Friday, August 14, 2015

Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Clearwater, Florida

According to the National Conference of State Legislators,1 the older population in the United States is expected to triple between 2012 and 2050. Many older people who require higher levels of medical and day-to-day care reside in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. Nursing homes are designed to meet the medical needs of people who have therapeutic, rehabilitative or preventative care, as well as for people who require assistance accomplishing day-to-day tasks. As such many nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable, either physically or mentally, to mistreatment or exploitation by those around them. When nursing home staff fails to provide adequate care or deliberately abuses residents, the facility can often be held civilly liable for any injuries caused. As a result, anyone who been injured while living in a nursing home or assisted living facility should retain legal counsel as soon as possible. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at 727-451-6900.

Loved ones are often the first line of defense
Many studies have indicated that the vast majority of nursing home abuse likely goes unreported. There are various reasons that a nursing home resident may be hesitant or unwilling to report abuse, including embarrassment or simply not being aware that any abuse has taken place. Consequently, loved ones of nursing home residents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of abuse in order to ensure that they can recognize that abuse may be taking place. Some of the more common signs of abuse or neglect include the following:

·       Bed or pressure sores
·       Unexplained weight loss
·       Loss of interest
·       Unnecessary use of restraints
·       Unsanitary conditions
·       Bruises
·       Lack of adequate treatment
·       Broken bones
·       Open wounds
·       Failure to prevent injuries
·       Over-medication
·       Under-medication
·       Depression
·       Emotional withdrawal

If you are visiting a loved one and notice any of the above or any other signs of abuse, you should alert the facility’s management immediately. In addition, concerned parties can also report suspected abuse to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs2 by phone, TDD, fax, or online.

Retaining legal counsel can help
Stopping the suspected abuse is only the first step in rectifying a nursing home abuse or neglect case. The assistance of an attorney can help victims ensure that they continue to be safe, receive appropriate treatment, obtain any financial compensation to which they are entitled, and that the facility is held accountable. In many cases, nursing home administrators will offer victims of abuse a financial settlement in order to limit their liability. Generally, the assistance of an experienced attorney can significantly increase the settlement offer made by the nursing home. An attorney familiar with nursing home litigation will understand the various issues that often arise in cases involving nursing home abuse, including those regarding the specific financial, medical, social, and legal needs of older adults.

Victims and their families should be aware of the fact that nursing home abuse cases are required to be brought within a certain period of time due to Florida’s statute of limitations. This means that any delay in retaining legal counsel and filing a claim could potentially jeopardize a nursing home abuse victim’s ability to bring a legal claim. As a result, anyone who suspects that they or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse should contact an attorney immediately.

Contact a Clearwater nursing home abuse attorney today to retain qualified legal representation

Nursing home abuse is never acceptable, and the facilities who allow their residents to be mistreated should be held legally accountable. In many cases, the victims of abuse are entitled to significant compensation, and by holding a facility accountable you can ensure that other residents are not subjected to the same unacceptable conduct. The lawyers of the Dolman Law Group have been representing the rights of the injured since 2009 and work tirelessly to ensure that each client we represent obtains the full and fair value of his or her claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Clearwater nursing home abuse attorneys, call our office today at 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756