How to Report Elder Abuse in Florida: A Step-by-Step Guide

What are the steps in reporting suspected elder abuse? Read on to learn more.

Elder abuse is a serious and often under reported issue that affects many older adults in Florida. According to the Office for Victims of Crime, about 10% of people over 70 will have experienced some form of abuse this year. This equates to roughly five million instances of elder abuse in the United States every year.

From physical injuries and financial abuse to medical errors, negligence, and the pain and suffering that comes from sexual assault, elder abuse can take many forms. Reporting elder abuse is crucial to protecting vulnerable seniors from harm at long-term care facilities. MattLaw is committed to ensuring that residents of assisted living facilities receive the care and respect they deserve.

If you suspect elder abuse, don’t hesitate to report it. Your vigilance can save lives and help create a safer environment for our elderly population.

Questions? Call the nursing home abuse lawyers at MattLaw for a free case evaluation: 813-222-2222.

Know the Signs of Nursing Home Negligence

Any nursing home lawyer will tell you that cases of elder abuse, up to and including medical malpractice, are a lot more common than many realize. Elder abuse can take many forms, from physical abuse and emotional abuse to financial exploitation, neglect, and even sexual abuse.

Common signs of elder abuse may include:

  • Unexplained injuries or bruises
  • Sudden changes in financial situations
  • Poor hygiene or unsafe living conditions
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Unusual behavior or mood swings

If you see any of these signs, it’s time to talk to the nursing facilities about the level of care they are offering—as well as an elder abuse attorney about the potential for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Call MattLaw now to discuss your elder abuse case: 813-222-2222.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Reporting Elder Abuse in Florida

At MattLaw, we are more than nursing home abuse attorneys; we are elder-care advocates. We consider it part of our mission to educate the public on issues related to elder abuse. This guide will walk you through the steps to report elder abuse in Florida.

Step 1: Know the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse cases begin with paying attention to what you see in the facility, how your elderly loved one behaves, and of course, what they tell you about their comfort and level of care. Before you can file a lawsuit, you need to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse, so pay attention to any physical, emotional, and behavioral changes in the elderly person. Always trust your instincts if something feels off.

Read More: The 5 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Step 2: Gather Information

Your next job is simply to collect as much information as possible, as this will set the stage for what actions need to be taken. When you speak to a nursing home abuse attorney, you will need to provide the name, age, and address of the elderly person, as well as details of the suspected abuse or neglect.

Additionally, you may also want to include medical bills as well as medical records if their neglect includes physical abuse. If recovering from the abuse will require ongoing medical treatment, this will help set some parameters for the kind of care they will need.

Finally, you will want the name of the facility in which they reside, as well as the names of any potential abusers. Documenting specific incidents, dates, and times can be helpful when filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

How long do I have to file my nursing home abuse case?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases is two (2) years from the time the victim became aware of the abuse. In some cases, it is challenging to pinpoint the exact date that the elder abuse victim became aware of the abuse; in cases involving dementia, it may be harder to pinpoint the date of their financial abuse, sexual assault, or neglect. This is why it is critical to file your lawsuit as soon as possible.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Nursing Home Rights

Step 3: Make a Formal Report

You may wish to start by contacting the Florida Abuse Hotline. This public service “accepts reports 24 hours a day and 7 days a week of …. reports of known or suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.”

To report elder abuse, call the Florida Abuse Hotline: 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). You may also choose to submit an online report.

Reporting elder abuse in Florida is a critical step in protecting seniors who are not receiving proper care. By recognizing the signs of abuse, gathering information, and following the proper reporting procedures, you can help ensure the safety and well-being of older adults in your community. Your actions can make a significant difference in someone’s life!

Step 4: Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

After reporting elder abuse, speak to an elder abuse attorney about your case. Your nursing home lawyer will evaluate your case and advise you on your next steps, including filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Why should you hire a nursing home attorney? This specialized personal injury attorney can help you determine what your potential financial compensation may be. They will investigate your case to make sure all issues are brought to light. Finally, in cases of flagrant misconduct, they will bring a lawsuit that penalizes the nursing home facility, which serves to protect other residents from harm.

Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Now: 813-222-2222.

Step 5: Provide Emotional Support to Your Loved One

Even minor instances of elder abuse can be deeply traumatizing for the person affected. If you are close to the elderly person, offer your support through regular check-ins, and help them with errands and household tasks. Be sure to let them know they are not alone and that help is available. Encourage them to speak with trusted friends, family, or professionals about their situation.

Our experienced personal injury lawyers understand how deeply personal elder abuse cases can be, and we stand ready to help in any way we can. Call us today for your free consultation: 813-222-2222.

Matt Powell

About Matt

Matt Powell is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer by the Florida Bar who represents injured victims and their families. He is an experienced personal injury trial attorney who has been practicing since 1989 in Tampa, Florida. If you have any questions, feel free to call him at 813-222-2222 today.

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