Florida Nursing Home Abuse Guide

Florida Nursing Home Abuse GuideThe Florida Bicycle Nursing Home Abuse Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured by nursing home abuse obtain maximum compensation for their claim.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is a horrible thing for someone to be guilty of. Our Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyer want to hold the liable party responsible for this gross negligence. A way that you can help your lawyers help your loved one is by recognizing the signs and symptoms of abuse and recording the evidence.

Nursing home abuse is not always starkly apparent. Sometimes it is. Sometimes, you will notice injuries and bruises and marks on your loved one that couldn’t have happened any other way but through abuse. Sometimes, your loved one can tell you what’s going on and be their own whistle blower, so to speak. Other times, it takes some digging to really find out whether or not your loved one is being abused. Here are some signs and symptoms that you should be looking out for any time you have a loved one in a nursing home:

  1. Look for signs of neglect. See if their bedsheets are soiled and their living quarters are unhygienic. Maybe their bathroom appears to not have been cleaned or your loved one has soiled their sheets and has been laying in it for some time. Also, if your loved one is losing weight, that could also be a sign of neglect or malnutrition.
  2. Signs of psychological abuse would be if your loved one is suddenly nonverbal when they used to be perfectly verbal. If your loved one appears to be anxious more than they used to, that could be a sign of abuse. Any changes in their demeanor could indicate a level of abuse in the nursing home.

Diligently record any evidence that you see fit. If there are soiled bed sheets or bedsores from lack of exercise for your loved one or bruising etc., make sure you take photos and videos of what you’re seeing. You might even put your phone on ‘record’ while you talk to your loved one about what’s going on if they have their own eyewitness account of their abuse.

In instances where you lost your loved one to suspected nursing home abuse, it is best to first reach out to the lawyer and see what legal action you should be taking, especially because the evidence is likely hard or now impossible for you to get. We will guide you through the process of a nursing home abuse case that involves a wrongful death.

Examples of Nursing Home Abuse

The best way to know for sure whether or not you have a case is to talk to a lawyer. In the meantime, here are some examples of nursing home abuse cases in Florida:

  • There was a 92-year-old woman who had been strapped to her wheelchair and fell down the stairs. The nursing home staff didn’t realize the incident had taken place until nearly an hour after the fall and she lost her life.
  • A nursing home staff member abused an 80-year-old resident by pouring fecal matter and urine on the resident’s surgical wound, which resulted in their death.
  • A nursing home resident was left without food and proper medication for nearly a month. They suffered an infection so severe that a part of their bone had to be taken out. They lived but suffered immense damages.
  • A 90-year-old nursing home resident was verbally berated by staff when she asked for assistance. She was often left to soil her bedsheets and couldn’t get herself to the bathroom to clean up. She suffered an infection that went unnoticed and untreated for weeks ; she went septic and passed away.

The Role of Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Dealing with the aftermath of nursing home abuse can be overwhelming, especially if your loved one died. When you lose someone to nursing home abuse, you’re likely busy with funeral arrangements and burial planning and simply grieving. That is a lot to handle in and of itself. If your loved one is a living victim of nursing home abuse, you now have to figure out where they’re going to go from here and who will be caring for them if you don’t have a spot for them lined up in another nursing home.

The last thing most people want to do on top of worrying about all of this and dealing with all these emotions is figure out how to get justice. Having a successful nursing home abuse claim requires a lot of legal knowledge. You need to be well-versed enough in local state and federal nursing home abuse laws to fully defend the rights of your loved one. If you’ve lost your loved one, you also need to know the local state and federal wrongful death laws.

Lawyers exist to make your life easier and to fight with all the knowledge they have to ensure justice is served. Our Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyer holds the liable party accountable and demand that you receive justice in the fullest and fairest amount.

Now, when you bring a claim against a nursing home, they are not going to be directly responsible for your compensation. Their insurance company are going to be the ones you are seeking justice from. Insurance companies are notoriously challenging to deal with. When they represent large businesses and corporations and, in this case, nursing homes, they can be even harder to get justice from.

The odds of you as someone who has probably never even had to deal with litigation before getting the justice you deserve without the help of someone who is well-versed in the law is astronomical. Hiring a lawyer ensures that you have someone by your side who has successfully handled cases like yours before, knows what obstacles are to come, and is going to dedicate themselves to fighting for justice. It’s their job.

How a Nursing Home Abuse Claim is Valued

When you bring a claim, you are not only asking for the liable party to be recognized as responsible for the harm they caused your loved one but also asking for compensation for the damages your loved ones suffered. In these types of cases, you will be looking for compensation for any of the medical costs that they incurred that is related to the negligence or abuse that they suffered in the nursing home at the hands of the staff. It also includes any medical care that they will need in the future such as physical therapy or surgery or any follow up care that they would need to get to maximum medical recovery. These are considered economic damages because that is the money that this injury and damage caused you and your family to spend for your loved one. Your non-economic damages for your loved one’s nursing home abuse would be the pain and suffering that they had to endure. These are really hard damages to put a dollar figure on because they are so subjective and no one can really define the exact price of an elderly person having to endure abuse and neglect. Regardless, your Jacksonville nursing home abuse lawyer will fight tooth and nail to make sure that compensation word reflects all of the pain and suffering they had to endure.

When you lose a loved one because of nursing home abuse or neglect, you will seek compensation for the already mentioned damages and then some. Wrongful death damages would include the final care expenses, such as life-saving medical care and life support fees. Wrongful death damages also include their funeral and burial costs. On top of that, you and your family are entitled to loss of companionship and mental anguish and suffering in your family because of the wrongful loss of this loved one. 

What should I do if I find out a loved one is being abused in a nursing home

What to Do About Nursing Home Abuse

We have clients who discover that a loved one has been abused in a nursing home facility. They don’t know what to do. They call and they ask what to do. What can they do to stop it? You can do several things, a couple in particular. One is you can file a complaint with the Agency for Healthcare Administration. The agency is the state agency that controls the licensing of facilities and their behavior. They will investigate that complaint. They have a lot of powers that they can implement depending upon what’s happening, including fining the facility and revoking the license, which prevents the facility from operating as a nursing home. There are other tools that they have at their disposal, as well.

You can also make a claim against the facility for that loved one or the loved one can do it directly. In either event, if you have that situation going on in Duval County, Nassau County, or any surrounding area, call us. We have been doing nursing home cases for 38 years and know our way around the Agency for Healthcare Administration and the statutes which control nursing home litigation.

Reporting Nursing Home Negligence

Clients sometimes say they’re not interested in suing the facility but they want to report abuse, either of their loved one or they see it. You can report that to the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration. They have a nursing home division and they have forms where you can file a complaint with the agency. These complaints are taken seriously. They’re investigated. Each complaint is investigated by the agency and disposed of one way or the other. The agency has disciplinary powers that range from fining the facility to revoking the facility’s license, which is pretty serious because if the license is revoked, they cannot operate that facility in the state of Florida.

In short, if you have a nursing home case and you’ve got concerns about what’s going on in the facility, either to your loved one or to someone that you know, call us right away. We will be happy to discuss the case with you and help by navigating you through the administrative process. If you have a desire to make a claim against the facility, we can do that, too, as well. Call us today.

After Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Case

Clients who come to us in these matters are very unfamiliar with the nursing home process and the claims process. They know that their loved one has been damaged, hurt, or perhaps killed because of what happened at the nursing home; beyond that, they don’t have any idea what to do. There are two avenues that they can take. The first is to call our firm. We have handled nursing home cases for over 38 years in the Nassau County and Duval County area and can walk you through everything.

Nursing homes are licensed by the Agency for Healthcare Administration. There is a separate division for nursing home oversight. Nursing homes are inspected regularly. There is, most of the time, good and effective oversight. You, as a client, can file a complaint with the Agency for Healthcare Administration. The agency will investigate the case and find out if there’s cause. There are a lot of tools that the agency has to discipline a nursing home, from fining them to revoking their license. Without their license, they cannot have a nursing facility in state of Florida.

The other is filing a complaint in the circuit court state of Florida. Our nursing home negligence attorney practices in northeast Florida in the four judicial circuit primarily, which covers Nassau County and Duval County, and some surrounding counties. We file a complaint after we’ve satisfied some of the hoops we’ve got to jump through. We file a complaint and we sue that nursing home and the management company. Any other entity that we can include, we do. That brings the case to the point of bringing it to trial.

What happens after that is a lot of litigation back and forth. These cases are defended aggressively but we pursue them aggressively, as well, all with an eye toward achieving a fair resolution to your case, either by way of settling the case or trying the case and obtaining a fair verdict to collect against the defendants. That’s what happens when you file a complaint, either administratively with the agency or in the court system, both of which we can help you. If you have a case, a nursing case, where a loved one has been injured or killed in Duval County, Nassau County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We will sit down with you and go through the ins and outs. We will devise a plan that would be best for you, your family, and your case.

Common Mistakes in a Nursing Home Abuse Case

We have handled lots of nursing home cases in our decades in practice. One mistake we often see in these cases is a client trying to work out things with the facility. Many times, these residents have been at a facility for a long time and relationships have been established. They try to work out a problem. The people at the facility routinely say that the problems associated with the loved one are not due to neglect but instead to uncontrollable end of life issues. Clients, as a result, get lulled into a false sense of security, if you will. They never know that that end has been accelerated due to the actions or inactions of the facility staff. They get lulled into a false sense of security and delays happen. In Florida, you have two years to initiate a claim under the Nursing Home Act. That time can go by quickly. If the call to the lawyer doesn’t get made as soon as possible, that’s a big mistake.

Other mistakes are that clients will get a lawyer that’s not experienced in the area. This is very specialized work. If you’re not practicing in this area of the law on a regular basis, you will miss things. It will be to the detriment of the client. If you have a nursing home abuse case where a loved one has been injured or has died, don’t wait. Call us right away. We have handled many cases like these and we know what to do. Let’s sit down and devise a plan that would be best for you, your loved ones, and your case.

How do you determine the value of my nursing home negligence case

Nursing Home Negligence Case Value

Clients sooner or later want to know the value of their case. Sometimes, we get asked that question in the very first conference. If they ask it at that point, we tell them we don’t know because the process for valuing a case takes time.

There are many considerations that go into the putting a value on a case. We start with gathering up the records, including the nursing home facility records, hospital records, and medical records of all kinds. That takes a long time. Determining how strong the liability part of the case is, can we prove that the facility neglected the loved one or abused the loved one or did something in a negligent fashion? Can we prove that and how easily can we do that? What are the damages? These are sometimes difficult cases to value in terms of the damages of medical bills, and typically there aren’t any lost wages because we’re dealing with elderly clients.

Value comes toward the end of the case. We generally talk about value range and the considerations that go into it don’t come about until we’re well into the case after we’ve discovered what we can find out what happened and the evidence that we can use to prove our case. All that factors into valuing your case. Eventually, we get to that point and we have that discussion but it’s not early on. If you have a nursing home case where a loved one has been injured or died or abused in the Nassau County, Duval County area, give us a call. We will sit down with you, go over the case with you, and come up with a plan that’s best for you and your loved one and your case.

Nursing Home Negligence Case Timeline

With nursing home litigation cases, the timeline can take longer than with other types of cases. At an absolute minimum, these cases will take 9 to 14 months, but probably going longer than that. If we file a lawsuit, you can add a year or two to the process. The truth is, our courts in northeast Florida have gotten clogged up again. It’s taking a long time to get cases to trial.

Nursing home litigation is unique in the sense that there is a lot of work that has to be done before we even have the right to file a lawsuit. Records must be collected. Sometimes, a nursing home resident has been in a facility for years and we have thousands and thousands of pages of records to sift through and organize and learn about the negligence that occurred. The resident may have been in and out of the nursing home facilities or hospitals. We have to gather all those records and get them reviewed by an appropriate healthcare provider before we’re entitled to sue. That process takes a long time.

We always advise clients to set their expectations appropriately because these are emotional cases where there has been abuse of a loved one. The spouse or the children will come in and usually emotions are pretty high. The expectations have to be set appropriately that this is not a quick process. It’s complex. It’s complicated. It’s similar to a medical malpractice case, which can also be complicated and time consuming. I want to get across the idea that this is not a quick process. Once that expectation has been set, then we can have conversations about how to move forward, what to do, and what is necessary to satisfy the Nursing Home Act so that we can get that loved one’s case in the best posture possible.

If you have that kind of a case in Nassau County, Duval County, or the surrounding areas, contact us today. We always have nursing home cases at our firm. We can sit down with you. I can help you. I can navigate you through this process and devise a plan that’s going to be best for you and your loved ones. Thank you.

Nursing Home Wrongful Deaths

We have clients who come to us with possible nursing home cases where a loved one has passed away. They want to know if they have a case. Many years ago, the answer would be no. Now, you do. It’s a case that’s brought under Florida’s Wrongful Death Act in conjunction with the Florida Nursing Home Act. We prosecute that case. If that loved one has died as a result of inappropriate actions or inactions by the nursing home facility or the management company, then yes, we can prosecute that case and make the claim. If you have a case in Duval County, Nassau County, or any of the surrounding areas where a loved one has died in a nursing home facility, call us. We’ll sit down, go over the case, and devise a plan that’s best for you and your loved ones.

Should I speak to the insurance company regarding my nursing home negligence case

Nursing Home Negligence Insurance Investigation

Clients often ask us if they should talk to the insurance company for the nursing facility or the management company. The answer is no, never. The insurance company does not have your interest at heart. They represent the nursing home facility. They represent the management company. They represent some overarching holding company that holds all these nursing home facilities. It’s a complex structure that’s been created. The bottom line is they play a shell game and they do not have your interest at heart at all. We advise clients that they should never talk to them.

If you get called by the insurance company or the company directly, refer them to your attorney. At that point, it’s illegal for them to talk to a client. They know that. At that point, we establish the dialogue that’s appropriate for that case. If you have that kind of case, if a loved one has been hurt or killed because of nursing home negligence or abuse in the Nassau County, Duval County area, call us. We have 38 years of experience helping folks with nursing home cases. We can sit down with you, go over your case, and devise a plan that’s best for you.

Initial Offer for a Nursing Home Abuse Case

Should you take a first settlement offer? Typically, most of the time, if not all the time, we say no. Insurance companies at that point are in the negotiation business. They will offer as little as they can to get out of the case as cheaply as they can. That’s the nature of the beast. Sometimes those offers are almost insulting. They’re designed to get under your skin. Typically, they will start very low.

Our job becomes getting the insurance company’s best and highest dollar on the table so that we can discuss whether or not to accept that offer. The first offer rarely, if ever, is accepted. It’s the last offer that’s important. We make that decision. We either settle the case or we say no and we prepare ourselves to trial the case. If you have a nursing home case where a loved one or you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of nursing home abuse or negligence in the Nassau County, Duval County area or surrounding areas, give us a call. We’ll sit down and come up with a plan that’s best for you, your loved one, and your case.

Choosing The Right Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

We are often asked how to go about finding a lawyer for nursing home negligence cases. What we tell them is this: nursing home litigation is very specialized litigation. It’s governed by a particular set of statutes on the books in the state of Florida. It has gone through tortured changes and heated litigation, and it requires the services of a lawyer who’s very experienced in the area. It’s not a case for a young lawyer to handle and cut his teeth on.

You require a lawyer who has handled these cases and handles them on a regular basis because the landscape in nursing home litigation has changed. You need a lawyer who has been through the wars, has the experience, and knows the changes, and can adapt to the changing landscape of nursing home abuse litigation. First and foremost is the experience, both in the field and in time of service. Our nursing home negligence attorney has been in practice 38 years in northeast Florida. If you have a nursing home type case, call us. If it happened in Duval or Nassau County area or the surrounding areas, we’ll sit down with you and devise a plan moving forward to help you in your case in the best way possible.

Call Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Paul Boone Today

If you believe your loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Jacksonville nursing home abuse liars. We want to get to work on cases for victims as soon as possible. The moment you suspect that there’s abuse, call us and set up a consultation to go over the details. We will guide you on what legal action to take and what your rights are. We don’t stop fighting for victims until justice is served in the fullest and fairest way. Call today to get started.

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