When you make the difficult decision to put your loved one in a nursing home, you want to have the peace of mind in knowing that his or her basic needs will be addressed. Unfortunately, in many cases, not only are elders neglected in nursing homes, they are abused by the very people who are supposed to take care of them. The consequences of nursing home negligence and abuse can be devastating for the victim and their families.
Nursing home negligence is a huge problem in the United States. The Florida Healthcare Association reports that there are 682 nursing homes in Florida that are 85% occupied at any given time. The high number of residents in nursing homes signals the sheer number of people who are vulnerable to neglect and abuse.
While every situation is different, some of the common signs of neglect or abuse include: 1) complaints or accounts of verbal abuse; 2) signs of physical abuse, such as cuts, burns, or bruises; 3) odd or bizarre behavior; 4) rapid weight change; 5) bed sores or pressure sores; 6) emotional withdrawal; or any other signs that would signal less than ideal living conditions.
Nursing homes are supposed to ensure a certain level of care for all residents. In fact, there are strict laws pertaining to the operation of such a facility. These laws are intended to keep residents safe and healthy. When nursing home conditions start posing a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of a resident, there is a problem. Any of the following can give rise to a negligence claim: negligent hiring, under-staffing, inadequate training, dietary needs being ignored, medication errors, unsanitary living conditions, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and general neglect.
In order for a plaintiff to succeed on a negligence claim, he or she must establish the following facts: 1) the nursing home owed the resident a duty of care; 2) the nursing home breached the duty of care by failing to provide basic services that another nursing home in the same situation would customarily provide; 3) the nursing home’s breach resulted in the resident’s injuries.
If it can be established that a nursing home or its employee has acted negligently, they may be liable for financial compensation, including medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and disability as well as counseling and therapy costs. In certain, limited instances, Florida law allows for punitive damages intended to deter the at-fault party and others from engaging in similar conduct.
If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, you should consult experienced South Florida nursing home negligence attorney Robert Dixon. The Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help you seek the compensation you deserve. While no amount of money can undo the harm, financial compensation can help ease the burden of the bills that quickly pile up in the aftermath of such an incident. We help victims and families stand up for their rights. We represent victims in Miami and throughout South Florida. To find out about your options, contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878).
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