Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Giving a Voice to Your Elderly Loved Ones
Each year, an untold number of seniors living in nursing homes and assisted living centers across the country are subjected to some form of abuse or neglect. Many of these cases are serious enough to inflict lasting harm or even result in wrongful death. At Gunn Law Group, our nursing home abuse lawyers in Florida have been handling high-stakes and complex personal injury cases for decades.
Using our experience and insight, we can give a voice to you and your elderly loved one in your time of need by helping you pursue a nursing home abuse lawsuit against those who caused you harm.
At Gunn Law Group, P.A., we believe in the importance of protecting our elders. We are proud to offer aggressive legal representation for victims of nursing home abuse in Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Lutz, Odessa, and beyond. Call (813) 993-1448 for a free consultation.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be the result of an intentional malicious act or the outcome of a mistake. In either circumstance, it is unacceptable.
Elders in nursing homes and assisted living facilities depend on caretakers to do the right thing, act responsibly, and keep their wellbeing in center focus at all times. When this duty is set aside for any reason, the situation must be corrected, and the nursing home should be held accountable for any damages.
Nursing home abuse and neglect can occur in many forms, including:
- Physical abuse: Acts of violence carried out against an elder or dependent person in a nursing home are never excusable. Pushing, shoving, and hitting are commonly reported in cases of physical abuse in a nursing home. However, the threat of violence through shouting or other intimidation methods can be just as bad and also warrant a claim.
- Sexual abuse: Elders living alone in a nursing home are sometimes put in dangerous situations that leave them vulnerable to sexual predators. Due to mental health difficulties or memory problems, an elder might not even be fully aware of the fact that they have been sexually exploited by a caretaker or a visiting family member.
- Emotional trauma: Physical or sexual harm does not need to be inflicted upon an elder for a situation to constitute nursing home abuse. Severe mental and emotional harm can be caused by persistent bullying and insults.
- Financial exploitation: An elder’s finances could be vulnerable to exploitation while staying in a nursing home with dishonest caretakers or relaxed security measures. Caretakers or other residents may steal money out of the elder’s wallet or purse. In some situations, a visiting relative may coerce their elder to write checks in their name, lend out their credit cards, or even change their estate plan to benefit them.
- Neglect: In many situations, the worst harm that an elder experiences in a nursing home is caused through neglect and absentmindedness. Caretakers who lose track of the time or their duties may forget to bring meals or medications to elders in need, for example.
Assisted Living Negligence
Some families choose to provide their loved one with assisted living rather than placing them into a nursing home during their golden years.
Assisted living facilities allow the elderly person to live in their own space and get assistance as needed for their lives. They are able to receive medical assistance such as coordinating with physicians, providing support, and monitoring of patients.
Many of these facilities, however, offer compromising care and neglect of their residents. Whether this is the result of a tight budget or lack of staff, neglect can cause substantial harm to the elderly residents. If your loved one is the victim of assisting living abuse or neglect in Florida, our team can provide the legal guidance your family needs.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Elders who need the services and care of an assisted living facility are often struggling with their mental faculties. As a result, they might not be aware of the abuse or neglect inflicted against them, or they might forget an incident soon after it occurs.
Alternatively, a senior in a nursing home might be afraid to speak up and report the abuse.
Oftentimes, the responsibility of identifying and reporting nursing home abuse falls upon loved ones who communicate with or visit the abused elder. If you have an elderly loved one living in a nursing home, then you need to know what to look for.
Typical signs of nursing home abuse and neglect are:
- Unexplained injuries: Have you noticed bruises and scrapes on your elderly loved one that they can’t explain? They could be the first indication that they are being abused or neglected. Bedsores are especially telling of neglect, as they often form only after many hours of an elder being left alone.
- Malnutrition: Elders often have difficulties processing nutrients the same way they did when they were younger due to metabolism changes. They should not appear to be malnourished or dehydrated, though, no matter how different their diet is today.
- Fear of a particular person: If nursing home abuse is being inflicted by a single caretaker, then your elderly loved one might exhibit fear or paranoia when that person is nearby. Pay attention to their behaviors whenever a new person enters their room or the area.
- Financial losses: Ideally, someone your family can trust will be in charge of monitoring and managing your elder’s finances. If they report an unexplained financial loss, then it could be a sign of financial exploitation.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?
The type and amount of compensation you are able to recover in a nursing home abuse lawsuit will depend on the specific losses you or your loved one has suffered, but may include:
Economic damages are the most common type of compensation that is awarded in cases of nursing home abuse. This includes any medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses that have been incurred as a result of the abuse. These damages can be used to cover the cost of medical care, rehabilitation, and other expenses related to the abuse.
Non-economic damages are also available in cases of nursing home abuse. These are typically awarded for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other intangible losses that have been caused by the abuse. Non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate but can result in substantial awards for victims.
Punitive damages are sometimes available in cases of nursing home abuse if it is found that the facility acted with reckless disregard for the safety or well-being of its residents. Punitive damages are intended to punish wrongdoers and deter them from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages can result in large awards for victims but are not always available depending on state laws and other factors.
Wrongful Death Damages
In some cases, wrongful death damages may be available if a resident dies as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. Wrongful death damages include compensation for lost wages, medical bills, funeral expenses, and other costs associated with the death. In addition, family members may be able to recover compensation for their own pain and suffering related to the death of their loved one.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Florida?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse in the state of Florida, it is crucial to understand the timeline for filing a lawsuit. Generally, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases in Florida is two years from the date of the incident. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, such as cases where the victim is mentally incapacitated or unaware of the abuse.
It is important to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Florida as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best possible chance of obtaining justice for yourself or your loved one. Delaying legal action can have serious consequences, so don't hesitate to seek help from the team at Gunn Law Group if you suspect that abuse or neglect has occurred.
Gunn Law Group, P.A. in Florida is standing by to hear from you if you think or know that your elder has been abused or neglected in a nursing home.
Our Florida nursing home abuse lawyers are not intimidated by major insurance companies and tough oppositions, so you can be confident that we will have no issue challenging nursing home companies.
Your elderly loved one deserves the best comfort possible during their golden years. Help them find it through a nursing home abuse claim that protects their health and best interests.
Call now at (813) 993-1448 for a free consultation with an attorney.