Port St. Lucie Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
No one should have to worry about a loved one’s safety in a nursing home. Sadly, some Port St. Lucie seniors suffer from physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Because its victims are elderly, frail, and usually in poor health, nursing home abuse is rarely reported. If you believe that a loved one in a skilled nursing facility suffers from abuse or neglect, you should act now.
Nursing home abuse has criminal and civil legal consequences. As a family member or concerned friend, your priority is to protect the victim from further abuse. A Port St. Lucie nursing home abuse lawyer can help you and your loved one. It is important that you know your legal options when reporting nursing home abuse and seeking a legal remedy.
If you would like to discuss a suspected nursing home abuse incident, please call 800-516-4783.
How a Port St. Lucie Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
Each year, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Agency for Health Care Administration is in charge of inspecting 683 nursing homes and 3,089 assisted living facilities (ALF). These inspections are to ensure satisfactory standards of care. This is not a guarantee that incidents of abuse and neglect are reported or resolved. That is why you should not hesitate to speak with a Port St. Lucie nursing home abuse lawyer who would act in your best interest.
A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Provides These Services
- Knowledge of nursing home law, licensing, and industry practices
- Resources to show, investigate, and report abuse and other violations
- Legal ability to seek potential compensation
- Power to speak on behalf of the victim and family members
How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The best source for discovering abuse and neglect is your loved one. However, if he or she cannot speak or communicate due to medical issues, you will need to look for other signs of neglect or abuse, such as:
- Unexplained bruises, fractures, and concussions
- Poor hygiene such as body odor and soiled clothes or bedding
- Bedrail injuries
- Sudden weight loss
- Signs of dehydration, e.g., dry skin or mouth
- Abrupt and negative change in mood, outlook, and daily activity
- Missing items or financial losses
Both the nursing home staff and owners may be responsible for abusing and neglecting their residents. A nursing home and its employees could be liable for recoverable damages including:
- Medical bills including paying for specialists
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Related expenses such as moving to a different facility
- Punitive damages
How to Establish Liability in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Florida law may hold a nursing home responsible whether the abuse was intentional or accidental. This is “intentional misconduct” and “gross negligence”. An example of intentional misconduct is hitting or assaulting a nursing home resident. Allowing a bedridden resident to lie in soiled bedding that results in skin ulcers is an example of gross negligence.
A Port St. Lucie nursing home abuse lawyer has the resources to show liability. Several elements determine liability in a nursing home abuse lawsuit:
- Did the facility fail in its duty of care? Duty of care is the legal responsibility of the nursing home to protect and care for its residents. This includes adequate staff, training, and supplying a safe living environment.
- Did the facility knowingly breach its duty? This is also known as negligence, such as failure to sanitize medical equipment or to keep hallways clear of trip hazards.
- Did the facility intentionally or indirectly cause harm? The nursing home could be held liable if it caused injuries or death.
- Did the facility cause the victim to suffer damages? The facility may be compelled to pay for the victim’s physical, mental, or financial damages.
If you want to pursue a lawsuit against a nursing home, you must be aware of the statute of limitations. You only have two years under Florida law. If your loved one died from nursing home negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from a wrongful death lawsuit. You should consult a law firm who has successfully resolved nursing home abuse cases.
What Happens if You Seek Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse
A Port St. Lucie nursing home abuse lawyer understands the legal requirements for liability, the statute of limitations, and other key factors. A nursing home abuse attorney cannot guarantee the outcome of any case. However, many nursing abuse law firms do not charge attorney fees unless or until they were successful in recovering damages. You should consider your legal options and act in the best interest of your loved one.
Preparing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Each law firm has its own procedures, but typically a nursing home abuse lawsuit case involves:
- Investigation to gather evidence of abuse, including medical bills and witness statements.
- Research of prior violations, state law, and legal precedence.
- Consultation with elder abuse specialists.
- Negotiation with the nursing home, its insurance companies, or related parties to seek a settlement without a trial.
- Litigation in a courtroom where evidence is presented, and a verdict is reached.
If a nursing home is found liable, it could face significant civil and even criminal consequences. In extreme cases, the facility might be temporarily or permanently closed.
A Port St. Lucie Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Loved One’s Rights
Seniors keep their rights as citizens. In addition, they have special residents’ rights that are protected by state and federal laws. The most important of these rights is to live in a safe and decent place without abuse or neglect. A Port St. Lucie nursing home abuse lawyer can help protect these rights. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected, please call 800-516-4783 for a free consultation.