Broward County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
A nursing home should be a safe place for residents, but too often instances of elder abuse occur. When evidence of mistreatment transpires, the elder’s family needs to take prompt legal action and remove the elder from the home. A family can protect their elder by holding the nursing home owners and operators financially accountable for the harm done.
If you have been the victim of retirement home mistreatment, you should consult a Broward County nursing home abuse lawyer today. By contacting a skilled attorney, a person can seek a civil lawsuit for the compensation of economic losses and non-economic harm.
Florida Nursing Home Laws
Florida has a significant number of retired citizens, defined in law as those older than 60 with physical and mental impairments. Broward County also has one of the most strident laws for senior citizens in the nation, and several agencies serving the elderly.
Florida’s elder law protects nursing home residents by ensuring they are treated with dignity and their right to privacy is observed. They also must be allowed to participate in social and religious activities at the nursing home.
The law defines nursing home abuses as acts that are committed with intent to reasonably cause, inflict, or encourage someone to cause physical injury and mental harm, states a retirement home mistreatment attorney of Broward County. A nursing home’s contractual obligations to residents can be breached by such abusive behavior.
What Are Types of Nursing Home Abuses
A nursing home’s managers and staff commit injustices. Some cases of abuse are even caused by the victim’s fellow residents. Abusive acts under Florida law are:
- Assault: a violent physical or verbal act
- Battery: an offensive or harmful contact
- Neglect: an act causing harm, sexual abuse or exploitation
- Abandonment: terminating caregiver relationship without notification
- Isolation: restriction to a room or an area
- Sexual assault: subjection to sexual contact
- Extortion: obtaining money by threat or force
Retirement home abuse is a criminal act. According to Florida’s Office of the State Courts Administrator, 190 cases of alleged nursing home abuse occurred in 2011 and 87 of the accused were convicted and sentenced. In 2015, prosecutors charged 161 defendants and 62 were convicted and sentenced.
Florida law demands instances of misconduct be promptly reported to law enforcement. A nursing home owner, manager, or employee who witnesses or has knowledge of an abuse but fails to report it is also committing a crime. The law also provides immunity to individuals who do report injustice.
Nursing Home Liability
Assisted living residences have a legal obligation to keep harm from coming to its residents under Florida’s comparative negligence doctrine. When that obligation is breached, it can cause harm and financial damages. Nursing homes breach their obligation by:
- Serving foods that are contaminated or expired
- Failing to address the concerns of a resident
- Failing to correct hazardous conditions
- Lapses in security measures such as unlocked doors
- Not following the instructions provided by a physician or pharmacist
- Administering wrong doses of medications or an incorrect medication
A lawsuit will claim economic damages such as moving the elder person to another facility and associated medical care costs. Non-economic damages are emotional trauma and mental anguish inflicted by abusive behaviors. If the abuse was egregious, punitive damages, meant to punish and serve as a warning to others, is available.
How a Broward County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
No one deserves to be mistreated or abused. If you feel that a loved one has been wronged by their nursing home, consult a Broward County nursing home abuse lawyer today to pursue justice for mistreatment.