Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Miami, Florida: Providing Legal Guidance to Elderly Victims of Abuse and Neglect
Placing a parent or another senior relative into a nursing home isn’t a decision that we, as the younger generation, ever take lightly. There are so many factors to consider, not the least of all being the emotional hurt that the senior may feel at being ‘put in a home.’ There are also steep financial considerations to be made, as very few nursing homes offer their services on the cheap. But one thing that we tend not to worry about is the notion of our elders being mistreated or abused by the staff of the facility. We are putting their care into the hands of medical professionals and those who are dedicated to providing compassionate care to their vulnerable residents.
This assuredness about the safety of their care may be misplaced, however. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are built on the idea of making a profit. Like all businesses, this can result in cutting corners in order to save on expenses. For nursing home residents, that may mean that they have worse food, medication shortages, inadequate members of staff providing care, equipment that is in disrepair, or glaring problems in background checks could be overlooked when the facility takes on new employees.
Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to elder abuse, tens of thousands of which were nursing home residents. 15,000 nursing home abuse and neglect claims were filed nationally in the year 2020 alone.
An AARP report counted Florida’s nursing homes as last place in the nation. More than 90% of Florida nursing homes are understaffed. Nearly half of all Florida’s nursing home residents report that they’ve been victims of abuse. And a startling 90% of residents say that either they have personally been victims of nursing home negligence or have witnessed other residents be neglected.
The American nonprofit organization The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) reports that nursing home abuse is most commonly the case of physical abuse, psychological abuse, or resident-on-resident abuse.
Suppose your elderly relatives have been hurt, and you believe that your loved one’s injuries are the result of nursing home abuse or neglect. In that case, you should consult with a legal team experienced in handling these matters without further delay. Your nursing home abuse attorney will attempt to build a case that shows that the unexplained injuries of your elderly family member are the result of abuse or neglect.
At Mausner Graham Injury Law PLLC, our nursing home abuse lawyers have years of experience representing victims of injury. We are well-versed in state-specific laws and are familiar with the highly questionable practices that some negligent nursing homes attempt to get away with. By examining the evidence, reviewing medical records, and speaking to witnesses, we will attempt to build a strong case so that you may file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers act on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay us a dime in legal fees unless we are able to collect financial compensation for your case. Schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer today to determine your legal options going forward.
What Are Common Indicators That Your Elderly Loved One Has Suffered Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?
If an elderly family member has been abused, it may be difficult to see at first. Not only might the nursing home staff attempt to cover up any harm done to their patients, but the elderly, out of a sense of pride and in an attempt not to burden their families, may also hide or brush away concerns about their health and injuries.
You should keep an eye out for a few red flags, as these are prime indicators that abuse and neglect could have transpired, bringing harm to your loved one.
These warning signs include:
- Bed sores.
- Escaping the facility.
- Inadequate heat or air conditioning for residents.
- Irritability and anger.
- Skin ulcers.
- The staff refuses to let you see the resident alone.
- The resident or their room is filthy.
- Unexplained and sudden death.
- Unexplained injuries.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Untreated medical conditions.
- Withdrawn and isolated.
If your loved one has shown any of these red flags, please consider speaking with a nursing home abuse lawyer to investigate further.
How and When Should You Report Nursing Home Abuse?
If you believe that your loved one’s injuries occurred under suspicious circumstances, you have every right to investigate further. First, however, it is important that injured senior citizens get the medical care that they need to nurse them back to health. This will likely include removing them from the nursing facility.
With the injured nursing home resident safely escorted away from the suspected staff, you should hire the legal services of an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. Additionally, you should submit a claim to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which will handle the claim from a state level.
Typically, the individuals who will submit a nursing home abuse claim or wrongful death claim will be the resident’s adult children or their surviving spouse.
What Does Physical Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly Look Like?
Nursing home abuse victims who have suffered physical harm at the hands of their caregivers may show a wide range of symptoms and injuries. When physical abuse and neglect are visited upon the old and frail, these injuries can be especially ugly and potentially life-threatening.
Examples of abuse include:
- Broken or lost eyeglasses.
- Bruises on wrists or throat that look like they could’ve been left by firm hands.
- Forcing residents to disrobe.
- New symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Sexual assault.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Unexplained cuts, burns, and broken bones.
- Unwanted touching.
There are nursing home abuse cases that detail how staff punched, slapped, kicked, spat on, choked, or pushed a resident. There are also cases detailing the sexual abuse of residents.
Examples of physical nursing home negligence include:
- Bed sores.
- Poor hygiene.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Unsanitary living conditions.
What Are Examples of Medical Neglect in Nursing Homes?
Healthcare professionals can be held liable in nursing home neglect cases. While we tend to think of the orderly or administrators as the usual suspects for abuse or neglect, medical professionals also make mistakes and can be charged with medical malpractice.
Other examples of medical neglect include medication errors (giving the wrong drugs or forgetting a dose for nursing home patients), withholding medications, and not providing care to a patient in a medical emergency. Intentionally withholding care and isolating nursing home residents is an offense that can rise to the level of neglect or abuse.
What Are the Types of Emotional Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes?
An individual doesn’t need to even physically touch another person to be considered abusive. If nursing home staff have shouted, insulted, or verbally threatened a resident, they may be held accountable for abuse. Comments of a racist, sexist, or ageist nature may also qualify as emotional nursing home abuse.
Additionally, staff may steal something that is dear to a resident and torment them before returning it. Some nursing home negligence cases state that staff forcibly isolated patients from others.
What is Financial Abuse of the Elderly?
A stay at a nursing home costs enough as it is, but some staff goes so far as to steal money from their residents as well. This is considered financial abuse.
Examples of financial abuse include:
- Altering a resident’s will.
- Identity theft and forging signatures.
- Stealing a resident’s money from their purse.
- Stealing jewelry and items of financial value.
- Using a resident’s credit card to make personal purchases.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
If your loved one has suffered a suspected serious injury or their behavior has changed in sad ways, or their money is being spent in mysterious ways, you should consult with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
Our law firm has experience helping families file nursing home abuse lawsuits, and we would be honored to assist you as you seek financial compensation and accountability. With a fair settlement, you could receive payments for medical bills and any pain and suffering caused by the abuse or neglect. As your attorneys, it is our legal duty to act on your behalf. We will not take any steps that you do not approve of as we attempt to build a winning case.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing if we are unsuccessful in recovering compensation for your case. Our law firm also offers free case evaluations to prospective clients looking to understand their rights and their options. This is a zero-obligation initial consultation. If you do not feel that we are the right lawyers for you, then you may seek legal assistance elsewhere without worrying about the cost of our time.
Unfortunately, Florida’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities to have a nasty reputation. We hope that nothing so dire as abuse or neglect has happened to your elderly loved ones, but in the case that something has, we will be there to help you.
Please contact our Miami law firm to schedule a free consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyers today. You may call us at 305-344-4878.