Jacksonville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
At first, the nursing home seemed fine. Then you got devastating news. Nursing home staff weren’t providing the quality care they promised. Or worse, they might have knowingly abused your relative or friend. Nursing home abuse takes many forms, and all are inexcusable. They include:
- Medication errors
- Inadequate staffing
- Poor employee screening and training
- Negligence from nursing home staff or owners
- Emotional, physical, financial, or sexual abuse
If you know or suspect that someone you love is a victim of nursing home or senior care abuse, you deserve to know the truth – and your loved one deserves justice. At Farah & Farah, our Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyers can help you find a safe facility, pay medical bills, and force the facility to accept responsibility for what they did.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Know What You’re Going Through
All forms of elder care abuse are disgraceful, whether they occur at a nursing home, assisted living facility, or at the hands of a caregiver.
When our injury attorneys handle your nursing home abuse case in Florida or Georgia, we help you:
- Determine fault by investigating the alleged abuse
- Help the victim obtain quality medical care
- Relocate the victim to a safer facility
- Obtain compensation for injuries, pain, and suffering resulting from the abuse
- Pay outstanding medical expenses not covered by Medicare
- Cover funeral expenses in the event of a wrongful death
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect
Recognizing nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should always be vigilant when visit. Depending on what kind of abuse is taking place, signs and symptoms will vary.
Physical abuse happens when staff or volunteers use physical force against a resident. This can include things like punching, striking, slapping, kicking, shoving, or using more force than necessary when performing daily tasks. Signs of physical abuse include:
- Unusual or unexplained bruising, cuts, or welts
- Unexplained broken bones or fractures
Sexual abuse includes any sexual contact between nursing home staff or volunteers with a resident. Signs and symptoms of sexual abuse could be a little more difficult to spot, but you should always be aware of any:
- Unexplained bruises around the genitals, buttocks, or breast area
- Infections (including sexually transmitted infections)
- Other unexplained bruises
With both physical and sexual abuse, there may also be significant behavioral changes. These signs will include:
- Mood swings or outbursts
- Sudden weight loss
- Reclusiveness or withdrawn behavior
- Changes in appetite
Neglect occurs when a resident’s basic needs are not being adequately met. This can include their food, water, medications, regular bathing, physical therapy, wound care, and more. Signs that a person is being neglected in a nursing home include:
- Lack of cleanliness
- Frequent infections
Financial abuse occurs when nursing home staff or volunteers abuse their access to residents’ personal and financial information. Family members of nursing home residents should keep a close eye on their loved one’s financial statements.
Even if you do not get to visit a loved one frequently, you can still take steps to ensure they are okay. Make sure to call on a regular basis. When you do call your loved one to check in with them, you can still be on the lookout for things that are wrong. Listen to what they are saying and how they are saying it. Do they sound distressed? Are they talking less than normal? Anything that is out of the ordinary could be a sign of abuse or neglect at the nursing home.
What is considered nursing home neglect?
Nursing home neglect is similar to nursing home abuse in many ways. Nursing home abuse implies that the staff intended to harm a resident or knew their actions would cause harm. Nursing home neglect arises when the standard of care is not being met for the resident.
There are various types of nursing home neglect:
Medical neglect occurs when the nursing home staff or facility fails to adequately deliver the proper standard of medical care. This can include properly preventing a resident’s injuries or illnesses. Examples of medical neglect in a nursing home can include:
- Failing to follow infection control protocols and causing a resident to become infected. Many nursing homes residents have weakened immune systems, meaning infections can be fatal.
- Failing to properly care for and monitor a patient’s diabetes.
- Failing to properly perform required physical therapy on a resident.
- Failing to provide residents with the equipment necessary for them to maneuver (wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc.)
- Failing to properly provide a resident with their required medications. This includes following proper dosages, proper times to provide the medications, etc.
The neglect of basic needs occurs when the nursing home staff or facility fails to provide a resident with necessary water or food. This also occurs when nursing home staff fails to provide a clean and safe environment for the resident. Neglecting a person’s basic rights to food, water, and shelter can lead to serious health conditions for the resident.
Neglect of personal hygiene occurs when nursing home staff do not adequately provide for or assist residents with their hygienic needs. This can include things like brushing teeth, cleaning their living space, helping with laundry, bathing assistance, and more. Failure to properly address hygienic needs can lead to serious health conditions such as bedsores, infections, and more.
Social and emotional neglect occurs when staff members ignore or isolate residents. This can include residents being left alone, yelled at, or being intimidated by nursing home staff.
As with nursing home abuse, the signs and symptoms of neglect can be difficult to detect. In some cases, the warning signs may be subtle, and there may be no physical evidence at all. Again, it is up to the resident’s family members to be vigilant when dealing with their loved ones in a nursing home. Any signs of physical, emotional, or psychological neglect need to be addressed with nursing home staff immediately.
How do I sue a nursing home in Jacksonville?
If you do suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, you need to act quickly and ensure they are removed from the situation. Make sure you get your loved one checked out by their physician. Let the doctor know what you suspect has happened so they can look for the appropriate evidence.
If the situation warrants, please ask law enforcement to step in. By taking steps to help your loved one, you may in fact be helping other residents in the nursing home going through the same thing. While law enforcement performs their investigation, you should consider seeking help from a knowledgeable and experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
In a nursing home abuse or neglect case, you can pursue compensation for various expenses you and your loved one have incurred. This includes both economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical bills related to the neglect or abuse
- the cost of physical therapy
- pain and suffering damages
- loss of enjoyment of life damages
- relocation expenses if necessary
- possible punitive damages against the person or agency responsible
In cases where the nursing home abuse or neglect leads to the wrongful death of a resident, you could be entitled to compensation for:
- your loved one’s pre-death medical expenses
- funeral and burial expenses
- loss of support and services
- loss of companionship damages
- instruction and guidance
- mental anguish and suffering damages
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at Farah & Farah Today
A qualified nursing home abuse attorney will be able to properly investigate what happened to your loved one. This will include gathering all evidence needed to support your case and prove negligence. An attorney will:
- Gather your loved one’s medical records
- Obtain the safety and inspection records of the facility
- Obtain the personnel records, training, and disciplinary records
- Have an expert medical witness review your loved one’s records and be ready to testify if necessary
- Properly calculate your total damages
- Handle all communications with the other parties (individuals, agencies, insurance companies, etc.)
- Be ready to go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached
Your loved one’s abuse or neglect may very well become a criminal case if law enforcement deems that a law has been broken. However, you could be entitled to the compensation discussed above through a civil personal injury lawsuit or a civil wrongful death lawsuit. The absence of a criminal case in these situations does not mean that you are unable to file a civil lawsuit. A qualified nursing home abuse attorney will be able to guide you through this entire process and provide a free evaluation of your case.