Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Hialeah
Hialeah Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Sometimes placing a loved one in a nursing home is a difficult but necessary decision. It is never an easy decision, but sometimes we have to realize that we may no longer be able to provide the care and treatment that our loved one needs at home. Many nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other assisted living facilities provide this necessary and life-sustaining care. However, far too many nursing homes simply fail to provide our loved ones with the standard of care required under Florida law. While sometimes this failure is due to lapses in medical care and treatment, other times nursing homes fail because of intentional abuse and neglect. According to statistics, approximately 10% of elders will suffer some form of abuse over their lifetime  . This is a large and concerning figure because it is also estimated that only 1 out of every 25 cases of abuse are discovered  , meaning that 10% figure is actually much higher.
Here at Schlacter Law, we know how much worse nursing home abuse actually is in facilities throughout Florida. Our Hialeah nursing home abuse lawyer handles all types of physical, sexual, emotional or psychological, financial exploitation, neglect, and any other type of abuse. Our award-winning law firm has trained staff who know how to compassionately help your abused loved ones while aggressively holding those responsible liable for compensation. If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Florida, ask our lawyer how we can help you today in a FREE consultation by dialing (305) 999-1111. There is no upfront financial risk to having our lawyer review and evaluate your possible claim.
Top Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
While there are many possible causes of nursing home abuse, neglect, and harm, there are some commonly reoccurring causes that our lawyer wants you to know. These common causes are all caused by the negligence of the facility, the administration (owner/manager), or other staff members. The most common causes include the following:
- Inadequate Staffing – Nursing homes are a business and salary is usually the largest expense for any business. Cutting staffing means increasing profits, but that also translates into less staff to care for residents. Federal research has found that high staff ratios generally mean higher quality care for residents, whereas low staffing ratios generally mean lower quality care . However, our lawyer knows that not only does lower staffing levels mean worse care, but it is also a breeding ground for abuse and neglect
- Lack of Supervision – This relates to not only a lack of supervision of residents, but also a lack of supervision of staff. Residents who are not properly supervised could hurt themselves in falls due to wandering, but they could also abuse other residents and cause physical harm to other vulnerable individuals in the facility. In addition, a lack of supervision also means that other staff members have fewer supervisors. This allows “bad apples” to cause havoc in nursing homes, including abusing residents with near impunity. If you suspect that there is a lack of supervision in a facility, ask our lawyer for help
- Bad Hiring – Bad hiring decisions can lead to staff members who are not suited for this job working with the most vulnerable individuals of our society. This includes negligently hiring employees who have a history of abusing individuals, including at nursing homes and other elder care facilities. This can be a hard claim to prove without a lawyer, but a very strong claim if you can establish negligent hiring or entrustment
Types of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Abuse can take many different forms. Unfortunately, elderly residents are one of the most vulnerable populations and may be victims of almost all types of abuse. This also includes neglect which could be intentional (i.e., the worker is willingly ignoring the resident’s needs) or unintentional (i.e., the worker forgot about the resident’s needs). The most common forms of nursing home abuse include the following:
Physical abuse can be devastating to an elderly resident. This is because residents are typically frailer and most susceptible to serious injury. Our lawyer knows that physical damage and serious injury could be caused by the following types of physical harm:
- Hitting a resident such as punching, kicking, or otherwise striking a resident
- Pinching, tugging, yanking, or grabbing at a resident
- Cutting or causing lacerations
- Throwing objects at victims or hitting victims with objects
- Improper use of physical restraints, including excessive use
- Pushing a resident down stairs, into walls, into furniture, or down into a bathtub or shower
- Other types of serious harms that should be reviewed by our Hialeah lawyer
There is no place in our society for any form of sexual misconduct to occur. This is especially true in our nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers. Unfortunately, this outrageous and despicable form of abuse occurs all too often. Our lawyer knows how difficult it can be for a family to learn that sexual offenses are being committed against a loved one at a nursing home which was meant to help them. Some of the warning signs of sexual abuse, misconduct, and harm that our lawyer wants you to be aware of include the following:
- Injuries to private areas, including bruising, bleeding, scabs (healing wounds), or other injuries
- Blood on bedding, towels, or undergarments
- Unexplained behavioral changes
- New diagnosis of an STD or other genital infection or condition
- Psychological changes including depression, anxiety, being withdrawn, refusing to eat
- Unusual behavior such as refusing to talk to loved ones on the phone, refusing to get out of bed, and other odd or unexplained behaviors
- Many other unusual or troubling behaviors, signs, or issues that should be brought to our lawyer’s attention. If something does not seem right, ask our lawyer for a FREE review
One of the most difficult forms of abuse to prove is emotional or psychological abuse. Oftentimes there is no evidence of the misconduct causing emotional or psychological harm. Most victims cannot articulate or report the harm being done to them, some may not even realize that there is misconduct being performed against them. Some common forms of emotional or psychological abuse that should be brought to our Hialeah lawyer’s attention include the following:
- Yelling, screaming, or threatening language
- Ridiculing victims
- Tricks or unfair games
- Deceitful acts or promises
- Telling a resident they are not worthy, unloved, trash, or otherwise demoralizing them
- Other serious instances of misconduct that should be reviewed by our lawyer
Victims of emotional or psychological abuse in Florida nursing homes may show the effects of becoming withdrawn, irrational, engaging in self-harm, or become extremely depressed or anxious. Other times residents may reject visits from family and friends, or refuse to talk to loved ones over the telephone. Some victims of emotional or psychological harm may also become aggressive and mimic the behavior to other residents. All of these warning signs should result in a phone call to our lawyer.
This is the most common form of abuse but it is also one of the most difficult to detect. Financial exploitation occurs when nursing home staff steal from residents, either by taking from their wallets, using their credit cards, or even selling/trading stock to the staff member. In serious or egregious cases, staff members may change a resident’s Last Will to give gifts to the staff member or the staff member’s family.
While financial exploitation does not cause physical harm to a resident, financial exploitation can have significant ramifications for a victim. This is because residents could lose assets that help them pay for medications, treatment, and even the nursing home facility itself. Most instances of financial exploitation need to be reviewed by a Hialeah lawyer because a thorough investigation must be done, especially where items such as Last Wills, Trusts, or stocks are changed. While this form of abuse can be difficult to detect, when it is detected the case is usually strong.
Nursing Home Neglect
There are two forms of nursing home neglect. They are intentional neglect or unintentional neglect. Intentional neglect is where a staff member purposefully, knowingly, and intentionally neglects a resident by refusing to help them, provide medication, change wound bandages, or even neglects something as simple as getting them out of bed in the morning. Intentional neglect could be because a staff member does not like the resident who may have multiple needs, or intentional neglect could be the staff member “punishing” or trying to prove a point against the resident. Other times a staff member may not want to help hygienically clean a resident, shower or bathe a resident, or otherwise “deal” with a resident and therefore the staff member chooses to ignore the resident. Anytime there is a suspicion of intentional neglect, victims and their families should ask our Hialeah elder abuse lawyer for help.
The other form of nursing home neglect is unintentional neglect. This occurs when a staff member simply forgets about a resident, such as forgetting a resident in a bathtub, in a wheelchair, outside, or in a bed. This may be due to understaffing or inexperienced staff who fail to effectively care for residents. Most times this form of neglect is just the tip of the iceberg and there are usually worse problems at a nursing home such as poor administration, lack of supervision, inadequate staffing, and other serious issues. If you notice too many absent mistakes at your loved one’s facility, get our lawyer to help.
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Cases Should Call Our Hialeah Lawyer at Schlacter Law
When nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or rehabilitation centers neglect or physically, sexually, emotionally/psychologically, or financially abuse a loved one, you need to fight back with Schlacter Law. Our experienced Hialeah nursing home abuse lawyer will protect your family’s rights to compensation for serious abuse and harm caused to a loved one. We will not let dangerous facilities and callous insurance companies deny or underpay your loved one’s claim. If your loved one has been the victim of terrible abuse or neglect, or if your loved one has unexplained injuries while at a nursing home, call Schlacter Law for a FREE case evaluation by calling (305) 999-1111 or by visiting our website to fill out an easy-to-use form.
- https://ncea.acl.gov/What-We-Do/Research/Statistics-and-Data.aspx#prevalence ↩
- https://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/nursing-home-facts-and-statistics ↩
- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4833431/ ↩
- http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html ↩
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Florida?
Two years from the date of the abuse or when the abuse should have been discovered . However, if the abuse is discovered more than four years after the misconduct, it is too late to file a lawsuit. This time limit on filing a lawsuit is known as the statute of limitations period. If a party fails to file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations period, the case may be automatically dismissed as untimely. There are some extensions to this time limit, but there are also some instances that shrink this time period. Victims and families should always ask our Hialeah nursing home abuse lawyer for help to file a timely claim.
What if my loved one is not competent to commence a claim for himself or herself?
If there is an issue of competency due to disability or a medical condition, ask our lawyer how a guardian could be appointed to make legal decisions. Your loved one may already have a power of attorney, living will, appointed guardian, or another document that appoints a decision-maker. If not, it is best to have an experienced lawyer like ours at Schlacter Law to file the appropriate petition to get a legal guardian. This is a necessary step to protecting your loved one’s rights in serious cases of Hialeah nursing home abuse and neglect.
How much does a lawyer cost for a nursing home lawsuit?
Schlacter Law does not charge any money upfront. This means that victims and their families have no upfront bills or costs associated with our law firm. We only get paid a percentage of what we recover for you after your case settles or receives a court award. This allows families to keep money in their pocket to keep paying for a loved one’s medical needs now, or more importantly to move a loved one into a new nursing facility for safety.