As appalling as it is, abuse of the elder and mentally ill are frequent occurrences. Studies as reported by the National Center on Elder Abuse, revealed that there are between 1 and 2 million Americans, age 65 or over who have been injured, exploited or otherwise mistreated by someone who has provided them care or protection. If you have a loved one who has suffered a personal injury while being a patient of a nursing home, assisted living facility or group home, contact a Fort Lauderdale Attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options.
Recently, an investigation conducted by the Miami Herald and its member station, WLRN, discovered that the 1,109 Florida assisted living facilities have twice the rate of abuse and neglect when compared to homes specifically for the elderly. Whenever this type of abuse occurs, someone should be held responsible. This type of wrongful conduct is considered a civil battery because usually the perpetrator intends to inflict a harmful or offensive touching that causes the physical injuries. A Fort Lauderdale Elder Abuse Attorney help victims of abuse seek the compensation they deserved as a result of the battery committed against them.
There are several legal claims involved in an elder or mentally ill abuse situation. Additionally, when the victim is a patient of a nursing home or assisted living facility, the employer can be held liable when the act of abuse is committed by one of its employees. In evaluating a possible legal cause of action, it will need to be determine whether or not the employee committed an abusive act during the scope of his or her employment related duties. If so, then a civil lawsuit can be filed against the employer based on the employer’s own negligence.
The nursing home employer owes an affirmative duty to exercise due care to the patients of their facilities. Likewise, the employer also owes an affirmative duty to control the conduct of its employees in its presence. Also, the employer can be held liable for the willful or criminal actions committed by an employee for its failure to train, or supervise the employee. Additionally, under the doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer is vicariously liable for any abusive act committed by its employees within the scope of the employment. The test is whether or not the employer had the actual ability to control the employee’s conduct.
There are many warnings of elder abuse, and some of the most common signs include an unexplained or sudden death of the victim, weight loss, or fractured or broken bones. Our elder and mentally ill are among our most vulnerable citizens in our society who deserve a safe place to live and have legal rights. When those rights are violated, a Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorney can help the victim or the family file a civil action against nursing homes, group homes and assisted living facilities when they are negligent in caring for a loved one.
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