Need a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Attorney in Tampa?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Tampa or any other Florida city, you probably have many questions. Common 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?
We are here to answer all your questions. But more importantly, we have the knowledge and experience to hold nursing homes accountable for their abuse and neglect. We believe holding nursing homes accountable for money damages when they provide bad care will motivate them to improve and our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyers are passionate about doing so. For a free consultation give us a call.
The Distasio Law Firm Difference
How do you know if you have hired the best Tampa nursing home abuse attorney? The simplest way to know is to find a lawyer that has all the below characteristics.
- 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?
Florida statute 415.102(1) defines abuse 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. Abuse includes acts and omissions. Florida nursing homes engage in abuse in many subtle ways. Nursing home management engage in nursing home abuse when they willfully understaff their facilities to increase profits. Nursing home staff engage in nursing home abuse when they verbally and physically abuse residents. Both of these forms of abuse are very common. Some examples of abuse include the following:
- Hitting uncooperative residents
- Twisting resident’s limbs when re-positioning them
- Yelling at residents
- Teasing and or calling residents names
A seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer in Tampa can gather the evidence necessary to hold these wrongdoers accountable. If you suspect that your loved one may be suffering from abuse and need help identifying the signs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team today!
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Florida statute 415.102(16) defines neglect as the failure or omission on the part of a care giver 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. The most common forms of nursing home neglect happen when nursing home management and staff become so used to the plight of growing old that they lose their ability to care. Some examples of physical neglect may include the following:
- 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
- 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 Tampa nursing home neglect attorney can’t change what has happened. But by holding them accountable for money damages, a lawsuit can help deter this type of conduct in the future. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of neglect in a nursing home in Tampa or any other city in Florida, give us a call.
Under-staffing is The Root Cause of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Most nursing homes provide good care to their residents. But some are so driven to make as much money as possible that they intentionally sacrifice care to their residents to increase profits. Of course, there is nothing wrong with making a profit. But when profits are put ahead of providing resident care, nursing home abuse and neglect occurs. These nursing homes literally make a conscious decision to put profits over people. They know that the largest cost to running a nursing home is the cost of paying the staff. They willfully understaff their facility. By reducing the cost of paying staff they significantly increase profits.
There are two ways nursing homes reduce staff costs. The first way is to purposely have less staff than is necessary to meet the needs of the residents. They reduce the number of staff members per shift so that the employees on duty do not have time to care for all the residents. Those with the most needs often get the least help. In fact, some residents that need extra assistance simply do not get it. Basic things like turning and repositioning residents at risk for developing pressure sores, cleaning incontinent residents, feeding and providing water to resident’s incapable of caring for themselves, and supervising residents at risk of falling do not happen. The end result is an increase in pressure sores, falls, injury, and even unnecessary death.
The second way nursing homes decrease the cost of staff is by hiring underqualified employees for less money than other facilities. They have nursing assistants do the job of LPN’s and LPN’s do the job of registered nurses. These employees are so under qualified and underpaid that they do not know how to handle older residents that are set in their ways and or suffering from dementia. These employees take out their frustration on their residents in the form of mental and physical abuse.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect comes in many forms. But they all end the same way. Injury and or death to vulnerable nursing home residents. The most common types are listed below.
- 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
Identifying elder abuse and elder neglect is not always easy. It will take careful observation on your part but paying careful attention to your loved one will pay off in the end. If you keep your eyes open and are aware of potential signs of elder abuse and elder neglect, you can prevent it from occurring. Some signs to watch out for may
include the following:
- 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
Tampa, Florida has 21 nursing homes with the capacity to care for 2,688 residents.
The best way to prevent your loved one from being the victim of nursing abuse and or nursing home neglect in one of these facilities is to investigate before you place your loved one. When your researching 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
Take the time to research the facility or facilities that you are interested in. Familiarize yourself not only with the facility but with the people who work there. Simply by taking the time to do this, it is much more likely that you will notice any questionable situations and can therefore avoid elder abuse or elder neglect. You can take an active role in helping to ensure that your loved one receives the treatment and care he or she deserves.
Nursing Homes in Tampa, Florida
Looking for a Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer? Call 813-259-0022 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!