Steps to Take If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

March 30, 2017 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Steps to Take If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can come in a variety of forms and manifest itself differently in each situation. Types of nursing home abuse can include, physical, emotional or financial abuse. It is vital that family members stay vigilant when it comes to nursing home abuse, as the elderly residents are vulnerable to such treatment and may be unwilling or unable to advocate for themselves.

If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, there are steps you should follow which are detailed below.

Step 1: Recognize the Signs

Nursing home abuse can be difficult to spot. However, there are some common signs and symptoms that usually indicate wrongdoing on the part of the caregiver. Some examples include:

  • Bedsores1
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Problems with medication
  • Unwillingness of staff to let you access your loved one without notice
  • Unusual or large financial transactions
  • Any new/unexplained injury or change in behavior

Step 2: Report an Emergency

If the situation you observe is an emergency, call 911 to ensure that your loved one gets the immediate treatment or care that they need. Doing so will not only ensure your loved one's health is addressed but will also ensure law enforcement is able to witness the situation that led you to believe your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse.

Step 3: Gather Information

If the situation is not an emergency, gather information to support your belief that your loved one has been abused. For example, take photos of the injuries/conditions causing concern, gather medical records and speak to other residents or trustworthy caregivers. It's possible that the signs you're noticing are in fact the result of something else. This is also the time to raise your concerns with the nursing home. In addition, you may want to file a complaint with the state agency responsible for the regulation of nursing homes in order to initiate an official investigation.

Step 4: Remove Your Loved One

If Step 3 reveals that your concerns are substantiated and the nursing home doesn't take action to address the issue, remove your loved one and place them in a facility that will give them the care they need. It is important to get your loved one somewhere safe before concerning yourself with reporting or filing a claim.

Step 5: Talk to an Attorney

At this point, you should be certain to talk to an attorney who is familiar with representing victims of nursing home abuse. Importantly, lawsuits alleging nursing home abuse and neglect must be brought within two years of the abuse or two years from the date of its discovery to avoid being barred by Florida's statute of limitations.2 Because of this short timeframe, it is important that if you suspect abuse, you contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney right away. A Florida nursing home abuse and neglect attorney will be able to evaluate and better investigate the claim and if substantiated, seek proper compensation for the resident who was abused. If the facility wants to settle your case (which they often do, in order to preserve confidentiality), your lawyer will ensure that the settlement is sufficient.

Contact a Clearwater Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation!

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact a Clearwater nursing home abuse and neglect attorney right away. Despite the strict regulations Florida law places on nursing homes, abuse and neglect are all too common. Fortunately, those who have suffered such abuse are not without recourse. Florida law allows victims to recover compensation for injuries and other losses that they may experience as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect, and you should do everything in your power to hold nursing homes that allow their residents to suffer abuse responsible.

Since 2009, the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has been representing the legal rights of people who have suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of nursing homes. Unlike many other law firms, we provide individualized representation to each client we take and do not shy away from taking a case to trial when it becomes necessary. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.

1 Bedsores (pressure ulcers)



Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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