Florida contains the highest number of nursing homes out of anywhere in the United States. It is estimated that there are around 73,000 people in the state living in these facilities at any one time. These facilities have a legal duty to protect their residents from not just illness, but also from injuries that can result from systematic abuse or neglect.
These injuries can occur as the result of accidents or from intentional harm. In either case, residents and their family members have the right to demand compensation whenever this abuse takes place.
A Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer could help you hold negligent nursing homes responsible for their actions. By working to gather evidence of abuse and applying that evidence to relevant Florida laws, your hardworking attorney could help you file an effective lawsuit in court to demand payment for damages.
The Responsibilities of Nursing Homes
All nursing homes in Florida maintain a duty to care for their residents. According to Florida Statutes §400.022, this includes the responsibility to:
- Keep all residents’ communications with family private
- Allow appropriate medical staff access to treat a resident when necessary
- To provide adequate medical treatment to all residents, including for mental health, and to inform residents of this right
- To provide a residence that is free from mental, verbal, or physical abuse
Any failure on the part of a nursing home to uphold these duties can be the source of a nursing home abuse lawsuit. A Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer could help the residents in nursing homes and their families understand their rights and evaluate the actions of nursing homes that may have violated those rights.
Common Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in nursing homes can occur in one of two ways. The most common form of abuse is neglect. While the staff of the nursing home may not have intended for any harm to come to the resident, their lack of attention nevertheless breaches their duty to care for the resident. This can result in a myriad of injuries, including:
- Bedsores from not being turned
- Malnutrition or dehydration from a poor diet
- Broken bones from slips and falls
It is important to remember that an injury that results from neglect is just as serious in the legal world as one that results from intentional abuse. However, intentional abuse can also result in severe injuries.
Any time a worker roughly handles a resident, uses a disallowed form of restraint, submits a resident to mental abuse, or intentionally denies food or medicine, this can certainly be the subject of a lawsuit. Not only would the nursing home carry civil liability, but the individual abuser may be arrested and criminally charged. In this scenario, concerned family members should contact the police directly to report the abuse. Following the filing of a police report, individuals should seek the services of a Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer that could help them pursue a civil claim.
Time Limits on Filing a Claim
No matter how the abuse occurs, plaintiffs must be sure to act quickly. Florida Statutes §429.296 is the State’s law concerning when a nursing home abuse case must be heard in court. This law, known as the statute of limitations, states that all allegations of nursing home abuse must be in court within two years of the date of the discovery of the injury. If this time limit passes, a plaintiff and their family may be unable to file a claim even with help from a nursing home abuse lawyer in Tampa.
Larry Wins Nursing Home Abuse Cases
When you send a loved one to live in a nursing home, it is reasonable to expect that all their needs will be cared for and they will not suffer abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, despite Florida’s many laws protecting nursing home residents, nursing home abuse is common. Whenever this kind of maltreatment occurs, the resident and their families have the right to seek compensation.
A Tampa nursing home abuse lawyer could lead the way by investigating every incident, filing complaints with appropriate state agencies, and demanding that negligent nursing homes pay for the damage caused by their employees. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.