Moving your loved one to an assisted living facility is never an easy decision for any family. Realizing that they are being mistreated by the people you expect to provide care can be heartbreaking. Understaffing, failure to provide appropriate safety equipment, and hiring unqualified staff are often to blame.
Mistreatment in a nursing home can be an act of commission or omission. Doing an abusive act or failing to care for a resident can both be an infringement of their rights. Personal injury attorneys in Miami can guide you on the appropriate legal remedies once you notice signs of nursing home abuse.
Are All Signs of Abuse Noticeable?
While some signs of abuse are easy to spot, others are not so obvious. This explains why acts of abuse are not always discovered right away.
They might go unreported because:
- Accidents and injuries are covered up and not reported to families
- The abuse might not leave physical marks
- The victims fear retaliation from the institution and prefer not to report
But if you have suspicions of your loved one being abused in a nursing home, contact a Miami nursing home abuse lawyer. A skilled attorney will handle the matter with the seriousness it deserves and use their experience to invest in the victim’s case.
What Can I Do if I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
When suspecting that your loved one is a victim of abuse, the first thing to do is to find a safe place to talk to them. Also, remind them that they can trust you, they shouldn’t be afraid, and that you can get them out of that situation if they are being abused.
If your loved one can talk to you about any harm caused to them, their words and other evidence of the abuse can be used to take legal action. Families can file a report with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and file a complaint online using the Florida Health Care Complaint Portal.
Because the Florida DOH does not accept nursing home abuse complaints over the phone, and take time to investigate such allegations, it’s best to consult with a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer in South Florida promptly.
What Causes Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can be executed by the nursing home staff or other residents of the institution. The results of these acts could be visible or invisible and might take a keen eye to detect. It can be in the form of:
- Changing of wills, financial theft, or stealing personal belongings
- Discouraging them from communicating about the abuse and instilling fear
- Preventing them from meeting their family
- Excessive use of physical or medical restraints
- Physical and emotional harassment
- Sexual and physical assault
- Frequent yelling and use of foul language
- Lack of air or heat conditioning
- Improper sanitation and infrequent changes of beddings or clothes
- Inadequate number of staff
- Improper medication
If your loved one opens up about any of the above conditions at their assisted living facility, it means that they are being abused. It can form part of the evidence needed to hold the nursing home accountable for nursing home neglect and abuse.
What Signs of Abuse Should I Look Out for?
Not all victims of nursing abuse will talk about their experiences. But if you observe keenly, you might notice the following signs:
- Complaints of abuse
- Unexplained broken bones, cuts, and sores
- Serious injuries requiring hospitalization
- Frequent illness
- Low self-esteem
- Genital or breast bruising
- Anal or vaginal bleeding
- Forged signatures
- Use of the resident’s credit card
- Bruising or fractures
- Pressure or bed sores
- Medication overdose
- Head trauma or injury
- Rope marks or other signs of restraint
- Agitation, withdrawal, and unusual behavior
- Hesitation to speak in the presence of staff
It is critical to report abuse as soon as you notice it. The visible signs rarely lie to you, and it will be easy to conclude that all is not well.
How Can an Attorney Help Our Case in Miami?
Nursing home abuse cases are not only complex, but they also require a lot of resources. It is safer to work with a law firm that has the means to build a strong case that will compel the court to rule in your loved one’s favor. Your nursing home abuse attorney in Miami should be able to:
- Conduct thorough investigations
- Gather staffing records
- Hire nursing home experts to evaluate safety and staffing measures
- Gather medical records
- Hire medical health experts to support evidence of the abuse
Notably, it is very easy for a nursing home to destroy evidence of abuse. Thus, families should act with speed as soon as they realize that their patient has been a victim of abuse. The earlier you seek legal help, the easier it will be to gather and preserve concrete facts.
Who Can We Hold Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?
Once you have reported to the relevant authorities and your attorney has gathered all the evidence, it is time to fight for justice. One party or more has to bear the responsibility for their actions or lack of it.
The Nursing Home Staff
The staff at a nursing home are tasked with the responsibility of assessing each resident’s needs and meeting them. Acting contrary to this comes with legal consequences on their part.
The Long-Term Care Facility
Institutions providing long-term care also have staffing responsibilities. If it is established that they failed in this role, they can be a party to the suit.
A Nursing Home Resident
Albeit rarely, other residents of the nursing home can take advantage of your loved one. And they can be held liable in equal measure.
If an experienced attorney properly represents you, you will likely win the nursing home lawsuit. The award could help you cater to all the emerging needs of your loved one.
Lawyers Preparing and Winning Nursing Home Abuse Cases for You
Nothing can ever make up for the verbal, emotional, sexual, physical, or financial abuse your loved one may have suffered. But compensation can make their lives more bearable and help cater for treatment.
Attorneys at our law firm are well-versed with patterns and symptoms of abuse. Speak to us today, and we will aggressively litigate on behalf of your family in claims against the nursing home or other persons.