People who live in nursing homes should be treated with respect and dignity, but unfortunately, vulnerable patients do not always receive the type of treatment they deserve. Some are subjected to verbal or emotional abuse. Although those forms of mistreatment may not leave bruises or physical scars, they can have devastating consequences.
If your loved one was abused in a nursing home, you might have noticed a change in their demeanor. Instead of being warm and outgoing, your relative may have become withdrawn, anxious, or depressed. You may have noted that your family member lost a significant amount of weight. When you asked about the changes, you may have been given an explanation that did not sit right.
A Jacksonville verbal or emotional abuse lawyer may be able to help. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented families all over the United States and helped them seek justice on behalf of their loved ones who were mistreated in nursing homes. We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the facility where your relative was abused. Call (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case with a member of our staff and to learn more about how we may be able to help you.
Forms of Verbal and Emotional Abuse
Verbal abuse of nursing home residents is common. An employee who is overwhelmed by a demanding job, long hours, and low pay may take their anger and frustration out on a patient.
A worker may yell, call a resident names, make derogatory comments about a person’s appearance or physical disability, or say things that are intended to humiliate a resident in front of staff members or other patients, according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
Emotional abuse does not always take a verbal form. In other cases, residents may be victimized without the abuser uttering a word. For example, a staff member may pointedly ignore one resident while having friendly conversations with others. A worker may respond to requests for food or assistance from most patients but ignore requests from another. In those instances, a victim may suffer from emotional abuse and neglect that may directly impact their physical health.
Sometimes a nursing home employee intentionally humiliates a patient. For instance, a staff member may leave a resident unclothed in a public area or deliberately leave a patient in a dirty diaper.
Nursing home residents are cut off from the outside world to a large extent. That makes it important for them to have opportunities to socialize. An employee may refuse to allow a patient to attend gatherings, participate in social events, and share meals with other residents. An employee may also fail to deliver mail sent by a patient’s family members and refuse to allow a resident to speak with relatives on the phone or to visit with them in person.
How Verbal and Emotional Abuse Can Impact Seniors
Those forms of abuse can take a severe toll on nursing home patients who are already vulnerable because of their age and medical condition. Residents may feel as though they cannot trust the staff members who are tasked with caring for them.
Elderly residents may feel trapped since they are dependent on nursing home employees to meet their basic needs. They may be too embarrassed or ashamed to complain to administrators or family members about the abuse they have experienced.
They may also fear that, if they report the abuse, that will only cause things to escalate. Seniors who do not have relatives nearby may be particularly reluctant to report abusive behavior for fear that they will have no one to look out for them if things get worse.
The State of Florida recognizes the serious effects that emotional abuse can have on vulnerable seniors. According to Florida Statutes §825.102, intentionally inflicting psychological injury, committing an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in psychological injury, or encouraging someone else to do so are all considered forms of abuse and classified as a felony.
For a free legal consultation with a Verbal or Emotional Abuses Lawyer serving Jacksonville, call (800) 794-0444
What a Jacksonville Verbal or Emotional Abuse Lawyer Can Do to Help
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can investigate to find out what your relative has experienced while living in a long-term care facility.
We can speak with your family members if they are able to communicate. We can interview you, as well as other relatives and friends who have visited your loved one at the nursing home, to learn about what you observed while you were there. Even if you did not witness instances of abuse firsthand, you might have noticed changes in your loved one’s appearance or personality that concerned you.
We may speak with others at the nursing home who witnessed the abuse or who heard about it. Our team can interview fellow nursing home residents and staff members to get a better picture of what happened to your relative. If we uncover evidence of verbal or emotional abuse, we may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your relative’s suffering.
Jacksonville Verbal or Emotional Abuses Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Hire an Attorney to Pursue Justice for Your Loved One
Nursing homes should be safe places for vulnerable adults, but unfortunately, they are sometimes places where seniors are abused. If you believe that your family member has been victimized, a Jacksonville verbal or emotional abuse lawyer may be able to seek a financial award to compensate your relative for healthcare costs related to the abuse, as well as for pain and suffering.
Your family has a limited amount of time to act. You must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the incident or within two years of the time when the incident was discovered or should have been discovered through due diligence, and no more than four years after the incident occurred, according to Florida Statutes §429.296.
It may take our staff time to investigate and figure out what happened. In cases involving nursing home abuse, both employees and residents are often reluctant to point the finger at abusers for fear of retaliation. If your family member is in poor health, that may complicate matters. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will be able to get to work.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to speak with a member of our team.