Unfortunately, elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States and may only increase as the COVID-19 pandemic makes it harder to visit loved ones inside of a nursing home. Neglecting nursing home patients in Melbourne, FL is inexcusable, and if you or your loved one suffered an injury as a result of nursing home abuse, you could potentially recover damages.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we take on nursing home abuse cases and fight for our clients to get fair compensation for what they went through. If you or a loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse, contact us today at (800) 712-9119 so we can speak with you about your case and get you connected with a Melbourne nursing home abuse lawyer.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Many times, nursing home patients may not be able to speak for themselves, especially if they are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other ailments. Families should be on the lookout for common signs of nursing home abuse, which can include:
- Unexplained bruising
- Broken bones
- Behavioral changes
- Sudden weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Generally disheveled appearance
- Depression or confusion
If you spot any of these signs while visiting with a loved one, you should alert Florida authorities immediately at the Agency for HealthCare Administration (AHCA), who regulates nursing home licenses and investigates abuse cases.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer serving Melbourne, call (800) 712-9119
How COVID-19 May Affect Nursing Home Abuse Cases
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many nursing homes shut down and did not allow visitors inside to see their family members for fear of the virus spreading inside. The virus can affect all ages, but the elderly seem to be at a higher risk, thus this was done to protect them as much as possible.
However, that protection could potentially result in higher rates of elder abuse and neglect. Staff numbers may be reduced if anyone contracts the virus, putting the nursing home in a bind as it faces staffing shortages. Residents could be neglected and it would be hard for any family members to know since they cannot visit them often. If you believe your loved one suffered neglect or abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic, make sure to contact our legal team as soon as possible.
Melbourne Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 712-9119
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
The first thing to do upon suspecting nursing home abuse is to contact the proper authorities so they can investigate and get an official report on file. You will need that report later on if you decide to make a claim against the nursing home for how they treated your loved one.
According to Florida Statute § 492.296, you have two years from either the date of the abuse or when you discovered the abuse to report it before the statute of limitations expires. It may benefit you to connect with a Melbourne nursing home abuse lawyer who will help you with getting the case filed before those two years pass.
How a Lawyer May Be Able to Help in Your Case
No one should ever have to suffer from elder abuse or nursing home abuse, but sadly it does happen. If your loved one suffered abuse while staying in a nursing home, you may have a case against the nursing home and the staff who let the abuse happen. Hiring a lawyer may benefit your case as they will be able to step in and take over everything for you so you can work on taking care of yourself or your loved one who was abused.
Your lawyer will communicate with all involved parties and negotiate on your behalf to get you a settlement that accurately reflects the trauma you and your family suffered at the hands of a neglectful nursing home. Their insurance company will more often than not try to offer you a lower settlement than what you deserve, and your lawyer will know what needs to be done and said in order to negotiate a higher settlement.
They will also help in proving negligence, which may include collecting evidence such as medical records, medical bills, witness statements, security camera footage, and more.
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Proving Nursing Home Negligence in Florida
In Chapter 400 of Title XXIX of the Florida Statutes, the rights of nursing home residents are clearly outlined. If you or your loved one’s rights are violated in a nursing home, then the nursing home staff has been negligent in the duty to protect its patients. Your lawyer will focus on proving their negligence by focusing on the four elements of negligence, which include:
- Duty of Care: The staff had a duty to care for and protect their patient.
- Breach of Duty of Care: They breached that duty by neglecting to provide an expected standard of care.
- Causation: That breach of duty directly caused the abuse and any injuries.
- Damages: The patient is now eligible to seek damages for the abuse.
Compensation That You May Be Able to Collect
In cases of nursing home abuse, there are types of compensation that you might be able to collect in your claim. These include:
- Medical Expenses: There may be medical expenses incurred as a result of the abuse, such as prescriptions, surgery, and more.
- Future Medical Expenses: Rehabilitation or therapy could be required as a part of your loved one’s or your recovery.
- Wrongful Death: If your loved one died as a result of nursing home abuse, you can claim wrongful death.
- Pain and Suffering: No money can fully compensate for what you or your loved one went through, but you deserve something for the mental and emotional trauma that abuse causes.
Call Us Today
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we work with nursing home abuse victims and their families to help them get the compensation they need. If you were a victim of this abuse, we may be able to assist you. Call us today at (800) 712-9119 for your free consultation so we can begin speaking with you and get you connected with your Melbourne nursing home abuse lawyer.