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Jacksonville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Jacksonville, FL

Thousands of families in Florida and throughout the United States trust nursing home facilities, assisted living centers, and various senior care service providers to offer safe and effective daily care for their elderly loved ones. The companies and agencies that provide these services are legally required to ensure that their employees are fully trained and capable of handling their patients’ needs. Unfortunately, some people who work in nursing homes use their positions to victimize patients for personal gain.

Many elderly people rely on the care of others for medical treatment and the completion of everyday tasks. For some, their primary caregivers are the staff of nursing home facilities. While there are nursing homes that do provide the quality care that older individuals need, others fail to meet this standard and subject their patients to abuse and neglect.

Use our contact form or call 904-309-6500 for a no-cost case evaluation with our Jacksonville nursing home abuse attorneys. An experienced legal team can provide the guidance and support you and your family need when you have discovered that your elderly loved one has been abused and neglected by the people you pay to keep them healthy and safe. It’s natural to feel an incredibly challenging mix of emotions in this situation. However, legal counsel you can trust can be an invaluable lifeline that allows you to approach your legal proceedings with confidence and peace of mind.

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The Signs of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect in Jacksonville, FL

If you have an elderly family member who relies on the care of nursing home staff, be aware of any unusual medical conditions or behavior in your loved one — abuse and neglect can show as physical or mental symptoms. In addition, if you notice a significant change in your loved one’s behavior or any signs that they have been hurt or sick recently, you must investigate these issues as fully as possible to keep them safe.

Suspicious visual signs or emotional symptoms in a nursing home patient could be indicators of physical, sexual, emotional/social, and financial abuse or neglect. These types of mistreatment may appear as:

  • Anxiety
  • Bed sores
  • Bone fractures
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Changes in financial status
  • Cuts
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Head injuries
  • Irritability
  • Malnutrition
  • A new illness or one that worsens
  • Unhygienic appearance
  • Behavior that is withdrawn

Any of these signs should raise concern for the possibility of nursing home abuse and neglect and should be addressed immediately. Contact our Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as possible if you believe your loved one was harmed by a caregiver. We’ll help you make sure they get to safety and receive the care they need.

Understanding Nursing Home Responsibilities

When you pay for your elderly loved one to receive nursing home care, your contract with the nursing home is likely to include extensive terms and conditions outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties and the resident. Nursing homes are also subject to many laws at the state and federal levels, and they must abide by applicable regulations at all times. For example, when a nursing home fails to provide adequate care for a resident, they face liability for any damages. Similarly, when a nursing home employee intentionally abuses a resident, the nursing home may face liability for the employee’s actions. In addition, the employee is likely to face criminal penalties and liability for the victim’s damages.

Working with an experienced Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyer is the best option for you and your family when you must determine exactly how your elderly loved one was harmed by their nursing home. These types of cases not only often entail substantial damages but also touch on Florida’s elder abuse laws. It’s very possible that if a specific individual or group of individuals in your loved one’s nursing home intentionally harmed them, the parties responsible will face criminal prosecution in addition to liability for civil damages.

Proving Liability for a Nursing Home Injury in Jacksonville, FL

When your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in their nursing home, you must act swiftly once you confirm any suspicions about their experiences. A Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyer can assist you in gathering the evidence you will need to prove liability for your loved one’s injuries. Some nursing home abuse cases focus on specific and intentional acts of harm or willful exploitation. Unfortunately, others pertain to protracted periods in which the victim sustained ongoing abuse and neglect from the defendant.

Success with a nursing home abuse case requires identifying the party you believe is responsible for your loved one’s injuries and then proving they intentionally or negligently caused the harm in question. In other words, you must be not only prepared to prove that the defendant caused the damages you have included in your civil claim but also the full extent of those damages. Additionally, a plaintiff must establish a clear link between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s claimed damages, proving they did not manifest from some other cause.

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Commonly Reported Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida

Unfortunately, thousands of elderly Americans suffer abuse and neglect from those charged with keeping them safe and healthy in nursing homes across the country. However, some do not realize they are being abused or neglected; others struggle with memory impairment and degenerative neurological conditions that make them highly susceptible to manipulation by predatory and malicious caregivers. Nursing home abuse takes many forms, and it’s vital for the family of an elderly nursing home patient to know the signs that their loved one is being abused or neglected. Some of the most commonly reported types of elder abuse and neglect in Florida are:

  • Physical abuse resulting in acute traumatic injuries. Nursing home staff who physically assault residents may threaten their victims to keep quiet about these incidents and attempt to file false incident reports to cover their actions. Nursing homes must document all resident injuries, and you must investigate any recent injury your elderly loved one sustained. If you believe one of their caregivers caused the injury intentionally, you should contact the police and remove your loved one from the dangerous situation as quickly as you can.
  • Psychological abuse and/or manipulation of an elderly patient with cognitive impairment. Many nursing home residents are exploited in various ways by those charged with caring for them. Some caregivers will use their patients’ medical conditions against them. Elders who experience this type of treatment often display marked changes in mood and personality, so stay alert for any such changes in your elderly loved one.
  • Sexual abuse and harassment. Many nursing home residents throughout the United States have reported various forms of sexual abuse from their caregivers. This type of treatment is psychologically traumatic, and the parties responsible face liability for the victim’s damages and severe criminal penalties, including lifelong sex offender status.
  • Financial exploitation, such as identity theft. Some elderly individuals are exploited for financial gain. For example, a caregiver or even a family member who uses an elderly individual’s personal information to secure credit cards, write themselves checks, or perform other forms of fraud can inflict severe economic strain on the victim and their family, and it can take time before their activities become obvious.
  • Environmental neglect, such as the nursing home failing to ensure your loved one had access to food, water, medication, bathing, and clean bedding at all times. When nursing home staff members fail to meet these requirements, residents can suffer various adverse medical complications due to malnutrition, dehydration, soiled sheets and clothing, or lack of access to essential medications.
  • Failure to address known medical issues. Nursing home staff must address each patient’s unique medical needs and provide safe and effective care. If a nursing home employee makes a negligent error in administering essential medications, they face liability for any resulting damages.
  • Pressure ulcers, commonly called bedsores, are a unique concern for any elderly person who must remain in bed for most of their time. When the body remains in one position for too long, circulation suffers, and blood begins to pool in the lowest regions of the body. Without regular repositioning, an elderly nursing home resident can easily develop bedsores. These injuries are difficult to treat, advance very quickly, and cause life-threatening infections.
  • Medical malpractice. Most nursing homes are equipped to provide essential medical procedures when necessary. If your loved one was injured due to any type of negligently administered medical care in a nursing home, your case might fall within the purview of medical malpractice It will be essential for your family to secure legal counsel from an attorney familiar with this type of difficult case.

Nursing home staff are not only required to provide safe and effective medical care and supervision at all times, but are also required to ensure their employees do not present safety risks to their patients. Therefore, nursing home abuse and neglect claims are especially complex types of personal injury claims because of the questions of liability often raised. The legal concept of “vicarious liability” often comes into play in these cases. This legal term describes a situation in which one party bears liability for the actions of another party. Typically, vicarious liability applies to employer-employee relationships.

Your nursing home abuse or neglect case is likely to involve substantial losses, an emotionally challenging set of circumstances for you, the victim, and the rest of your family, and present a wide array of complex legal questions you might not be able to answer on your own. Seeking legal counsel you can trust is the best strategy in this situation. When you have an experienced attorney representing you, you and your loved ones will be better prepared to face the unique legal challenges your case presents.

Damages and Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse Claims in Jacksonville, FL

Once you have removed your elderly loved one from a dangerous nursing home and secured legal counsel you can trust, you are ready to hold the defendant or defendants responsible for your loved one’s damages accountable with a civil action. Your Jacksonville nursing home abuse attorney will be essential in your efforts, helping you secure the evidence necessary for proving liability for your damages. Additionally, an experienced attorney may reveal channels of compensation you didn’t realize you could claim, enhancing your compensation significantly.

Florida’s laws against elder abuse are likely to factor into your family’s recovery. The state considers intentional misconduct inflicted against elderly people to be heinous, and defendants facing civil liability in nursing home abuse and neglect claims also face criminal prosecution. Depending on the scope and severity of the defendant’s actions, their sentence could include fines, jail time, loss of professional licenses, and more. They could also face restitution to the victim as part of their sentence. Your attorney will advise you on how a criminal case filed by the state against the defendant could influence your civil case against them.

Florida’s personal injury laws enable plaintiffs to seek full compensation for all economic losses caused by the defendants named in their claims. Therefore, depending on the nature of your nursing home abuse case, you could potentially seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses. When the defendant has caused physical harm to the victim, worsened a preexisting medical condition, or caused the victim to develop a new medical issue, the defendant is liable for the cost of any corrective and restorative care the victim requires. This includes both immediate and ongoing treatment costs related to the injury in question.
  • Lost income. You or a family member may have missed a substantial amount of time from work to care for the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If the defendant caused any lost income or lost earning capacity to you or any member of your family, your attorney could help you hold them accountable for these losses.
  • Property damage. When the defendant’s actions involve economic harm, such as identity theft or other forms of financial exploitation, the defendant is responsible for repaying these losses to the victim and their family.

You can also seek repayment for any costs associated with moving your loved one out of the nursing home where they were harmed, and you may also be able to seek compensation for the costs of filing your claim. When you choose Spohrer Dodd Trial Attorneys to represent your family in a nursing home abuse or neglect case, we will thoroughly investigate the full scope of the immediate and future economic losses the defendant has caused and include all claimable damages in your civil suit.

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Pain and Suffering in Florida Nursing Home Abuse Cases

The personal injury laws of Florida acknowledge that the physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological suffering a victim of a personal injury endures are in themselves losses deserving of compensation. However, many find it difficult to assign monetary values to abstract damages like physical pain and emotional distress. If your nursing home abuse case pertains to medical malpractice of any kind, non-economic damages will be limited to $500,000, regardless of the scope or severity of the defendant’s actions. If your nursing home abuse case does not fall within the purview of medical malpractice, there is no limit to the amount you can claim in pain and suffering compensation.

Your Jacksonville nursing home abuse attorney will help you determine a suitable amount of pain and suffering compensation to seek in your claim based on how serious the victim’s condition is following the defendant’s actions. Plaintiffs subjected to intentional and malicious acts of abuse and those who suffer long-term or permanent complications from their experiences typically secure substantial pain and suffering awards.

It’s possible for the criminal penalties assigned to the defendant by the state and other factors in your civil claim to also enhance your recovery. For the best chances of holding the defendant fully accountable for the damages they inflicted on your family, you must speak with an experienced Jacksonville nursing home abuse attorney as quickly as possible.

Schedule A Free Consultation With Jacksonville Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Today

Our attorneys have over 150 years of collective experience representing injury victims throughout the Jacksonville, Florida, area. We understand the action that is needed to respond to an instance of nursing home abuse and neglect, and how to assist the families who have been affected.

We understand the overwhelming feelings of fear, anger and sadness you are feeling in this moment. Contact us to begin the process of achieving the justice you deserve.

To schedule a free consultation with our nursing home abuse attorneys in Jacksonville, contact us online or call 904-309-6500.