As family members get older, it can often be difficult to give them the proper care they need. Choosing to place a loved one in a nursing home isn’t an easy decision and one that’s not taken lightly. You want to make sure that the facility you choose offers the care and attention your family member needs to enjoy their golden years in peace and in the best health possible.
Unfortunately, all too often, there are cases of nursing home abuse and negligence across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,, over 500,000 seniors over the age of 60 suffer abuse or neglect every year in the U.S. And, with over 1.5 million elderly Americans in nursing homes, the potential for nursing home abuse or neglect is all too real.
At the Hickey Law Firm, P.A., our experienced attorneys, led by John H. (Jack) Hickey, understand the seriousness of these cases and do everything they can to help your family during these difficult times. No family member should ever experience abuse or neglect but our personal injury attorneys are here to help in the event that you need justice for your loved ones.
If someone you love has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact our office by filling out the form on this page or by calling us at 305-371-8000 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. We proudly serve those who live in and near the Miami, Florida area.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
When you place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted care facility you’re trusting that their health and well-being will be the facility’s top priority. While there are many hardworking and dedicated employees who do everything they can to ensure your loved one is taken care of, there are those who abuse or neglect, causing emotional and physical pain and suffering for your family member.
Because these facilities take care of every facet of your loved one’s life, there are many different ways in which abuse or neglect can happen. Some of the most common forms of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Physical and/or mental abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Dehydration and/or malnutrition
- Medical malpractice
- Bed sores
- Financial abuse
- Theft of property
- Failure to provide proper medical care
- Illness from unhygienic conditions
As you can see, there are many ways in which your loved one may suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of their care facility. Whether intentional or not, neglect and abuse are grounds for a personal injury case and our experienced attorneys will fight on your behalf to pursue justice and the compensation your loved one deserves.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
If your loved one suffered physical or emotional injury through abuse or neglect at their care facility you may be able to pursue damages to compensate for their suffering. Determining who is responsible for your family member’s injury is critical to receive justice but it can also be difficult. Whether it’s ultimately the facility’s fault, a specific employee’s fault, or the fault of a third party vendor or contractor will need to be determined to successfully prove your loved one’s case.
A nursing home and any assisted care facility owe every one of their residents a strict duty of care, meaning that they’re responsible for providing the necessary components for their residents’ well-being such as food, water, shelter, medical care, and proper hygiene. When these are neglected, your loved one may suffer.
A nursing home or assisted-living facility may be responsible if it’s shown that:
- They failed to properly train their staff
- They were negligent in hiring their staff and failed to perform sufficient background checks
- They failed to adequately monitor their staff
- They failed to provide sufficient security
- They didn’t provide necessities including food and water
- They were neglectful in their medical care
- They failed to provide medication or gave the wrong medication
- They didn’t provide safety from hazards
- They improperly or dangerously restrained a resident
- There was intentional abuse or neglect from an employee
This is not an exhaustive list of what can constitute a liability for abuse and neglect. However, these are often the most common causes of personal injury or suffering for a senior citizen. Liability may also be charged on third parties that work or supply products within the nursing home as well. Examples of liability caused by a third party include:
- An improperly manufactured piece of equipment
- An improperly designed piece of equipment
- An improperly maintained piece of equipment
- Bad food from a vendor that causes illness
- Illness caused by unsanitary conditions from a negligent cleaning company
- Outside visitors who abuse or cause injury to a resident
Because of the many entities that may be involved in your loved one’s injury, it’s important to seek an experienced nursing home abuse attorney so that they can investigate the incident and determine who is responsible so that your family member can get the justice and compensation they deserve.
Seeking and Proving Damages
Just as in any personal injury case, compensation is awarded when it’s been proven that negligence or intent was the cause of an individual’s pain or suffering. This applies to nursing home abuse and neglect as well. If your loved one suffers as a result of abuse or negligence, they may be entitled to damages such as:
- Expenses for medical treatment needed
- Physical pain and suffering damages
- Emotional pain and suffering damages
Punitive damages may also be sought to curtail the negligent behavior from happening again to another individual.
Proving such negligence or abuse occurred can be difficult, especially if there is no documentation to back up the claim. Injures that result from direct abuse may be easier to prove as any medical care needed for the injury will provide records of the injuries and treatment. However, if ongoing negligence is suspected, it’s often critical for the victim, or rather a family member, to document as much as possible. This may include:
- A diary or notes by the resident or family member
- Any photographs of injuries
- Notes or photographs of any medications given to the resident
- Notes on the resident’s physical and mental health
These notes and photos can help if your case goes to trial and may aid in proving that the nursing home or staff abused or neglected your loved one. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys will help prove that:
- The facility owed your loved one a duty of care
- The facility violated that duty of care
- Your loved one suffered as a result of that violation
Contact Our Experienced Attorneys Today
When you come to the Hickey Law Firm and we accept your case, we provide you with the dedication and representation you deserve. Each client is given a team including board-certified trial lawyer Jack Hickey, a case manager, and a medical case manager to make your case as strong as possible. Everything we do will be in the best interest of you and your case so that we can pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
If someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, please give us a call at 305-371-8000 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Our Miami, FL, attorneys are here to help you.