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How is assault defined?

Assault is defined as the threat of physical or bodily harm against another person that causes him or her to experience feelings of fear, intimidation and uneasiness. The actual threat does not have to be performed for an individual to be charged with an assault. A mere threat of bodily harm against another person is enough to be considered assault. If your loved one is threatened by an employee at a nursing home facility, it is best to contact a Florida personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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What constitutes battery?

When an individual is violently touched, scratched, attacked, groped or harmed in any other type of undesirable physical (or sexual way), it is considered battery.

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Why are assault and battery often used together?

Assault and battery are often paired together. This is because when an individual inflicts physical or sexual harm upon another person, it is usually because the individual intended to do so, and possibly threatened the victim before actually performing the act. Battery is the process of performing and/or delivering threats (assault) that are made to others. When faced with charges of both assault and battery, a nursing home facility and its employees may accrue serious consequences.

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Can you explain the difference between the tort of assault and battery and a crime?

Depending on the experiences and needs of the victim, a nursing home facility may be charged with accounts of either or both tort and criminal assault and battery. There are distinct differences between the two.

Tort law deals primarily with private and/or personal injuries. Its main goal is to reimburse a victim for his or her suffering. The tort of assault and battery requires civil proceedings, in which the punishment(s) imposed on the nursing home facility involves costly fees (and a potential decline in reputation).

Meanwhile, criminal charges of assault and battery result in criminal proceedings. Criminal law focuses on punishing criminals in order to maintain a safe environment for the public. The individuals involved in the crime at the nursing home may face time in prison. Victims are generally not paid any sort of compensation during criminal proceedings.

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Is assault treated as a felony or a misdemeanor?

Assault is usually treated as a misdemeanor. However, if an individual or entity is charged with aggravated assault, meaning that a victim was threatened with the force of a deadly weapon, the assault will be treated as a felony. Furthermore, any assault against a government official, police officer, child or elderly citizen will be treated and punished as a felony.

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Is battery considered a felony or misdemeanor?

Like assault, battery is usually treated as a misdemeanor. However, if a person is injured with the use of a deadly/dangerous weapon, or if a person experiences severe injuries, including permanent disfigurement, an individual or entity may be charged with a felony.

While misdemeanors often place criminals in local facilities for less than one year, felonies require a significantly longer time in a mandated federal prison.

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What constitutes nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse is defined as any intentional act that results in injury or harm to an elderly citizen. It can be seen in many forms, including physical, mental, sexual, financial and/or health-related abuse, mistreatment, exploitation and/or neglect. They occur in nursing home facilities and/or under the care of nursing home employees.

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What steps can I take if someone I love is being abused or neglected?

If your loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect within a nursing home facility, you should bring the incident(s) to the attention of the nursing home officials who deal with your loved one on a consistent basis. By doing this, administrators can correct the problem and fire any employees that may have played a role in the abuse and/or mistreatment of your loved one.

In addition, you should visit our medical malpractice law firm. If your loved one is abused or neglected, or if your loved one is threatened with abuse or neglect, it is possible to pursue criminal and tort lawsuits.

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How can I detect nursing home abuse or neglect? How will I know if my loved one is being neglected or abused?

There are always noticeable signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. It is especially important to pay close attention to your loved one and to communicate with him or her often. Once you have established trust with your loved one, it will be easier for him or her to confide in you if and when abuse occurs. In order to spot nursing home abuse or neglect, consider the following common signs and symptoms:

  • Bed injuries/bedsores
  • Skin rashes, wounds, scars, discoloration and other skin bruises
  • Irregular weight gain or weight loss
  • Isolation
  • Changes in speech and behavior (especially around staff members)
  • Unusual odors/unsanitary room conditions
  • Heavy medication and unusual dosages
  • Depression
  • Sudden death

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What are the different types of nursing home abuse?

There are various types of nursing home abuse. They include:

  • Assault and battery
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Health care abuse
  • Financial abuse

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What are examples of nursing home negligence or abuse?

  • Assault and battery are among the most common forms of abuse, which impose verbal threats and physical acts (kicking, pushing, scratching, use of weapons and other dangerous materials) against elderly citizens. This type of abuse results in physical harm and injury.
  • Sexual abuse, including rape, sodomy and other unwanted sexual acts, are less common in nursing home facilities, but they do occur.
  • Emotional abuse involves bullying and intimidation of elderly citizens, often through name-calling and other acts that may demean one's character and self-esteem.
  • Neglect is evident when elderly citizens are denied access to basic daily needs, such as food, water and proper means of sanitation.
  • Financial abuse occurs when an aged citizen's assets and property are manipulated, stolen and/or misused. Overcharging for services and transferring an elderly person's funds into unauthorized accounts without consent are common examples of financial exploitation.
  • Health care abuse occurs when nursing home officials make errors when providing medication and other health-related services to nursing home residents. All of these types and examples of nursing home abuse may result in serious injury, permanent disfigurement and even death. Therefore, it is crucial to contact a medical malpractice attorney to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit.

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What type of damages may I be able to recover?

After your loved one experiences nursing home abuse or neglect, the damages that are recoverable may include monetary compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages/loss of employment
  • Death and burial expenses
  • Permanent and/or catastrophic injuries

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How can I locate a nursing home that is safe and reliable?

Your loved one's safety and well-being should not just be your highest priority, but it should also be upheld by the facilities and professionals that serve to care for your loved one. In order to locate a nursing home that is safe and reliable, reach out to a medical facility, such as a doctor's office or hospital. Often, these locations maintain information on quality nursing homes nearby. Never be afraid to tour nursing homes with your loved one before deciding to enroll him or her in the institution's program. Further, be sure to inquire about the treatment that your loved one receives regularly so that you will be better equipped to detect when something is wrong.

Nursing home abuse and neglect are more than just immoral; they are punishable by law. An overwhelming majority of nursing home abuse constitute charges of assault and battery. Never be afraid to speak to a Central Florida attorney when you suspect that your loved one is being harmed. Contact the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. today for more information on nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as possible consequences for facilities and professionals who fail to adhere to standards of duty, care and professionalism.

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