Far too many people across the state of Florida suffer nursing home abuse and neglect. These unthinkable acts can have devastating long-term effects on the victims’ physical and emotional health.
Abuse in these cases is defined as physical, emotional or psychological mistreatment, while neglect refers to the failure to provide proper care, whether physical or psychological. Both abuse and neglect are in violation of nursing home residents’ basic rights under Florida law.
If you believe your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse and neglect, the first step to take is removing the patient from the facility to prevent further damage from being done. The next step is to begin the process of taking legal action against the nursing home.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
Florida law outlines the basic rights of nursing home residents. These include:
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- The right to be free of physical, mental, emotional or financial abuse.
- The right to necessary services to maintain health and well-being.
- The right to maintain private communication, including uncensored personal mail and unmonitored phone calls.
- The right to present grievances without fear of repercussions.
If these rights have been violated, the resident can seek compensation through a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for the deceased’s outstanding medical bills, funeral expenses and more.
Types of Damages in Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases
The compensation that can be recovered through nursing home abuse lawsuits in Florida depend on the circumstances of the case and the type and extent of injuries and damages suffered by the resident.
You may be able to recover damages for:
- Medical care
- Alternate living arrangements
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
In many cases, the negligent party will offer a quick settlement to the abuse victim in an attempt to end the case as quickly and cheaply as possible. It’s important to review your case with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer. An experienced Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorney can offer the necessary information and resources to determine whether it is a fair settlement offer for damages.
Answers to Your Questions About Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If your loved one died in a Florida nursing home as a result of abuse or neglect, the nursing home is still liable for its actions. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by the spouse or child of someone who died due to negligence or abuse.
The nursing home’s employees are legally responsible for supervising their patients, but it’s not uncommon for the facility to be understaffed or the employees to be untrained. In the event that one patient injures another, the nursing home can be held liable for its negligent supervision.
When a doctor’s actions cause a patient’s injury, the case becomes medical malpractice and nursing home abuse case. There is the possibility that the injury could have been caused by the home failing to follow doctor’s orders or failing to refer a patient to a doctor in a timely manner. A nursing home negligence case would likely be considered in the second example.
If Damages Are Recovered, Do I Have To Reimburse My Health Insurance Company?
If your insurance company covered medical bills related to the abuse, then yes the company has the right to be reimbursed from the money recovered in a lawsuit. However, the amount that must be reimbursed is negotiable, and the insurance carrier will take into account attorneys fees, court costs and other medical bills.
Have you or a loved one suffered from negligent care in nursing home? Contact medical malpractice lawyer Lisa S. Levine, P.A. today for assistance.