Elder Abuse Claims
The elderly are all too often victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. In many cases, they are harmed by the very people who have been entrusted with their care. At Frankl & Kominsky, we take pride in standing up for the rights of senior citizens hurt by the wrongdoing of others. Our elder abuse lawyers provide victims and their families throughout South Florida with dedicated advocacy and compassionate attention. We will take the time to explore the details of your case and craft a strategy tailored to your situation.Claims of Elder Abuse
Sometimes elderly people are deliberately or recklessly harmed by a person who takes advantage of their vulnerable condition. This misconduct can extend to physical or sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect. It can occur in both private homes and in long-term care facilities. An elderly person may be abused by a family member or caregiver, but professional nursing home staff often may be responsible as well.
Signs of elder abuse include:
- Bruises, fractures, or other physical injuries
- Behavioral changes, such as increased anxiety or social isolation
- Sudden financial changes
- Lack of proper medical care
There are state and federal laws that forbid mistreatment of senior citizens. Licensed care facilities must run background checks on their staff to ensure they have not engaged in this type of misconduct. People who work in nursing homes must be properly trained and supervised to ensure residents receive proper care. Florida law also requires that a person who knows or suspects that an elderly person is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it immediately to the Florida Abuse Hotline.Hold Wrongdoers Responsible for Harming Your Aging Loved One
If a beloved relative is suffering from elder abuse, you can take legal action against whoever is responsible. Victims of an intentional injury have the right to file a claim against those who harmed them. In the case of elder abuse, relevant causes of action may include battery, assault, and false imprisonment. Generally, you will have to prove not just that the defendant hurt your family member but that the defendant intended to cause physical, mental, or emotional harm.
In Florida, there is also a specific cause of action for certain victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. These must be “vulnerable adults,” which means people over the age of 18 whose ability to care for themselves is impaired as a result of the aging process. For example, your relative might have suffered from financial abuse. This occurs when a person in a position of trust knowingly uses or obtains an elderly person’s funds for the benefit of someone else. To take advantage of Florida’s direct civil cause of action, you would have to show that your relative is a vulnerable adult. A health care professional may need to assess his or her level of impairment. A court will also investigate his or her relationship with the defendant.
Third parties, such as nursing homes, may also be liable if their staff abuses a resident. You may sue a facility for negligent hiring or negligent supervision. For example, a nursing home may be held accountable if a proper background check would have revealed that the staff member who injured your relative had a previous history of causing abuse and was unqualified to work with the elderly.
You can recover damages on your relative’s behalf, such as compensation for related medical bills and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may be available in some egregious cases. You may also negotiate institutional changes, such as additional staff training, if the defendant in your case is a third party.Boynton Beach Lawyers Asserting Your Rights Following an Injury
The injury attorneys at Frankl & Kominsky are prepared to help you fight back against elder abuse in Boynton Beach and beyond. Our lawyers can review your case and help you pursue a claim against any person or entity that harmed your loved one. We serve clients in Deerfield Beach, Boca Raton, and Lake Worth, among other Florida locations. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at (855) 800-8000 or complete our online form. We are fluent in Spanish and Creole.