Need a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Attorney in St Pete?
As a victim, or a loved one of a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in St. Petersburg or anywhere in the state of Florida, you will have a multitude of justifiable concerns. Frequently asked 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 a vast amount of experience working with clients who have come to us with these questions. We are well-known for holding nursing homes accountable for their abuse and neglect, and send a strong message that their treatment of the elderly will not be accepted. To learn more about our success and to discuss the situation you have been exposed to, give us a call today.
The Distasio Law Firm Difference
How do you find the best St. Petersburg 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 as in both acts and omissions. Florida nursing homes engage in abuse in a variety of ways. The abuse can be obvious or imperceptible and includes being verbally or physically abusive to residents or under-staffing of facilities to boost profits. Other 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 in St. Petersburg will gather evidence and use it to hold offenders accountable.
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.” One of the most common forms of nursing home neglect comes from compassion fatigue, meaning that someone has become so accustomed to a situation that they have lose the ability to properly care for those involved. 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
A St. Petersburg nursing home neglect attorney can’t change what happened the past. However, by holding offenders accountable with a lawsuit, we can help prevent this type of abusive behavior in the future. If you think your loved one has been the victim of neglect in a nursing home in St. Petersburg, please give us a call today.
Under-Staffing is The Root Cause of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Unfortunately, some nursing homes throughout the state of Florida place profits above compassion. This is often reflected in the manner in which nursing homes staff their facilities.
Nursing homes may choose to under-staff using a couple of different methods. One way is to purposely not hire enough staff to properly meet the necessities of the residents. Having fewer staff members on each shift ends up resulting in less time to care for the residents. Residents that require more care, unfortunately end up receiving the least amount of help, if they are given any assistance at all. Re-positioning residents or even feeding them, are examples of tasks that don’t get done. This is damaging to the health of the resident.
Another way that nursing homes choose to reduce staff costs is by hiring under-qualified employees, who cost much less than qualified ones. Nursing assistants are sometimes hired to do the job of registered nurses and because they are not experienced or trained to meet the demands of elderly residents, as under-qualified staff they often become neglectful and abusive.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are many types of nursing home abuse and neglect, the most common 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
Abuse and neglect of the elderly can be subtle and difficult to recognize. These are some signs that you should be aware of and not ignore:
- 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 help ensure that your loved doesn’t become a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect is to do your research before you place them. When evaluating possible facilities, these are things you should look for:
- 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
Spend time researching a facility before placing an elderly or impaired loved one. This will help to protect their well-being and possibly save a lot of heartache.
Looking for a St Petersburg Nursing Home Abuse Attorney? Call (727) 254-4979 Today!
Talk to our team at Distasio Law Firm if you have been injured by the negligence of another. We understand how complex these cases can be and will do everything in our power to ensure that you and your loved ones receive justice. We offer a free case evaluation so that you can tell us the details of your case quickly and easily. You should not have deal with this difficult situation on your own so please do not hesitate to call our office to learn how we could help you. Contact Distasio Law Firm today to schedule an appointment. We could help get the compensation you deserve for what you have gone through!