Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Protecting the Rights of Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Victims
Every day loved ones are entrusted to the care of others in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We expect them to get good care. However, as our Fort Myers nusing home abuse attorneys know all too well, nursing home neglect and abuse is becoming a serious problem in Florida. There are many documented examples of nursing home and assisted living facility abuse - i.e., inadequate care, bed sores, infections, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, neglect, abandonment, and/or financial and material exploitation. Often, nursing home neglect is the result of deliberate understaffing.
If your loved one is abused in any way, call our firm immediately at (888) 477-4839. Our Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney, Randall L. Spivey, has the compassion and expertise to achieve the best possible settlement or verdict you deserve. We are committed to utilizing our team of experts and legal discovery to prove cases of elder mistreatment.
Common Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home patients must receive the level of care outlined by Florida state laws, and your health care provider or facility must recognize your rights while you are receiving medical care.
Cases for nursing home neglect, in which the facility failed to provide reasonable care, include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Inadequate supervision
- Inadequate nutrition
- Bed sores
- Falls due to inadequate assistance or supervision
- Prescription errors
- Insufficient fluids
- Improper medical care
- Failure to provide assistance with bathing and bathroom needs
- Inadequate protection from hazards
It’s important to understand that physical abuse and neglect are not the only forms of nursing home abuse that seniors (age 60 and older) are likely to encounter. Though many people think of nursing home abuse and neglect in a straightforward manner — such as the failure to provide proper nutrition, or intentionally withholding medication from a senior staying in a nursing home — there are many other types of abuse.
According to the Center for Disease Control, there are six different types of abusive misconduct imposed on seniors, both in the nursing home context and otherwise: physical, emotional, sexual, financial, neglect, and abandonment. The range of abuse that seniors are often subjected to can come as something of a surprise for the general public, but it is the unfortunate reality. Nursing home seniors are in a uniquely vulnerable position, making them a target for various forms of abuse. For example, it’s not uncommon for a nursing home senior to be sexually harassed or even assaulted by a staff member.
Identifying Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Identifying nursing home neglect and abuse can be difficult if you don’t know what to look out for. Warning signs include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Bruising, burn marks, lacerations, fractures, and other physical injuries
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden loss of weight
- Sudden hair loss
- Dirty bedding/environment
- Anxiety, particularly around caregivers
- Inconsistent reporting of experience in the nursing home (i.e., complaints followed by “hedging” of complaints)
- New motor impairments
- Sudden change in financial health
- Regular recurrence of injuries
It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of neglect and abuse, as Florida law gives family members (spouse, child, parent, sibling, and others) the right to bring a lawsuit on behalf of their loved one under certain circumstances — specifically, if your loved one has given you power of attorney or can be adjudged mentally incompetent (giving your guardianship over them). If you're not sure that abuse is present but you have concerns for your loved one, scheduling a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer is an important first step.
Damages Your Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Will Pursue
Nursing home residents who sustain an injury as a result of the negligence of the facility may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for the following:
Medical expenses: Medical expenses include past and future losses. For example, the senior is not only entitled to damages for the expenses already suffered as a direct result of the neglect and abuse but are also entitled to damages that compensate them for future treatment (i.e., surgeries, rehabilitation, ongoing therapy, etc.).
Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering in Florida is a non-economic loss and is therefore somewhat subjective in nature. It is a broad category of damages that accounts for both the physical and emotional suffering that an individual experiences due to the defendant’s wrongful conduct. For example, the physical pain resulting from a fracture would count as “pain and suffering” damages.
Disability or disfigurement: Impairments caused by nursing home neglect and abuse can give rise to a disability or disfigurement. Damages may incorporate losses relating to the impairment, such as an inability to engage in social and personal activities, or even work-related losses (though seniors are unlikely to have a significant work-related loss).
Aggravation of pre-existing conditions: If a pre-existing condition has been aggravated, then the losses attributed to the senior’s new, aggravated condition and their old, pre-existing condition may be recoverable as damages.
Property (Financial) Loss: In many cases, vulnerable seniors are exposed to financial abuse by manipulative caregivers. It’s not uncommon for a caregiver to ingratiate themselves with a lonely senior in a nursing home, and to then convince the vulnerable senior to gift them significant assets. These losses may be recoverable with the help of a Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney.
Punitive Damages: Punitive damages (which are multiplicative of the overall compensatory damages) are not commonly awarded in Florida but may be available in situations where the defendant engaged in willful, malicious, and particularly egregious conduct. For example, if a nursing home caregiver sexually assaulted a patient, then the court might consider an award of punitive damages.
Seek Justice With the Help of a Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
At Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., our attorneys provide personal attention to every client and devote whatever resources are necessary to help our clients receive maximum compensation. We treat each client and each case with personal care and attention. Contact a Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney today to discuss your case and review your options.
More Helpful Information for Our Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Randall L. Spivey recently won a judgment against a Lee County nursing home for the wrongful death of a loving father in the care of the nursing home.
A Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney says the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that roughly 95 percent of nursing home residents have been neglected.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 1 in 10 elders suffers from some type of abuse every year. However, the signs of elder abuse often go unreported and abusers are not punished.
June marks the beginning of Florida’s hurricane season. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of hurricane season, our thoughts are with our loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities who have been sheltering in place since mid-March with no visitors.
There is mounting pressure from the public to increase transparency about COVID-19 in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the United States.