Delray Beach Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Florida has a higher percentage of elderly residents than most other states, at just over 20 percent. Some of these are in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, in order to have a better quality of life than they might otherwise have been able to get in their later years – but unfortunately, some nursing homes do not fulfill their job descriptions, facilitating and even committing abuse. If you or a loved one have been the victim of abuse in this setting, it is important to know you deserve better. Our Delray Beach nursing home abuse lawyers at the Leifer Law Firm are ready to assist you with your case and fight for you.
Is It Abuse?
One major stumbling block for many is that they are unsure whether the treatment they have experienced actually rises to the level of abuse under Florida law. In reality, Florida law recognizes multiple types of abuse against the elderly, even if it is not physical – for example, psychological abuse is explicitly delineated in the relevant statute. Also, conduct which does not necessarily result in physical or psychological injury, but could “reasonably be expected to result” in such injury is also characterized as abusive.
Some people tend to shrink from reporting abusive behavior because it qualifies more as neglect than outright abuse, but neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult is also covered in the statute. It covers neglect in the sense of not providing anything that is necessary to maintain the elderly person’s physical or mental health, from food to medicine to supervision. In reality there is very little potentially problematic conduct that is not covered under the Florida statute.
How To Fight Back?
Unlike many other states, Florida’s legislature has codified a residents’ bill of rights into statutory law, meaning that residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities have certain rights that cannot be unilaterally abrogated by nursing home staff because of some perceived infraction – or, indeed, for nearly any reason at all. If a resident of such a facility has reason to believe their rights have been violated, the law gives them the right to file a civil lawsuit, or to consent to one being filed on their behalf by their legal guardian or someone authorized to act on their behalf (or the personal representative of their estate, if the abuse resulted in the person’s passing).
It is important to understand that civil lawsuits do not result in anyone going to jail. The state of Florida may choose to charge someone with a crime if their conduct is egregious enough, but a civil lawsuit results in liability, which is usually redressed with monetary damages. In order to receive damages, it must be proven that the nursing home or its staff breached the duty of care it owes to its residents, and that the breach of duty was the direct cause of the harm suffered by the elderly plaintiff. This can be difficult to show, but it is far from impossible.
Our Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Will Fight For You
If you or someone you love has been a victim of abuse, the natural inclination for most people is to try and strike back at those who hurt you. However, to do it effectively, you need a knowledgeable attorney. The Delray Beach nursing home abuse attorneys at the Leifer Law Firm will work hard to ensure that those who perpetrate such behavior are found liable and punished to the fullest extent of the law. Call us today at 561-660-9421 to set up a free consultation.