Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Jacksonville


Nursing home abuse lawyers can be an asset during one of life’s most trying times. There is no justification for you or a loved one to be victimized by nursing home neglect or abuse. Harrell & Harrell, P.A., has long been a community leader in the fight for nursing home patients’ rights. Over the years, our nursing home legal team has helped to draft legislation, lobbied for reform and testified before Congress and the Florida State Legislature regarding nursing home abuse and nursing home accidents. Our case leader Julie Harrell, in particular, is an exceptionally well qualified and experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.

Lawyer Julie Harrell

Julie is our leading nursing home abuse lawyer As a personal injury lawyer, she has taken a special interest in the elderly since the earliest stages of her practice. Having personally handled dozens of nursing home abuse and nursing home accident cases, Ms. Harrell brings a wealth of knowledge in regards to nursing home standards of care, daily nursing home operations and common nursing home defense strategies. She assists our clients seeking compensation for the recovery of damages from nursing home abuse and accidental nursing home deaths.

In the video shared on this page, Julie discusses how staffing problems at nursing homes, especially understaffing, can lead to nursing home neglect situations. She offers these tips if you are concerned about a loved one in a nursing home setting:

  • Call the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873 to get guidance on how to proceed.
  • Contact Harrell & Harrell, P.A., to receive help in the investigation and remedy stages of your situation. You can contact us online or by calling 904-251-1111 or toll-free at 800-251-1111.

We take an aggressive, proactive role in working with governmental agencies, and nursing home and assisted-living facility care groups to eliminate abuse and nursing home neglect for future patients and their families. We are determined to be part of the solution for ending nursing home abuse of the sick and the elderly.

Nursing Home Reform Act

In 1987, nursing homes became required by law to provide the “highest practicable” degrees of care needed to achieve and maintain the physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of residents. This act laid out basic rights that nursing home patients are entitled to, including:

  • freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
  • freedom from physical restraints
  • privacy
  • accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
  • participate in resident and family groups
  • be treated with dignity
  • exercise self-determination
  • communicate freely
  • participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
  • voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.

Whenever one of these basic rights is not met, the situation may be crossing over into nursing home neglect, perhaps even abuse.

You may wonder about the differences between nursing home neglect and nursing home abuse. They exist on a continuum of inappropriate situations, with neglect being a breach of duty that can result in harm to a patient. Nursing home abuse goes even further, with the implication being that the person or people involved actually intend to create harm. Because it isn’t always easy to determine when a situation crosses over from neglect to abuse, this can be a time to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

If you suspect neglect or even abuse, sadly, you’re not alone. According to the National Council of Aging, elder abuse is significant in the United States, with one in every 10 older adults in our country (both inside and outside of nursing homes) having experienced some form of elder abuse. This means that the number of people suffering from this, in total, might be as high as five million each year.

Although no two scenarios are identical, most cases of elder neglect fall into one of these broad categories:

  • medical neglect
  • neglect of basic needs
  • personal hygiene neglect
  • social or emotional neglect

Abuse can fall into the categories of:

  • physical abuse
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse

Under-reporting of elder abuse may be rampant, with one study cited by the National Aging Council showing that only one out of every 14 cases of elder abuse ends up being reported to authorities. Reasons why can range from memory problems experienced by the patient to an inability to articulate what is taking place. This can be exacerbated when loved ones can’t visit the nursing home as often as they’d like—plus, some types of abuse are easier to identify and therefore report than others. Physical abuse that leaves bruises or fractures, for example, can be much easier to notice than emotional abuse that only takes place when the patient is alone.

We’ve created an in-depth post to help you identify different types of neglect (which may also cross over into nursing home abuse). Red flags include:

  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Personal hygiene concerns
  • Nursing home staffing concerns
  • Unanswered calls for help
  • Nutrition concerns
  • Complaints from your loved one
  • Significant changes are taking place
  • Increasing numbers of injuries, often unexplained

Nursing Home Abuse with Julie Harrell

Suspect Nursing Home Abuse? Steps to Take

Early on, you should share your concerns with the nursing home staff. Be specific about details, including when something happened and where. Ideally, this will alert the nursing home staff and help to get preventive measures put into place. You can also talk to your loved one’s primary care physician or social worker to enlist their aid. If you’re not satisfied with results, you can call the Florida Department of Children and Families at 800-962-2873 to get guidance on how to proceed.

If your loved one is ever in an emergency situation, perhaps after a serious fall, call 911.

No One Plans to Be a Nursing Home Abuse Victim

It happens in the most caring of families, so there is no reason to feel shame. In fact, if you or a loved one is are a victim of nursing home neglect, abuse, or accidental injury, you may be entitled to seek compensation for personal damages such as:

  • Medical expenses incurred
  • Damages for pain and suffering
  • Damages for mental anguish
  • Wrongful death of a loved one
  • Funeral expenses for the victim
  • Loss of care and family duties
  • Loss of the victim’s earnings

Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

Q: What will happen if a complaint of abuse is made against a nursing home?

A: All states in the United States have systems in place for reporting neglect and/or abuse allegations and investigating the situation. The investigation will typically include interviews with the nursing home resident, family members, the nursing home staff, and any other relevant parties. If these complaints are found to be valid, remedies will put into place with the purpose of protecting the patient going forward. Or, it may make sense to move your loved one to another facility.
No matter which of these take place, you may still not feel satisfied with the remedies or feel that your loved one was appropriately compensated for harm done to him or her. In that case, you can contact a nursing home abuse attorney to inquire into bringing about a civil suit for damages. In some instances, this may lead to a criminal investigation and prosecution.

Q: What rights does a nursing home resident have?

A: A resident living in a nursing home where Medicare payments are accepted is protected by the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, and is required by law to be protected against abuse, including physical, verbal, sexual, and mental abuse. If the nursing home in question is not regulated by federal statute, then the patient’s rights are determined by state law, which vary from state to state.

Q: What possible outcomes exist if I make a complaint of nursing home neglect or abuse?

A: One or more of three situations might occur. First, an adult protective services agency might conduct an investigation and present findings. The goal of this is to provide fast relief to the victim and to prevent further harm from taking place. You may end up filing a civil suit (lawsuit) for damages; this is intended to compensate your loved one for neglect or abuse that took place. Finally, a criminal investigation and prosecution may occur, which takes place to punish criminal conduct.

Q: What does exploitation mean in connection to nursing home abuse?

A: This issue can arise if the nursing home resident had his or her resources used inappropriately for someone else’s advantage or profit. This is often in relation to the person’s money or property, especially when it’s taken without the patient’s consent, or is taken via deception or false pretenses, or the perpetrator uses duress or undue influence to get his or her way. State law varies on how exploitation should be defined in this context. Financial abuse is all too common and, if you feel this is occurring with your loved one, investigate and reach out for appropriate help.

Q: How long will it take to settle our nursing home abuse claim?

A: There is no standard timeframe for the compensation process. We encourage you to contact us with specifics about your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When nursing home abuse occurs, it is important to accurately document the events surrounding the patient’s abuse and/or accidental death. At Harrell & Harrell, P.A., we understand this can be a very trying time in your family’s life. That’s why we can arrange for a private consultation at our office, your home or hospital room to discuss the specific details of your nursing home abuse case. Your family doesn’t have to go it alone. When you work with our qualified nursing home abuse lawyers, you gain the experience of our entire personal injury law firm. Use our website’s convenient contact form for a prompt, private email response to your questions.

You can also find information about settlements we’ve won for our clients. These include one where an elderly client was awarded $700,000. She had suffered from multiple bed sores because of lack of repositioning and improper wound care, as well as numerous falls that led to bruising and fractures due to a lack of supervision.

Remember: You never have to face a nursing home or its big insurance company alone. Call Harrell & Harrell, P.A., today at 904-251-1111 or 1-800-251-1111 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyers.

Harrell & Harrell Personal Injury Lawyers Specialize in Nursing Home Abuse
Don’t settle for less than you deserve.®

We’re With You When You Need It Most.

In the hours after an accident, there can be a lot of questions about what to do next. The insurance company will be pressing you for a response. Do you know who you would trust?

You don’t have to walk through this alone.
Focus On

At Harrell and Harrell, we understand your number one priority is getting better as quickly as possible. And while you’re healing, our lawyers and paralegals work tirelessly to take care of everything else.


The legal system can be intimidating. Our team will be by your side, every step of the process to answer questions and champion for your rights.

Negotiate With
Insurance Company

We communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf and are with you every step of the way.

Helping Where It Counts

We Are a Law Firm That Gets Results
Read More

What Our Clients Have to Say

Read More

Honors and Recognitions