Lake City Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Over the last several years, the over-65 population has expanded significantly, and this trend is expected to continue until at least 2050. However, Medicaid reimbursements have shrunk significantly over this same period. As a result, the majority of nursing homes are dangerously understaffed. In many facilities, staff members are in charge of twice as many patients as they were a few years ago. An understaffed environment is a fertile ground for nursing home neglect and abuse.
The experienced Lake City nursing home injury lawyers at Douglas & Douglas routinely handle nursing home negligence cases. We are fully aware of all the emotional, financial, and legal implications of these matters. Emotionally, nursing home negligence is a significant burden on an already-overburdened family. The serious injuries often lead to significant hospital bills. Legally, an out-of-state holding company probably owns the long-term care facility. We can navigate through all these minefields.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect in Lake City
Neglect usually involves a lack of ordinary care. At understaffed long-term care facilities, this lack of care is often rampant. If you see any signs of nursing home neglect, it’s best to contact an attorney immediately.
Many people are surprised that malnutrition is one of the most serious problems in nursing homes. As people get older, their senses become dull. Food no longer looks good, tastes good, or smells good. So, many residents simply do not eat. If the facility is understaffed, there is probably no nurse or dietician who makes sure that residents eat the food they are served.
Malnutrition increases the risk of many serious illnesses and injuries. Even a slight dip in calorie intake can have significant implications.
Most nursing home residents fall. To accommodate more patients, many facilities are constantly under construction. Older people tend to wander aimlessly, so they may stray into construction zones. Moreover, many residents are not able to understand signs like “Keep Out” and they are not able to avoid seemingly open and obvious hazards.
Bed Sores are a concern as well. As long as the patient turns frequently, pressure ulcers are no problem whatsoever. But many nursing home residents are unable to turn themselves. The understaffed facility may not send patient care technicians into the room frequently enough, especially during nights, weekends, and other low-census periods.
If left untreated, pressure ulcers quickly become serious or even life-threatening. They almost always require hospitalization, and that can be extremely expensive. Under Florida law, the nursing home owner is typically legally responsible for all these damages.
Nursing Home Abuse in Florida
Neglect is an unintentional injury. Intentional injuries are also a serious problem in many Lake City nursing homes. Some examples include:
- Staff on Resident Abuse: Many nursing home residents are physically frail. So, even a slight amount of force may cause serious injury.
- Emotional Abuse: Many staffers keep patients isolated in their rooms for long periods of time, perhaps as a form of punishment or perhaps because there is inadequate staff supervision. Moreover, some staffers say hateful things like “No one loves you.”
- Financial Abuse: From stealing money to complex financial scams, financial abuse is very common in nursing homes.
- Resident on Resident Abuse: At many understaffed facilities, there is no one to break up petty disagreements between residents. These arguments often become violent. As mentioned, many residents are physically frail and highly susceptible to serious injury.
Even if the tort was intentional, like assault, the nursing home owner may still be responsible, under a theory like negligent hiring or negligent supervision.
Work with Dedicated Nursing Home Lawyers
Both nursing home abuse and neglect are common in area long-term care facilities. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lake City, contact Douglas & Douglas. After-hours visits are available.