Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Hollywood, FL
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Hollywood, FL
Florida nursing homes are required to provide services to promote the health, happiness, and dignity of every resident. Sadly, far too many facilities ignore that commitment to elderly and vulnerable adults. When a loved one becomes the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, it’s no longer just a breach of trust. It’s a broken law – and you should contact an experienced attorney to learn about your legal options, including the potential to recover financial compensation.
Far too many Florida nursing homes are plagued by problems that create dangerous environments for residents. Understaffed facilities increase the risk of injuries to residents who need attentive care to accomplish basic daily tasks. Poorly trained employees, unsanitary conditions, financial mismanagement, and a fundamental lack of human decency are also common examples of negligence in Florida’s eldercare facilities.
A nursing home abuse lawyer at Rosen & Ohr, P.A., in Hollywood, Florida, can investigate what factors are relevant in your case and take immediate action to protect your family member’s safety and legal rights. To find out more about your legal options, contact us now for a free claim review and consultation.
Is My Loved One a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
There is a subtle difference between nursing home abuse and neglect. Both are equally unacceptable and violations of state and federal laws. The main difference is a matter of intent.
- Abuse: Purposeful infliction of physical injury, emotional pain, unlawful confinement, intimidation, punishment, or unnecessary medical services that result in harm to a resident.
- Neglect: Failure (regardless of intention) to provide quality care that protects an individual from harm. Examples of substandard care might be a failure to provide adequate nutrition, liquids or regular bathing routines to prevent bedsores.
Nursing home abuse and neglect often coexist, meaning that residents are victims of both forms of mistreatment at the same time. Yet countless numbers of cases go unreported each year because victims are either incapable or too afraid to speak up. It’s important for family members to learn how to recognize the signs of abuse and how to take action.
Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Hollywood
Nursing home abuse isn’t always easy to spot. Accidents can happen in the safest and most responsible facilities. It can be difficult for family members to tell whether an injury was preventable or the result of a negligent oversight. That’s especially true for family members who are unable to visit nursing homes regularly. They may feel hesitant to act on their suspicions because they don’t want to accuse the staff of wrongdoing or create problems for the resident.
Learning the signs of possible abuse is key, especially if your loved one is nonverbal or suffers from a cognitive illness such as dementia. There are four main types of nursing home abuse:
- Physical abuse. Hitting, slapping, pushing, shoving, biting, hair-pulling and rough handling are examples.
- Sexual abuse. This includes any unwanted sexual contact, taking explicit photographs, assault, rape, and any other sexual acts performed without consent.
- Psychological abuse. Examples include humiliating, ignoring, ridiculing, yelling at, threatening, insulting and other behaviors that cause mental anguish.
- Financial abuse. Stealing cash, checks, credit cards, or otherwise manipulating a resident’s finances or financial decisions are telltale signs.
It’s important to realize that it’s not always the nursing home’s employees or owners who inflict the abuse. Resident-on-resident violence is also a problem in long-term care centers. That said, the facility may still be held accountable for resident-on-resident injuries if it can be shown that reasonable steps were not taken to prevent the incident or respond to it in a timely way.
Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect
Florida law sets forth basic rights for every nursing home resident in the state. Put simply, facilities are responsible for providing a safe, clean, and comfortable environment that meets residents’ needs without unreasonable restrictions or limitations. Signs that something is wrong with your family member may be:
- Unexplained cuts and bruises
- Broken bones (especially fractured hips)
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Genital injuries
- Wandering or elopement
- Bed injuries
- Pressure ulcers
- Weight loss or gain
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Unwillingness to speak when staff is present
- Overmedication or sedation
- Unnecessary restraint
- Frequent illnesses
- Declining cognition
- Agitation or unexplained crying
- Financial or billing problems
Report South Florida Nursing Home Abuse to the State – and a Lawyer
There are several channels that you can use to report suspected cases of nursing abuse and neglect. In an emergency, call 911 immediately.
You may also file a grievance with the nursing home administration to address your problems. But if that doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable speaking with them, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration handles nursing home complaints. You can call (888) 419-3456 or file a complaint online.
When you register a complaint, AHCA initiates an unannounced visit to the nursing home and completes an inspection of the facility along with interviews, medical record reviews, and an assessment of policies and procedures.
Contacting a nursing home neglect lawyer is another important step. Florida is home to hundreds of nursing homes, and it can take the state some time to address a complaint. An attorney at Rosen & Ohr, P.A., can begin researching your claim swiftly so that valuable medical information or evidence (such as photos of bruises or cuts) aren’t lost.
Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are also complicated, involving a mixture of both state and federal laws. Our attorneys understand the interplay between those regulations and how they could affect your claim.
As your lawsuit proceeds, it’s possible that the nursing home could face criminal charges for its actions. However, the criminal portion is handled by the state of Florida.
At Rosen & Ohr, P.A., our attorneys focus on civil claims for damages for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. We fight for the maximum amount of compensation for the injuries and losses suffered from the hope that we win justice for our client, but also help prevent similar incidents in the future.
Get Help from Our South Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If you suspect that you or a family member is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the Hollywood, Florida, law firm of Rosen & Ohr, P.A., for a free consultation. Call us or fill out this contact form today.