Have you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home abuse in Tampa, FL? Nursing homes should be held accountable when they subject residents to neglect or abuse. An experienced Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer can help you protect your loved one and seek the fair compensation they need.
Catania & Catania, P.A. has represented injury victims and their families in negligence claims for over 28 years. Contact our Tampa law firm today to schedule a free case review, or call us at (813) 222-8545 to discuss how we can help you.
How Catania & Catania, P.A. Can Help with a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Tampa, FL
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary to give them the level of care they need. When a long-term care facility violates your trust and subjects your loved one to abuse or neglect, they should be held accountable. Catania & Catania, P.A. is dedicated to protecting Tampa’s most vulnerable residents.
Our Tampa personal injury lawyers have recovered over $500 million for our clients. These noteworthy feats have earned our firm the Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent rating and the 2020 Silver Client Champion award. Our small, award-winning law firm gives your case the resources and personal attention it deserves with big firm results.
Choose Catania & Catania, P.A. to represent you in your nursing home negligence case, and we will:
- Provide dependable legal advice, guidance, and support
- Help you protect your loved one’s rights and safety
- Investigate your loved one’s case to identify liable parties and gather evidence
- Work with top experts in many fields to interpret evidence and establish negligence
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair-value settlement
- Take your case before a jury if the insurance company refuses a fair settlement offer
At Catania & Catania, P.A., we are prepared to put our decades of experience and resources to work for you. We will help you level the playing field with the insurance company and hold the nursing home accountable.
Contact our law firm today for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa.
Overview of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida
According to Medicare data, Florida is the third best state for nursing care, with an overall quality rating of 3.75 out of 5. Despite this, 134 out of 704 nursing homes in the state have serious deficiencies, 576 have infection-related deficiencies, and 37 have had Medicare payments suspended.
No Tampa nursing homes made the list of the very worst offenders. However, several have dozens of recent deficiencies and have been fined $100,000 or more.
Under Florida Statute 400.022, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity, respect, and consideration
- Be free of physical and mental abuse, neglect, physical restraints, chemical sedation, involuntary isolation, and corporal punishment
- Make their own decisions, including decisions about their finances and belongings
- Be aware of available services and charges
- File official complaints with their local long-term care ombudsman
- Private communications
- Participate in their own healthcare
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents do not receive the care they deserve. Nursing homes can be held financially liable when residents have their rights violated and are subjected to abuse or neglect.
What are the Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
There are six primary forms of abuse that occur in Florida nursing homes:
This is one of the most commonly reported types of nursing home abuse. In one survey, 10% of nursing home staff admitted to physical abuse at least once. Over 35% of residents had witnessed physical abuse in the last year.
Physical abuse can involve hitting, shoving, burning, pushing, slapping, or threatening touches.
Staff members or other residents may commit sexual abuse of nursing home residents. This form of abuse is often invisible, yet it is more common than many believe.
Seniors with special needs and disabilities are about five times more likely to be the victim of sexual assault than healthy older adults.
Psychological abuse is a common form of mistreatment in nursing homes. It may come in the form of bullying, insults, threats, intimidation, isolation, or demeaning behavior.
The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that 51% of nursing home CNAs admit to yelling at patients. About one in four admit they have insulted or sworn at patients.
This happens when staff members financially exploit a vulnerable resident. It may involve stealing possessions, identity theft, or manipulating the resident to change their will or beneficiaries.
Abandonment is uncommon in an assisted living facility or long-term care facility. It happens when someone who is responsible for caring for a senior willfully deserts or abandons them.
Nursing home neglect
Neglect is a type of elder abuse in which the resident does not receive the care they need and suffers injury or death. A nursing home must provide residents with necessities, including personal hygiene, food, water, clothing, shelter, comfort, medical care, social interaction, and safety.
It is believed that neglect is the most underreported type of elder abuse yet one of the most common. One study found 21% of nursing home residents have suffered neglect within the last year.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse?
The signs of nursing home abuse can be subtle, particularly when the victim is a vulnerable resident who cannot speak up. The signs can also depend on the type of abuse.
Common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect to watch for include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Abrasions on the ankles or wrists
- Behavioral changes, such as fear, withdrawal, self-hugging, or rocking, especially when they occur around staff
- Unwillingness to speak near staff
- Staff refusing to let you be alone with your loved one
- Bed sores
- Unexplained pelvic injuries
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising around the thighs, genitals, breasts, or mouth
- Unexplained weight loss
- Untreated or new medical issues
- Poor hygiene or dirty clothing or bedding
These are not the only signs to watch for. Nursing home residents may also be the victim of financial abuse. Signs can include missing possessions and unusual credit activity.
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Happen?
Nursing home abuse and neglect can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it is the result of intentional wrongdoing or carelessness by staff. It can also happen when staff members do not have the training, skill, staff levels, or resources they need to care for residents.
Common issues at the heart of many cases of nursing home abuse or neglect include:
- Medical neglect that causes bedsores, infections, or other health issues
- Inadequate staffing, one of the most common problems in nursing homes
- Inadequate staff training
- Insufficient supervision
- Poor management and accountability
Your Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s injuries to determine why they happened.
What is My Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Case Worth?
The value of your nursing home negligence case depends on many unique factors. The only way to estimate your case’s value is through a consultation with an experienced Tampa injury lawyer.
Economic damages like medical expenses generally account for a large share of your case’s value. However, your loved one’s pain, anguish, suffering, and other personal losses may increase your case’s value.
The more severe, impairing, or long-lasting the injuries, the more your case is worth. If your case involves intentional infliction of injury or gross negligence, you may qualify for punitive damages.
Contact Catania & Catania, P.A. today to speak with our nursing home abuse attorneys in Tampa. We will help you understand how much your case may be worth during a free case review.
What Damages Can I Recover for Nursing Home Abuse in Tampa, FL?
When a nursing home fails in their duty to your loved one and allows them to suffer neglect or abuse, they can be held liable for the injuries and damages your loved one suffers.
A nursing home abuse case allows you to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses, such as the cost to move your loved one to a new facility, counseling, hospitalization, doctor’s visits, and more
- Personal losses, including pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, anguish, and distress
Cases that involve abuse may also qualify for punitive damages. These damages punish the defendant for intentional misconduct and gross negligence. Florida law caps punitive damages at 3x the compensatory damages or $500,000.
If you have lost a loved one due to nursing home negligence, you may hold the nursing home accountable through a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death case allows you to seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of guidance, companionship, and support.
How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Florida?
You have a limited amount of time to file your case. The Florida statute of limitations for a nursing home negligence lawsuit is two years from the date your loved one was neglected or abused. If you miss this deadline, your case can be dismissed without consideration.
Contact a Tampa nursing home abuse attorney at Catania & Catania, P.A. today to begin work on your case.
Contact a Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect in a Tampa nursing home, we are here to help. Catania & Catania, P.A. will help you protect your loved one and seek the fair compensation they deserve.
Call our law office today for a free case review with an experienced Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer ready to hold the negligent nursing home accountable.