 additional registered nurses will be needed in the state to accommodate the health requirements of the aging population.
One of the most common types of nursing home negligence cases involves the development of pressure sores or bed sores in residents.
A bed sore develops when staff allow residents to sit or lay in bed in one position for long periods of time. Gradually, blood flow to the tissue decreases and the tissue dies creating an open wound.
The most common areas for the development of bed sores include:
Once an open wound has developed, patients are at a heightened risk for serious illnesses and infections which can be life threatening.
Each nursing home abuse lawyer at the Nursing Home Law Center LLC is committed to holding negligent nursing facilities and caregivers accountable for their negligent health care.
Did your loved one develop a pressure sore after being admitted to a medical facility?
If so, call us for a free review of your legal options.
There are strict time constraints for pursuing a case based on the state statute of limitations. Start legal action today and begin the legal process of determining who is responsible for your loved one's developing pressure ulcer.
Cases Involving Florida Nursing Home Abuse
Cases involving abusive care are particularly troubling as there is an element of intentional conduct.
Many cases of elder abuse in Florida nursing homes are perpetuated by staff who may be poorly trained or inadequately screened to safely care for an elderly resident.
Situations involving nursing home abuse may involve:
- Sexual abuse and exploitation
- Physical abuse
- Financial abuse
- Failing to remove aggressive residents from a facility
- Ignoring the medical needs of a nursing home resident to the point they become seriously injured or die
While some episodes of nursing home abuse may be readily apparent, other cases may not be as apparent.
A nursing home abuse lawyer with experience prosecuting these cases can investigate these cases and can help get you answers about how and why an incident occurred.
Nursing Home Abuse Injury FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions raised by families who suspect their loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect in a Florida nursing home. We appreciate that these questions may give rise to additional questions.
We welcome you to reach out to an affiliated nursing home abuse attorney who can address any questions you have about your situation.
We always offer a free consultation and only charge a legal fee when there is a recovery for you.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the five leading causes of abuse harming vulnerable adults and children include:
- Physical assault involving physical restraint, pinching, choking, slapping, and kicking;
- Sexual abuse or assault involving non-consensual inappropriate sexual contact like rape, sodomy, unwanted touching, coercion, sexual humiliation, sexual intimidation, indecent exposure, and sharing sexually explicit pornography;
- Negligence involving action or inaction depriving vulnerable patients of access to water, food, medication, clothing, emotional abuse or health care, or creating an unhealthy or unsafe environment;
- Financial abuse or exploitation involving thievery of a patient's credit cards, cash, personal belongings, or access into their bank account
What Are the Signs That Someone is a Victim of Florida Nursing Home Abuse?
Elder home and assisted living patients are incredibly vulnerable to any form of neglect or abuse, including sexual assault, physical abuse, neglect, emotional distress, or financial exploitation.
Common indicators that someone might be a victim of elder abuse or neglect include:
- Lacerations, bruising, black eyes, welts, burns, and rope marks
- Extreme sedation (chemical restraint)
- Bruises and marks on the wrist (physical restraint)
- Unexpected behavioral changes
- Unexplained bleeding from the vagina or anus
- Open sores, cuts, puncture wounds, and unexplained injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases and genital infections
- Bloodied, torn, or stained underclothing
- Unexplained bruising around the breasts and in the genital area
- Emotional agitation
- Evidence of sodomy, rape, or sexual assault
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Unresponsive behavior when the victim becomes withdrawn
- Inadequate medical care
- Unsafe, hazardous, or dangerous conditions
- Not administering prescribed drugs according to the doctor's orders
Can You Sue a Florida Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility Where Your Family Member Was Abused or Neglected?
Yes, any victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in a Florida nursing home neglect or abuse can file a civil lawsuit against the facility. In the case where the nursing home's care results in a patient injury, the family may file a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Like other types of Florida personal injury cases, damages in nursing home abuse lawsuits can recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Surviving family members who lost a loved one by the reckless actions of others could file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for:
- Hospitalization costs
- Medical care expenses
- Diagnostic, occupational, physical, and rehabilitation therapies
- Lost past and future earning
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Non-tangible damages including pain and suffering, grieving, mental anxiety, and emotional harm
If you have questions about the viability of a lawsuit against a nursing home, contact an affiliated Florida nursing home abuse lawyer for a free consultation.
How Much is a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Case Worth?The value of a nursing home abuse case is dependent on a variety of factors that involve the individual who was injured and the facility itself.
The combination of the factors below can influence the outcome of the case and ultimately how much the occurrence is worth.
Factors that impact the value of a nursing home neglect case include:
- The severity of the injury to the resident: Generally the more severe an injury, the more value a potential case has.
- Amount of medical care required and amount of the medical bills: Medical bills are an element of economic damages available in a nursing home abuse lawsuit and impact the value of a case.
- Age of the individual who was injured: As cold as it may sound, the life-expectancy of the individual who was injured plays a role in how cases are valued. Generally, the younger the individual the more value a case has.
- Conduct of the facility: When a facility's conduct is particularly culpable, a jury may make an award that is in line with the severity of the conduct.
- Amount of insurance coverage: Many claims and lawsuits involving cases of nursing home negligence and abuse against skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities are paid by the insurance company who insures the facility. Some facilities may not have sufficient assets to satisfy a judgment against them, so they would be dependent on an insurance company to satisfy a judgment or settlement.
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serving Victims of Skin Breakdown, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers
There has been a significant increase in the demand for nursing home beds throughout the state in recent years. A survey conducted by the nonprofit Florida Center for Nursing shows that by 2015 more than 11,000 additional registered nurses will be needed in the state to accommodate the health requirements of the aging population.
However, the demand for highly trained nurses is already not being met, which places many nursing home residents at risk of harm while under the supervision of understaffed and overworked medical professionals.
The Florida bedsore lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center LLC are committed to holding negligent nursing homes and caregivers accountable for their negligent health care. Did your loved one develop a pressure sore after being admitted to a medical facility? If so, contact our office for a free review of your legal options.
There are strict time constraints for pursuing a lawsuit based on the state statute of limitations. Start legal action today and begin the legal process of determining who is responsible for your loved one's developing pressure ulcer.
Families are often separated from their aging loved ones who have retired in the southern state. When the time arises, families might be forced to place them in a nursing home to assist them with their health and daily activities.
Families trust that the nursing facility will provide quality medical care and necessities to their loved ones.
Unfortunately, nursing homes with no vacancies are often understaffed or fail to sufficiently train the nursing staff to handle daily care's common health issues. Understaffing often results in patients becoming victims of neglect, suffering harm like facility-acquired pressure sores.
Life-Threatening Pressure Wounds
Bedsores (pressure sores, pressure wounds, decubitus ulcers, pressure ulcers) are injuries to the patient's skin and underlying tissue. The sore begins to develop when pressure is applied to bony areas that touch the bed, chair, or other body parts.
Bedridden elderly patients and those unable to readjust their body position could quickly develop skin ulcers, even with mild pressure on an ankle, heel, buttocks, sacrum, spine, shoulder blades, shoulder, or back of the head.
Responsibly managed nursing homes create and implement monitoring protocols to ensure every patient is kept free from developing skin ulcers. The protocol usually involves assessing the patient's skin at the beginning of every nursing shift change.
Any noticeable sign of a developing sore is recorded in the patient's chart to alert the doctor to begin steps to heal the wound. Additional protocols require that the patient be turned or readjusted at least one time every two hours.
During the early stages, pressure wounds can advance to a reddening inflamed sore. Without treatment, the wound can degrade to a severe condition, where fat, muscle, tendons, and bone are exposed.
At this advanced age, the elderly patient could easily acquire a blood infection (sepsis) or bone infection (osteomyelitis). In advanced stages, the pressure sore can be tough to treat and will often cause permanent damage or lead to death.
Facility-acquired pressure wounds might be evidence of legally actionable medical malpractice.
Many families living too far away from the long-term care facility cannot regularly visit and are not always aware when their loved one develops a pressure sore.
When the family is notified of a changing health condition, the sore is often in its advancing stages where it has already caused significant harm or death.
A Sign of Negligence on the Part of the FL Facility Where the Wound Developed
Pressure wounds are extremely easy to avoid when trained nursing home employees follow proper protocols. Alternatively, facility-acquired sores are usually an indicator of negligence at the facility.
If your loved one developed pressure wounds, consider talking with an experienced Florida personal injury law firm to take action to stop the negligence and mistreatment.
Below is a list of reputable professionals who can assist the family in providing various legal options, including bringing in highly skilled medical professionals specialized in treating difficult pressure ulcer cases.
If you are looking for an attorney to assist with the investigation or prosecution of a nursing home abuse occurrence involving pressure sores or another severe injury, visit the pages below:
- St. Petersburg Pressure Sore & Nursing Home Attorneys
- Miami Nursing Home Abuse & Decubitus Sore Lawyers
- Tampa Pressure Wound & Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys
- Orlando Nursing Home Neglect & Pressure Ulcer Attorneys
- Jacksonville Nursing Home & Pressure Sore Lawyers
- West Palm Beach Pressure Sore & Elder Home Attorneys
Hiring a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer For Your Loved One
Have you noticed any signs of nursing home abuse involving a loved one and want to file a personal injury compensation lawsuit or wrongful death claim?
Time is of the essence. All documents must be submitted in the appropriate county courthouse before the state statute of limitations expires.
The Florida nursing home negligence lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center LLC can take immediate legal action to stop the harm and hold all parties responsible for the injury accountable for their action. Contact our law firm today or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Our personal injury lawyers follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Look here for a thorough discussion of pressure wound settlements and case valuations.