Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Lakewood Ranch, FL
An estimated 71,000 people live in nursing homes in Florida. While Florida is ranked the 7th best state in the U.S. for nursing homes by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, not all nursing homes are created equally. Moreover, negligence can occur in even the best nursing homes. This negligence puts loved ones who are nursing home residents at risk for elder abuse and injury.
If you believe someone you love is a victim of nursing home elder abuse, James Horne Law PA can help you pursue justice. Lakewood Ranch nursing home abuse attorney James Horne fights to hold nursing homes responsible for mistreating your loved one. You can rest assured knowing his care, compassion, and experience will go a long way in helping you obtain the nursing home abuse settlement you and your loved one deserve.
What Is Elder Abuse in a Nursing Home Setting?
Studies show at least 1 in 10 nursing home residents in the U.S. were the victims of elder abuse in the prior year. Florida law defines elder abuse as “any willful act or threatened act by a relative, caregiver, or household member which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s physical, mental, or emotional health.” In Florida, elder abuse includes a caregiver’s actions and their failure to act.
Specific examples of elder abuse include:
- Psychological abuse—this includes an elder being isolated from social activities, a caregiver’s threats to withhold care like food or water, or giving the resident the silent treatment;
- Verbal abuse—this includes insulting a resident, yelling at them, calling them names, and threatening them;
- Physical abuse—examples of this kind of abuse include shoving, slapping, punching, pushing, or hurting a resident in any other physical manner;
- Sexual abuse—this type of abuse can range from taking compromising photos of a resident to any unwanted sexual touches, actions, or advances;
- Financial abuse—this can range from someone exploiting or stealing an elder’s money or possessions, cashing their checks without authorization, forging their signature, and coercing or deceiving them into signing documents like a contract or will; and
- Neglect—this is a lack of care and can present as malnourishment, dehydration, falls, bedsores, unsanitary and unclean conditions, and missing medications.
Nursing home abuse is never easy to talk about, and victims often won’t discuss it. If you even suspect elder abuse, it’s essential to ask your loved one if abuse is occurring and to consult with a skilled nursing home attorney. An experienced lawyer for nursing home abuse in Lakewood Ranch will investigate your claim, walk you through your options, and help you pursue available damages.
Nursing Home Abuse Indications
Since elder abuse isn’t always easy to spot, it’s imperative to check for certain signs and symptoms. Common indications of nursing home abuse include:
- Changes in behavior like disorientation, confusion, anxiety, and irritation;
- Changes in an elder’s willingness to speak openly;
- Sudden defensiveness and depression;
- Grimacing or other distressing reactions to touch;
- Frequent wounds, bruises, and broken bones;
- A caregiver’s indifference, avoidance, or anger toward an elder;
- Caregivers who over administer, under administer, or withhold medication;
- Caregivers who sequester elders in their rooms or ban them from going outside;
- Caregivers who socially isolate or unnecessarily restrict an elder from activities;
- The unreasonable use of physical restraints on elders;
- A lack of appropriate staffing;
- Possessions that have disappeared;
- Unanticipated modifications to estate planning documents, property deeds, and other things like stock options; and
- Suspicious financial and banking transactions.
Elder abuse may still be occurring even if you haven’t encountered any of these signs. If an elder, caregiver, or nursing home gives you any reason to suspect your loved one is being abused, call James Horne Law immediately. We will discuss your concerns, answer your questions, investigate your claims, and assist you in pursuing the best course of action.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Complaint in Florida
If your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse of any kind, file a report with the Florida Department of Health as soon as you discover the harm. You can file your complaint online using the Flordia Health Care Complaint Portal. You can also file a health care facility complaint with the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. The Department of Children and Families will respond within 24 hours, conduct an investigation, check on the victim’s welfare, and notify local law enforcement if it determines the nursing home or caretaker has committed a crime.
Since elder abuse can take time to investigate, it’s a good idea to contact a Lakewood Ranch nursing home abuse attorney when you file your report. If you or your loved one need medical care or to be removed from an unsafe environment while you’re waiting for the state to act, James Horne Law can help you every step of the way.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Florida
Under Florida law, an elder who has been abused, neglected, or exploited may file a civil lawsuit against any perpetrator for actual and punitive damages for abuse, neglect, or exploitation. To file a lawsuit against nursing homes and their employees, a victim or their representative must typically prove:
- The victim is 60 years of age or older and is suffering from age-related infirmities that require nursing home care;
- The defendant abused the victim; and
- Because of the abuse, the victim suffered damages.
Actual and punitive compensation may include damages like financial costs incurred to remove the victim from the nursing home’s care, additional long-term or short-term care, medical expenses for care and equipment, pain and suffering, and attorney fees related to the lawsuit.
Contact a Lakewood Ranch Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you are searching for a nursing home abuse lawyer near Lakewood Ranch, James Horne Law is here to help you on your journey to recovery. James Horne is a skilled nursing home abuse attorney with extensive experience handling nursing home abuse cases. He can help you file a legal claim, and he will provide answers, tireless advocacy, and compassionate support.
It is crucial to act quickly when nursing home abuse harms a loved one. AV-preeminent-rated aggressive litigation counselor James Horne can handle every step of your claim so you and your loved one can focus on healing. Contact James Horne Law today by phone or online to schedule a free consultation.