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Because residents of nursing homes must rely on the assistance of others for daily life, they are particularly affected by instances of abuse. If a care facility or nursing home fails to provide your loved one with proper care due to understaffing or other reasons, you might be able to file a nursing home abuse claim.

Our legal team at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath includes some of the area’s most experienced attorneys who will dedicate themselves to the individual needs of your case. You’ll work with a skilled West Palm Beach personal injury attorney who will work to hold accountable those who have harmed your loved one.

west palm beach nursing home abuse attorney

What to do if you suspect abuse at your loved one’s nursing home

It may be a natural reaction to be outraged, and possibly even panic if you have reason to believe your loved one is suffering abuse, but try to keep calm and follow these steps should you find yourself in that situation.

1. Make detailed notes of possible abuse

When visiting your elderly loved one, write down every sign of possible physical and emotional abuse that you see. This means making notes of any bruises or cuts that your loved one can’t explain and writing down your observations of any emotional or behavioral changes. If your loved one is irritable when they’re normally happy, make a note.

2. Gather evidence to support your suspicions

You may feel certain that your loved one is being abused, but unfortunately, the feeling isn’t enough on its own. You’ll need solid proof that abuse or neglect is occurring. Use your phone to get pictures of any physical abuse. Obtain their medical records, and any financial documentation that could indicate something is wrong.

3. Contact a nursing home ombudsman

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs has a long-term ombudsman program designed to protect the rights of nursing home residents. Contact the program if you suspect abuse is occurring – they’ll investigate and take whatever action might be necessary. This could include making unannounced visits to the facility and applying pressure on administrators and personnel to resolve any issues the ombudsman observes.

4. Consult a nursing home abuse lawyer

Please don’t try to take the law into your own hands. If you feel your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911. You could also make alternative arrangements so they’re safe.

Your next step should be to speak with a West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath will look into the alleged abuse and take action against all of those who are responsible.

Reporting abuse in West Palm Beach

Another step to consider is reporting the abuse to the Florida Department of Health. You can also call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873).

Types of nursing home abuse

Unfortunately, there are many different forms of nursing home abuse. The following are just a few examples.

Physical abuse

Physical attacks often involve slapping, kicking, or punching a resident.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse, such as verbal intimidation, isolation, or humiliation, can be just as damaging as physical abuse.


Caretakers may ignore residents entirely, failing to provide hygienic help, medical treatment, and even food and water.

west palm beach nursing home abuse attorney

Financial abuse

Elderly residents are sometimes forced to reveal their debit or credit card PINs. Some nursing home staff members have gone as far as forging a resident’s name on financial documents in an attempt to take their money.

Sexual abuse

This includes sexual assault, rape, harassment, indecent exposure, and more.

Elder abuse claims have filing deadlines. Make sure you file on time

In most instances, the statute of limitations for filing a nursing home abuse case is two years. This is the amount of time you have to take legal action against the facility. The clock starts ticking, so to speak, on the day the abuse took place, or the date you realized the abuse was occurring.

Who can file a lawsuit against a nursing home in West Palm Beach

There are several people who can take action against a nursing facility for suspected abuse. These include the following:

  • The victim.
  • A guardian of the victim.
  • A family member or another person acting on the victim’s behalf.
  • A representative of the victim’s estate.

Potential damages to claim

There are two main types of damages (financial losses) that victims of nursing home abuse may be able to recover. These two main types are known as “economic” and “non-economic” damages.

Economic damages

These include medical expenses such as surgeries, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and others.

Non-economic damages

While economic damages are easy to prove, non-economic damages are more subjective. It takes a skilled West Palm Beach personal attorney to prove subjective damages such as emotional distress and pain and suffering.

We’ll work to obtain maximum compensation for your loved one

When you choose Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, you can rest assured that no other law firm will work harder to hold elderly abusers accountable for their actions.

Common injuries to look out for

If you notice any of the following during your next visit, please call our firm:

  • Bed rail injuries
  • Bedsores
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury
  • Falls
  • Infections

Call 911 if you have any reason to believe your loved one is in imminent danger of further injury.

Multiple parties may be liable

Abuse is rarely a one-time event perpetrated by an “evil” nurse – nursing homes are known to cover up employees’ abuse and continue on as if nothing happened. This means that one or more parties may, and likely are responsible for the harm done to your loved one.

Nurse or caregiver

These are the people who are usually with an elderly loved one most often – and usually the ones who commit abuse.

Nursing home facility

The facility that hired those who committed abuse will likely be held liable for your loved one’s injury.

Third-party trespasser or contractor

If someone who trespassed on nursing home property injured your loved one, or they were harmed by a contractor doing work on the building, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.

How our attorneys prove abuse

Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyers know how to investigate these sensitive cases. We’ll take a close look at the incident, and then identify all the people and entities who are to blame. We’ll then work to make them pay dearly for the harm your loved one suffered.

Cost of hiring a West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer

Hiring Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath won’t cost you anything. We won’t receive any money unless you obtain full and fair compensation.

Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to help

Speak with a West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer by calling Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990 or contacting us online for a free consultation.

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