Personal Injury Attorney Serving the Elderly and their Families in Sunrise, Ft. Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach Areas
Over 90 percent of nursing homes were cited for federal health and safety violations in 2007, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.Given the extraordinary number of violations, it should come as no surprise that outright abuse is widespread as well, although precise statistics are hard to come by. Why? Victims of abuse are often unable or afraid to make complaints about their treatment. Many victims will not even tell family members that they are being abused because they are afraid of being punished by the perpetrators for “blowing the whistle.” Furthermore, it can be hard to determine if a loved one is being abused unless you know the signs and symptoms to look for, which are not always obvious.
Signs of nursing home abuse.
Here are some indications that a person you love is being abused or neglected:
- Bruises, scratches, scabs, and/or burns that cannot be accounted for
- Cracked or dry lips
- Extreme drowsiness, drooling or a vacant stare, all of which can indicate being over medicated or the administering of improper medications
- The presence of restraints on beds or wheelchairs when the use of restraints has not been required or requested in the past
- Rapid weight loss
- Poor hygiene, such as dirty or uncut fingernails, knotted hair, dirty or stained clothing
- Bedsores (often located on the back, buttocks, elbows and/or heels)
- Extreme fear, agitation, anxiousness or anger
- Depression and/or withdrawal
- Confusion and disorientation
- An unwillingness to discuss how one is being cared for or even what life is like at the nursing home
- Genital bleeding or pain, bruising of the inner thighs, sudden difficulty sitting or walking, torn or bloody underclothing and/or a sexually transmitted disease. All of these can be symptoms of sexual abuse
- Suddenly falling into a coma or dying without adequate explanation
Florida nursing home abuse lawyer David Benenfeld is committed to helping victims of abuse. He can put an immediate end to the abuse and obtain compensation for physical, emotional and/or financial injuries suffered by the victim.
Steps to Resolving a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
- Notify the nursing home of the abuse using its standard grievance procedure. Nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid are required to institute such procedures. If there is no formal grievance procedure, send a carefully drafted letter to the nursing home. Take whatever actions you need to remove your loved one from harm’s way.
- Contact Florida Adult Protective Services. The caseworker will decide whether to begin an investigation. An investigation could yield evidence that might be useful in a civil claim.
- Work with your lawyer to gather evidence to support your claim. Your lawyer will need to be familiar with nursing home regulations and medical malpractice law. He will also need to examine the contract with the nursing home.
- Negotiate with the nursing home to resolve the issue. Two issues are paramount – (i) steps that need to be taken to ensure the proper care of your loved one, and (ii) compensation for any abuse.
- Take your claim to court if the nursing home refuses to satisfactorily resolve the issue. The lawsuit complaint will need to be carefully drafted. And keep in mind that even after you file a lawsuit, negotiations can continue and a private settlement can still be reached.
You Probably Won’t Have to Go to Court
Most nursing home claims are resolved out of court. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to file a formal lawsuit complaint to get the nursing home to take your claim seriously. Once in a while, however, it will be necessary to take a claim all the way to trial. When this happens, rest assured that I am ready to fight and win – as I have done many times before.
“I hired David Benenfeld in November 2013 and he finished my case very fast. I was really happy with the results. I couldn’t be happier. He always kept us informed and always returned my calls and answered any questions that I had. Me and my family thank him and his staff.”
Some of My Other Practice Areas
In addition to nursing home abuse cases, I also frequently take the following kinds of personal injury cases:
- Auto Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Personal Injury
- Slip and Fall/Premises Liability
- Social Security Disability Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation
- Trucking Accidents
- Wrongful Death
Peer and Client Recognition of David M. Benenfeld
David M. Benenfeld has enjoyed extraordinary success during his career as a personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer, and the world has noticed:
- The Better Business Bureau has granted him an “+A” rating
- He has received the AVVO Client’s Choice Award for four straight years due to outstanding client reviews.
- He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (less than one percent of lawyers qualify)
Get the Process Started Right Away
The longer you wait to get the ball rolling on your concerns, the longer your loved one might be at risk. The time to act is now. If you suspect nursing home abuse, of if your loved one died in a nursing home under suspicious circumstances, call David M. Benenfeld at 954-677-0155, or complete the online contact form so that we can schedule a free consultation.