Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Florida
When we make the difficult choice to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home or similar long-term care facility, we trust that the staff there will provide an acceptable level of care. Unfortunately, this is not always the reality.
According to some reports, including data from the National Center on Elder Abuse, as many as 50% of U.S. nursing homes are understaffed and, even more shocking, approximately 30% fail to provide residents with adequate care. If you suspect that your elderly loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or negligence, contact Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. right away. Our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys are prepared to take immediate action to help you put a stop to the abuse and fight for the justice you and your loved one deserve.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect take many forms, including:
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse includes any harmful physical contact between a caregiver and an elderly individual, such as slapping, hitting, pinching, or physical restraint.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse involves any unwanted or nonconsensual sexual contact, including sexual assault, groping, and rape.
- Neglect: Neglect generally refers to a failure to care for an elderly resident’s basic needs, such as nutritional, medical, or hygiene needs.
- Emotional/Mental Abuse: Emotional or mental abuse includes conduct meant to harm an elderly individual’s mental wellbeing, such as name calling, ridiculing, or manipulating.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse typically involves taking advantage of elderly individuals to fraudulently gain access to their finances or related documents.
At Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., we do not tolerate any type of elder abuse or nursing home neglect. Our attorneys are prepared to stand up for you and/or your loved one; reach out to our team today if you believe that you or someone you care about is the victim of any form of nursing home abuse or negligence.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Because elderly individuals are not always able to speak up for themselves, it is important that you are aware of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Pay close attention to your loved one’s apparent health and wellbeing and never hesitate to report anything that seems suspicious, either to the facility’s administration or the police.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises or cuts
- Falls and other preventable accidents
- Broken bones, such as fractured hips
- Untreated infections and illnesses, such as pneumonia or COVID-19
- Rapid weight gain or loss
- Symptoms associated with malnutrition or dehydration
- Bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers)
- Unusual changes in mood or behavior
- New or increased agitation, irritability, or anger
- Sudden, unexplained bouts of crying or lashing out
- Apparent fear in the presence of certain staff members
- Soiled or dirty clothing, sheets, facilities, etc.
- Staff members refusing to leave you alone with a loved one
- Medication errors, such as overdose
- Signs of physical or chemical restraint
- Overcrowded facilities or a poor staff-to-resident ratio
- Sexual injuries, i.e., injuries to or near sexual organs or body parts
- New sexually transmitted infections/diseases (STIs/STDs)
- Elopement or wandering
- Unexplained changes to your loved one’s financial situation
- Unusual withdrawals from bank accounts
- Changes to a will, trust, healthcare directive, or similar document
If you believe anything is amiss with your loved one’s treatment, do not hesitate to contact the local police or the Florida Department of Adult Protective Services. If you believe your loved one (or anyone else) is in immediate danger, call 911.
Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect?
In most cases, the person or party who perpetuated the abuse can be held liable for the victim’s resulting injuries and damages. Often, the nursing home (or similar facility) can also be liable. These facilities have a legal responsibility to conduct background checks, provide proper training, and ensure that they have sufficient staff to meet the needs of their residents. When they fail to provide an acceptable level of care, and elderly residents are catastrophically injured or die as a result, they can—and should—be held accountable.
Depending on the specific details of your case, any of the following parties could be liable:
- A medical provider
- A staff member
- A private caregiver
- The nursing home or assisted living facility
- A maintenance crew or crew member
- Another resident
Note that this is not an exhaustive list. Our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys can review the details of your case to determine exactly what happened and, most importantly, who is responsible for your loved one’s injuries or death. We understand that these are incredibly emotional and sensitive issues, which is why our team provides empathetic and compassionate support every step of the way.
How Can Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A. Help?
Our attorneys have extensive experience handling all types of nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We have a proven record of success in defending the rights of injured victims, as well as the families of those who tragically lost loved ones due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of others. We are committed to holding these parties accountable and seeking the justice you and your family deserve.
When you choose Zimmerman & Frachtman, P.A., you will receive the highest level of accessibility from our team, as well as direct attention from your attorney. We believe that communication is the most important component of any attorney-client relationship; therefore, we strive to always be available to our clients and even provide them with our personal contact information. We also believe in developing customized, innovative legal strategies and utilizing advanced technology to build powerful, persuasive cases. We do not accept lowball settlement offers and, whenever necessary, are prepared to aggressively represent you and your recovery at trial.
We invite you to reach out to us today to set up a free, no-obligation consultation. Because we offer contingency fees, you do not owe anything unless we recover compensation for you. There is no risk in speaking to one of our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys today about your legal rights and options.
How common is nursing home abuse in the U.S.?
Nursing home abuse is alarmingly common in the United States, with an estimated 30% of nursing homes and similar assisted living facilities failing to provide adequate care to residents. On top of this, approximately 50% of nursing homes across the country are short-staffed, according to recent reports—and those numbers are rising.
Should a nursing home have written policies and procedures for accidents and injuries?
Yes, all licensed nursing homes must have written policies and procedures in place to deal with accidents involving residents, as well as injuries and illnesses sustained by residents. Furthermore, staff should be familiar with these policies, and you have a right to request copies of the facility’s written policies and procedures.
How can I find a nursing home or long-term care facility’s rating?
To find out how your loved one’s current or prospective nursing home, long-term care facility, or assisted living facility rates, visit the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
How can I report suspected nursing home abuse or neglect in Florida?
First, if you believe anyone is in immediate danger, call 911. It is always better to err on the side of caution. In all other cases, you can report suspected nursing home abuse or neglect to the facility’s administration, local police, or the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-AB– USE (1-800-962-2873). The TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) number for reporting adult abuse is 1-800-955-8770. Note that Florida law requires anyone with reasonable cause to suspect that a vulnerable adult is being abuse or neglected to report the misconduct right away.
What information do I need when reporting suspected elder abuse?
When you call the Florida Abuse Hotline (see above for the number), you will need to provide some key information. This includes: the suspected victim’s name, age, address/location, sex, and race; a brief description of the victim’s disability or infirmity; the reasons you suspect abuse or neglect (e.g., signs of physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or financial injury or harm); the relationship of the alleged perpetrator to the victim; the alleged perpetrator’s name, address, and/or phone number; and your personal information, including your name, address, and phone number (note that your information is confidential and you may choose to remain anonymous).
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