It is an unfortunate reality that elder abuse is commonplace. While this abuse could happen anywhere, the abuse that might occur in nursing facilities has the potential to be severe. Residents of Palm Harbor nursing homes are often vulnerable, and many struggle with communication. This fosters an environment susceptible to abuse. If your loved one has suffered abuse as a nursing home resident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help them recover compensation for their damages.
Your loved one should never have to live in fear of abuse or neglect again. To hold the persons responsible for mistreating your loved one accountable, contact a Palm Harbor nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Palm Harbor
The signs and symptoms of neglect can manifest in several ways. Some victims show the outward signs of physical abuse while others appear to be malnourished or unkempt. A Palm Harbor nursing home abuse attorney may be able to help pinpoint the nature of the abuse.
Generally speaking, there are five types of abuse in a Palm Harbor nursing home. They include:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Financial Abuse
Physical abuse is any form of harmful contact initiated against a nursing home resident. Examples of physical abuse include striking, choking, or pinching a nursing home resident.
Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact with a nursing home resident. In many cases, residents of Palm Harbor nursing homes are unable to consent to any sexual activity.
A resident faces neglect when their basic needs like food and water are ignored. Neglect could be intentional and result from personal animus, and it may also occur as a byproduct of a facility that is understaffed and overworked.
Not all abuse leaves physical scars. Words and other actions could also constitute abuse. Shouting, yelling, or confining a resident can cause tremendous emotional distress.
Many nursing home residents are vulnerable to fraud and other forms of financial abuse. This abuse takes the form of robbery, extortion, or other fraud. In extreme cases, nursing home residents may fall victim to altering their will or handing over other assets.
Phases of a Nursing Home Abuse Trial
Nursing home injury claims frequently settle out of court. When the parties cannot reach a settlement, a trial court would decide the validity of an abuse claim.
Most nursing home abuse cases face a jury. Naturally, selecting the jury is the first step in the trial process. The jury pool would start out with a large number of prospective jurors. Attorneys for both sides then take turns striking jurors until a final jury is selected. Jury selection is one area where the skills of a Palm Harbor nursing home abuse attorney are valuable.
Once the jury is selected, the victim’s attorney would make an opening statement. The opening statement is designed to preview the evidence they intend to introduce at trial. The defense then offers their opening statement.
When the opening statements conclude, the plaintiff’s attorney demonstrates their case. The case in chief may include calling eyewitnesses and experts to testify. It also includes the introduction of physical evidence including photos, video, and items involved in the abuse. At the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case, the defense would have their opportunity to put on their witnesses. Both sides also have the chance to cross-examine the other side’s witnesses.
At the close of evidence, both parties would sum up their cases during closing arguments. After the judge reads the jury their instructions, they retire to make their decision. Once the jury reaches a decision, they notify the judge who may read the decision aloud.
Speak with a Palm Harbor Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
When you bring an abuse lawsuit on behalf of a loved one, you are doing more than seeking compensation for their injuries. By holding the perpetrator accountable, you are also reducing the risk that other seniors might endure what your loved one went through. To begin the process of filing an abuse lawsuit, contact a Palm Harbor nursing home abuse lawyer right away.