Okeechobee Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It’s a horrible fact that numerous elders and disabled adults suffer some form of abuse at nursing homes. Florida alone has had many cases of nursing home neglect or abuse that led to injuries and deaths. Our nursing home abuse lawyer in Okeechobee out that statistical records do not even include so many unreported cases where victims do not recognize they are being hurt or are unwilling to report it.
If you think that your loved one was neglected, abused, or mistreated in a Florida facility, speak to Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. The DeBerard team is a highly reputed firm serving The Treasure Coast &, and we’re well-equipped to protect your family member’s rights and yours. Our priority is to ensure they are safe as we find the optimum strategies to hold the at-fault party accountable and win monetary compensation for your family.
Okeechobee County Nursing Home Abuse: Time Limit for Filing a Lawsuit
Under the Statute of Limitations in Florida, you have a two-year time limit to sue for nursing home abuse, which starts on the most recent abuse incident date. Though two years seems like ample time to initiate a lawsuit, it’s vital to take action as soon as possible by getting an attorney’s help to preserve evidence.
Symptoms of Abuse at Nursing Homes
Could your family member be abused while residing at a facility? Take note of the following common red flags that may indicate the resident has suffered abuse or neglect (We expound more on various categories of abuse further below):
- Unexplained bruises, marks on skin, cuts, broken bones, or burns
- Several falling incidents
- Bed sores or other infections
- Lack of proper hygiene
- Weight loss
- Lost interest in usual hobbies
- Sudden unaccountable changes in properties.
When you see these indicators of nursing home abuse, you’ll want to contact an attorney immediately. Here at the DeBerard law firm, we first ascertain whether your loved one is in need of emergency interventions, and if they do, we’ll make sure your loved one gets those. We’ll also guide you on your options under the law to demand answers from the staff or management, and to pursue the compensation you deserve for your losses. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.
Where to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Okeechobee
If the victim needs emergency medical care or police protection, don’t hesitate to call 911.
In Florida, the agency that regulates, inspects, and licenses nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ALFs) is the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). If you want to file a complaint involving a Okeechobee location, you may do so with AHCA by through their phone number 800-955-8771 or 1-888-419-3456, or through their online complaint form.
You may also file with the Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, a state-run volunteer group that investigates and tries to resolve nursing home complaints. You may call them at 1-888-831-0404.
While it’s valuable to raise your concern to these agencies, they are not the legal means to get compensation for your medical bills, therapy expenditure, pain and suffering, and similar losses. To demand compensation, you’ll need to file a civil case against the wrongful party. Let us help you with this process. Our experienced Okeechobee County nursing home abuse attorneys can be your ally to help you regain what you deserve.
Various Kinds of Nursing Home Abuse
There are physical, emotional, sexual, and financial types of abuse. Neglect of the vulnerable adult can also be considered abuse. Take a look at how these kinds of abuse can occur at nursing homes, and what signs to watch out for.
For example, slapping, striking, kicking, or punching a resident. Painful restraints may also be considered this category. Watch out for signs such as:
- Unexplainable bruises, scars, welts, or cuts
- Sprains or broken bones
- Injuries or body aches that aren’t properly explained by staff.
A resident may develop trauma if they experience swearing, shouting, intimidation, or humiliation from personnel. Some unscrupulous facilities may also place a resident in confinement or isolation as a form of punishment. Symptoms of emotional abuse can be harder to notice. Be aware of your loved one’s:
- Sudden personality changes
- Lost interest in usual activities or hobbies
- Anxiety or irritability
- Withdrawn personality
- Depressive moods.
This encompasses not just sexual assault or rape but also non-consensual touching of intimate body parts, sharing of sexual media, and forcible nudity. Indicators of sexual abuse often include physical and emotional warning signs such as:
- Odd bruises or markings
- Genital sores
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Recoiling when being touched
- Becoming unsociable.
When a caregiver exploits a vulnerable adult’s properties for material gain, it may constitute financial abuse. This often includes coercion or manipulation of the resident. The following are indications of financial abuse:
- Unexplainable bank withdrawals from the resident’s account
- Missing cash or possessions
- Sudden signing over of assets
- Unpaid bills
- Sudden changes in the resident’s estate planning documents such as their will.
Nursing Home Neglect
This refers to insufficient or improper care of the facility’s residents. Common examples include insufficient mobility assistance for disabled residents, not administering medication as required, insufficient cleaning or sanitation, failing to address falling accidents, and not contacting a doctor when necessary. If your loved one has been neglected, they may exhibit symptoms like:
- Bedsores (residents with mobility issues can develop these skin lesions if staff fails to reposition them regularly)
- Untreated infections
- Multiple falls that stay unaddressed (once a resident suffers a fall, the facility is required to update their care plan in order to avoid subsequent accidents)
- Weight loss, dehydration, or malnutrition
- Substandard hygiene or unclean living quarters
- Elopement (resident leaves the nursing home without supervision).
Some Face Higher Risk of Nursing Home Abuse
Unfortunately, certain groups of adults could be more susceptible to abuse precisely because of their vulnerable condition. One study revealed that older adults having dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive disorder are the most at-risk – their abuse rate is nearly five times that of similarly aged persons without dementia. That study also noted that those older than 80 are at higher risk of suffering abuse than younger individuals.
Further, there is a wealth of research highlighting the effect of social isolation in increasing abuse risk. Without the constant companionship of family around them, people in nursing homes have very little support network which can ideally help recognize when abuse is occurring. When they do get family visits, abuse victims commonly feel too embarrassed, ashamed, or intimidated to open up about their experiences.
It’s essential for family members to develop a sensitivity to the signs of nursing home abuse. Even if you’re confused about the signs you’re seeing, it’s smart to consult a knowledgeable attorney to help you determine your best next steps.
Potential Liable Parties in Elder Abuse
Various parties may be responsible for the neglect or abuse at any given facility. In many cases, multiple parties are held liable to pay for the death, injury, or other losses they caused. Here are persons or organizations that may be culpable in elder abuse cases:
- Nursing home staff or personnel
- Nurse’s aides
- The owner of the business
- The nursing home administrator
- The licensee of the specific branch
- Nursing home contractor or supplier
- Negligent physicians or other medical providers.
When you’re making a claim against well-resourced defendants, seeking accountability from them can get extremely difficult. You can expect to face dominant insurance companies and even a defense team shielding the culpable party. Get the help of a trusted nursing home abuse lawyer in Okeechobee County with proven background in handling such claims. Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney is highly experienced and reputable in South Florida, and we are ready to serve you.
Contact Philip DeBerard, Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Okeechobee County
Named the Treasure Coast’s Best Personal Injury Lawyer by TCPalm, Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney has consistently proven to be an effective fighter for South Floridians. The DeBerard office has been helping residents of Okeechobee for over 40 years, winning millions of dollars for persons who suffered from the fault of others. Talk to us about your potential nursing home abuse claim. Schedule a no-cost consultation by dialing 1-800-299-8878 today.
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