Over 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for federal health and safety violations in 2007, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Given the extraordinary number of violations, it should come as no surprise that outright abuse is widespread as well, although precise statistics are hard to come by. Why? Victims of abuse are often unable or afraid to make complaints about their treatment. Many victims will not even tell family members that they are being abused because they are afraid of being punished by the perpetrators for “blowing the whistle.” Furthermore, it can be hard to determine if a loved one is being abused unless you know the signs and symptoms to look for, which are not always obvious.
Signs of nursing home abuse.
Here are some indications that a person you love is being abused or neglected:
- Bruises, scratches, scabs, and/or burns that cannot be accounted for
- Cracked or dry lips
- Extreme drowsiness, drooling or a vacant stare, all of which can indicate being over medicated or the administering of improper medications
- The presence of restraints on beds or wheelchairs when the use of restraints has not been required or requested in the past
- Rapid weight loss
- Poor hygiene, such as dirty or uncut fingernails, knotted hair, dirty or stained clothing
- Bedsores (often located on the back, buttocks, elbows and/or heels)
- Extreme fear, agitation, anxiousness or anger
- Depression and/or withdrawal
- Confusion and disorientation
- An unwillingness to discuss how one is being cared for or even what life is like at the nursing home
- Genital bleeding or pain, bruising of the inner thighs, sudden difficulty sitting or walking, torn or bloody underclothing and/or a sexually transmitted disease. All of these can be symptoms of sexual abuse
- Suddenly falling into a coma or dying without adequate explanation
Florida nursing home abuse lawyer David Benenfeld is committed to helping victims of abuse. He can put an immediate end to the abuse and obtain compensation for physical, emotional and/or financial injuries suffered by the victim.
If you are the victim of nursing home abuse, or believe that someone you love is being abused, contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A. immediately. We can put an end to the abuse, bring the perpetrators to justice and obtain compensation for the wrongs done to you or your loved one.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ):
Are nursing homes in Florida regulated? If so, How?
Every nursing home in Florida must be licensed. Florida nursing homes are also subject to inspections once every 15 months. These inspections are unannounced and are conducted by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. In addition, if a nursing home resident or the resident’s representative makes a complaint, the nursing home must allow state officials to enter and inspect the premises. Within 60 days of the inspection, state officials will provide their investigative findings to the nursing home.
What happens to a Florida nursing home if it breaks the rules?
This may result in license suspension, license revocation, and civil and/or punitive fines. Punitive damages can amount to millions of dollars. With so much at stake, you should contact an experienced Florida injury attorney to maximize your chances of obtaining compensation for your injuries.
What damages can be obtained from Florida nursing homes?
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and/or loss of normal life
- Medical expenses
- Wrongful death
How much money is typically awarded for damages?
Potential compensation varies greatly since every situation is unique. The level of injury or injuries suffered, the victim’s age, the level of misconduct exhibited by the nursing home, and many other factors contribute to determining the amount of compensation. To see whether you might have a case against a nursing home, and how much it might be worth, contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld P.A.
How long does a case usually take?
Many are settled in just a few weeks or months, others can require years to resolve. In either case, if the victim’s injury requires ongoing medical care, it is typically not a good idea to accept a settlement before the injury has been successfully treated. Why? Because you won’t know exactly how much the necessary care will cost and, therefore, it is almost impossible to determine the damages that may be obtained without this and other necessary information.
If a nursing home’s risk manager or lawyer contacts me about an injury, what should I do?
Do not discuss the situation with them. They represent the nursing home and their objective is to minimize potential damages. Contact our office as soon as possible to get your own representation.