Our Tampa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can help you when your loved one is a victim of mistreatment in a nursing home. When nursing home abuse or neglect occurs, the victim has a right to claim compensation. An experienced attorney can represent the victim and bring a legal claim on their behalf. When you suspect mistreatment in a nursing home, a nursing home neglect and abuse attorney can protect your loved one and fight for justice.
The Tampa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys are here to help you and your loved one when mistreatment occurs in an assisted living facility. We can help you take swift action to protect your loved one’s safety. In addition, we can assist you with seeking compensation to get your loved one the help that they deserve. The experienced Tampa nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, are where you can turn for justice.
Nursing home neglect and abuse may be physical, mental, emotional, or financial. It can occur intentionally or accidentally. Any way that your loved one fails to get the care that they need and deserve may amount to neglect or abuse. If you suspect abuse, it’s essential to seek help right away.
First, you can bring a legal claim based on the Florida Nursing Home Bill of Rights. Florida Statutes 429.28 (2019) creates a list of rules, called the Nursing Home Bill of Rights that assisted care communities have to follow when they provide care. When the nursing home violates these rules, you may bring a claim based on a violation of Florida law. In addition, the U.S. Nursing Home Reform Act is available to help residents enforce a basic standard of care in an assisted living facility.
In addition to state and federal nursing home laws, you also have the right to bring a claim for compensation based on state negligence laws. Negligence laws give you a valid legal claim any time that you’re injured because of sub-standard care on the part of the nursing home. You can receive compensation for damages that occur because of ordinary negligence or because of medical malpractice.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1.5 Million older adults live in nursing homes, a rate that will likely double in the next 15 years. The CDC further reports that between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall each year, often causing or aggravating serious injuries.
Nursing home injuries have been a growing concern over the past several years as the demand for nursing beds has grown at a greater rate than availability. While a large number of injuries are the result of the older population being more fragile and susceptible to injury, there is also deliberation as to whether or not the elderly are getting a satisfactory level of care in all nursing home facilities.
Recent years have seen an increasing number of lawsuits against nursing homes and their staff related to injuries resulting from minor neglectfulness to gross negligence and even abuse. While a preponderance of nursing homes are run in a safe manner, if you have a loved one residing in a nursing facility it is prudent to stay diligent and watch for signs of injuries caused by facility neglect.
While many of the following injuries are the result of true accidents caused by falls, trips, or other innocent misfortune, the possibilities of these injuries being due to nursing home negligence are greater and warrant a diligent inquiry on your part.
Injuries to a Bed-Bound Patient
If you notice unexplained signs of injury on a patient that has limited mobility or has to stay in bed, you should ask questions. Dehydration or malnutrition can be signs that the staff is not adhering to an adequate nutritional schedule. Severe infections or bedsores, as well as unexplained bruises, cuts, signs of restraint or other injuries may be the result of neglect or even abuse. The less mobile a patient is, the less of a chance that they will experience legitimate injury, so be on the lookout.
Over or Under Medication
Nursing home injuries are often the result of over or under medication. A patient who has been overmedicated or undermedicated may exhibit physical or behavioral changes such as confusion or fatigue, chronic pain, or physical illness. If you see a swing in your loved one’s mood or a sudden, unexplained change in their health, it’s time to explore the reasons for the change.
While the neglect causing nursing home accidents may not be intentional, understaffing and overcrowding in many nursing facilities can result in damage. Be on the lookout for signs of neglect in the nursing home environment, including dirt, soiled bedding or clothing, inadequate clothing for the weather, or elders sitting alone and unattended for long periods of time.
Injuries from Falls, Slips, and Trips
The CDC estimates that about 1,800 people die from nursing home falls each year. While many falls are caused by muscle weakness and frailty of the elderly, environmental hazards, such as wet floors, low lighting or incorrectly fitting medical equipment also contribute to a large number of nursing home falls.
It can be difficult to know what actions to take when you notice your loved one has suffered unexplained nursing home injuries. You don’t want to overreact and accuse the facility or its staff unduly, but your senior deserves protection if there is any neglect or abuse taking place. Here are some actions you can take.
Talk to People
Ask your loved one how they sustained the injury. They may have an immediate answer that seems to be credible, in which case you may want to be extra diligent for a while just to confirm the incident was isolated. If you don’t feel comfortable with the answer you received from your loved one, ask other patients and even staff what occurred.
Keep Your Eyes and Ears Open
As you walk through the nursing facility keep your eyes open for signs of neglect or evidence that the staff is not taking the care with patient safety that they should. Is there adequate staff in the hallways and public areas to watch patients as they move about? Observe the bed and other equipment in your senior’s room and stick around when the staff comes in for treatments in order to observe their approach. Do they take care in transferring your loved one in and out of bed?
Escalate the Problem
After you have observed the lay of the land, you may feel that the nursing home injury does indeed stem from more than a common accident. At that point, you should feel comfortable in escalating the problem by reporting the possible abuse.
Confide in a trusted doctor or alert the authorities who can get you in touch with the proper contacts to further investigate the facility. When you report possible elder abuse, you want to be as specific as you can to help the investigators to understand the situation and expedite the investigation. Once you have reported your suspicions, an investigation should commence by the social services agency responsible.
Contact an Elder Care Law Attorney
In addition to escalating the investigation in order to protect all of the patients in the nursing home, you may want to contact an attorney that specializes in elder care law. They will be able to help you determine if legal action against the nursing home is advised. In most states, victims of nursing home negligence or abuse can file civil lawsuits for pain and suffering and medical negligence. An experienced elder law attorney can help ensure your legal rights are protected.
We understand how important proper care for your loved one is. Your family member lives in assisted care so that they can get the help and care that they need and deserve. When abuse and neglect occurs, it is a betrayal of the faith that you place in the care providers that you rely on. Our team of Tampa nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys understand how difficult it is when a family member suffers from nursing home neglect or abuse.
The Tampa nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, know that you need aggressive legal representation and kind, professional legal counsel. We’re here to fight back for you. With decades of professional experience and an entire team of trained legal advocates, we have the resources and dedication to get results. We evaluate the case from every possible angle to help your loved one and demand swift justice. When you work with us, you can expect thorough, aggressive, and skilled representation until the job is done.
The Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys team is a legal team of attorneys and professionals more than 40 members strong. The Bernstein team has the resources to help you aggressively pursue your rights. Our attorneys are thoroughly trained, experienced, and dedicated to helping abuse victims react quickly and appropriately.
With resources and our commitment to your success, see how we can represent you with no money down and no fee unless you win. When you work with us, Jack Bernstein personally knows and oversees your case. Our attorneys are available to answer your questions and provide guidance whenever you need us.
Are you concerned about a loved one? We’re here to take your call. Let us answer your questions and provide help. Your loved one has legal rights. We’re the aggressive, compassionate attorneys that can help your loved one exercise their rights and get the compensation that they deserve. Call or message us today to connect immediately with a team member.