Articles Posted in Elder Abuse

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes that can increase the risk of falls. While slips and tumbles may seem like minor accidents to some, they can have serious consequences for older adults. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among this population, often resulting in fractures, hospitalizations, and a loss of independence.

But what exactly makes older adults more prone to falling? In this blog post, we’ll explore the common reasons seniors have higher fall rates. Several factors are at play, from decreased muscle strength to impaired vision and environmental hazards. So, let’s dive in and uncover the key contributors to these unfortunate incidents – all while keeping in mind that prevention is key!

Decreased Muscle Strength

We all want to believe that our loved ones are in good hands when living in a nursing home. Unfortunately, the reality is often far from it, and some residents are subjected to physical, emotional, and even financial abuse or neglect.

These victims of elder abuse may not be able to speak up for themselves due to age, illness, or disability—which means it’s up to you and me to be on the lookout for signs of mistreatment.

Of course, there is no universal sign of abuse. However, there are some red flags that often suggest something might not be right. In this article, we will look at the warning signs of abuse & neglect in nursing homes and provide tips on what you can do if you suspect your loved one is a victim.

Nursing homes and other special care facilities are required to adhere to federal and state rules and regulations. These laws were set in place to protect residents from various forms of abuse and neglect. They also impose harsh penalties onto facilities if they disregard these laws and fail to provide the necessary standard of care that is expected. 

Whether you or a loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, it is important to understand your legal rights and what is required on your part to hold the at-fault party liable for your damages. If you plan to file a nursing home liability claim against the wrongdoer(s), one of the most crucial steps is knowing the statute of limitations for your particular situation. Having a licensed attorney review your claim is highly recommended if you wish to pursue the full and fair amount of compensation you may legally deserve.

Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers offer free initial consultations to victims of nursing home abuse and/or neglect. Our compassionate lawyers understand that victims of abuse and their loved ones can sometimes suffer physically, emotionally, and financially. If your nursing home liability claim has merit, our team of legal professionals may be able to help you hold the at-fault party responsible for damages related to the abuse, such as medical costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, property damage, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. 

The warm climate, pristine beaches, beautiful waterways and countless golf courses make Miami, Florida a great place for the elderly to enjoy life and retirement with family and friends. However, sometimes the elderly can be taken advantage of financially in a domestic setting, such as in a nursing home or other elderly care facility. Financial elder abuse can also occur at a residential home when visiting caretakers gain access to an elder’s financial information.  

This is why it is important to understand your legal rights if you or someone you know has become a victim of financial elder abuse. Contact an elder abuse-and-claims lawyer today at the law office of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a no-cost, initial review of your claim. If your claim has merit, you could be eligible for financial compensation based on your losses and any other additional expenses related to your case. 

Our attorneys are exceptional at applying local and federal laws, including referring to past cases involving financial elder abuse and claims. At the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our reputable lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of the elderly and helping elder abuse victims hold at-fault parties responsible for their actions.

As the elder population increases in the United States, so does abuse of the elderly, which continues to cause trauma and a lifetime of mental health issues for our older citizens. A major problem with this growing issue is the fact that many elders are afraid or embarrassed to speak up about the abuse they encounter, in fear that things may become worse for them. Seeking legal advice from an attorney you can trust could help you hold negligent parties liable for damages sustained in an elder abuse claim. 

At the law office of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our compassionate attorneys understand the trauma and mental health issues our elderly citizens face and how to apply state and local laws to help victims hold at-fault parties accountable for abuse and neglect. Our firm has more than 40 years of combined legal experience helping victims in Fort Lauderdale and throughout the state of Florida seek the compensation they need to recover from abusive situations (by appointment only).

Read on to learn more about elder abuse-and-claims of neglect that can negatively affect mental health. The results of this type of abuse could cause financial and emotional distress to the victims and their families, which could lead to trauma that may never subside. When a healthcare worker or caregiver negligently causes harm, it is important to learn your rights to holding them accountable and pursuing compensation to aid with your recovery. 

Like other industries providing services to vulnerable populations, nursing homes are no strangers to lawsuits. However, simply because nursing homes and similar long-term care businesses often find themselves in courts does not mean they like to be there. Indeed, nursing homes routinely have their incoming residents sign arbitration agreements providing that potential claims against the nursing home be resolved through informal arbitration rather than formal litigation. Given that arbitration panels are often believed to be biased, the enforceability of such arbitration provisions is frequently at issue. For instance, in a recent decision, Sovereign Healthcare of Tampa, LLC v. Estate of Schmitt, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals addressed whether a nursing home resident’s wife had the authority to sign an arbitration agreement on his behalf.

Sovereign Healthcare arose from incidents of alleged negligence at Bayshore Pointe Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Tampa, Florida. The plaintiff in this case was the widow of a resident who spent two separate stints at Bayshore prior to his death. Before each of the deceased’s residencies at Bayshore, a “Resident Admission and Financial Agreement” was executed. The agreements included identical arbitration clauses that provided for the arbitration of disputes related to the deceased man’s residency at Bayshore. After the widow of the deceased man filed suit on behalf of his estate, Bayshore made a motion to compel arbitration, arguing that the arbitration provision in the first residence agreement required that the claims asserted be arbitrated. The trial court denied the motion, and Bayshore appealed the adverse ruling.

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In light of Florida’s large elderly population, it’s not surprising that the Florida legislature has specifically passed legislation providing specific rights to those who reside in nursing homes. See §§ 400.022-.023, Fla. Stat. (2010). However, among the many rights encompassed in these provisions is not one assuring that these rights must be adjudicated in a court. Indeed, these claims, like many others, can be subject to compelled arbitration when an unwitting party signs away his rights to formal adjudication. Given that arbitration can pose the risk of unfair or inadequate adjudication of rights, the enforceability of these provisions is often a topic of litigation. For instance, the Second District Court of Appeal recently issued its decision in Greenbrook NH, LLC v. Estate of Sayre, which addressed whether an arbitration agreement entered into by the daughter of a nursing home resident was enforceable.

Sayre arose from an alleged act of negligence at a nursing home facility in St. Petersburg, Florida. The plaintiff in this case is the daughter of a deceased nursing home resident who brought this action as the representative for the decedent’s estate. The decedent resided at the nursing home for most of 2011. Following the death, the plaintiff brought suit against the nursing home for both negligence and the violation of the decedent’s nursing home resident’s rights under §§ 400.022-.023 of the Florida Statutes. At the time the daughter placed her mother in the nursing home, she signed an arbitration agreement as her mother’s authorized legal representative. In light of this arbitration agreement, the nursing home moved to dismiss and compel arbitration. The trial court denied the motion, finding that the agreement was invalid and unenforceable because portions of the copy of the arbitration agreement proffered to the court were obscured. The nursing home then brought the current appeal, arguing that despite the photocopying error, the trial court’s factual finding was in error because the other terms of the agreement were sufficiently clear and definite to make the agreement enforceable.

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Florida has long served as a destination for America’s elderly population and, as a result, has also become home to a considerable number of retirement homes and assisted living facilities. Regrettably, despite the best efforts of the Florida’s Department of Elder Affairs, the care residents at these facilities receive remains an issue. Even when cases of elder abuse are properly identified, many litigants encounter a variety of problems when they bring legal action to redress their grievances. Among these issues is the pervasive use of arbitration clauses in retirement home and assisted living facility contracts. However, notwithstanding the ubiquity of arbitration provisions, the Fourth District Court of Appeal again took a firm stance against their enforceability in its recent decision in Lopez v. Andie’s, Inc..

Lopez arose from allegations involving resident care at Willow Manor Retirement Home, an assisted-care living facility in Dania Beach, Florida. Following an incident in 2011, which resulted in a severe fracture to a resident’s arm, the resident brought suit against the facility. However, shortly after the case was filed, the defendant moved to compel arbitration, arguing that the arbitration provision in the agreement executed between the resident and Willow Manor at the time of the resident’s admission required that any controversy or dispute between the parties be determined through a binding arbitration proceeding held in accordance with the American Health Lawyers Association (“AHLA”) alternative dispute resolution rules. After the trial court granted the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, the plaintiff brought an appeal, arguing that the arbitration procedures were contrary to public policy and thus unenforceable.

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