Venice Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility can be an incredibly difficult decision for most any family in Florida. Many older adults refuse to live in these types of facilities or express deep reservations about them. Families must confront reality when such relatives need continuous medical care.
Adult children and other family members dedicate time and effort when they select the nursing home or assisted living facility. They may base their decision on multiple factors, including the costs and quality of care. It can be devastating for family members when they later learn or suspect that a loved one has been subjected to abuse or neglect at a nursing home or assisted living facility. It can also be confusing trying to get justice.
Buckman & Buckman, P.A. is a family-run law firm that has helped families throughout the greater Venice area for more than two decades. Call or reach us online to schedule a free consultation that will let our Venice nursing home abuse attorneys to review your case and help you understand all of your legal options.
What You Should Do If Your Loved One Was Abused or Neglected in a Venice Nursing Home
When a person suspects or knows that a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility has been the victim of or faces imminent harm, that individual should not hesitate to contact a local law enforcement agency. The Venice Police Department and Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office will investigate Venice nursing home abuse or neglect.
If the harm is not necessarily evident, a person can take other steps. The first step in such cases is usually to file a report with the actual nursing home or assisted living facility. People should also ask for a copy of this report.
Abuse or neglect not involving imminent harm can also be reported to specific state agencies. The Florida Department of Children and Families has a Florida Abuse Hotline that allows the general public to report suspected cases of abuse, neglect, abandonment or exploitation of vulnerable adults. The Adult Protective Services section of the department has the mission to protect “vulnerable adults from further abuse, neglect, exploitation, or self-neglect and enabling adults with disabilities to remain in the community.”
A reporting form can be found on the Department of Children and Families website. The agency is divided into six regions. Sarasota County is located in the SunCoast Region.
Additional reporting options can be found on the website for Florida’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, which advocates for the rights of residents. Finally, a person who suspects nursing home abuse or neglect should contact an assisted living abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
How a Venice Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Help You
By working with Buckman & Buckman, you will quickly have a thorough, independent investigation conducted of your suspected nursing home abuse and neglect case. Your lawyer can also work with any state or local law enforcement agencies which are also investigating the matter.
When abuse or neglect is uncovered, we can negotiate a full and fair settlement. We will know the actual value of your case due to our investigation. If an insurer proves to be unwilling to provide an adequate settlement amount, we will be prepared to fight for you at trial.
In addition to investigating claims, negotiating settlements and taking cases to trial, the attorneys of Buckman & Buckman, P.A. also handle various estate planning matters, such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect in Venice Nursing Homes
Many seniors are susceptible to different kinds of harm and exploitation. In some cases, the wrongful acts of the nursing home or assisted living facility employees may go unnoticed, and residents may be too ashamed to admit when they have been victims. For this reason, it is critical for family members to understand and look for signs of possible abuse or neglect such as:
- Physical Abuse — Bruises or cuts without explanation, visible discomfort in the presence of certain staff members, broken eyeglasses, signs of restraint such as burns on ankles or wrists, and unexplained broken bones, dislocations or sprains.
- Emotional Abuse — Residents may be victims of verbal or nonverbal abuse, but the signs can be harder to detect. Typically, family members should become concerned when a resident exhibits depression, mood swings or an increased desire to harm themselves or others.
- Sexual Abuse — One of the most common signs of sexual abuse is a resident being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, but other signs may include bruised genital areas, bloody or torn underwear and avoidance of certain staff members.
- Neglect — The simple signs of neglect are usually apparent. Neglect is apparent when clothes and bedding have not been washed or if the resident exhibits signs of malnutrition or dehydration or other unsafe living conditions.
- Financial Exploitation — Sudden changes to wills or other estate planning documents, sudden and unexplained large withdrawals and receipts for major purchases on a resident’s bank card are some of the more frequent signs of financial abuse.
While some senior citizens can be challenging to care for, nothing excuses these types of abuse and neglect.
Time Limits on Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits in Florida
Chapter 400 of the Florida Statutes covers nursing homes and related healthcare facilities. Under Florida Statute § 400.023(1), an exclusive cause of action for negligence or a violation of residents’ rights alleging direct or vicarious liability for the personal injury or death of a nursing home resident can be brought only against:
- The licensee
- The licensee’s management or consulting company
- The licensee’s managing employees
- Any direct caregivers.
People have a limited amount of time to file a legal claim, known as the statute of limitations. Florida Statute § 429.296(1) establishes that “any nursing home or assisted living facility negligence or abuse action must be commenced within two years of the incident giving rise to the action or within two years from the time the incident is discovered, or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence. No action can be commenced later than four years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued.”
Under Florida Statute § 429.296(2), the statute of limitations can be extended two years when it can be proven that fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation of fact prevented the discovery of an injury. In such cases, no action can be commenced more than six years from the date of the incident giving rise to the injury.
Our Venice Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys Are Here for You
If you believe that your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect at a nursing home or assisted living facility in the Venice area, you should immediately contact Buckman & Buckman. We will provide personalized attention, a thorough investigation and comprehensive service throughout your case. Call or connect with us online today to schedule a free consultation.