Abuse in a nursing home can take on many forms and can sometimes be hard to detect. Nursing home residents can be physically battered, have their property or money stolen, suffer sexual abuse, or be abused emotionally. They are also at a high risk for suffering from neglect and improper care.
Florida has enacted many statutes in an attempt to protect and regulate the services, care, and well-being of nursing home residents. When nursing home abuse occurs, at least one or even several of these statutes are generally violated. Florida nursing home abuse lawsuits may arise from these situations and a knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorney can help determine if the elderly neglect case has merit.
Civil Lawsuits Allowed for Florida Nursing Home Abuse
Individuals who have suffered abuse in a nursing home and their families have legal rights. Florida Statutes §400.023 explains that nursing home residents have a right to file a civil suit. This is in addition to any criminal charges that the individuals involved could face, which would be handled by local law enforcement.
It is important to note that criminal cases and civil cases centered around the same incident are not dependent upon each other. A defendant could be liable for the damages of the plaintiff in a civil case but not guilty of a criminal act, for example. However, a criminal conviction might lend itself to a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a civil nursing home abuse case.
Potential Defendants in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks monetary compensation for their damages from the defendants who harmed them. Defendants in a nursing home abuse case who may be named in the lawsuit could include:
- Nursing home owners and administrators
- Nurses or nursing assistants
- Other staff members
Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
By hiring a diligent attorney, plaintiffs in Florida nursing home abuse lawsuits could receive a fair settlement for various economic and non-economic damages. Damages are essentially a financial representation of the losses that the plaintiff suffers in light of the abuse that has occurred, and they often include:
- Medical expenses related to abuse
- Future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Liability
Proving liability is a key component of virtually every civil lawsuit in Florida, including those centered around nursing home abuse. To achieve a successful outcome in a case, a plaintiff or their lawyer generally must establish to the court that the defendants owed a duty to the plaintiff as a nursing home resident and that the duty was breached.
Furthermore, they must prove that the plaintiff suffered loss, injury, damages, or death as a result of the abuse. Without proof of compensable damages, there is technically nothing for a civil lawsuit to recover for.
Help with Florida Nursing Home Abuse Civil Cases
It can be quite distressing to learn that your loved one is or might be a victim of nursing home abuse. You may not know where to turn or what your rights are. For many nursing home residents and their families, though, the best course of action is to file Florida nursing home abuse lawsuits with the help of a qualified lawyer.
If your lawsuit is successful, you and your elderly relative could be compensated for the damages they have suffered. You can find out if taking the step is right for your situation by calling a nursing home abuse attorney today.