Extreme cases of abuse and neglect will often result in an investigation and legal action. Despite the number of complaints filed, thousands of instances of abuse and neglect go unreported every year. According to the U.S. Department of Health Human Services, nursing homes in South Florida and throughout the U.S. are failing to report accusations of abuse or neglect as well.
The agency recently published a report after surveying nursing home facilities about how well their homes complied with federal rules of reporting allegations of injury, negligence and misconduct. According to the study, out of 209 nursing homes, 85% failed to report at least one accusation of abuse or neglect.
Those who have suffered nursing home neglect or who have a loved one who has been injured while under nursing home care should file a complaint and take legal action when necessary. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of clients and to raising awareness to prevent future abuse and neglect. In addition to advocating for victims and their families, our firm is also committed to raising awareness to prevent future abuse.
Under federal law, nursing homes are required to report all allegations of abuse or neglect. Not only is this required to ensure the safety of individual residents, but it’s critical to prevent future acts of abuse or neglect. Nursing home injuries may arise from falls, failure to provide adequate nutrition, dehydration, failure to secure, wandering, improper medication, and other forms of neglect or abuse. In the event that your loved one exhibits signs of abuse or neglect, it is critical to file a complaint and to seek counsel as soon as possible. You may be entitled to significant compensation.
According to the federal report, there are approximately 5 million elderly adults who suffer from abuse and neglect every year. This makes up nearly 10% of the senior population in the United States. In addition to physical abuse and neglect, the elderly are often targets of other crimes and financial exploitation. Despite the high number of abuse cases, only 76% of nursing homes maintained policies that complied with federal rules and reporting. The report also indicated that only 53% of the allegations were even documented as federal law requires. This failure to comport with federal standards is not only against the law but leaves nursing home residents vulnerable to future abuse.
Nearly 25% were resident on resident abuses that went unreported. The largest number of unreported accusations involved employee abuse and neglect. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recommended all nursing home facilities comply with federal policies on reporting. The agency is also recommending nursing homes report reasonable suspicion of crimes and all abuse in a timely manner. Reporting and documenting nursing home abuse is critical to prevention of future abuse and neglect. In addition to filing formal complaints with local and federal authorities, filing a lawsuit against a nursing home is another way to hold individuals and entities accountable.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your case.
Florida Nursing Home Legislation Would Narrow Defendant List, April 1, 2014, South Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog
Florida Senate Passes Bill Shielding Nursing Home Industry Interests, April 22, 2014, Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Blog
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