When it is time to seek nursing home care for your loved one, not all facilities are as shiny on the inside as they are on their glossy brochures. Worse, the people entrusted to care for your aging parent or spouse may not have their best interests at heart. Florida has many nursing homes and assisted living facilities to choose from. Many companies make it nearly impossible to tell a good facility from a bad one at first glance.
If you suspect a nursing home or assisted living facility has abused or neglected someone close to you, do not hesitate to contact a Bradenton nursing home abuse lawyer. At James Horne Law PA, our compassionate, detail-oriented nursing home abuse lawyers in Bradenton, Florida, can help you resolve issues with your loved one’s care and obtain the compensation you deserve for any harm your family has suffered.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot. It can be especially hard to notice if your family member struggles to communicate or has member problems. Even families who visit regularly and participate in their loved one’s care can miss signs of abuse if the staff is on their best behavior when you visit.
Some signs of nursing home and assisted living abuse and neglect can include:
- Inexplicable bruises, cuts, and injuries on your family member’s body;
- Bedsores on relatives who are not bedridden;
- Significant weight loss or dehydration with no medical explanation;
- Significant change in behavior like sudden depression, anxiety, or mood swings;
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities;
- Isolation from family;
- Discomfort or agitation at the presence of a particular member of staff, particularly if your family member is non-verbal;
- Unexplained loss of medical devices like hearing aids, glasses, or mobility aids; and
- Missing valuables and mail.
This list is not exhaustive, and any one item on this list may have a reasonable explanation. However, if you notice several of these issues at any one time, then it may be time to contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Bradenton.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?
Elder abuse in nursing homes is not only grounds for a lawsuit in Florida, but it is also a serious crime. While most healthcare workers in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are caring individuals who are passionate about the work they do, the sheer volume of such facilities across Florida increases the chances of having bad actors within the system. In fact, a recently conducted study by the Office of the Inspector General concluded that elder abuse and cases of nursing home neglect may be a seriously underreported issue.
Nursing home abuse can consist of physical abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Even if your loved one does not exhibit bruises or physical injuries, they may still be suffering from nursing home abuse. If you suspect your relative is being abused in any way, discuss your concerns with our Bradenton nursing home abuse lawyer today.
What Is Neglect?
Neglect in the nursing home or assisted living context occurs when staff does not attend to the basic needs of the resident. Signs of neglect can include:
- Pressure ulcers or skin damage;
- Malnutrition and dehydration;
- Unexplained weight gain;
- Confusion and disorientation in non-dementia patients;
- Mismanaged medication, including running out of medication too soon or having leftover medication;
- Soiled clothes, dirty appearance, and unkempt bedding; and
- Lack of ability or willingness to participate in activities or to see visitors.
If you observe these things happening at your family member’s nursing home, or with your loved one, you may be witnessing signs of neglect. Be sure to discuss the matter with staff. Bring any further concerns to an experienced nursing home neglect attorney if they are not satisfactorily resolved.
Components of a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Claim
Similar to many other types of personal injury cases, if your loved one’s rights under Florida nursing home laws are violated while residing in a care home, and your relative is injured as a result, then they or an authorized representative may be able to sue the nursing home or assisted living facility.
At James Horne Law, we can help you build your nursing home abuse and neglect claim by gathering physical evidence and reports about the ways your family member’s rights may have been violated. We use this information to show how this violation of rights impacted your loved one’s physical and mental state. We also use eyewitness testimony, medical reports, and other information to establish any monetary losses your family suffered. Working with a Bradenton nursing home abuse lawyer can help you achieve the best financial outcome for your family.
Damages Available for Nursing Home Abuse
Victims in nursing home abuse or neglect cases are often eligible to recover compensation—also known as damages—for their losses. The amount of recoverable compensation varies from case to case, but may include the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Pain and suffering (including psychological damage), and
- Funeral and burial expenses.
While no one wants to think about their loved one dying as the result of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it is an unfortunate possibility. Speak with a Bradenton nursing home abuse lawyer if you think your family member’s death may have been caused by abusive actions at their nursing home, assisted living, or long-term care facility.
Nursing Home Abuse Claim Statute of Limitations
Speaking with a Bradenton nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as you suspect harm to your family member is essential. According to Florida’s statute of limitations, you have two years from the date that you became aware or should have been aware of the nursing home abuse or neglect to file your claim. Because there are very few exceptions to this rule, speaking with a member of the James Horne Law team as soon as possible can help your odds of success.
How James Horne Law Can Help
Florida nursing home abuse attorney James “Jay” Horne is an experienced personal injury lawyer recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV-Preeminent rated attorney and by SuperLawyers. James Horne Law will give your family’s case the attention it deserves so you can focus on physical and emotional recovery. Contact us by phone or online today to schedule a free consultation.