Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers Serving Coral Gables
Due to their fragile and vulnerable nature, nursing home residents need to be protected and cared for in the best possible way. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes meet the necessary standards of care, and as a result, nursing home negligence is a real thing—and one you should take seriously. When a nursing home resident is injured or placed in harm's way due to neglect or mismanagement, it is essential that those responsible are held accountable.
When considering filing a claim, it is important to understand the consequences of negligence and how it can affect your elderly loved one's physical or emotional wellbeing. Some of the risks associated with nursing home negligence include the following:
- Bed sores
- Pressure sores
- Physical abuse
- Medication errors
- Financial exploitation
It's also important to note that many cases of negligence may never be reported—so it's up to residents' families to remain vigilant about their loved one's care. Be sure to file a claim if your elderly loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse. Taking action can help your family member get justice and protect other patients from suffering the same fate.Overview of Nursing Home Negligence Law in Florida
Filing a nursing home negligence claim in Florida can be a complicated process. Understanding the basics of Florida's negligence laws before taking legal action is important.
The most important point is that to prove negligence in Florida, one must show that a nursing home owed a duty of care to the resident and that the nursing home breached this duty. Further, it must be shown that the resident sustained an injury or financial loss as a direct result of this breach.
Another key aspect of nursing home negligence claims in Florida is that there are statutes of limitations for filing such claims. Generally speaking, claimants have two years from the date of injury or death to file a claim. There are some exceptions to this rule – for instance if fraud or concealment is involved – so it's best to consult an experienced attorney to determine your rights.
Understanding these concepts will help you decide if you have a valid claim and how best to proceed with legal action in the event you do.What Are Some Common Examples of Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence is, unfortunately, more common than you might think, so it pays to know a few of the more common examples. Here are some of the things that might occur in a nursing home setting that could constitute carelessness or neglect:
- Failure to develop an individualized plan of care for your loved one
- Insufficient staffing
- Inadequate training of staff members
- Poor hygiene and sanitation standards in the facility
- Lapses in medication management
- Physical or emotional abuse by staff members or other residents
- Negligence resulting from inadequate supervision or monitoring
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Failure to provide social activities or interactions with other residents
If you are unsure whether or not your loved one was a victim of nursing home negligence in Florida, there are a few things you should consider before filing a claim.
To establish negligence, it is important to determine whether the facility's actions meet the standard of care. The nursing home must adhere to the standard of care, and if they fail to meet this standard, then negligence may be deemed to have occurred. In addition, it is important to determine if any medical or physical harm occurred as a result of an alleged act of negligence at the nursing home.
To file a nursing home negligence claim in Florida, you will need to provide evidence and documentation. This includes medical records and reports from both before and after the incident that indicates any changes in health or function due to neglect or abuse in the facility. Additionally, you may need additional evidence, such as photographs, videos, police reports, and witness testimony, to prove your case.
The filing process for nursing home negligence claims can be complicated, so it is recommended that you seek help from a legal professional familiar with these kinds of cases. An experienced attorney will be able to help identify any statutes or laws relevant to your case and will represent your interests in court proceedings.
It's essential to have evidence to prove negligence and recover damages. The most important evidence in nursing home lawsuits is medical records from the facility. These records provide information about the resident's health history, diagnosis, physician visits, treatments, and medications prescribed.
If it is possible to connect a resident's death to the negligent acts of a nursing home staff member or healthcare professional, then victims' families can pursue a wrongful death claim. To do this, a claim must be filed within two years of the individual's death, so gathering evidence should be done promptly.
Here are some tips on how to gather evidence:
- Request medical records from the facility that your relative stayed in.
- Obtain copies of relevant documents (e.g., incident reports and statements).
- Speak with other residents or family members of residents who may have witnessed neglect.
- Document any physical evidence related to the case.
- Talk to an attorney who specializes in nursing home negligence claims in Florida.
So, how do you file a nursing home negligence claim in Florida? It's not as complicated as it sounds. Here are the steps to take if you think your loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence:
- Get the medical records for your loved one.
- Speak with a Florida lawyer specializing in nursing home negligence cases to verify the facts of the case and decide if it's worth pursuing.
- File a complaint against the nursing home in court, informing them of your intent to sue for damages due to their negligence and carelessness.
- Serve a Summons and Complaint on the person or entity responsible for the injury or wrongful death.
- The person or entity being sued will have 30 days to respond to your Complaint, after which time they must file an Answer with the court, denying or admitting any allegations made in your Complaint.
- Once all documents have been filed with the court, discovery will begin - this is where both sides exchange information relevant to the case so they can prepare their arguments and evidence for trial.
- The matter may be resolved through negotiations between both sides instead of going through trial; if an agreement is reached out of court, then no trial is necessary, and your case will conclude at this point.
- If an agreement is unable to be reached outside of court, then a trial date will be set where both parties will present witnesses and evidence before a jury who will make their decision on who's to blame for any damages incurred from the negligent treatment received by your loved one at the nursing home facility in Florida.
When filing a nursing home negligence claim in Florida, knowing what you can expect concerning damages is important. You may be awarded damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages.
If you've experienced any medical expenses due to your injury from the negligence of a nursing home, then you should be able to recover these costs from the defendant in your suit. This would include hospital bills, medical tests, medications, and more.
Pain and Suffering
This type of damage award is meant to help compensate you for physical and/or mental injuries that the negligent act of a nursing home employee has caused. Depending on the severity of your injury or illness, this amount can vary drastically from case to case. A personal injury attorney can help you better understand the possible amount in your situation.
These are not as common as medical expenses or pain & suffering awards but may still be available in some cases. They are typically awarded when recklessness or maliciousness is found on the defendant's part. Speak with an attorney if you suspect that punitive damages may be relevant in your case.
Loss Of Consortium/Support
In some cases, if the injured party is married or has children who are specified beneficiaries in their will, those people may be able to sue for their loss of financial support and companionship from the injured party.
In some circumstances, punitive damages may also be recovered depending on the severity of negligence committed by the nursing home. Speaking with an experienced attorney about your case before pursuing legal action is important.What Should I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Negligence?
If you suspect nursing home negligence, you should take immediate action to protect your rights. Start by:
- Notifying the Facility – Document any allegations of abuse or neglect in writing and send it to the facility's administration. They should then investigate the matter and notify you of their findings.
- Reporting Your Concerns – File a formal complaint with Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which is responsible for enforcing state laws and regulations regarding the safety of residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- Seek Legal Advice – Nursing home abuse is criminal and should be taken seriously. Speak with an experienced negligence attorney who can advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the claims process to get the justice you deserve.
Have you heard of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA)? It's a government agency that regulates and licenses all nursing homes in the state. This agency is the one that inspects facilities, investigates allegations, and enforces penalties against offenders.
The assessment consists of three phases:
- Pre-admission screening is done before accepting an individual for admission to a facility.
- An unannounced inspection is done to evaluate and monitor residents' safety, health, and well-being based on guidelines set by AHCA.
- A complaint/concern evaluation process is done when residents or family members involved with the facility raise any complaint or concern.
It's important to know that AHCA also holds responsible parties liable when any violations are observed during inspections—and these can include investigations into wrongful death claims where negligence on behalf of staff has been proven.How Can I File A Complaint With The Florida Agency For Health Care Administration (AHCA)?
If you feel that the nursing home has acted negligently or failed to provide adequate care, you can file a complaint with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). They have responsibility over health care facilities in the state and will investigate any complaints.
Here's what you need to do:
- Download and complete the form from AHCA's website.
- Include as much information as you can, such as dates of admission and treatment, caregivers' names, insurance documents, and any other relevant information.
- Submit your complaint via email or mail it to AHCA directly - keep copies for yourself!
- AHCA should contact you within 45 days with their decision about your claim - if it is accepted, they will take corrective action against the nursing home.
Filing a complaint with the AHCA allows them to investigate and potentially hold a nursing home accountable for any negligence occurring at their facility. It also provides a way to get justice if your loved one was harmed due to negligence or poor care from a nursing home staff member.How Can I Prevent Nursing Home Negligence?
When filing a nursing home negligence claim in Florida, prevention is key. In the ideal world, you'd be able to prevent all types of elder abuse or nursing home negligence from ever happening. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take now to help ensure the best possible care for your loved one:
Research The Facility
Before choosing a facility for your loved one, make sure you're doing your due diligence. Research the facility's history and check out reviews from previous and current residents. You should also visit the facility in person to get a feel for it, see how clean and updated it is, and ensure there's enough staff on-hand to care for their needs.
Once you have settled on a facility for your loved one, stay involved in their care as much as possible. This could mean anything from visiting often or scheduling regular phone calls so you can hear how they're doing firsthand.
Having an ongoing dialog like this makes your senior more likely to tell you if they experience abuse or neglect. It also lets them know they're not alone—that somebody cares about them and always has their back.What Is the Role of a Nursing Home Ombudsman?
The ombudsman is one of the most important people in filing a negligence claim against a nursing home. An ombudsman advocates for nursing home residents and acts as an independent voice.
The role of the ombudsman includes the following:
- Investigating complaints from residents who believe their rights have been violated
- Responding to requests for information, advice, and assistance from residents, family members, and other interested parties
- Following up on complaints to ensure they are addressed appropriately
- Promoting education and training programs to improve the quality of care in nursing homes
- Monitoring the quality of care in state-licensed nursing homes
- Helping establish and develop effective laws, regulations, and standards related to nursing home care.
By providing independent oversight and advocating for residents' rights, ombudsmen can help ensure that incidents of negligence are addressed properly. Therefore, it's important to be aware that ombudsmen exist and can help you better understand your rights as a resident or family member of a resident.Can A Nursing Home Evict a Resident for Filing a Complaint?
Would a nursing home be able to evict or transfer a resident who has filed a complaint? The answer here is no. However, remember that nursing homes have the right to transfer a resident to another facility for medical reasons. But if you become aware of the possible possibility of retaliation after filing a complaint, you should inform the state survey agency about it.
It is against the law for nursing homes in Florida to:
- Discontinue care or services based on the filing of a complaint.
- Evict a resident due to their filing of complaints.
- Take any punitive action against residents for reporting abuse or neglect.
- Transfers or discharges that are meant solely for retaliation purposes.
When you've identified that you may have a case, it's important to get an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer involved to review the evidence and provide legal advice. At Frankl Kominsky, our team of experienced attorneys helps victims and their families navigate the complexities of nursing home negligence claims in Coral Gables.
If you need to file a claim, our team is here to help. We are fully equipped and prepared to fight for your rights in Florida nursing home premises liability cases. Our attorneys have years of experience handling complex cases and getting results that help injured people receive proper compensation.
In addition to negotiating with insurance carriers, we will make sure all parties involved are held accountable for their actions—ensuring legal remedies that are fair and just. Contact us today at (561) 800-8000 for a free case evaluation or more information about filing a nursing home negligence claim in Florida.