Nursing home abuse and neglect are becoming more common than ever before. Untrained and overworked staff, lack of staff, or even budgetary constraints can lead to the abuse and neglect of the elderly in these nursing homes.
There is no excuse for this type of behavior from professionals trusted to care for the aging population. If your aging relative is suffering from nursing home abuse and neglect, there is no better time to act than now.
Hiring a Florida nursing home abuse and negligence lawyer can be an effective way to protect you and your loved one moving forward. An experienced personal injury attorney can file a legal claim against the liable parties and fight to hold them accountable.
Rights of Florida Nursing Home Residents
As discussed in Florida Statutes §400.022, nursing home residents in Florida have several rights established by state law. A breach of these rights often represents abuse or neglect and is not only against the law but also potential grounds for a civil claim.
It is important that family members of nursing home residents are aware and understand these rights so that if they are violated, legal action can be taken. These rights include guarantees that nursing home residents will:
- Be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect
- Not be abused mentally, emotionally, physically, or financially
- Receive care that helps ensure their health and well-being
- Refuse treatment or services
- Report grievances without fears of retaliation
- Select their own physician or pharmacy
- Privacy in communication such as phone calls and mail
Concerned family members should discuss these rights and their potential violation in depth with an adept Florida nursing home abuse and negligence attorney.
What Gives a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Case Merit?
There are four key elements that a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida generally must prove to a jury: duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages. A case that cannot demonstrate these four elements often are considered meritless and generally will not have a positive outcome in court for the plaintiff.
A nursing home and its staff have a duty to provide care to the resident and to protect them from abuse or neglect. If the resident is abused or neglected, a breach of duty may have occurred. Although such treatment is against the law, a civil plaintiff usually must also demonstrate proximate cause and damages to recover damages.
Proximate cause means that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff were directly caused by the defendant’s breach of duty. In some cases, this is the most difficult element to prove as the defendant’s attorneys may assert that the nursing home resident already had their injuries prior to the alleged abuse or neglect. The injuries also must have caused the plaintiff to suffer recoverable damages such as medical expenses and physical or emotional pain and suffering.
How a Florida Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Attorney Could Help
Arranging care for an elderly loved one can be stressful, and knowing that they are or have been in a situation where they were abused and neglected is gut-wrenching. However, there may be recourse available to you and your loved one.
You can learn more about your options by consulting with legal counsel. A seasoned attorney can come alongside you to ensure that those who have abused or neglected nursing home residents are held accountable for their despicable actions. Call a Florida nursing home abuse and negligence lawyer today, as the effectiveness of enforcing your right to seek compensation may be limited by the law.