Are you concerned about the care that your loved one receives in a nursing home? Have you noticed changes in your loved one’s behavior or the behavior of those who provide care? Your loved one may be suffering from nursing home abuse.
Senior abuse is a serious problem in New Port Richey and throughout Florida. Care providers can abuse their position of trust in order to physically, mentally, emotionally or financially hurt a person that they’re supposed to care for. Abuse can occur when a person intentionally causes harm or when they fail to take the appropriate steps to provide adequate care. The results of elder abuse in our society are often devastating.
Our team of New Port Richey nursing home abuse lawyers focus on elder neglect and abuse cases. It’s our goal to help each victim receive full compensation for their injuries and losses. We help each client secure their immediate safety and plan the best course of action for pursuing compensation under Florida law.
Signs of abuse
No two cases are alike. Abuse can show in multiple different ways. The signs of abuse are often small. Caregivers try to cover up their actions. Victims are often embarrassed by the abuse, or they may receive threats from the caregivers that make them hesitant to speak up. Some warning signs of abuse may include:
Physical changes – Has your loved one recently declined in health? Have you noticed physical injuries such as bruises or sores that weren’t present before? Remember that bed sores can be a sign of abuse, because they result from inadequate physical activity or care.
Behavior changes – You may notice your loved one acting differently than they used to behave. They might not want you to visit, when they used to love seeing friends and family. They might not express the same level of interest in activities that they used to have. Any kind of noticeable behavior change can be a sign that there’s something more serious going on.
Caregiver changes – Abusers are often very secretive. They might not allow you the same access to finances or medical records that you had before. They may refuse or discourage family visits that used to be common. A caregiver may try to obtain a power of attorney or make significant shifts in finances. When a caregiver begins to behave in a different way, it may be the result of the caregiver’s abuse.
It’s important to trust your intuition when it comes to evaluating a situation. If it seems like something’s just not right about your loved one’s care, you very well may be right. It’s better to error on the side of caution and reach out for help.
How does Florida law define abuse?
Florida has laws that strictly prohibit nursing home abuse. Both intentional acts and failing to act can amount to nursing home abuse. The law protects disabled adults as well as seniors. The law treats both groups equally under the law to protect any vulnerable adult in a nursing care facility.
Abuse is mental as well as physical. It can include failing to provide care to meet the physical and emotional needs of residents. It can mean failing to seek appropriate medical care when it’s necessary. Failing to provide appropriate supervision for residents can count too. A single act can amount to vulnerable adult abuse, or it can be a series of repeated acts.
In many cases, our New Port Richey nursing home abuse lawyers look to both the direct abuser and the nursing home in order to explore ways to fully compensate abuse victims. In many cases, the nursing home may have prevented the abuse if they had used reasonable efforts. Too often, nursing homes don’t have the appropriate staff to provide the level of care that residents need. In other cases, they hire staff that doesn’t have the requisite qualifications to do the job fairly.
A nursing home might fail to provide employees with the training that they need to do their jobs properly. Care providers need to have appropriate breaks and vacation days in order to do their jobs professionally. When a nursing home tries to cut corners, too often the result is abuse.
If this is the case, the nursing home may be equally responsible for your injuries and damages. It’s important to talk with our team before you make assumptions about your loved one’s rights. A nursing home has an obligation to provide reasonable care. When they fail in their responsibilities, they’re responsible when abuse is the result.
What can I recover?
Damages for nursing home abuse fall into three general categories. These are economic damages, non-economic damages and punitive damages. Economic damages include things like medical bills that you may not have if the abuse hadn’t occurred. Economic damages are the easy to identify, out-of-pocket losses that you incur as a direct result of the abuse. If there’s a criminal case, you can pursue restitution for these damages in both criminal and civil court.
A civil case allows you to pursue non-economic damages as well. These damages are necessary to fully account for the emotional pain of the abuse as well as for your physical suffering. Non-economic damages can include mental anguish, pain and sufferin, and loss of enjoyment of life. Our team of New Port Richey nursing home abuse attorneys can help you value these losses and appropriately demand them in your case.
In cases of intentional misconduct or gross negligence, you may request punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish outrageous offenders as well as provide would-be offenders an incentive to avoid abusive practices. These types of damages must be carefully pleaded, so it’s important to work with us as quickly as possible in order to make sure your filing documents ask for all of the losses to which your loved one may be entitled.
What to expect when working with our New Port Richey nursing home abuse lawyers
The legal process doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating. We pride ourselves on offering legal services that care for the client as well as aggressively pursue their right to recover under Florida law. When you work with us, we make sure that you understand each step in the process.
If the other side offers you a fair settlement, the case may resolve before trial. Otherwise, we’re prepared to march into court and tell the jury what you’ve been through. We measure our success by our client’s satisfaction.
Contact us today
We believe that we do an important job. We help the residents of New Port Richey nursing homes protect their safety and their quality of life by holding abusers accountable for their actions. If there are things that lead you to believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from nursing home abuse, don’t wait to contact us.
Our team wants to make an action plan to help your loved one physically, emotionally and financially. Our New Port Richey nursing home abuse lawyers are standing by to work on your case. Please contact us today.