An Elderly Family Member Was Hurt at a Nursing Home: What Should I Do? By Chanfrau & Chanfrau on April 22, 2024

Empty wheelchair at an assisted-living facility

We send our loved ones to nursing homes so they can receive the round-the-clock care they deserve to best enjoy their twilight years. Tragically, there are many instances of nursing home abuse that leave elderly victims suffering physically, financially, and emotionally.

In this blog post, I will break down the key information that Daytona Beach and Palm Coast, FL, families need to know about nursing home abuse injuries, accidents, and lawsuits

Signs of Physical and Sexual Elder Abuse

These are key signs of abuse to watch out for and document. If these are present, contact my firm as soon as you can.

Physical Abuse

Any of the following may be a sign that your loved one is being physically abused at their caregiving facility:

  • Unexplained sprains or broken bones
  • Sudden bruising, scars, or welts
  • Signs of restraint, like rope marks

Sexual Abuse

While the thought of sexual abuse of the elderly can be horrifying, it may be occurring if they have:

  • Unexplained infections or STDs
  • Bruising near their genitals
  • Stained, bloody, or torn underwear
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding 

Watch Out for Emotional Abuse of Seniors

A winning elder abuse lawsuit can be undertaken for many illegal behaviors beyond direct physical or sexual abuse. For example, some nursing residents suffer from debilitating emotional abuse.

Some emotional abuse symptoms can be confused for dementia. If your loved one has began mumbling, thumb sucking, or rocking back and forth, they may be suffering from traumatic emotional mistreatment.


Elderly woman looking out the window

Can I File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?

A nursing home abuse claim is a civil lawsuit that is filed to seek compensation for the harms suffered by a nursing home resident and the family members that take care of them. Families in Bunnell, Flagler Beach, and Marineland come to our law firm so they can get the money they need for:

  • Burial expenses
  • Cost of changing nursing homes
  • Funeral expenses
  • Interest on lost investments
  • Living expenses
  • Lost companionship
  • Medical bills
  • Mental health counseling
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Property reimbursement

You Have a Limited Time to File a Lawsuit

Statute of limitations laws restrict the time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss your deadline, you forever miss out on the compensation you need and the ability to receive justice for your family member.

Here are the deadlines you need to know:

Deadline to File a Lawsuit for a Surviving Victim of Abuse

If the victim of elder abuse survived their ordeal, you have two years from the date the abuse began to file your case.

Deadline to File a Lawsuit for Deceased Love One

If your loved one tragically passed away as a result of caregiver negligence, you have two years from their passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Cases in Which a Deadline May Be Extended

Especially deceptive behavior by nursing home staff may extend your deadline. For example, if administrators engaged in fraud or misrepresentations to hide the abuse, you may have some extra years to pursue your lawsuit.

The best way to find out if you have standing for a winning case is to reach out to our law firm.

There Is Also Financial Elder Abuse to Consider

Financial elder abuse can be especially insidious because it may not result in any physical signs or symptoms you can identify. This can come in the form of financial exploitation, like unexplained withdrawals from your loved one’s accounts or changes in power of attorney.

You and your loved one may also be swept up in more complex healthcare fraud schemes, which may be evidenced by duplicate bills, a lack of adequately trained staff, or a dearth of care despite services being paid in full.

Me and my team can pore over all relevant financial documents and records to see if you have been victimized by healthcare fraud. If you have been caught up in this, we can seek the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Family member holding an elderly loved one's hands

We Can Help Stop Abuse Now

Realizing the senior in your life is enduring elder abuse can be terrifying. You do not have to go through this alone.

Contact me so I can discuss your lawsuit and help you. We can report the case to the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and get your loved one out of harm’s way.


It Is Wise to Document All Signs of Potential Abuse

The symptoms of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse often get better over time. While this is great news for the victim, it is not ideal for a winning lawsuit to not have hard evidence of abuse.

If your family member has any documentable signs of abuse, you should take photos or videos if possible. Once these are created, it is smart to duplicate them on multiple devices and email copies to yourself. This ensures you and our attorneys will always have access to fresh evidence of the harm your loved one has tragically suffered.

We Can Also File a Premises Liability Lawsuit

Did your grandma, grandpa, mother, father, aunt, or uncle get injured from a slip and fall? If the answer is yes, you may have a winning lawsuit based on premises liability law.

As any nursing home resident is owed a duty of care by whoever runs the facility, a victim of a slip and fall can sue for damages if their accident was caused by negligence.

This does not require any malicious behavior on the part of any nursing home staff. For example, if the facility does not have proper handrails along stairs, we may be able to file a winning case. Similarly, unfixed or wet flooring that caused a fall can be grounds for a premises liability lawsuit.

We Can Protect Your Family Member from Further Mistreatment

I have been a practicing attorney since 2001. Over the course of my multi-decade legal career, I have been a part of many of Chanfrau & Chanfrau’s notable six and seven-figure verdicts and settlements.

As a former defense attorney at a nationally-known law firm, I understand the strategies that big nursing home businesses use to minimize their exposure in these cases. I also understand how to take these strategies apart.

Get Your Loved One the Help They Need
Reach Out to Our Law Firm Now

If your loved one was harmed at an assisted-living or nursing home anywhere in New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Bunnell, Holly Hill, Palm Coast, or any surrounding area, contact our law office today.



Kelly Chanfrau

About Kelly Chanfrau, Esq.
Kelly Chanfrau started her legal career in 2001 at a national defense firm. She switched to representing plaintiffs in 2010 and became a board-certified expert in labor and employment law. Ms. Chanfrau is affiliated with the Florida Bar, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

Read Ms. Chanfrau's Full Bio | All Posts by Ms. Chanfrau

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Chanfrau & Chanfrau has been serving Floridians in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas since 1976. With three attorneys and two locations, we have the resources to help you after an accident or injury. We are proud of our many achievements, including inclusion in:

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