Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Miami
Miami Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Placing a loved one in a nursing home is always a difficult decision. However, sometimes it is a necessary decision. When we have to do this, we expect that our loved one will receive the care and treatment that they deserve. While most nursing homes provide the required level of care, unfortunately far too many nursing homes do not. One of the largest failures in nursing homes is elder abuse. Our Miami nursing home abuse lawyer knows how devastating and prolific elder abuse can be. According to government statistics, approximately 10% of elders will suffer some form of abuse over their lifetime . Considering that there are approximately 1.5 million residents in nursing homes , and further that it is estimated that only 1 out of every 25 cases of abuse are discovered , 10% now becomes a staggering figure.
Here at Schlacter Law, we know how frustrating, confusing, and destructive nursing home abuse can be for a resident and for a family. But in times of great uncertainty, victims and their families can rely on our Miami nursing home abuse lawyer for help. We will work hard with your treating physicians and may retain experts to investigate your case to establish liability. Our experienced lawyer and legal team will work hard to settle your case or, if the nursing home and insurance company refuse to fairly compensate you or your loved one, we will be prepared to protect your rights to compensation in a courtroom.
Forms of Elder Abuse in a Nursing Home
There are two forms of elder abuse that could occur in a nursing home. The first type is abuse, which includes physical, emotional, sexual, psychological, and financial harm. This is an intentional act or offense against the resident.
The second type is neglect, which could be intentional or unintentional. For example, a staff member may consciously choose to ignore a resident who was rude (intentional neglect), or a staff member could simply forget a resident was left in a bathtub (unintentional neglect).
Both forms of nursing home abuse or neglect could lead to catastrophic personal injuries and even cause the wrongful death of an innocent person. Anytime a resident has been subjected to questionable conduct, speak with a trained Miami lawyer to learn what the rights of your loved one may be.
Types of Abuse in Florida Facilities
Our nursing home abuse lawyer knows that there are many different types of elder harm that could be caused in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or rehabilitation center. According to government statistics, the most common perpetrators are other family members (usually extended family), friends and neighbors (including other residents), and staff members (1). The same statistics provide that the risk of certain forms of abuse and harm to residents increases exponentially when the resident has some form of cognitive disability such as dementia, Alzheimers, or another similar disability. Whenever you suspect that a loved one has been harmed in a facility, always check with our lawyer for a free consultation.
The most common types of abuse include the following:
Physical Abuse and Harm
There are many different types of physical abuses that could be caused to innocent nursing home residents. Generally, this is the most obvious and common form of Florida nursing home abuse. The types that should always be reviewed by our lawyer include the following:
- Punching, kicking, or otherwise hitting a resident
- Burns, especially in areas hidden by clothing
- Lacerations or cuts
- Pinching, tugging, or grabbing
- Striking with objects
- Excessive use of physical restraints
- Pushing down stairs, into furniture, or a bathtub or shower
- Other types of serious harms that should all be reported to a Miami lawyer
Warning Signs of Physical Abuse
There are several important warning signs that family members need to be aware of to protect the rights of their loved ones. If warning signs are present, speak with a lawyer—even if there are just one or two warning signs. A trained investigator like our lawyer could uncover other indications of ongoing harm. Some of the most common warning signs of different types of physical abuse include the following:
- Spiral fractures – this is a type of fracture that corkscrews up and down the arm. It indicates that the arm was being pulled in one direction by the body’s muscles and that the arm was being pulled in another direction by an external force. This commonly is caused when a resident is resisting and a staff member is grabbing and pulling a resident in the direction the resident does not want to go. This is a classic and tell-tale sign of physical harm that must be reported to both the police and an experienced lawyer
- Sock burns – a sock burn is where there is a continuous burn from the most distal (external end or tip) of the body inwards. An example would be a burn from the end of the toes up to the ankle, all the way with no unburned skin. This type of burn indicates that a person was dropped into scalding hot water. While this may sound like an accident, it is a common form of physical abuse in a nursing home which should always be referred to a lawyer. Even if it is not an intentional harm, at the very least it is a clear sign of negligence that still requires assistance from a lawyer. Sock burns can also appear on the hands where a resident’s hand is dipped and held into hot water on purpose. This is less explainable and more likely to be an intentional harm
- Red Band Marks – a red band mark that looks rectangular and leaves a straight, solid line is a sign of an injury caused by being hit by a belt or other flaccid but strong object like a rope or electrical cord. The most common area for this type of injury is on the back, upper arms, or upper legs. Staff members who cause this type of injury are inflicting serious damage to a resident which needs to be stopped. Ask our Miami lawyer at Schlacter Law to help you
- Red “Box” Marks – like a red band mark above, a red “box” mark injury is a rectangular, straight mark. However, a “box” injury leaves a red outline of redness and the inside area of the rectangle is usually a normal skin color. This indicates that a resident has been struck with a hard, solid object like a piece of wood, stick, or cane. The most common area for this type of injury is on the back, arms, and legs. Ask our lawyer for help if you see any evidence of this type of injury on your loved one
- Bruises, welts, and other healing injuries
- Bed Sores
- Scars of healed injuries
- Emotional harm or withdrawal by a resident, including that a resident is afraid
- Irrational and unexplained mood swings
- Many other unsettling signs that indicate a possible issue for a lawyer to review
Sexual Abuse and Harm
Another unsettling form of misconduct in nursing homes is sexual abuse. This is a despicable offense that should never occur inside or outside of a nursing home. But to one of the most vulnerable populations, it is simply deplorable. Unfortunately, sexual abuse does occur in nursing homes and it does occur usually to the residents who are unable to defend themselves or report the offenses. Sexual abuses and harms in Florida nursing homes include fondling, sexual intercourse, sodomy, and other inappropriate touching or exposure. The warning signs of these abuses include the following:
- Bruising, bleeding, or injuries in private areas
- Blood on sheets or undergarments
- New diagnosis of an STD or genital infection that was not previously present
- Mood swings or unexplained behavioral changes
- Many other warning signs to contact our lawyer for help
Emotional Harm and Psychological Abuse
When staff members, residents, guests, or even extended family emotionally and psychologically abuse a resident, it can result in serious harm. Common forms of these abuses and harms include yelling at residents, demeaning them, leaving residents in isolation, ridiculing them, playing tricks or deceitful acts on them, or otherwise diminishing their self-worth. This can cause residents to become withdrawn and depressed, even causing them to start self-harm such as cutting or suicide attempts. Other times residents refuse to speak, meet with guests or family, and otherwise act out irrationally including aggressively.
This is one of the hardest forms of abuse to prove, even if a resident is able to explain what is happening. This is because there is usually little evidence unless it is caught on videotape or in front of multiple, credible witnesses. Even when it is, sometimes a lawyer does not know how to build the damages claim to recover a fair and just amount. But here at Schlacter Law, our Miami lawyer knows how to aggressively pursue and litigate an emotional or psychological harm case in a Florida assisted living facility. We will make sure facilities and insurance companies pay their fair share.
Financial Abuse and Harm
This is one of the most common forms of abuse which can be hard to detect but is generally easier to prove once it is discovered. However, savvy offenders may be able to hide their misconduct for such a long time that it can be near impossible to obtain full reimbursements without an experienced lawyer. Some of the most common forms of financial harm include the following:
- Unauthorized use of a credit card
- Stealing cash or weekly/monthly allowances
- Using a resident’s checkbook unlawfully
- Transferring stock or assets in the offender’s name
- Getting a resident to change a Last Will and Testament
- Other instances of financial exploitation that should be referred to a lawyer
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are two forms of nursing home neglect. The first is intentional neglect such as refusing to care for a resident. The second is unintentional neglect such as forgetting a resident in a bathtub. All forms of neglect can result in serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of a resident.
There are several reasons why intentional neglect could result in harm to a Florida nursing home resident that our elder care lawyer should be contacted to investigate and commence an action. Some of the most common forms of intentional neglect include the following:
- Refusing to care for a needy resident
- Ignoring a resident’s hygiene needs on purpose
- Punishment or “teaching a lesson” for something the resident did, even if just innocently
- Not wanting to change a resident’s soiled clothing or sheets because it is messy and an undesirable part of the job
- Torturing a resident by leaving him or her in a bathtub, shower, or in on toilet without a means to leave himself or herself
- Leaving a resident alone in a room all-day
- Purposely withholding food, water, or even medication
- Many other instances of intentional neglect that should be reviewed by our Miami lawyer at Schlacter Law
There are many different forms of unintentional neglect. The most common causes are due to nursing home understaffing, burned-out staff, overworked staff, bad hires, or inexperienced staff. Some of the most common forms of unintentional neglect include the following:
- Forgetting to administer a resident’s medication
- Leaving residents in beds, tubs, wheelchairs, or other places for extended periods of time
- Forgetting to change wound bandages
- Neglecting a resident’s needs for food or drink
- Not performing bed checks on residents
- Improper tracheostomy care
- Failing to count a resident at night when the facility doors close (and usually lock)
- Failing to check for bedsores or failing to rotate residents to avoid bedsores
- Many other forms of unintentional neglect that should be reviewed by a lawyer
Hire Schlacter Law for Florida Nursing Home Abuse Cases
No form of abuse or misconduct is acceptable in society, especially in a nursing home. Residents and families are paying exorbitant amounts of money each month to nursing homes to properly care for loved ones. When they fail to uphold their duty of care, it can result in serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an innocent resident. Considering that the nursing home business is big business in Florida, this is not acceptable. 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 ↩
- 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 the abuse was discovered or should have been discovered . This time period is known as the statute of limitations which functions as a time limit on filing a lawsuit. Any Florida lawsuit filed beyond the statute of limitations period may be automatically dismissed by a court. There may be some extensions to this time period, but there may also be some instances where this time period is shortened. It is best to also comply with the shortest time period. This is why victims of nursing home abuse and their families should immediately contact a Miami lawyer such as Schlacter Law to protect their rights to compensation.
What may a victim of nursing home abuse recover in an action?
There is a variety of different “damages” that a victim of nursing home abuse may recover in an action. This includes pain and suffering, wrongful death, medical bills (especially if a resident needs to be transferred to a hospital due to the harms inflicted by a facility), loss of society with family members, reimbursement for property damages (financial harms), and other damages caused by the nursing home abuse. In rare instances, a resident may be entitled to punitive damages for egregious conduct. Ask our lawyer at Schlater Law what you and your family may be entitled to under Florida law.
How much does a nursing home abuse lawyer cost?
Here at Schlacter Law, our Miami nursing home abuse lawyer does not charge any money upfront. Rather, our elder harm law firm covers the initial costs of gathering medical records, expert fees, and court costs for you. We work hard to settle your matter fairly and justly. However, if a nursing faculty, its lawyer, and its insurance adjuster refuse to pay you what you deserve, we are prepared to handle your matter in a court of law. You only owe us fees and costs after we recover compensation for you. This allows victims and their families to keep money in their pockets now to pay for medical bills.