Many times, lack of documentation of abuse can be the direct result of negligence, since it can be difficult to prove abuse without some kind of documentation, video evidence, or statements made. Furthermore, in these cases, the residents are not able to verbalize exactly what happened. If there is bruising, a broken bone, or something of that nature, that can be proven by an x-ray if a family member finds out about the injury.
Some cases are easier to prove as negligence, as opposed to abuse, due to the fact that evidence of abuse may not exist. Someone looking into the case can go through the nursing notes, and if signs of injury exist that were not recorded, this could show that the nurse was either not aware of or trying to cover up the injury as a result of their lack of documentation. Regardless, if you believe your loved one has suffered such a misfortune, it is imperative that you contact a Tampa nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can assist in recovering any damages you or your loved one may be entitled to.
Instances of Neglect
Nursing homes have a duty of reasonable care to provide a safe environment and to uphold the dignity of all of the residents. Breaching that duty may constitute negligence, either by allowing an injury to take place, failing to clean or properly care for the residents they allow, or specifically acting in a way that abuses or injures the residents. That breach of duty must either cause some kind of physical injury, infection, rash, and/or emotional distress and pain. In order to be able to recover damages, a person needs to prove a duty breach and causation in negligence cases.
One of the most common examples of neglect is not properly cleaning or changing a resident. Many times, nursing homes are either understaffed, or the staff gets lazy and neglects their cleaning duties. Some residents need to be cleaned multiple times a day, assisted in using the bathroom, have their diapers and/or dressings changed, and more. Neglect of the duties can lead to sores, infections, and discomfort stemming from a lack of due care on the part of the nursing staff. This sort of abuse and neglect should not be tolerated, and should be properly handled using an experienced Tampa nursing home neglect attorney.
Types of Injuries
Neglect can cause a number of different physical injuries, including sores, infections from poor cleaning and dressing changes, urinary tract infections due to improper cleaning and bathroom assistance, malnutrition, dehydration, and more. Some of these situations can become so serious as to cause the death of a resident that is frail and at the nursing home for those specific reasons.
Many times, neglected residents end up in the hospital because one minor decline in their physical status can affect them a lot worse than it can affect a healthier, younger individual. If an individual believes this has occurred to their loved one, they should not hesitate in contacting a Tampa nursing home neglect lawyer.
Patients who are particularly vulnerable to problems associated with neglect are those who are weak and dealing with some kind of injury that requires rehabilitation. Neglect can cause the rehabilitation to regress, potentially making their recovery more difficult and causing a longer stay in the nursing home. People that are bedridden are also particularly vulnerable because they are not active and they are not able to keep their body healthy themselves. They must rely entirely on the staff to move them around, feed them, bathe them, and take them to the bathroom.
It is also very important that residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia are not neglected because they must rely heavily on the staff to assist them in almost all necessary activities. If these types of patients are neglected, they are at an even higher risk for injuries to occur.
Contacting an Attorney
Neglect should be reported to managerial staff immediately, and a person should contact a Tampa nursing home neglect attorney to make sure that the resident’s rights are protected throughout any claims that may need to be made. It can be difficult to get a nursing home to agree that a patient has been neglected unless the resident or their family has an attorney on the case. Nursing homes tend to not admit situations of neglect because this can stain their official record. Be sure to consult with a awyer to help achieve a positive outcome in your case.