When nursing home abuse or neglect occurs, the family requires the help of a distinguished nursing home abuse lawyer to stop the abuse and hold accountable those who are responsible through civil legal action. The lawyer can assess the strength of the case, explain the legal procedures and help arrange to move the abused elder to another home. If the case is successful, legal fees are a percentage of the damages award. If the case fails, the lawyer does not collect a fee.
Once someone is aware nursing home abuse has occurred, it is important to contact a Boynton Beach nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A person has a limited amount of time to file suit once they are aware of the situation, giving rise to the lawsuit. A nursing home abuse attorney in Boynton Beach must put the nursing home on notice quickly, ascertain the insurance information for the nursing home, and begin a prompt investigation.
A nursing home’s vulnerable adults are injured by rough handling and violence, including shoving, falling, kicking, slapping, and tight restraints. Injuries inflicted include bed sores, sprains, internal damage, broken bones, and malnutrition. Damaged dentures and broken eyewear can be examples of evidence of abusive behavior. Emotional and psychological harm is inflicted by intimidation, humiliation, ridicule, and casting blame, as well as isolation and neglect.
Defining Negligent Acts
Taking financial advantage of a nursing home resident is another form of abuse. Abuse can be detrimental to health by causing chest pains, increased blood pressure, panic attacks, trouble breathing, and stomach problems, among other ailments.
Acts of negligence committed by owners, managers, and staff of nursing homes include:
- Allowing dangerous conditions on the property
- Security breaches
- Not following doctors’ or pharmacists’ orders
- Failing to promptly seek emergency medical care
- Serving contaminated or expired foods
- Errors in administering medicines
- Failing to address residents reported concerns
- Not treating symptoms or warning signs
Once a lawsuit is filed, Boynton Beach nursing home abuse lawyers from both sides will conduct discovery. This means that each side will request information from each other, including an opportunity to ask many questions of each other’s clients. Once a trial date is set, an experienced attorney will prepare thoroughly for trial and prepare their client every step of the way.
- Bills (including medical bills)
- Compensatory Damages
- Punitive Damages
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Companionship
- Pain and Suffering
Nursing home residents are protected from abuse by both criminal and civil law. The applicable civil law is personal injury, which is proven through Florida’s comparative negligence doctrine. This law prevents parties who are at fault from claiming all of their damages. For example, a person who is 20 percent at fault may only claim 80 percent of the damages incurred.
Negligence has four elements and each must be proven to win a case. The duty of care requires people not cause harm or property damage to someone else and breaching that duty by committing an act or failing to act, and that breach caused the harm or damage. A Boynton Beach nursing home abuse lawyer can then assess the monetary damages resulted.
Florida’s criminal law requires incarceration for caregivers who abuse residents, and it is illegal to witness an abusive incident and not report it to authorities. Those who do report an abuse have immunity from prosecution.
Role of a Lawyer
Time is important in discovering, collecting, and preserving evidence because memories fade and evidence can be covered up. A Boynton Beach nursing home abuse lawyer will quickly launch a thorough investigation of the abuse that includes interviewing under oath the defendants, the victim, and witnesses under oath.
The investigation includes a records search to discover if the nursing home has a history of allowing abuse or not obeying state regulations governing these businesses. The attorney will also search to determine if any civil rights of residents were violated.
The lawyer will calculate the damages for medical and therapy treatments, pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and all other expenses related to the abuse. Punitive damages may apply to any abuse that was egregious as a means of discouraging similar behavior.