For over 40 years, nursing homes in cities throughout Broward and Palm Beach County have felt the wrath of our client’s families suing them for negligence and abuse with the help of our firm.
Negligence in nursing homes used to be rampant in Florida. Lawsuits and strong federal and Florida laws have helped curbed the abuses that used to much more frequently occur in Florida. Several years ago, we obtained a $1.8 million jury verdict for the family of a woman who the nursing home allowed to fall 8 times in a short period of time. The case was settled confidentially after a large jury verdict in the punitive damages stage of the trial. Our law firm has been handling nursing home cases in South Florida since the late 1980’s.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The process of aging affects each person differently. Some individuals are healthy and live independently in their private residence or retirement community. However, for individuals who require medical assistance, often their first option is a nursing home. While nursing homes seem to be a fit option for the frail elderly, it is important to note that some nursing homes are abusive to the elderly, and in some cases, the abuse may lead to serious injury or death. Elderly abuse or mistreatment signifies any type of intentional harm or negligent actions to an elderly person.
Examples of mistreatment include but are not limited to:
- Physical abuse (hitting, bruising, restraining, etc.)
- Sexual abuse
- Neglect such as failure to provide food, hygienic services, or the appropriate healthcare required for the individual
- Exploitation such as taking or misusing money, jewelry, or other valuable assets from the elderly individual for another person’s benefit
- Emotional abuse such as humiliating, intimidating, or threatening the elderly person
- Self-neglect – characterized as the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks and that such failure threatens their health or safety
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Further, family members and friends of seniors living in nursing home facilities should be aware of the signs of abuse.
The following is a list of possible signs of negligence or mistreatment of the elderly indicated by the Department of Health and Human Services:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
- Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
- Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
- Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
- Strained or tense relationships and frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.
Nursing Home Abuse Laws and Regulations
In an effort to reduce and prevent elderly abuse, the Elderly Justice Act was passed. The act provides funding for adult protective services and establishes an advisory board committed to coming up with goals and projects to prevent elderly abuse. In addition, nursing homes are required to report abuse and/or any suspicion of mistreatment. The reports are used to come up with statistics, which provide guidance on what types of abuse are more prominent and help the advisory boards come up with adequate goals and solutions to the problem areas.
Mr. Cytryn, the head attorney and founder of the firm, handled a nursing home negligence case that involved an elderly woman. Our client developed bed sores in 2 regions of her body. The defendant facility’s staff charting failed to show that our client had been bathed or received any kind of hygienic services for 11 straight days. In addition, the charts failed to show she had received dinner for 6 days in a row, and no treatment for the bed sores was documented. Upon investigation, the jury found the nursing home’s negligence to be responsible for our client’s injuries. The best offer was $150,000. Unfortunately, our client passed away before the case settled (due to natural causes). Subsequently, the jury awarded $959,900 for the case, including punitive damages. The case went up on appeal, and we established some more new laws in the state of Florida. The recovery for the case was given to the client’s daughters.
How to Choose a Nursing Home
To find the best nursing homes in Florida for your loved ones, you must do the research. The best place to start is Nursing Home Compare.
Before making a decision on a place, the individual or family member should evaluate the elderly person’s medical needs. Each person is different, and some people may have specific medical needs that select nursing home facilities may specialize in. Additionally, the individual should feel comfortable in the nursing home and should be satisfied with the amenities and services provided by the facility. Also, the person and family members involved in the decision making should visit several nursing homes and take a look at the cleanliness, staff, and whether other residents seem satisfied with the facility. After narrowing down the choices, the elderly individual and family members should visit the facilities a second time, without an appointment. The purpose of the second visit would be to observe the facility on a regular day, rather than a scheduled visit.
Get Started on Your Case Today
If you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse, it is important to hire an attorney with the experience to handle the complicated legal issues that arise from these cases. Law Offices Cytryn & Velazquez, P.A. has the knowledge, experience, and reliability to fight for your injuries. Our extensive network of doctors and experts will work with you to ensure you or your family member receive the best possible care and treatment during the course of your case.
Is the expense of hiring an attorney preventing you from filing a claim? You will be relieved to know our firm offers a free consultation. In addition, we work on a contingency basis, which means you do not owe us anything unless our Coral Springs nursing home abuse lawyers attain recovery for your case.
If you believe your family member is a victim of elderly abuse, call our law office now at (954) 833-1440 to prevent further pain or suffering to your loved one.
Always Available for YouIf you don’t have a way of getting to our office, we will come to your home or hospital.
Board Certified LawyerWe have the only active board certified civil trial lawyer in Northwest Broward County.
More Than 40 Years of ExperienceWe have a proven track record of success in accident cases over 4 decades.
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We’ve had more than 30 cases that have settled or resulted in jury verdicts of one million dollars or more.
No Fee If No RecoveryWe work on a contingency fee, so we only get paid if you get paid.