Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Abuse

Florida Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer

MattLaw®: Florida’s Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

As the “baby boomer” population ages, more and more families will be seeking nursing home care for their elderly loved ones. Roughly 1.5 million Americans live in nursing homes; it is estimated that by 2050, that number will triple. As this number rises, so do tragic instances of nursing home abuse and neglect.

A nursing home should always be a safe haven for its residents; unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Over 40% of nursing home residents have reported nursing home abuse; more than 90% report that they or another resident of the facility have been neglected. A 2020 study found that well over 6 in 10 nursing home employees admitted to committing some form of nursing home abuse. With these cases comes a loss of dignity, autonomy and quality of life. While some nursing home facilities provide adequate care, others fall short, causing immense suffering for residents and their families.

Contact MattLaw®, your Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

At MattLaw®, we believe these numbers are absolutely unacceptable. If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect in Florida or Georgia, our dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys at MattLaw® can help. Call us at (813) 222-2222 for a free consultation—there’s no fee unless we recover compensation for you.

Nursing Homes Put Profits Over People

While some nursing homes provide a valuable service to the sick and aged, other nursing homes prioritize profit over the well-being of their residents. They do this through inadequate staffing and care, insufficient training, and poorly maintained facilities. Failure to train and supervise employees—or a failure to maintain a safe facility—put residents at risk. 

When assisted living facilities put profits over people, patients suffer. From medication mix-ups and bone-breaking falls, to extortion and emotional manipulation, nursing home abuse strips the dignity from nursing home residents. Nursing home abuse can result in a wide range of injuries and issues.

Common Nursing Home Abuse Injuries

Injuries that may occur due to inadequate staffing and care include:

  • Falls with fall-related injuries
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Infections
  • Sepsis
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Weight loss
  • Medication errors
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Physical or emotional abuse
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sexual assault
  • Financial exploitation and fraud
  • Failure or significant delay in hospitalization
  • Death

The Statute of Limitations

Have you or a loved one experienced nursing home abuse? Time may be running out! The statute of limitations for nursing home claims is generally two (2) years. There are exceptions, but it’s crucial to consult with an attorney to understand the specific deadlines for your case.

Contact us for a Free Consultation. If you or your loved one has suffered due to nursing home negligence in Florida or Georgia, don’t hesitate to contact MattLaw® at (813) 222-2222 for a free consultation. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t owe us any fees unless we recover compensation for you. Our experienced and dedicated nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to take legal action and fight for the justice you deserve.

Why Nursing Home Abuse Cases?

Nursing home care is woven into the fabric of our culture. With 1.3 million Americans currently residing in nursing homes—more than half of whom are over the age of 85—nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our community. While many nursing homes provide invaluable care to the sick and elderly, nursing home abuse is sadly rampant in these facilities.

While we would never wish nursing home abuse on anyone, it is an honor to fight for justice in nursing home abuse cases across our state. At MattLaw®, we are prepared to seek damages for any harm, abuse, mistreatment and/or neglect sustained in nursing homes or assisted care facilities. Stand committed to helping your loved ones understand their legal rights regarding nursing home abuse.

MattLaw® Knows Nursing Home Abuse Law

If you suspect that your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse, contact our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss your case. Call us at (813) 222-2222.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse generally refers to the intentional causing of pain or harm to a nursing home resident by a person or persons on staff, by an unaffiliated party allowed to interact with a resident, or by the facility itself. Classifications of nursing home abuse vary by type and severity.

Common Types Of Nursing Home Abuse

Some of the most common warning signs of nursing home abuse are as follows:

General Neglect

Neglect is a catchall term that describes any degree of indifference and carelessness towards a nursing home resident. This includes any failures to provide for a patient’s basic needs, including:

  • Leaving residents unattended for long periods of time
  • Failing to provide residents with basic necessities, including food, water, shelter/shade, companionship or assistance with activities of daily living
  • Failing to report injury, illness or mental health issue
  • Failing to attend to the resident’s living space such that sanitation or hygiene issues arise
  • Accidental exposure to loud noises
  • Accidental exposure to extreme heat or cold

Physical Abuse

Nursing home injuries arising from physical abuse are 100% avoidable. Instances of physical injuries require immediate attention; they may become life-threatening if not immediately addressed. 

Physical abuse involves any damage or mistreatment to a resident’s body. This may involve any of the following actions:

  • Pushing
  • Hitting
  • Biting
  • Pinching
  • Shoving
  • Force-feeding
  • Scratching
  • Slapping
  • Spitting
  • Intentional exposure to loud noises
  • Intentional exposure to extreme heat or cold

Emotional Abuse

Nursing home residents deserve autonomy, consideration and respect. In some of the most upsetting instances of nursing home abuse, these values are lost to verbal abuse and manipulation, often causing fear, distress and/or disorientation to the resident. 

The most common type of nursing home abuse, emotional abuse can cause long-term damage, including a loss of confidence and increase in suspicion or paranoia. Any instance of psychological or emotional abuse should be taken seriously and addressed swiftly.

Emotional abuse includes behavior such as:

  • Berating
  • Cursing
  • Threatening
  • Lying
  • Manipulating
  • Intentional disorientation

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can happen at any age, and can be no less damaging in older populations. Defined as the intentional act of violating a resident in a sexual manner, nursing home sexual abuse includes any of the following:

  • Improper touching
  • Coercion to perform sexual acts
  • Emotional and psychological damage related to sexual contact
  • Physical suffering related to sexual contact
  • Nonconsensual sex (rape)

Financial Abuse

Many people move their loved ones into nursing homes to provide a sense of security. Financial abuse — an all-too-common occurrence in nursing homes — strips that security away.

Financial abuse includes any intentional monetary exploitation of a resident. This type of abuse typically begins with befriending the resident and establishing trust. For this reason, we recommend that families pay close attention to their loved ones’ caretakers, and vet their social group carefully.

Do I need a nursing home abuse attorney?

If you have witnessed any of the above, don’t wait: contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at MattLaw® for a free consultation and learn about your legal rights. Your free consultation includes a legal claim evaluation performed by lawyers who focus in complex nursing home lawsuits. There are no fees for our services unless we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf; however, you must file within a strict timeline for your claim to be viable. Don’t delay — call us today: (813) 222-2222.

Common Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

Given the age and relative frailness of the nursing home population, nursing home abuse may sometimes look like common ailments of an aging population. Stay vigilant for any recurrent physical symptoms, mood changes, or psychological distress (particularly around certain individuals). 

If you observe any of the following, your loved one may be experiencing nursing home abuse:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Malnutrition and/or weight loss
  • Dehydration and/or kidney stones
  • Ligature marks on the wrists or ankles
  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, and bleeding
  • Sudden emotional changes
  • Soiled clothing or bed linens
  • Torn or bloody clothing
  • Bed sores (sometimes called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers)
  • Bed injuries/asphyxiation
  • Restraint Injuries and strangulation
  • Emotional upset, agitation or withdrawal including anxiety, depression, or confusion
  • Withdrawal from family members or friends
  • Falls, fractures or head injuries
  • Infections or idiopathic (unexplained) illness
  • Instances of wandering/elopement
  • Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
  • Lack of basic amenities
  • Cluttered and/or unsanitary living environment
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unpaid bills, new credit cards, and/or cash withdrawals
  • New pain complaints

Most nursing homes provide adequate care and a safe environment for their residents. However, some senior citizens suffer physical, emotional, financial and even sexual abuse within these facilities. These problems are often exacerbated by the fact that nursing home residents are not able to communicate well.

If you suspect your loved one is in an abusive situation, the best way to determine their level of care is to stop by for regular unannounced visits at their facility. If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, document it and contact MattLaw® immediately: (813) 222-2222.

How Do I Report Nursing Home Neglect?

Reporting nursing home abuse comes back to the popular adage: “If you see something, say something.” 

We recommend that you document everything you see, as soon as you suspect nursing home abuse. Begin recording instances of the resident’s living environment, physical condition, and mental state. It is not always easy to identify the root cause of neglect, particularly when a resident is unable to communicate clearly. It is important to gather as much information as you can.

Report nursing home abuse as soon as possible. You may do this by contacting your local authorities, the eldercare company, the resident’s primary care physician, or even emergency medical services in the most severe cases.

Contacting a nursing home abuse attorney is the next step in seeking justice for those harmed through nursing home abuse. Through a thorough review of the circumstances of your case, we can determine if your family is entitled to compensation. Contact MattLaw® today to begin protecting the rights of your loved ones.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse in Florida?

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations, or deadline for filing a lawsuit, is two years from the date of discovering the abuse or the date the abuse should have been discovered. Your claim can be filed no more than four years from the date of the abuse. Hiring an experienced nursing home abuse attorney ensures that your case will be filed appropriately within this time frame.

What Is Required To File A Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?

Given the frailty of their clients, nursing homes see their share of natural deaths. However, not all nursing deaths are inevitable; in some tragic cases, a resident’s death was fully preventable. These deaths are caused by the negligence of someone in a caregiver role. We use the phrase “wrongful death” to describe these cases

Liability in wrongful death cases depends on four factors:

  1. DUTY: the caregiver must have a duty to protect the resident and uphold a standard of care that is typical of someone in a caregiver role;
  2. VIOLATION OF DUTY: the caregiver must have failed to meet the standard or care in looking after the resident
  3. CAUSE: the violation must be the cause of the resident’s harm or damages
  4. HARM: there must be a clear harm to collect legal damages 

In nursing homes, caregivers and facility administrators must ensure the safety and comfort of all their client-patients, all the time. If anyone violates this duty, causing injury, harm or death, they may be responsible for the damages caused by their negligence.

What Is “Standard Of Care”?

“Standard of care” is a legal term that refers to the expected care that a reasonable person would exercise. Nursing home employees follow a rigorous protocol to protect their patients from harm. This includes administrative rules, HIPAA regulations, medical standard of practice, as well as any contractual duties specified between the patient and the care facility. All nursing home employees must uphold the nursing home’s policies and guidelines at all times. Ignorance of the standards of care, insufficient training or staffing shortages do not absolve them of this responsibility.

The State Operation Manual for Skilled Nursing sets forth all rules, regulations, laws, and common law duties to be followed in nursing homes and other care facilities. To maintain licensure, nursing homes must ensure that their caregivers follow these guidelines at all times. 

What happens during my free consultation at MattLaw®?

During our free consultations, we seek to understand all relevant elements of your case. We will want to establish a contractual duty of care, a breach of that duty, a causal relationship between the caregiver’s negligence and the harm sustained, and documentation of the injury.

We will ask questions like:

  • How long ago did the abuse occur?
  • How old was the plaintiff (injured party) at the time of the abuse?
  • Did the plaintiff have any preexisting conditions?
  • What kind of care was stipulated under their contract?
  • How many people were responsible for caring for the plaintiff?
  • How did the caregiver’s violation of the duty cause the injury?
  • What details are listed in the plaintiff’s medical records?
  • Who can speak to the plaintiff’s condition before and after the injury? 

Contact us today to discuss your nursing home abuse case at (813) 222-2222. If we cannot take your case for any reason, we will provide an explanation, refer you to a different law firm and help you understand the best options for your specific circumstances. Please note that this free consultation does not constitute a legal relationship.

Nursing Home Abuse? Contact Your MattLaw® Attorney

Discovering that your loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse in their nursing home can stir up a range of emotions. Our team of compassionate advocates are here to provide comfort through professional advice and representation. We investigate all elements of your case, from staffing and training to facility maintenance. We hold negligent parties responsible, so you and your family can focus on healing. Call (813) 222-2222 to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused at their nursing home, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers at MattLaw® today. We want to hear your story.