Stuart Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It’s a terrible thing to find out that numerous elderly persons and disabled adults endure some form of abuse at nursing homes. Florida in particular has repeatedly seen headlines about nursing home abuse and neglect that caused injuries and deaths. Our nursing home abuse attorney in Stuart noted that official numbers do not even include the many unreported cases where the adults do not recognize they are being abused or are unwilling to report it.
If you think that your loved one has been neglected, abused, or mistreated in a Florida nursing home, get the help of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney. The DeBerard office is a highly lauded 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 while finding the best strategies to hold the defendant accountable and win monetary compensation for you.
Stuart Nursing Home Abuse: Deadline to File a Lawsuit
Under Florida’s Statute of Limitations, you have only two years to sue for abuse or neglect at a nursing home, beginning on the last known date of abuse. Though two years seems like ample time to initiate a lawsuit, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible by getting an attorney’s help to preserve evidence.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Could your loved one be abused while residing at a facility? Take note of the following red flags that commonly indicate the resident has experienced neglect or abuse (We discuss more on various categories of abuse further below):
- Odd bruises, marks on skin, cuts, broken bones, or burns
- Multiple falling incidents
- Bed sores or other infections
- Substandard hygiene
- Weight loss
- Lost interest in usual hobbies
- Sudden unexplainable changes in financial accounts.
When you spot these signs of nursing home abuse, you’ll want to contact an attorney immediately. Here at the Philip DeBerard firm, we first ascertain whether your loved one has to have immediate interventions, and if so, we’ll help ensure they get what they need. We’ll also guide you on your options under the law to demand answers from the facility management or personnel, and to claim the compensation you deserve for your losses. Get in touch with us today for your free consultation.
How to Report Stuart Nursing Home Abuse
If the victim needs emergency medical care or police intervention, dial 911 immediately.
In Florida, we have the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to regulate, inspect, and license nursing homes, assisted living facilities (ALFs), and other long-term care facilities. If you wish to file a complaint about a Stuart provider, you may raise it with AHCA by calling 1-888-419-3456 or 800-955-8771, or by filling out their online complaint form.
Florida also has a state-run volunteer service called the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, which investigates and resolves complaints about nursing homes. You may call them at 1-888-831-0404.
While it’s helpful to raise your complaint to these authorities, they are not the legal channel to get compensation for your medical costs, therapy costs, pain and suffering, and similar losses. To seek compensation, you’ll need to file a civil claim against the at-fault party. Let us help you with this procedure. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys in Stuart can be your ally to help you gain back what you deserve.
Categories of Abuse at Nursing Homes
There are physical, financial, emotional, and sexual forms of abuse. Neglect of the vulnerable adult can also be considered abuse. Take a look at how these types of abuse can occur at elder care facilities, and what symptoms to look out for.
Examples are striking, slapping, punching, or kicking a resident. Painful restraints may also be considered this category. Note signs such as:
- Unexplained bruises, scars, welts, or cuts
- Fractures or sprains
- Injuries or illnesses that don’t coincide with the staff’s explanation.
Emotional trauma can occur when a facility personnel shouts at, swears at, humiliates, or intimidates a resident. Some unethical facilities may also use confinement or isolation to punish a resident’s behavior. Signs of emotional abuse will be harder to notice. Be on the lookout for your loved one’s:
- Sudden personality changes
- Lost interest in usual activities or hobbies
- Anxiety or irritability
- Withdrawn personality
- Gloomy moods.
We may think of this as rape or sexual assault, but it also includes non-consensual intimate touching, sharing of sexual media, and coerced nudity. Indicators of sexual abuse often include physical and emotional red flags such as:
- Odd bruises or scratches
- Genital sores
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Flinching when being touched
- Becoming withdrawn.
When a trusted personnel, nurse, or aide exploits a nursing home resident’s finances, it may be considered abuse. This often entails manipulation, intimidation, threats, or putting pressure on the resident. Here are some indicators of financial exploitation:
- Unexplainable bank withdrawals from the resident’s account
- Lost cash or possessions
- Resident suddenly signing over assets
- Unpaid bills
- Sudden modifications in the resident’s estate plan or will.
Nursing Home Neglect
This refers to insufficient or incorrect care of the facility’s residents. Examples are insufficient mobility assistance for elderly residents, not providing medication as required, insufficient cleaning or sanitation, failing to address falling accidents, and failing to contact a doctor when necessary. If your loved one has been neglected, they may show symptoms like:
- Bedsores (residents with mobility issues can develop these skin lesions if staff fails to reposition them regularly)
- Untreated infections
- More than one falls that stay unaddressed (when a resident falls, their care plan must be revised by the nursing home or ALF in order to prevent subsequent falls)
- Weight loss, dehydration, or malnutrition
- Poor hygiene or unclean living quarters
- Elopement (exiting the facility without supervision).
Some at More Risk of Experiencing Nursing Home Abuse
Sadly, certain groups of persons could be more at-risk of abuse precisely because they have a vulnerability. One study showed that older adults having Alzheimer’s, dementia,, or other cognitive disorder are at risk the most – their abuse rate is nearly five times that of similarly aged persons without dementia. This study also found that people older than 80 face a higher risk of suffering abuse than younger individuals.
In addition, there is a wealth of research highlighting how social isolation can increase the risk of adult abuse. Without the constant presence of family around them, residents in nursing homes have very little support network which can ideally help notice when abuse happens. And when family does visit, abuse victims often feel too apprehensive or ashamed to open up about their experiences.
It’s vital for family members to develop a sensitivity to the signs of adult abuse. Even if you are unsure about what’s happening, it’s prudent to consult a reliable attorney to help you see your best next steps.
Parties That May Be Liable in Elder Abuse
Various parties could be responsible for the neglect or abuse at any given facility. In many cases, multiple parties are found liable to pay for injuries or deaths they caused. Here are persons or entities that may be culpable in elder abuse cases:
- The staff or personnel at the nursing home
- Nurse’s aides
- The owner of the nursing home company
- The nursing home administrator
- The licensee of the specific branch
- Nursing home contractor or supplier
- Negligent doctors or other healthcare providers.
When you’re making a claim against well-resourced defendants, pursuing a nursing home abuse claim can be extremely challenging. You may likely face major insurance companies and even a team of attorneys shielding the liable party. Get the help of a dependable nursing home abuse attorney in Martin County with proven background in handling such claims. Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney is highly experienced and reputable in South Florida, and we are eager to help you.
Call Philip DeBerard, Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Martin County
Voted the Treasure Coast’s Best Personal Injury Lawyer by TCPalm, Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney has consistently proven to be an effective advocate for South Floridians. The DeBerard office has been serving Stuart for over 40 years, winning millions of dollars for families and individuals who suffered from the fault of others. Tell us about your potential case of nursing home abuse. Schedule a no-cost consultation by contacting 1-800-299-8878 today.
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