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Clearwater Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Helping abuse victims hold nursing homes responsible

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA),[1] an estimated 3.2 million individuals[2] reside in nursing homes or long-term care facilities in the United States. While nursing homes are expected to provide adequate and appropriate care for their residents, about 44 percent of residents surveyed stated they had suffered some form of abuse while living in a facility. Though Florida has strict laws[3] regarding the high standard of care expected from nursing homes, some staff members unfortunately cause negligent or intentional harm to residents, who suffer serious injuries as a result.

If you believe that a family member or loved one has suffered injury in a nursing home, you should call a dedicated nursing home neglect and abuse attorney at the Dolman Law Group for help as soon as possible.

Handling cases involving different kinds of nursing home abuse

Nursing home abuse can take several different forms, all of which can cause physical, mental, emotional, or financial injuries. The following are the main kinds of nursing home abuse that may lead to a personal injury case:

Physical abuse – Using physical force to cause injury or pain and can include hitting, kicking, burning,  shoving, or using inappropriate restraints.

Sexual abuse – Any type of sexual contact or behavior involving a resident that is not consensual. This type of abuse can involve any unwanted and inappropriate touching, exposure of private parts, rape, and much more.

Emotional abuse – Using words or other actions to inflict emotional pain or distress and can include humiliation, threats, insults, intimidation, isolation from others, and more.

Neglect – Failure or refusal to provide adequate care owed to an elderly individual, including water, food, shelter, hygiene, clothes, safety, comfort, and more.

Financial abuse – Stealing money from a nursing home resident or otherwise using fraud or deceptive tactics to gain access to a resident’s financial accounts or money for the abuser’s wrongful personal gain.

All of the above forms of abuse can cause serious injuries to a victim.

Be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse

Nursing home abuse can be particularly dangerous because many victims do not report that they are being abused. Some nursing home residents do not have the mental or physical capacity to report abuse, while others may be too afraid to do so. Nursing home abusers may threaten additional harm to the resident or their families or may otherwise intimidate abuse victims to keep them from reporting their injuries.

Because a great number of nursing home abuse cases go unreported, family members and other loved ones should always keep a close eye on nursing home residents and should know how to recognize the signs of different types of nursing home abuse. Some common signs include the following:

  • Cuts, bruises, or other unexplained wounds in various stages of healing
  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Strains or sprains
  • Soiled bedding or clothes
  • Diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Signs of malnutrition
  • Having untreated medical issues
  • Not having the correct number of pills left in the bottle
  • Loved one acting withdrawn, afraid, or experiencing other personality changes
  • Not being allowed to meet with your loved one alone
  • Sudden unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Being fearful of physical contact

These are only some examples of signs of abuse, as every abuse victim can react in different ways. It is always important to inquire into any unexplained or unusual circumstances involving a nursing home resident to be sure they are healthy and safe.

What to do if you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected

If you have noticed signs of abuse, you should always report your concerns through the proper channels in the nursing home administration. If no action is taken to remedy the situation, you may need to alert law enforcement authorities to help protect your loved one. Additionally, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss how your loved one can receive just compensation for their injuries and hold the nursing one responsible for the abuse.

Holding nursing homes liable for negligence

Nursing homes can be held liable for the actions of their employees and for other negligent acts that may have lead to the abuse or allowed the abuse to occur. The following are some common claims of nursing home negligence:

  • Negligent hiring of potentially dangerous or unqualified individuals
  • Failing to adequately train staff members
  • Failing to provide adequate security for residents
  • Failing to properly monitor staff, impose rules and policies against abuse, or to appropriately discipline staff members for violating policies
  • Not providing the necessary shelter, food, water, or medication for residents
  • Not providing necessary medical care
  • Allowing hazards or dangerous conditions to exist in the nursing home, leading to falls[4] or other injuries

If a nursing home has allowed any of the above to occur, it has not met the standard of care it owes to all of its residents and should be held responsible for any abuse, neglect, and related injuries to residents.

An experienced Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyer can help you

There is no excuse for a nursing home having an environment that encourages, allows, or perpetuates abuse and injury to its residents. If you have noticed signs of any type of nursing home abuse, you should never delay in reporting the problem through the proper channels, getting the authorities involved if necessary, and contacting an experienced attorney to discuss how to hold the nursing home liable for any losses your loved one suffered. At the Dolman Law Group, our Clearwater nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to helping injured victims fully recover and they understand how to prove negligence in abuse cases. Consultations are always free, and we never charge any fees unless you win your case.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, please do not hesitate to contact the Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 or use our online contact form available here to schedule a free case evaluation.

[1]http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/index.aspx

[2]http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Resources/Publication/docs/NCEA_LTCF_ResearchBrief_2013.pdf

[3]http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/Chapter400/Part_II

[4]http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html