Estero Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Understaffing, a problem that affects over 90 percent of the long-term care facilities in Lee County, is one of the root causes of nursing home abuse. Because they’re so anxious to hire, employers at understaffed facilities often do not properly screen applicants. Once they start work, employees at understaffed facilities often juggle two or three jobs at once. So, an underqualified employee is under considerable stress in an understaffed environment. That background does not excuse nursing home abuse, but the background does put abuse into context.
The compassionate Estero nursing home abuse lawyer at Cardinal Law understands the pain and suffering these victims must endure. Many of the people on our professional team have been through similar situations with a friend or family member themselves. This compassion motivates us to aggressively pursue maximum compensation for your serious injuries. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Kinds of Nursing Home Abuse
The various kinds of nursing home abuse have common causes, as outlined above. But the kinds of nursing home abuse are quite varied, mostly according to the relationship between the victim and abuser. They include:
- Physical: The extreme stress of an understaffed environment often prompts nursing home workers to use physical force when they interact with residents. Most residents are in such poor physical condition that a tiny amount of force, like a shove or push, could cause a serious injury. Legally, staff-on-resident physical abuse is different from resident-on-resident physical abuse. More on that below.
- Financial: Many nursing home residents have substantial financial assets. Frequently, nursing home administrators file false guardianship papers, especially if the resident has few visitors, and wrongfully gain control over these assets. When residents discover such abuse, the effect is just as bad as a push down the stairs.
- Sexual: Incompetent staff members often sexually abuse residents, either directly (sexual battery) or indirectly (forcing a resident to watch pornography). In this context, an employee is incompetent if s/he is not qualified to do a particular job. The unqualification could be a prior criminal record or history of unruly on-the-job behavior.
These injuries are intentional torts. The actor intends the conduct (the actor’s own conduct) as well as the result (the victim’s injury). Resident-on-resident assaults, which are basically schoolyard bullying incidents, are negligent torts. The actor intends the conduct but not the result.
Failure to properly supervise residents often leads to resident-on-resident abuse. Other failure-to-supervise intentional torts at nursing homes include falls, malnutrition, medication errors, and bedsores.
Estero Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers and Responsibility Issues
Individual actors are individually responsible for intentional torts. The nursing home owner could be financially responsible for damages, usually under one of two theories:
- Negligent Hiring: We discussed this legal rule above. Owners must hire competent employees. Common examples include hiring people without asking the right questions and assigning tasks to a patient care technician to perform tasks a licensed vocational nurse should handle.
- Negligent Supervision: An employer’s duties don’t end once the employee starts work. Employers have a duty to supervise employees. Furthermore, if any misconduct allegations arise, employers must promptly, thoroughly, and transparently investigate the allegations. The resulting discipline, if any, must be based solely on the findings of that investigation.
The elements of individual intentional torts vary. For example, to establish intentional infliction of emotional distress, a common allegation, the victim/plaintiff must prove the defendant acted intentionally or recklessly, that act was extreme or outrageous, and the conduct caused severe emotional distress.
Reach Out to a Savvy Lee County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Estero nursing home abuse lawyer, contact Cardinal Law, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout the Sunshine State.