There are different ways in which nursing home residents can be abused. They can either be neglected, which includes not being washed or changed properly, not having their medical needs attended to, not being taken to the bathroom enough times, or not being fed properly.
In other instances, nursing home residents may be physically abused by some of the staff members, who either have lost their patience or struggling with the stress of their job. Unattended guests, nurses, and even doctors can also abuse nursing home residents.
If you believe that you or someone you love is suffering neglect and/or abuse in an assisted living facility or nursing home, contact our experienced and compassionate team of nursing home abuse attorneys in Tampa. En Español.
What to Do If You Suspect Abuse
If someone suspects that they or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, the first step is to report it to facility, and then call a Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Unfortunately, reporting it to the facility alone is usually not enough to stop the problem, because they may try to cover it up or downplay the incident in order to limit liability.
While reporting to the managerial staff of the facility is very important in order to make sure that the abuse stops, a person also must call a lawyer because that is the only way the individual can find out the extent of the abuse, how it has affected the resident, and what can be done to make sure that it gets fixed.
Clients can receive money as reimbursement for any medical bills that may have been incurred by the abuse. Medical bills that might be incurred during this process include hospital visits or physical therapy because of the abuse or neglect.
The victim can also be reimbursed for pain and suffering sustained throughout the period of abuse, including financial compensation for emotional distress due to loss of dignity by the way that they have been treated. In certain circumstances, if the abuse or neglect is very egregious, a Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can push for punitive damages to punish the nursing home or staff financially.
Liability in these cases means that the nursing home breached their duty of care, which then caused some kind of injury to the resident. Nursing homes have a duty to provide reasonable care, including a safe environment where the resident can live with dignity. If they breach that duty in any way, causing physical or emotional injury to that resident, then they can be held liable for the damages that are created by that physical or emotional injury.
The most common evidence used to establish liability in nursing home abuse cases include the records kept by the facility, the statements of staff and management at the facility, and the statements of the resident and family members or friends that visit the resident on a regular basis. Furthermore, there may be some kind of video or surveillance of the injury that took place.
As a family member or loved one of a resident, you can assist the case by keeping a diary of observations regarding the resident you are visiting. Helpful observations to log at each visit include whether the resident is eating or if they seem malnourished, whether they seem as if their personal hygiene is suffering, whether they are sleeping enough, or if the resident demonstrates any kind of pain or evidence of cuts or bruising.
If something does happen, the family members and or friends will have documentation of how the facility has been treating their loved one throughout the entire process.
Additionally, it can be helpful when the client or his/her family members physically pick up the medical records themselves. Sometimes, nursing homes will only give the medical records to the resident but not their attorney, making the process take longer. The client should also try to provide as many facts and as many witnesses as he or she can in order for the attorney to build a picture of what happened based on all the evidence and all the information that has been given to them by the resident or the resident’s family.
The client should also try to provide as many facts, such as their observations, and as many witnesses as he or she can in order for the attorney to build a complete picture of what happened for the judge and jury.
How An Attorney Can Help
A Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can help residents that have been abused or neglected in a nursing home by bringing their concerns to light. Many times the managerial staff may not realize that this abuse is taking place. By simply putting the staff on notice, it has the potential to bring about a change.
Nursing home abuse attorneys can help ensure that their clients obtain better living conditions, and can also help by collecting a monetary award for the abuse that has taken place. By getting in touch with nursing home abuse lawyers in Tamps, there is an opportunity to truly change the way that a nursing home’s processes and procedures work, for example, improving security, and ensuring that all other residents are protected in that community.