Florida is a popular place to retire. Many senior citizens turn to nursing homes when they are no longer able to care for themselves, and family members are unable to provide the proper care they need. Unfortunately, sometimes these facilities fail in providing a level of care that is expected, or even humane, and often physical abuse can occur. If you suspect your loved one is not being treated properly, Miami nursing home abuse lawyer Robert Dixon can help. We will dedicate our energies to holding a negligent facility accountable for the harm that it caused. Our clients come from Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, as well as throughout Florida.Hold Florida Licensed Care Facilities Accountable
Physical abuse is defined as a caretaker’s purposeful use of physical force against an elderly person that causes bodily harm. In some cases, this behavior can even lead to the death of a nursing home resident, especially if his or her injuries go untreated due to neglect by staff. Examples of nursing home physical abuse include:
- Hitting, shoving, or pushing
- Kicking and slapping
- Keeping residents in restraints for an unreasonable amount of time
- Improper use of restraints
- Denial of food or drink
- Force feeding
- Inappropriate drug administration, such as unnecessary sedation
Signs of this inexcusable behavior sometimes are visible to observers, but often they are not.
Also, many senior citizens in licensed care facilities are not able, or are too ashamed, to report physical abuse. As such, their relatives may need to be extra observant to recognize signs of possible neglect. Some signs that could indicate abuse include:
- Excessive wounds or bedsores
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, or broken bones
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Unusual personality changes
- Severe infections
- Falling injuries
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Staff refusing visitation or delays in visitation
In Florida, nursing home abuse can result in criminal charges as well as civil penalties. Under state law, each nursing home must be staffed with experienced and qualified professional health care providers who have a certain amount of education before they may start work. Staff members must also pass a criminal background check. Nursing home residents have certain rights under federal and state law, including rights to nutritious meals, compassionate treatment, and access to medication and health care. If a caregiver or staff member violates any of these rights, other staff members are required to report these violations. Failure to report nursing home violations could also result in criminal and civil liability.
If you believe your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, it is important to report any violation immediately. Under Florida statute, nursing home abuse must be reported within two years of the incident, or from the time the incident was first discovered. A knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorney can assist you in making sure your rights are protected and asserted correctly.
Damages that may be available in a nursing home abuse action include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In Florida, punitive damages also may be awarded for extreme cases of abuse. When the facility’s neglect causes the tragic death of a loved one, certain family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for their loss.Experienced Fort Lauderdale Lawyer Protecting Your Rights
It may be difficult to come to terms with the realization that a loved one has suffered harm at a facility we have entrusted with their care. Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer Robert Dixon has the skill to pursue your claim and try to hold your family member’s abusers responsible for their actions. Please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your situation.