Tampa Nursing Home Elopement & Wandering Lawyer
We can fight for your family’s rights and demand the money you deserve
Nursing homes in Florida need to monitor residents living in their facilities carefully. When they fail to do so, residents may wander away from the facility (elopement) and get hurt, sometimes severely hurt. This is one of the most dangerous forms of nursing home neglect.
Unfortunately, in these situations, many nursing homes in Florida deny doing anything wrong. That’s why it’s critical that families fully understand their rights in such cases.
Armando Personal Injury Law knows how to handle such complicated cases. Tampa nursing home neglect attorney Armando Edmiston has years of experience handling nursing home elopement cases in Florida. We can answer your questions and explain your legal options.
What is nursing home elopement? How is it different from wandering?
Nursing home elopement is when an unsupervised resident leaves a facility without warning. Residents are in a nursing home because they need 24-hour supervision and care to remain safe and healthy. As such, elopement is a very dangerous and potentially deadly situation.
While “wandering” and “elopement” are sometimes used interchangeably, they mean different things. Wandering can involve a resident leaving a designated area and moving to another restricted part of the facility without leaving the grounds. Elopement specifically involves leaving the nursing home grounds altogether. In other words, wandering can often lead to elopement if the wandering resident leaves the premises.
Why does nursing home elopement occur?
Nursing home resident elopement occurs for many reasons. Sometimes, residents are curious or bored. Other times, they might have a medical condition in which they don’t fully realize or understand what they’re doing. Such medical issues can include dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other neurological conditions impairing a person’s ability to assess risk accurately.
But whatever the reason, ultimately, the cause is neglect. Elopement only happens when the facility fails to do its job and adequately monitor residents. Some examples include:
- Understaffing – The facility lacks employees to monitor residents and ensure their safety.
- Untrained staff – Nursing home employees must know how to care for and supervise residents.
- Poor safety protocols – Nursing homes need to have a plan in place to respond immediately to elopement situations.
- Poor security – If residents pose a risk to themselves or others, facilities need to take safety precautions.
- Failure to notify police – When nursing home elopement occurs, facilities need to act fast, including calling the police and the resident’s family immediately.
What are the consequences of elopement?
Residents who elope from nursing homes are highly vulnerable to injury. They may wander into traffic and be hit by a car. They may trip and fall and sustain injuries like broken bones or concussions. They may even fall into a river, lake, or swimming pool and be at risk of drowning.
In addition, residents who elope from a facility risk dehydration, malnutrition, and exposure to the elements. They also cannot get their medications or other care that they need, which can lead to serious health complications. That’s why even a brief absence from the nursing home can have serious, life-threatening consequences.
Who investigates nursing home elopement injuries in Florida?
The Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at the Department of Elder Affairs investigates allegations of nursing home abuse or neglect. To initiate an investigation, you can file a complaint online or by phone.
However, even if this state agency is investigating your nursing home abuse or neglect allegation, it’s important to understand the scope of their investigation. They’re concerned with whether a nursing home violated local, state, or federal laws. Their investigation does not involve whether your family is fairly compensated for your financial losses.
Why should I hire a Tampa nursing home neglect attorney?
Elopement cases are not easy to win. The nursing home is likely to deny that they did anything wrong. They may try to conceal records or downplay the effects of their negligence on your loved one. Getting the compensation you deserve requires a thorough investigation and a great deal of experience with nursing home neglect matters.
That’s why we want to help. Tampa nursing home neglect attorney Armando Edmiston knows how to investigate elopement injury cases. He and the rest of his legal team at Armando Personal Injury Law have years of experience handling such complex legal cases.
So whether you’re dealing with Whispering Oaks, Concordia Village of Tampa, or another nursing home on Florida’s Gulf Coast, we can help. Contact our law firm and schedule a free case evaluation with a Tampa nursing home elopement lawyer you can count on when it matters most.