Need a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Attorney in Clearwater?
If you are a victim or the loved one of a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Clearwater or anywhere in the state of Florida, you have many serious questions and critical concerns. Some of the most important questions include:
- How do I make sure this does not happen to anyone else?
- Can I hold them accountable for what they have done?
- Can I move my loved one to a different nursing home?
The Distasio Law Firm has an extensive amount of experience working with clients who have come to us with justifiable concerns about the care received in nursing homes. Our firm is renowned for holding nursing homes accountable for their abuse and neglect. We send a formidable message that this type of treatment of the elderly will never be acceptable. To learn more about our successful legal representation and for a consult about the harmful situation you have been subjected to, contact us right away.
The Distasio Law Firm Difference
How do you find the best Clearwater nursing home abuse attorney? What should you be looking for? Here’s a list:
- Knowledge and Experience Handling Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Your lawyer should not only know Florida nursing home law. That lawyer should also have years of experience handling abuse and neglect cases. Scott Distasio has been handling nursing home abuse cases for over 28 years. His years of experience investigating, negotiating, settling, filing lawsuits, taking depositions, and going to trial will absolutely make a difference in your case.
- Independent Verification of the Lawyers Ability
All attorneys claim they know what they are doing. Their marketing materials may also be persuasive. But you will only know the truth about that lawyer if the lawyer is rated by respected independent non-biased rating systems. Scott Distasio has an “AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell law Directory. This is the highest rating an attorney can receive for both ability and ethics. Scott Distasio is also Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Trial law. To achieve this accomplishment a lawyer must have tried a minimum number of cases to a jury and pass a competency exam. Less than 1% of all Florida lawyers are Board Certified.
- Willingness and Ability to Go to Trial
Not all nursing home neglect cases go to trial. The truth is most cases settle. But if your case does need to go to trial it’s important to hire a law firm that has the experience, resources and ability to try your case. Scott Distasio is a board-certified civil trial lawyer. This gives him the right to call himself an expert trial lawyer.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
According to Florida statute 415.102(1) abuse is defined as “any willful act by a caregiver which causes or is likely to cause significant impairment to a vulnerable adult’s physical, mental, or emotional health.” This abuse is defined by law as in both acts and omissions. It is very unfortunate, but some Florida nursing homes engage in neglect or abuse that can be termed as either obvious or imperceptible. This includes the acts of being verbally or physically abusive to residents or purposely under-staffing of their facilities to boost profits. Examples of abuse include:
- Hitting uncooperative residents
- Twisting resident’s limbs when re-positioning them
- Yelling at residents
- Teasing and or calling residents names
An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer from the Distasio Law Firm in Clearwater has the expertise to gather the proper evidence and with it, can hold offenders accountable and provide justice for the victims.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
According to Florida statute 415.102(16) neglect is defined as “the failure or omission on the part of a caregiver to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult, including, but not limited to food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services, which a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of a vulnerable adult.” A common form of nursing home neglect comes from what is termed as “compassion fatigue,” meaning that someone has become so accustomed to certain circumstances that they have lost the ability to provide proper care to those they are responsible for. That type of neglect by the staff shows itself in the following ways:
- Failure to help with hygiene
- Failure to supervise residents that are at risk of falling
- Failure to change bedding
- Failure to change clothes
- Failure to feed the person
- Failure to hydrate the person
- Allowing incontinent residents to lay in their waste
Some examples of medical neglect may include:
- Failing to provide proper medical attention
- Failing to provide prescription medication
- Over-medicating a person
- Under-medicating a person
- Failure to diagnose symptoms
- Failure to treat evident symptoms
- Failing to send a resident to the hospital when symptoms warrant it
Unfortunately, a Clearwater nursing home neglect attorney is not able to alter what has already happened. However, a lawsuit that holds offenders accountable does help prevent this type of abuse and neglect in the future. If you believe that you or your loved one has been the victim in a nursing home, contact Distasio Law Firm today. We are ready to pursue the justice you deserve.
Under-Staffing is The Root Cause of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Unfortunately, some of the nursing homes in Florida decide that profits, not compassion, are their priority. This is often shown by the way in which they staff their facilities.
Nursing homes may choose to use the term “under-staffing” as a way to cut expenses and boost their bottom line. One way to cut costs is to purposely not hire enough staff members to meet the needs of the residents. Fewer staff members on each shift means less time to care for the residents. Unfortunately, residents who require more care end up receiving the least amount of help. Re-positioning residents or even feeding them, are some of the responsibilities that may be overlooked, thus damaging the health of the residents.
Another way nursing homes may choose to reduce personnel costs is by employing under-qualified staff members. Registered nurses are sometimes replaced by nursing assistants. Under-qualified employees, who are not experienced or properly trained to meet the demands of elderly residents, often become neglectful and abusive.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There most common types of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Bed Rail Entrapment
- Combative Residents
- Dropped Patients Hoyer Lift
- Elopement and Wandering
- Feeding Tube Neglect
- Impacted Bowels
- Insect Bites
- Medication Errors
- Poor Hygiene
- Pressure Sores
- Sexual Assault
- Slip and Falls
- Smoking Accidents
- Ventilator Neglect
Identifying Abuse and Neglect
Elder abuse and neglect can be quite subtle and not easily recognizable. Here are some of the signs that you should watch for:
- Unexplained bruises
- Sudden changes in personality
- Fear of a caregiver
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Fainting, tiredness or other symptoms of malnutrition
- Unclean environment
- Excessive restraints
- Recurring injuries
- Injuries that cannot be easily explained
- The caregiver will not let you be alone with your loved one
- Withdrawal or depression
- Strange financial transactions
Finding the Right Facility
The best way to avoid nursing home abuse or neglect is to do your research before selecting a facility. Keep these things in mind when doing your evaluations:
- Does the nursing home appear to be clean?
- Are the nursing home staff knowledgeable and friendly?
- Are residents engaged in activities or are they just sitting around with nothing to do?
- Does the nursing home have video monitoring in the halls and patients’ rooms
(video monitoring assures that nursing home residents will be watched and others
will be watched while interacting with the residents, which could prevent possible
- Does the nursing home have medical directors and physicians who supervise
medical staff and the medical procedures residents receive?
- Does the nursing home have licensed nurses and/or CNA’s on staff?
- Does the nursing home employ enough staff to sufficiently provide for the care,
treatment, and supervision of every patient?
- Are the nursing home physicians, supervisors, and administrators accessible and
willing to address concerns?
- Have incidents of abuse or neglect occurred in the past and how were they
Be pro-active and informed before selecting a nursing home. This will help protect the well-being of an elderly or impaired loved one and possibly save future anguish and heartbreak.