Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility is extremely challenging. You want to do right by your relative, which means making sure they go to a place that is clean, safe, and run by professionals who are trained to provide the best care. Unfortunately, people can spend months researching facilities for Mom or Dad, only to wind up suffering terribly when they discover their loved one suffered abuse or neglect at the facility.
Elderly citizens are among the most vulnerable and defenseless members of our society. That is why at Baker Law Team, we believe they deserve the strongest representation when they have been wronged. Our firm helps families suffering from nursing home abuse and neglect, including families who have suffered the loss of a loved one due to abuse or neglect, seek justice. We understand the many emotions you may be experiencing at this difficult time. Our goal is to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their wrongful actions.
Knowing When a Boca Raton Nursing Home is Liable for Abuse or Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect may manifest in several different ways. When a nursing facility ignores the needs of its residents, this is considered negligence. Families of nursing home residents have the right to file a claim against a nursing home or assisted living facility when they believe that negligence has played a role in the suffering or death of their loved ones.
When you work with attorney Robert B. Baker of the Baker Legal Team, we will thoroughly investigate your claim to present evidence of negligence or abuse. If we can prove that the nursing home employees were abusive or neglected your relative, or that they allowed your relative to be abused or neglected by another party, it may be possible to receive financial compensation for the resulting damages.
At Baker Law Team, we know that no amount of money can ever undo your loved one’s suffering. However, a financial settlement from the nursing home facility may address:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and disability
It might also be possible to recover compensation for punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment for the defendant and aim to deter similar actions by other nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Punitive damages are rarely issued, however, as they are typically reserved for the most severe cases of abuse and negligence.
When Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Boca Raton Nursing Home?
When you work with an attorney with the Baker Law Team, he will review all the facts of your claim to find evidence that supports it. You may hold a nursing home liable for the injuries your loved one suffers when there is proof of:
- Negligent hiring. Nursing homes have a responsibility to hire qualified employees. They must hire people with the proper degrees and certifications for the positions for which they’re hired. Employees must also pass background checks and have no record of abuse or violence. Nursing homes that fail to conduct thorough background checks put residents at risk of abuse.
- Understaffing. A nursing home that has too few caretakers for the number of residents is a significant problem. When there is not enough staff to look after all the residents properly, residents are at risk of neglect. Neglect may include medical neglect (which may lead to bedsores and infections), neglect of basic needs (such as food and water), neglect of personal hygiene (such as dental care, clean laundry, and bathing), and social or emotional neglect. When there are too few employees, the caretakers who are staffed are under enormous pressure to perform. This may lead to reduced employee morale and little compassion for residents. Underpaid employees may also underperform.
- Inadequate training. Some caretakers may not have the right or sufficient training to look after residents, particularly disabled or disobedient residents. Inadequate training that leads to the injury of a resident may form the basis of a lawsuit against the nursing home.
- Medication errors. Medication is usually part of a senior citizen’s daily regimen. When caretakers fail to give medication or give residents in their care incorrect medications, the facility may be held liable when medication errors lead to injury or death.
Types of Possible Abuse in a Nursing Home
Nursing home residents may be susceptible to more types of abuse than people who can look after themselves. Types of abuse nursing home residents experience are:
- Physical abuse. This type of abuse goes beyond criminal acts of violence. Physical abuse may include force-feeding, over-medicating, and excessive use of chemical or physical restraints against elderly residents.
- Emotional abuse. Such abuse may include verbal degradation, threats, insults, isolation, and emotional manipulation. An example of emotional manipulation may be when a caretaker manipulates a resident into making their job easier, such as a resident keeping quiet about needing a drink of water or snack to avoid being reprimanded or hit.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse occurs in nursing homes as well. It may involve residents who are forced or tricked into unwanted sexual contact, or when the resident is too weak to consent to sexual acts. Residents can be sexually abused by other residents, caretakers, other employees of the nursing home, visitors, family members, or contractors.
- Neglect. Neglect is a form of abuse, and it is the failure of the caretaker to execute the degree of care that is expected of a person in his or her position. Neglect may include the failure to assist with hygiene; to provide appropriate and sufficient food, clothing, water, and shelter; to give necessary medical treatment; and to address known health and safety hazards.
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If your loved one is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important for them to understand the signs of mistreatment. Often, elderly residents who voice their concerns about their treatment are dismissed due to their age or cognitive state. To avoid this, know the tell-tale signs of abuse and neglect in a Boca Raton nursing home:
- Silence around caretakers
- Bruises on or near the genital area
- Unexplained diseases or infections
- Physical discomfort
- Unpaid bills
- Changes in your loved one’s will
- Sudden financial problems
- Change in the Power of Attorney
What are bedsores?
Bedsores or pressure ulcers may develop when a person is left in the same position for extended periods of time. They are injuries to the skin and underlying tissues that are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores often appear on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips, shoulder blades, and tailbone.
Bedsores may take hours or days to develop, and those who are most at risk are those who cannot change their body’s position without help. Most sores heal with treatment; however, a nursing home resident who is not checked often may develop an infection from bedsores.
Choose Baker Law Team to Represent Your Bedsore and Nursing Home Abuse Claim
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in their nursing home, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the facility. Our firm is able to report the abuse to the proper authorities and help you take the steps necessary to hold them accountable while protecting the rights of your loved one.
It’s crucial to document all information relevant to the suspected abuse or neglect. If your loved one has developed bedsores, make sure to take photographs that we can use as evidence against the nursing home or assisted living facility.
At Baker Law Team, we know you’re going through a devastating time and are here to provide support and competent legal counsel through every step of your nursing home abuse claim in Boca Raton. Robert B. Baker is board-certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education. He is qualified to take your claim to court and fight for the justice your loved one deserves.
Rob Baker is a civil trial lawyer who is not afraid of taking even the largest nursing home chains to court to hold them accountable for their actions. Do not hesitate to reach our firm at no cost to you. There may be a time limit for filing a nursing home abuse case, so complete our contact form as soon as possible, or call (561) 320-000 for a free consultation. We’re here to help.