Nursing homes care for the most vulnerable, older adults who can no longer take care of themselves. Nursing home residents do not always get the treatment the law requires. If a nursing home resident is the victim of nursing home abuse, the resident or their family may get compensation from the nursing home, the managing employees, and the direct caregivers.
Do you believe your loved one has been abused at a nursing home? Find out if you have a case. Call The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Florida.
Rights of Residents of Florida Nursing Homes
Florida law sets out rights of every resident in a nursing home in the state. Some of these rights deal specifically with the care provided to the resident. For example, the resident has the right to the following:
- “Adequate and appropriate” health care
- Treatment with dignity
- Freedom from mental and physical abuse
- Refusal of medical treatment
- Right to select a personal physician
If the nursing home does not afford a resident these rights, the resident, or someone acting on their behalf, may file a lawsuit against the nursing home.
Federal Standards That Apply to Nursing Homes
A nursing home must follow federal standards if it accepts Medicare. For example, the nursing home environment must be as free as possible from accident hazards, and each resident must receive supervision and devices that are adequate to prevent accidents. If the facility does not comply with federal requirements, the nursing home may be sued if the resident is injured.
How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse of a Resident
When you visit your loved one, did you see something suggesting abuse? Look for these signs:
- Bedsores:Bedsores, or decubitus ulcers, happen when staff fails to turn a resident in bed.
- Broken bones: Hip, leg, or arm fractures can be the result of a fall or rough handling of a patient.
- Bruises or bleeding: Bruises can be a sign of a fall or an assault by a nursing home employee.
- Loss of weight: Weight loss can indicate the patient is not receiving proper nourishment.
- Infection: Infections can spread in nursing homes if adequate precautions are not taken.
- Emotional withdrawal: A patient may react to abuse by becoming withdrawn or distant.
If you have visited a loved one in a nursing home and noticed any of these signs, call a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida at The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. There may be a legitimate reason for any of these issues. Our attorney will get to the bottom of the problem and determine if any abuse has occurred.
Filing a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Abuse
If a nursing home violates one of the rights that Florida law gives to nursing home residents, a nursing home abuse lawsuit can be filed if the resident suffers an injury or a financial loss.
Parties in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
The nursing home resident whose rights were violated can bring a lawsuit. The resident’s guardian can bring the suit. The resident or his or her guardian can consent to someone else bringing the suit. Finally, if the resident dies, the personal representative of the resident’s estate may bring the suit.
You can sue the nursing home, its management or consulting company, the managing employees, or any direct caregivers for nursing home abuse.
Examples of Acts of Nursing Home Abuse
What actions or inactions result in a nursing home resident not receiving adequate care? Here are some examples:
- The nursing staff fails to remove a hazard that causes a patient to fall.
- The nursing staff verbally or physically abuses a resident.
- The nursing staff does not properly monitor a patient who then falls from a bed.
- Unsanitary conditions cause a resident to contract an infection.
- The nursing home provides inadequate supervision of residents. For example, a resident with a known history of abuse is not supervised and enters another resident’s room and physically or sexually abuses that resident.
- The nursing home hires someone with a criminal background and that person assaults a resident.
You must show that the nursing home or the employee owed a duty to the resident, that the nursing home or employee failed to meet that duty, and that the resident was injured.
A nursing home abuse lawsuit is not the same as a medical malpractice suit. In a malpractice case, a doctor commits an act of negligence, such as misdiagnosing a patient’s condition.
If you or your loved one is abused at a nursing home, call The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorney will evaluate your case free of charge.
Filing Your Nursing Home Abuse Suit Timely
Florida law limits how quickly you must file a nursing home abuse lawsuit:
- The suit must be filed within two years from the time the incident occurred or two years from the time the incident is or should be discovered.
- The suit may not be filed more than four years from the date of the incident.
- The time limits may be extended if fraudulent concealment or intentional misrepresentation by the nursing home prevented you from discovering the abuse.
Receiving Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse
If you are a nursing home resident, you can receive compensation for nursing home abuse. You can recover the cost of any medical expenses as well as compensation for pain and suffering. You can also receive punitive damages, or damages intended to punish the responsible party, in cases of willful and intentional misconduct.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, contact an attorney at The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine for a free consultation.
When you hire our attorneys, they will investigate your case, gather evidence, and interview witnesses. Our attorneys will hire any necessary experts to prove your case and the extent of your injuries. Our attorneys will work to obtain you a reasonable settlement. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our attorneys will take the matter to court.
We Can Help.