Delray Beach Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
Elderly people have just as much right as anyone else to live the remainder of their lives in the best situation possible, even if they wind up needing assistance with daily living and its tasks. While popular culture can paint nursing homes and assisted living as worthy of despair, a good one can help an older person enjoy life. An abusive and neglectful facility can be a nightmare, and everyone in it should be held accountable if need be. Our Delray Beach nursing home neglect lawyers are ready to assist you if you suspect that your loved one has been neglected.
Elder Abuse Need Not Be Physical
It is a popular misconception that elder abuse must be affirmative, so to speak; it must be an action someone takes to have lasting effects on the target. This is not strictly true, because neglect, under Florida law, qualifies as a type of abuse, and all someone needs to do to neglect a person is to refuse to act. The issue is whether or not someone acted in accordance with the degree of care owed to the elderly person, and both active abuse and passive neglect can play a role in answering that question.
While actions like hitting or yelling at an elderly person are abusive, so is neglect. Conduct such as failing to change bedsheets and dressings can lead to bedsores, or a failure to monitor an elderly person who is a known fall risk can lead to all the potential damages that can result, including brain injury. In extreme cases, people can be neglected to the point where they suffer malnutrition and dehydration.
If you suspect abuse or neglect of your elderly relative, you can bring suit against the nursing home, in addition to the possibility of criminal charges being brought under the relevant statute. Florida has a statute which permits the resident of a nursing home (or their guardian, or their personal representative, if the person is deceased) to file a suit against that facility for compensation, and if successful, you may be able to recover not only appropriate damages, but also costs and attorney’s fees.
Like many types of lawsuits, elder abuse suits must be brought under a legal theory of negligence. A duty of reasonable care from defendant to plaintiff must be shown (in cases of nursing homes, this is usually stipulated to exist). That duty must be shown to have been breached, and the breach must directly have come from the defendant’s conduct – that is, the plaintiff must have suffered tangible harm as a direct result of something the defendant has done, with no other cause. If these are able to be established in court, your suit may be successful.
Seek Out Experienced Legal Help
Elder abuse is unconscionable, and if your loved one has been neglected, compensation is due. Our Delray Beach nursing home neglect lawyers at the Leifer Law Firm are happy to consult with you and try to guide you through what can be a frightening process. Call our offices today at 561-660-9421 to set up an appointment.