When a family discovers that an elderly loved one who is living in a Delray Beach nursing home or somewhere else in the county has been abused, it is time for quick action. The first step is to remove the abused person from the home.
The second step is to contact a Delray Beach nursing home abuse lawyer for a no-obligation consultation to assess the family’s legal options. A compassionate injury attorney will work hard to achieve necessary compensation and hold those accountable for their actions.
Types of Abuse
Abuse ranges from rough handling, to violence, and taking financial advantage.
- Abusive acts include slapping, shoving, tight restraints, and causing a nursing home resident to fall
- Evidence of abusive behavior includes neglect of personal hygiene, broken prescription glasses, damaged dentures, sprains, bed sores, malnutrition, internal injuries, and broken bones
- Caretakers also inflict psychological and emotional abuse by casting blame, using ridicule, intimidating, humiliating, and keeping the resident in isolation
- Health of the abused elder can be harmed by increasing blood pressure, causing panic attacks, chest pains, breathing difficulty, and other conditions
Elder Abuse Law
Elder abuse is a criminal act and authorities must be notified so the offenders can be punished by loss of freedom. Caretakers and others who witness abuse but do not report it are committing a crime, too. If a caretaker reports abuse, immunity from prosecution is granted.
The abuse is also actionable in civil court with intent to recover financially, and if the abuse is egregious, an additional financial award to punish is warranted.
In civil action, personal injury law is invoked using Florida’s comparative negligence standard, which shares financial loss among those who are negligent. Negligence is failing to act with the care a reasonable person would show in a similar situation. It is upon the elder and family to prove the nursing home acted negligently in allowing the abuse.
Negligence has elements that must be proven:
- Duty of care: A person or a business has a legal obligation to act in a manner that does not cause injury, harm, or property damage to another
- Breach: An act, or an omission, violates duty of care
- Causation in fact: But for the breach, the abuse would not have occurred
- Proximate cause: A particular and foreseeable result happened
- Damages: Financial loss resulted
Nursing Home Negligence
Negligent acts committed by nursing home staff, managers, and owners include:
- Failing to treat an elder’s symptoms or warning signs
- Failing to seek emergency medical care
- Failing to follow the orders of physicians and pharmacists
- Serving foods that are contaminated or expired
- Mistakes in administering medicines
- Failing to address dangerous conditions on the property
- Inadequate or no caregiver training
- Security breaches
How a Delray Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
A Delray Beach nursing home abuse lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation of the abusive conduct and a background investigation of the nursing home to determine if a pattern of abusive behavior or violations of applicable Florida law and regulations has previously been allowed.
The attorney will question, under penalty of perjury, the nursing home staff, managers, and owners to gather evidence of any violation of the elder’s civil rights, which, if proven, is another cause of legal action, this time at the federal level.
The lawyer will calculate the medical expenses as well as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other applicable damages and sue for damages.