Nursing Home Abuse
The elderly population is growing, and the elderly population is at risk. Seniors are vulnerable to abuse and neglect by caregivers that can undermine their quality of life and cause serious physical harm. Nursing home abuse and neglect is illegal, and harmful. If you or someone that you love was a victim, you deserve to understand your rights. A nursing home neglect attorney can help you report the abuse and neglect to the proper authorities, and can provide assistance in pursuing a claim for compensation for losses.
What is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing homes in Florida have an obligation to their residents. Every nursing home must ensure that seniors under their care have a dignified standard of living, maintain quality of life, and have their basic needs met. Nursing homes are expected to provide reasonable quality care and to ensure that patients are not put at risk.
Unfortunately, due to understaffing, lack of training, and many other issues, nursing homes often fail to fulfill their most basic obligations. Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms, all detrimental to the health of patients. Some of the most common types of abuse include:
Physical abuse: Any type of physical harm inflicted on patients is illegal and can lead to both criminal action and civil liability. Physical abuse can range from hitting to pushing to kicking to burning and many other similar behaviors.
Emotional abuse: Name calling, belittling, withholding basic necessities, and otherwise causing emotional harm to a senior can also do serious damage. Emotional abuse can have physical consequences for seniors, causing depression, anxiety, and other medical issues.
Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse of seniors happens. Staff members of nursing homes can engage in non-consensual sexual acts. Nursing homes can also be responsible if they put senior nursing home residents at risk of being abused by other residents as a result of improper supervision or other negligent care.
Financial abuse: A senior is vulnerable to having money and property taken improperly by staff members.
Chemical restraint: The improper prescribing of antipsychotic medications in order to make a patient more docile and easier to care for is a form of nursing home abuse.
Neglect: Failure to ensure patients are fed, kept clean, provided with assistance drinking, and otherwise appropriately cared for is one of the most insidious types of nursing home abuse. Patients developing bedsores are often a clear sign of neglect.
In any situation where a nursing home fails to provide appropriate care and a senior is harmed as a result, the home may be held responsible for the abuse or the neglect that has occurred.
Consequences of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can have very real consequences. Seniors can develop bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, depression, anxiety, emotional injuries, and other physical and mental symptoms caused by the abuse. Bedsores and related infections are common when abuse or neglect occurs, and can be life-threatening. Abuse can always shorten a senior’s life and can erode a senior’s health and well-being.
The Rights of Victims
Nursing homes are responsible for the actions of their staff, and can be held accountable and made to pay damages when staff members fail. Nursing homes are also responsible if their own policies and procedures are considered negligent compared with what a reasonable facility would have done for patients.
Victims who have been harmed as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect may file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home that was responsible for them. When abuse has deadly consequences, surviving family members of a senior who is killed in a nursing home can also pursue a civil lawsuit. Claims brought by an injured senior are called personal injury cases, while those filed by surviving family members are called wrongful death claims.
Victims can settle their claims outside of court if the nursing home facility takes responsibility for the wrongdoing and makes a reasonable settlement offer. A case can also proceed to court and a jury can decide on the appropriate amount of compensation for the abuse or neglect that occurred.
Getting Help from a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Freeman Injury Law has extensive experience with nursing home abuse cases. Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to help you with your claim for damages. Give us a call today at (800) 561-7777 or contact us online to learn more about the legal services that we offer. You consultation is free, and representation is free unless we recover monetary damages for your injuries or losses.