Discovering that your elderly loved one is being neglected by a trusted caretaking institution such as a nursing home can be infuriating. When nursing homes fail to properly supervise residents, tend to their medical and hygiene needs, abuse them, or otherwise neglect the elderly people in their care, they can be found liable in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
Nursing home negligence is an especially relevant concern for many Florida families, as our state has nearly 700 registered nursing homes serving approximately 70,000 residents. There are dozens of nursing homes within 25 miles of West Palm Beach, alone. Neglected nursing home victims and their families have the right to recover compensation for their injuries.
KMW Legal Can Help With Your Nursing Home Negligence Claim
At KMW Legal, we have seen how a caretaker’s failure to provide basic care can lead to severe injuries that irrevocably harm an elderly person’s physical and mental health, leading to extensive medical bills and emotional distress. If you attempt to recover these costs on your own, you may fall prey to an insurance company’s tactics to diminish the value of your settlement.
You can depend on our team to be by your side through every step of the claims process. We are fully prepared to take your nursing home negligence lawsuit to trial in order to secure a fair settlement in the event settlement negotiations cannot reach an agreement and can leverage this to get you the compensation you deserve. We invite you to join us for a free strategy session to review the legal options available to you.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
When you entrust a nursing home to look after your loved one, you have the reasonable expectation that the nursing home staff can handle the responsibility of caring for their medical, physical, and hygiene needs. Nursing home negligence is a failure to provide this expected standard of care which ends up harming nursing home residents.
Unfortunately, in some cases, nursing home staff may go beyond negligence and also abuse the people in their care. Nursing home abuse may be physical or psychological in nature. Under Florida law, nursing homes can be held liable for elder abuse inflicted by their employees in civil court.
Indications of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
The signs of physical abuse of elderly nursing home residents may manifest as bruises, cuts, or other injuries. Injury may occur when a resident is left pushed against a hard surface, forcefully restrained, or attacked in some other way. Untreated injuries in the elderly can become life-threatening if they are not properly cared for.
The injured resident may appear reticent to use an injured limb or attempt to hide their pain from their family. The nursing home worker responsible for their injuries may pressure them into wearing long sleeves to hide the evidence, push back visits from family, or make excuses that blame the resident.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes is Underreported
Sexual abuse of the elderly can be identified by signs such as an inability to control their bladder, recurring UTI infections, new STDs, or bruises and bleeding around the pelvic area. Victims may also have defensive wounds on their face, arms, or upper thighs.
Behavioral changes are also common in elderly survivors of sexual abuse. They may isolate themselves, have short tempers, or appear fearful of certain staff and locations within the nursing home. After suffering sexual abuse at the hands of an employee or resident, elderly victims may feel too ashamed to report their assault, fear retribution, or may not report the situation due to cognitive decline.
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes May Go Unnoticed
Bullying, harassing, coercing, and isolating are all examples of emotional abuse. In most cases, it is the nursing home staff who perpetuate the abuse, or they may allow other residents to abuse each other without intervening. This abuse may not leave physical scars but is still damaging nonetheless.
Emotional distress can often manifest as weight loss, trouble practicing basic hygiene habits, and sleeping regularly. It is not uncommon for elders experiencing emotional abuse to display signs of anxiety and depression, such as self-isolating behavior or disengaging from activities they previously enjoyed.
Nursing Home Residents Are Vulnerable to Financial Abuse
The elderly are especially vulnerable to being financially exploited and defrauded through scams and other forms of theft. You may notice that their accounts have unexplained withdrawals or find that cash, cards, and valuable possessions are missing. If your loved one suddenly becomes cagey about their finances, asks to borrow large sums of money, or accumulates unpaid bills, it may be cause for concern.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
If you have reason to believe that your loved one is suffering from neglect or abuse in their nursing home, you should immediately report the allegations to the authorities as well as the person in charge of the facility. This provides third-party documentation of your concerns and potentially an investigative report for your lawyer to reference in settlement negotiations.
Additionally, you should document all communication with the facility, ask for copies of medical records, and obtain as much evidence as you can from witnesses, pictures, and nursing home records.
Proving Nursing Home Negligence Can be Challenging
Residents may fear retribution for speaking up or suffer from mental illnesses like dementia that prevent them from remembering the neglect. Due to circumstances like this, it can be difficult to build a claim based solely on the testimony of the victim.
Additionally, injured victims and their families must observe the statute of limitations placed on personal injury lawsuits, like those alleging nursing home negligence. In most cases, you will have 4 years to file a claim for damages, but that window narrows to two years in cases of wrongful death. A nursing home negligence lawyer can suggest alternative strategies to recover evidence and help protect your right to recover damages.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit?
Elderly nursing home residents may require supervision or assistance for a variety of tasks, such as bathing, eating, taking medication, or safely navigating the property. When a nursing home fails to meet these needs, residents can become severely injured, traumatized, or even die.
For example, elderly residents may sustain burns from unsupervised cooking, leaving them prone to infection. Staff may fail to turn immobile residents in their beds to prevent painful sores, change soiled clothing, or provide assistance with showering to avoid slip-and-fall accidents.
Examples of Damages in a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit:
- Medical bills
- Lab Tests
- Ambulance Rides
- Transportation to Appointments
- Hospital Stays
- Mobility Aids
- Physical or Occupational Therapy
- Pain and Suffering
- Wrongful Death
- Funeral and Burial Costs
- Loss of Companionship or Consortium
Injured resident and their families may be eligible to recuperate the costs of their medical bills, emotional distress, and other losses stemming from injuries caused by the nursing home’s negligence.
How Can a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Help Me?
Personal injury lawyers can be instrumental in securing a fair settlement in cases of nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse. Not only is it beneficial to have a legal expert on hand to deal with deadlines, paperwork, and complex jargon, but also to conduct their own investigation into the conditions of your loved one’s nursing home. They may be able to glean critical evidence that bolsters your negligence claim and establishes liability.
Having a trustworthy lawyer on your side also means you have a reliable source of information on the expectations for the personal injury claims process and the potential outcomes of your particular case. They will also be able to accurately gauge the projected costs of treatment for injuries and assess the value of the impact the neglect has had on the well-being of your loved one.
KMW Legal Can Help With Your Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit
Many elderly people who live in nursing homes are already medically fragile, so any neglect or abuse perpetrated against them can quickly deteriorate their physical and mental health. Your family deserves justice for your vulnerable loved one’s treatment, and we can help you recover the value of your losses in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.
KMW Legal has an irrefutable track record of excellence in negotiating settlements for our clients. We aren’t intimidated by powerful insurance companies, and we won’t let you be pushed into accepting a settlement that is lower than you deserve. You can rely on our negotiating experience and extensive resources to recover maximum compensation in your nursing home negligence lawsuit.
KMW Legal is Proud to Serve Nursing Home Abuse Clients in West Palm Beach, Florida
West Palm Beach has a population of 117,415 residents and is located along Florida’s eastern coast. It is known for its vibrant downtown, cultural attractions, and its prominent role in Florida’s history. KMW Legal has worked tirelessly to become West Palm Beach’s go-to law firm for nursing home negligence lawsuits.
KMW Legal takes our task of successfully recovering maximum compensation for victims of nursing home negligence seriously. To that end, we will go above and beyond when a nursing home’s negligence has burdened a family with bills, put their loved one in the hospital, or claimed a life.
Contact a West Palm Beach Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today
If you have uncovered nursing home abuse against your elderly loved one, it can feel like a complete betrayal of trust. You need a reliable and capable advocate to hold the negligent nursing home responsible for their treatment, even if that means taking your case to trial.
The lawyers of Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh have over thirty years of combined experience successfully negotiating settlements for victims of nursing home negligence. Our team’s diligence and compassion have garnered us a reputation among our clients for exceptional service.
We have represented many neglected nursing home residents in order to help them recover the damages they deserve. Reach out to our West Palm Beach office to schedule a free, no-obligation strategy session with our legal team. The lawyers of KMW Legal will offer a nuanced perspective that is specific to your needs while we help you determine the path forward for your nursing home negligence lawsuit.