Are you or your loved one a victim of abuse in a nursing home in Clearwater, FL? If so, you should seek legal help immediately. A Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyer can help you recover compensation and hold the abuser accountable.
Winters and Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers have over 119 years of combined experience helping nursing home abuse victims in Clearwater. We have dedicated our practice to helping victims get justice. We recover compensation and hold negligent caretakers and nursing home facilities accountable.
Nursing home abuse is dangerously common and should not go unreported. Contact our office to set up a time to discuss your options at no cost to you at (727) 493-4418.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You With Your Nursing Home Abuse Case In Clearwater
Learning that a loved one is being abused by their caretakers is devastating. Unfortunately, it is all too common. You need a lawyer that is strong enough to take on the entire facility and prevent the abuse from happening to others.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers are the aggressive personal injury lawyers in Clearwater, Florida. When it comes to our clients, we don’t back down from a fight. In fact, we know that nursing homes take advantage of their residents and try to sweep abuse under the rug. It’s our goal to expose them and get you compensation for your injuries and emotional trauma.
When you hire our Clearwater personal injury lawyers to handle your nursing home abuse case, you can expect:
- A team of professional and experienced attorneys to help you throughout the entire process
- Honest and candid legal advice
- Fearless advocacy in and out of the courtroom
- Dedicated support staff to keep your case organized and on track
We know that every nursing home abuse case is different. Sometimes they take months or years to resolve. We stick with our clients each step of the way until we get the compensation they deserve.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is extremely common, and unfortunately, most cases of abuse go unreported. It is estimated that one in six elderly persons experienced some form of abuse in 2021. Studies suggest that abuse is more common in nursing homes than when elders live within the community. Alarmingly, according to the World Health Organization, 2 out of 3 nursing home staff members interviewed in its study admitted to committing some form of abuse in 2021.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse comes in all shapes and sizes. Some clients aren’t aware that the behavior they are reporting even qualifies as abuse. In our experience, the following are the most common forms of nursing home abuse in Clearwater.
Sexual abuse is rampant in nursing home facilities. Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact with a resident. It is usually achieved through force, intimidation, or abuse of authority (such as during a physical exam or under the guise of caretaking).
Sexual abuse can include non-consensual touching, rape, or even verbal sexual harassment. Sometimes sexual abuse is perpetrated by caretakers, and other times it is perpetrated by fellow residents. Nursing homes still have an obligation to protect residents from unwanted sexual contact made by residents.
Physical abuse is when a caretaker intentionally uses force or violence against a resident. This may result in physical injury or pain. Sometimes physical abuse takes the form of hitting, pushing, or kicking, but it can happen during unnecessary confinement, force-feeding, or physical punishment.
Emotional abuse is the most commonly reported form of nursing home abuse. It is usually verbal and includes threats, insults, intimidation, and harassment. However, it can also include non-verbal acts and forms of humiliation.
In nursing homes, financial abuse usually happens when the facility improperly uses funds or assets. This may include stealing property or money from a resident or coercing a resident into turning over money or property.
What Is the Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home abuse usually involves some sort of intentional and affirmative action, but neglect is a bit different. Nursing home neglect happens when the care facility fails to provide proper care for the resident or to meet their contractual obligations.
This may come in the form of failing to give access to water, food, or medicine. It can also look like ignoring personal hygiene or safety needs. Nursing home neglect may be passive or active.
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen?
Nursing home abuse can be difficult to conceptualize, but it happens for several reasons. In Clearwater, nursing home abuse is often the product of:
- Unqualified staff or nurses
- Improper training of staff
- Improper supervision or negligent management of staff
- Understaffed nursing homes
There is no exception for nursing home abuse. If a nursing home is incapable of training, supervising its employees, or providing proper care to residents, it should not be in business. Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you hold them responsible.
Signs and Consequences of Nursing Home Abuse in Clearwater, Florida
Sometimes families come to us because they suspect that a loved one is the victim of abuse, but they aren’t certain. Many elderly people cannot verbalize or report the abuse on their own.
There are many different signs of nursing home abuse to look out for, including:
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplainable injuries like bruises or broken bones
- Bed sores
- Unsanitary conditions in the nursing home
- Depression, anxiety, or personality changes
If you notice any signs of nursing home abuse, you should immediately investigate it. Unfortunately, abuse can have severe consequences for victims, including:
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Broken or fractured bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Worsened health
- Serious infections
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Anxiety or depression
In the most severe cases, nursing home abuse can also result in the premature death of a resident.
What Is the Value of My Clearwater Nursing Home Abuse Case?
Each nursing home abuse case is different, and the value will depend on the type of abuse and its impact on the victim. Some factors that affect the value of a case include:
- The type and nature of the abuse
- The impact of the abuse on the resident, both physically and emotionally
- The costs associated with medical care because of the abuse
When you schedule a free consultation, our lawyers will discuss the impact of the abuse and estimate a case value based on our experience. This will serve as a baseline throughout our representation.
What Damages Are Available After Nursing Home Abuse?
Damages are the compensation that you can receive in a nursing home abuse case. There are many types of damages available depending on the type of abuse and the specific impact.
In Clearwater, our team regularly seeks compensation for:
- Medical expenses resulting from the abuse
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy
- Relocation to a new nursing home and increased costs of care
- Psychological and emotional treatment like counseling or therapy
- Emotional distress or humiliation
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate with elderly folks and truly understand the impact of the abuse. Our team can help you figure out the full impact of the abuse and estimate compensation.
How Can I Prove Nursing Home Abuse In Clearwater?
Florida law protects the rights of nursing home residents, including the right to be free from abuse. If a nursing home or its staff violate these rights, they must be held accountable.
Depending on the facts, we may bring a nursing home abuse case against:
- The nursing home facility
- The management company
- Nursing home staff or caretakers
- Doctors or nurses that operate within the facility
- The government for failing to license or inspect nursing homes
To prove our case, we will collect evidence which often includes:
- Medical records
- Photographs and video footage
- Interviews with the victim, their family, and other residents
- Nursing home facility care records
- Staff disciplinary records
This evidence will help us build a strong case against the nursing home so that we can recover the maximum compensation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Florida?
In Florida, you have two years from the date of the abuse to file a lawsuit. This can be difficult in nursing home abuse cases because sometimes the consequences of the abuse are subtle, and it progresses over time. In these cases, you can file the lawsuit two years from the date you discovered the abuse (or should have discovered the abuse).
You must ensure to meet the deadline, or else your case will be dismissed. That means you lose the chance to bring the lawsuit altogether. Contact a lawyer as soon as you can to determine the appropriate deadline for your case, as there are exceptions in some circumstances.
Call a Clearwater Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you are worried about a loved one, you should not hesitate to call a Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss your case.
We can help you identify evidence and signs of abuse and determine if you have a viable case. It’s better to reach out to an expert early than to regret reaching out too late.