Boca Raton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Florida is known around the country as an ideal destination for our elder citizens to retire in peace. Florida applies some of the most stringent regulations in the country on operators of nursing home facilities to ensure that they do right by their residents. Unfortunately, abuse still exists in many of these facilities.
If you or a loved one were the victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse or were neglected at a nursing home or assisted living facility in Boca Raton, you should report your abuse immediately and look to pursue legal action against those responsible so that you can recover the compensation that you are rightfully owed.
At The Carrion Law Firm, we offer free case assessments to potential clients for their first call to our offices. To get help from a seasoned Boca Raton nursing home abuse attorney right now, call our office line at (954) 951-4828.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics in Boca Raton
Nursing home abuse is dishearteningly common. Across the country, nearly 2 million cases of elder abuse are reported. But this figure only represents those cases that actually get reported, which, by all accounts, is the substantial minority.
According to data collected from the Florida Health Care Association, there are nearly 700 nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the State of Florida, hosting over 70,000 residents at any given time. The capacity will figure to go up, as estimates suggest that one in four Florida residents will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030.
This problem only figures to get worse as a result of a disparity in the number of residents compared to the number of nursing home staff. If the historical trend continues, the nationwide population of people over the age of 65 will double over the next 30 years, while many of the state’s nursing homes remain significantly understaffed or lack the training necessary to ensure a safe environment.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Boca Raton
Under the definition used by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are five different types of nursing home abuse: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.
Physical abuse occurs in all walks of life and is particularly harmful in the environment of a nursing home or assisted living facility. Intentionally harmful conduct, such as kicking, slapping, and pushing residents down the stairs is all within the scope of physical abuse.
Physical contact is not necessary to constitute nursing home abuse. Public shaming, humiliation, and deprivation of certain rights to privacy and dignity will all be considered emotional abuse and therefore grounds for a civil lawsuit.
Sexual abuse is a serious problem that is unfortunately forgotten in these contexts far too often. Of all the forms of abuse that occurs in nursing homes, sexual abuse has the highest disparity between occurrence and reporting. This means that most of the sexual abuse that occurs in nursing homes never becomes public. This form of abuse disproportionately affects female and minority residents.
To provide for easy access to funds to make purchases, nursing homes and assisted living facilities often maintain accounts on behalf of residents, particularly those who might have trouble managing their money themselves. This provides a ripe environment for embezzlement and misappropriation of resident funds for the benefit of nursing homes or abusive employees.
Neglect in a nursing home is considered abuse, even if it is not intentional. Nursing homes are responsible for providing all residents with the basic needs of comfortable and safe life, including access to food, water, clean clothing, safe shelter, hygienic care, and medical services as needed. Shortcomings in any of these areas can create consequential health problems for residents, not to mention potentially exacerbating any existing ones.
How to Recover Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse in Boca Raton
Nursing home abuse is a felony in the State of Florida. It is vital that you report abuse that you or a loved one experienced at a Boca Raton nursing home as soon as possible to either law enforcement or the state’s Adult Protective Services agency (APS). However, while criminal fines and prosecution may punish the person or entity responsible for the abuse, they will not provide the victim with the financial compensation that they need to deal with the repercussions of the abuse.
To get access to monetary compensation for harms they sustained, victims must pursue a civil lawsuit against the party responsible for the abuse. While you do not need a lawyer to file a lawsuit against a nursing home, it can be critical having an experienced hand to guide you through the process. Through a civil personal injury lawsuit for nursing home abuse, the victim may be able to recover both compensatory and, in some cases, punitive damages.
Compensatory damage are monetary awards provided in court to account for the victim’s harms caused by the nursing home’s abusive practices. This includes both financial harms as well as personal and emotional harms. For instance, the cost of additional medical care that is necessary to deal with the abuse injuries is a financial harm covered by compensatory damages. The pain and suffering that results from these injuries is also compensable, even though it is not necessarily financial in nature.
Punitive damages are based on the defendant’s conduct rather than the victim’s condition resulting from the abuse. Therefore, punitive damages might not be available in a personal injury case that alleges mere negligence. However, gross recklessness and intentionally harmful conduct may provide the court reason to additionally punish the defendant. Your Boca Raton nursing home abuse attorney will be able to identify where punitive damages might be available so that you can get a better idea of what your case may be worth.
Boca Raton Nursing Home Abuse Victims Can Get Legal Help Today
To hear more about your legal options during a free initial case assessment, call the Boca Raton nursing home abuse attorneys at The Carrion Law Firm today at (954) 951-4828.