Has your loved one been seriously injured due to nursing home abuse and neglect in Ocala, FL? When the nursing home you trusted to care for your loved one instead allows them to suffer harm, they can be held liable for your loved one’s injuries. An experienced Ocala nursing home abuse lawyer can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.
Allen Law Firm, P.A. has represented nursing home residents and their family members in Ocala, FL since 2007. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with a compassionate Ocala nursing home abuse lawyer who will help you fight for the full compensation you deserve.
How Allen Law Firm, P.A. Can Help with Your Ocala Nursing Home Abuse Case
All residents of Ocala, Florida deserve to live with dignity free of abuse and neglect. The sad truth is our most vulnerable residents are often those who suffer the greatest harm at the hands of negligent facility operators and abusive, overworked staff.
An experienced Ocala personal injury lawyer can help you not only protect your loved one from further abuse but take legal action against the facility to seek damages. At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we fight tirelessly to protect the rights of nursing home residents and help them and their family members hold negligent nursing homes accountable.
Our founding attorney, Bill Allen, has over 28 years of legal experience and holds the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating. The legal team at Allen Law Firm, P.A. has hundreds of years of combined experience working in the insurance industry to give us an edge while negotiating for the full compensation you deserve. We have recovered hundreds of millions for our clients and we will put our experience to work to do the same for you.
Count on Allen Law Firm, P.A. to:
- Conduct a careful investigation into your loved one’s injuries
- Identify the cause of your loved one’s injuries and determine how the nursing home was negligent
- Gather evidence to support your claim and prove the extent of your loved one’s injuries
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement
- Take your case to court and present your case before a jury
We are not afraid to go up against the insurance company and take your case to a courtroom to hold the responsible parties accountable. Call our law firm today for a free consultation with an Ocala nursing home abuse lawyer who will help you seek justice.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home residents have many rights under Florida law. Florida Statute 400.022 gives nursing home residents in Ocala the right to:
- Receive appropriate, adequate health care, support services, and protective services
- Receive fair, dignified treatment and care
- Refuse treatment and medication
- Receive information about their medical condition and proposed treatment
- Manage their finances personally
- Choose their own personal physician
- Retain the use of their personal belongings
- Be free of physical and mental abuse, extended involuntary exclusion, chemical and physical restraints, and corporal punishment
Sadly, nursing home residents often face abuse and neglect in many forms. Nursing home abuse can include physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. It may also involve isolation or neglect. Nursing home abuse is almost always intentional and active misconduct whereas neglect is the result of negligence.
All of these can be considered abuse under Florida law.
Unfortunately, physical abuse of nursing home residents is not uncommon. Overworked staff or even other residents may become abusive and slap, hit, kick, or otherwise harm a resident. Sometimes physical abuse happens when a staff member tries to punish a resident for their behavior or something outside of their control. It can also involve administering medical treatment after refusal or the use of physical restraints.
Nursing home residents who are most vulnerable are often the most victimized. Residents may face sexual abuse from staff members or other residents. This can include sexual assault, unwanted touching, sexual comments, and more.
Nursing home residents can be abused emotionally when they are forced to suffer harassment, threats, or humiliation. Emotional abuse is usually verbal and it can happen when a staff member gets frustrated. Over time, however, verbal abuse can give way to other types of mistreatment.
Emotional abuse can involve prejudiced statements to a resident, threats, demeaning statements, insults, and shouting. A resident who is emotionally abused may become fearful and isolate themselves from family and other residents.
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect occurs when nursing home staff fail to provide residents with reasonable care. Nursing home neglect is often caused by overworked, inexperienced, or poorly trained staff or understaffing at the facility.
Residents may be neglected if they are not provided with the right medication, administration is irregular, or they are allowed to develop bedsores. They may be neglected if they are isolated and not provided with socialization. Residents can also be physically neglected if they are not provided with adequate nutrition or assistance with personal care.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse in Ocala, FL?
When you make the difficult decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you do it so they will receive the medical care, assistance, and social services they need and deserve. Sadly, many nursing home residents instead face neglect and abuse, not only from staff but from other residents.
Over 24% of nursing home residents report at least one incident of physical abuse. It’s believed this problem is under-reported, however, as many victims are too afraid or unable to report abuse.
According to one study, the average nursing home has 20 complaints about safety, staff levels, or quality of care. Nursing homes are routinely inspected and receive a star rating based on deficiencies with the potential for sanctions and closure for violations. However, a study conducted by the General Accountability Office found state surveys often under-report issues. The study found 70% of state inspections miss at least one deficiency and 15% miss a deficiency that causes actual or immediate risk of harm.
Just as alarming is a frightening survey in which two-thirds of long-term care staff members report committing some type of abuse in the last year.
Abuse can affect any resident of a long-term care facility, but seniors with dementia face the highest risk with about half experiencing some form of abuse.
What Kind of Damages Are Available to Nursing Home Abuse Victims in Ocala?
The damages available in your nursing home abuse case will depend on the losses you and your loved one suffered.
This may include economic damages and non-economic damages for:
- Medical expenses related to your loved one’s injuries including surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, doctor appointments, and travel to and from appointments
- Other out-of-pocket expenses such as moving your loved one to a different facility or home health services
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages in some cases that go to trial when a defendant’s actions are considered gross negligence or intentional misconduct under Florida Statutes Section 768.72
If your loved one died due to nursing home neglect or abuse, your family may be able to recover damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of claim allows you to recover for end-of-life treatment and palliative care, funeral expenses, loss of inheritance and benefits, and loss of consortium.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
If you suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected, it should be reported to the police right away. You should also contact an Ocala nursing home abuse attorney to help you take the steps necessary to stop the abuse and protect your loved one.
Long-term care facilities in Florida can be held liable for negligence that leads to abuse or neglect or allows it to continue. Facilities can also be held liable for the actions of their employees.
Nursing homes can be required to pay for your loved one’s damages due to many types of negligence such as:
- Negligent hiring
- Failure to train staff
- Failure to provide sufficient security for residents
- Failing to monitor staff, institute policies against abuse, and discipline staff
- Failing to provide adequate medical care, shelter, water, food, and medication
- Allowing dangerous conditions or hazards to exist that may lead to a slip and fall or other accident
The Florida Resident Bill of Rights allows nursing homes, caregivers, and staff members to be fined $2,500 for violating a resident’s rights. You can also file a personal injury lawsuit to seek damages on behalf of your loved one.
Your injury lawyer will investigate your loved one’s case to gather evidence that proves negligence. This may include:
- The facility’s policies and procedures
- State inspection reports
- Witness statements
- Expert medical testimony
- Photographs of the resident’s injuries
- Notes that summarize conversations with staff or residents
- Notes on personal observations about behavioral changes and physical health of the resident
- Injury incident reports
- Internal documentation
At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we will work tirelessly to prove how the nursing home breached its duty of care and allowed your loved one to suffer harm.
How Long Do I Have to File an Ocala Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida law, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit involving nursing home abuse. The statute of limitations is just two years. If you do not file a lawsuit before this deadline expires, you lose your legal right to seek compensation from the long-term care facility.
Do not make the mistake of delaying the pursuit of your claim. Your case will require an in-depth investigation to determine how your loved one’s injuries occurred and gather proof and expert testimony. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in Ocala as soon as possible to protect your claim and your loved one’s health.
Contact Our Ocala Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for a Free Consultation
You trusted a nursing home to protect your loved one and they failed. Instead, your loved one has been left with serious injuries that may be physical and psychological. At Allen Law Firm, P.A., we will fight to hold the nursing home accountable for the abuse they allowed to occur.
Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with an Ocala nursing home abuse lawyer. We will help you explore your legal options and advise you on the best ways to protect your loved one.