Damages in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

The quality of nursing home facilities is a pressing issue for many Florida families. Unfortunately, not all nursing home care facilities treat their residents with the level of care they are entitled to receive. Some nursing home facilities and staff abuse their residents by inflicting pain or humiliation, isolating them, physically injuring them, or otherwise perpetuating harm against them.

This unacceptable behavior can be held accountable in a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

The nursing home abuse lawyers of Osborne & Francis are dedicated to protecting elderly Florida residents and their families as they pursue compensation from negligent care facilities.

For more information about the services we offer, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team by calling us at 561-293-2600. You can also contact our Orlando or Boca Raton offices online.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida Facilities

Nursing home abuse may be perpetrated or allowed by nursing home staff and administration. Nursing home abuse is often accompanied by negligence, both of which can potentially be compensated in a personal injury lawsuit. The main forms of nursing home abuse include the following.

Sexual abuse

Elderly nursing home residents are particularly at risk of being sexually abused. Sexual abuse may occur in vulnerable situations when an elderly resident is supposed to be receiving assistance, such as bathing or changing clothes. Additionally, nursing home residents may be hesitant or unable to report the abuse due to a fear of retaliation or degenerative cognitive conditions. Signs of sexual abuse in the elderly include contracting STDs, exhibiting fear of certain people or locations, and demonstrating unusual changes in behavior, such as self isolating. 

Mental or emotional abuse

Nursing home staff may engage in mental or emotional abuse by bullying or degrading residents, excluding them from social activities, keeping them from their families, and other forms of torment. In some cases, staff allow residents to abuse each other in this manner. This can cause abused residents to become withdrawn or lash out. Any significant behavioral changes should be noted. Even if they’re not being abused, such changes can be an early warning sign of cognitive illness.

Physical abuse

Abusive nursing home staff members may hit, kick, punch, or otherwise physically harm residents in their care as punishment or retaliation. Residents may flinch at sudden movement or loud noise, avoid certain staff members, or attempt to conceal injuries such as bruises. If your loved one starts sustaining unusual or inexplicable injuries, it is better to be overly cautious and investigate further.

Financial abuse

If you notice that your loved one’s valuables or belongings have gone missing, or if there is unusual activity in their bank account, that may be an indication that they are being financially exploited. Unfortunately, many scams and financial abusers target the elderly because they tend to be more isolated. Nursing home residents are vulnerable to this type of abuse because they may not have a family that regularly checks on them. And they are at the mercy of staff to tend to their daily needs.

Injuries Caused by Nursing Home Abuse 

When discussing nursing home abuse, there are a variety of physical and mental injuries that can result from abusive treatment. Among the elderly, even moderately severe physical injuries can be debilitating. If treatment is delayed because the abuser wants to conceal the resident’s injuries, their health can be significantly jeopardized. For example, bones may heal incorrectly, compromising mobility. Or an unreported brain injury can permanently impair cognitive function.

Common Injuries in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Nursing home abuse does not always leave physical marks. This makes it more challenging to identify. For example, abuse can result in mental health injuries, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Injured residents may not be able to advocate for themselves for a variety of reasons. So it is critical that their loved ones closely monitor their physical and mental health.

Damages You Can Recover on Your Loved One’s Behalf for Nursing Home Abuse

Damages refer to losses sustained as a result of negligence or harm. Personal injury lawsuits typically focus on recovering compensatory damages, which reimburse the injured party for their losses. 

Economic Damages in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits

Economic damages refer to financial losses of a specified value. In a nursing home abuse lawsuit, there are likely to bemedical bills for surgery, casts, wheelchairs, or medications. Loved ones may incur economic damages as well as they care for their elderly loved one. Economic damages are verified through records like pay stubs or medical bills.

Non-Economic Damages in a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit

As personal injury lawyers, we firmly believe that for most of our clients, economic expenses do not capture the full scope of their losses. That leaves us with a responsibility to qualify costs like emotional distress or pain and suffering, which can be just as damaging as an expensive medical bill. Non-economic damages are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This means that the value of non-economic damages varies based on the situation.

Recovering Punitive Damages in a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Claim

Punitive damages are reserved for cases of widespread, long-term, or egregious abuse that resulted in significant losses. The judge or jury may choose to award punitive damages as a way to punish the defendant and send a message that abusive treatment of the elderly will not be tolerated. However, it’s highly unusual to receive punitive damages in a personal injury settlement. 

Who Can Recover Damages for an Abused Loved One?

Nursing home residents may file personal injury lawsuits on their own behalf to recover damages. Additionally, families can file nursing home abuse lawsuits for damages they sustained, such as wages lost while caring for their loved one or transporting them to treatments.

In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, the claim is brought on by the relatives of the victim. The beneficiaries of the estate (usually spouse and children) may be able to recover costs such as funeral and burial expenses. They may also recover non-economic costs if they can provide sufficient evidence that their losses were a result of their loved one’s death.

Settlement Amount for Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits

The value of your settlement will depend on a number of factors. Your nursing home abuse attorney will consider many factors when determining the value of your claim. For example:

  • How severe were your loved ones’ injuries?
  • What was the extent of the damages that resulted from the abuse? 
  • Did the injuries result in permanent disability, disfigurement, or impairment?
  • Does the nursing home abuse lawsuit name a staff member or the institution itself?
  • What evidence do you have that the abuse took place?
  • Was the abuse an isolated incident or did it occur over time?
The size of the settlement you receive will also be significantly influenced by the quality of the personal injury lawyer you choose.

They should be willing to offer evidence of their experience handling nursing home abuse cases and provide references that attest to their character.

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

Taking legal action against a negligent nursing home and abusive staff may seem intimidating. But this is no reason to pursue a personal injury lawsuit alone or else forgo a lawsuit altogether. The experienced nursing home abuse lawyers of Osborne & Francis can give you a strategic edge when negotiating with negligent nursing homes and their insurance carriers. 

As Florida personal injury attorneys, we have handled numerous claims involving negligent nursing home facilities and abusive staff members.

Based on our history of settling for maximum compensation, we know how to hold negligent parties accountable. 

At Osborne & Francis, we hold ourselves to a higher standard.

That means you can expect us to be respectful of your time and responsibilities. We will dedicate the resources and effort needed to secure a favorable settlement for your injured loved one. If your elderly loved one has been abused, neglected, or otherwise harmed, trust the fierce advocates of Osborne & Francis to relentlessly pursue the compensation you’re owed. 

Osborne & Francis are Here to Help. Call Today to Schedule a Case Evaluation

Nursing homes should be safe places for elderly Floridians to receive high-quality care from qualified, compassionate professionals. Unfortunately, some care facilities employ abusive staff who compromise the health and safety of their residents. This type of unacceptable behavior can lead to financial, physical, and mental struggles for elderly residents.

At Osborne & Francis, we will unapologetically protect your right to seek damages in a nursing home abuse lawsuit. 

Generally speaking, it is more likely for nursing home abuse lawsuits to escalate to trial, as the parties often have difficulty agreeing on a fair settlement. Therefore, it is imperative to have an experienced trial attorney in your corner as you pursue the damages you deserve.

If you suspect that your loved one has been subjected to abuse in their nursing home facility, we encourage you to report this as soon as possible. Call us at 561-293-2600 or contact us online at our Orlando or Boca Raton office. We look forward to helping you hold your loved one’s negligent nursing home accountable in a personal injury lawsuit.

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