What kind of nursing home abuse occurs in Tampa?
According to data available from the National Council on Aging, approximately one out of every ten people over the age of 60 will experience some form of elder abuse each year in the United States. Unfortunately, much of that abuse is concentrated in nursing homes. There are currently no published comprehensive studies on how common nursing home is throughout Tampa or Florida as a whole, but we do know that this type of abuse occurs regularly.
There are various forms of nursing home abuse that can occur, including the following:
- Physical abuse. This refers to any intentional use of physical force by nursing home staff or volunteers on a resident, including punching, shoving, biting, kicking, slapping, dropping, and more. This can also include using more force than necessary when performing daily activities such as moving a resident from their bed to a wheelchair or while bathing.
- Sexual abuse. This refers to any sexual contact between nursing home residents and staff members. Sexual abuse can be physical in nature and can also include verbal sexual harassment.
- Psychological or emotional abuse. Psychological and emotional abuse can be incredibly damaging and can include isolating a resident, destroying property, using threatening or abusive language, and more.
- Financial abuse. Nursing home staff members typically have access to residents’ personal identification and financial information. If this information is used inappropriately, whether by an individual employee or the facility, this is considered financial abuse.
- Neglect. Nursing home residents deserve to have their basic needs met on a daily basis. This includes access to food, water, medications, and more. This also includes bathing, room cleaning, regular exercise, and necessary medical care.
Signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse to be aware of
There are various signs and symptoms that could indicate nursing home abuse that family members need to be aware of. This can include the following:
- Unexplained broken bones or fractures
- Unusual or unexplained cuts, bruises, or welts
- Sudden weight loss
- Bedsores at any stage of development
- Frequent infections
- Bruises or soreness in the genitalia, buttocks, or breast area
- Changes in appetite
- Reclusiveness or withdrawn behavior
- Mood swings or anger outbursts
- Fear of being around certain staff members
If you notice any other signs or symptoms, this could be the sign that abuse is occurring. You need to take immediate steps to remedy the situation. This can include notifying regulatory agencies or law enforcement and speaking to a Tampa nursing home abuse attorney about your case.
Elder abuse and neglect can be particularly complicated if the person suspected of the abuse or neglect is a family member. Yes, even family members can abuse their loved ones in nursing homes. This can occur during visiting hours, or in the case of financial abuse, at any time.
Can you file a lawsuit for Tampa nursing home abuse?
It may certainly be possible to file a lawsuit against a nursing home if you discover that your loved one has been abused or neglected. However, there are various timelines that you need to be aware of for these cases. The Florida personal injury statute of limitations is four years from the date the injury occurs or was discovered. This gives victims and family members of nursing home abuse a four-year window with which to file a claim against an alleged negligent party.
However, for nursing home abuse cases that involve medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is only two years from the date the injury occurs or was discovered. This two-year statute of limitations may be extended to four years from the date of occurrence in cases where the medical mistake was not immediately discoverable.
You need to work with a skilled Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer with these cases to ensure that your claim is filed within the respective deadlines. Failing to file a claim within the time frames allowed by law will result in the victim and their families being unable to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Compensation for Tampa nursing home abuse cases?
There may be various types of compensation available if your loved one has been abused in a Tampa nursing home. This could include the following:
- Coverage of any medical expenses caused by the abuse or neglect
- Compensation for the cost of living at the facility
- Compensation to relocate to a new facility
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages in cases of gross negligence or intentional actions
The total amount of compensation available for these cases will vary depending on the factors related to each particular situation, including the severity of any injuries, the level of the victim’s pain and suffering, the cost of care at the nursing home facility, and more.
Contact us for a free consultation of your case
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home in the Tampa area, contact an attorney about your case as soon as possible. Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer Paul Rebein has the resources necessary to conduct a full investigation into your claim. The job of a nursing home abuse lawyer is twofold. First, the well-being of your loved one is of the utmost importance and must be the first priority. Second, your loved one deserves compensation for what happened to them. When you need a Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer, contact us for a free consultation of your case today.