Both federal and state law upholds the rights of Florida citizens. In fact, special rights are spelled out for residents in Florida’s nursing homes—and contrary to how some nursing home staff treat patients, nursing home patients do not turn over their rights when they take up residency at a facility.
Unfortunately, many residents in Florida’s nursing homes are neglected and abused and not afforded even their most basic rights. The good news is that a dedicated attorney could help residents and their families if their Florida nursing home patient rights are ignored.
Nursing Home Patient Rights Under Florida Law
Although they may be frail or elderly, nursing home residents are still people, and they are still citizens. In addition to civil and religious liberties as well as the right to manage their own finances, nursing home residents are granted many other rights under Florida state law. These include the right to:
- Private and uncensored communication
- Approve or deny visitation by any individual providing health, social, legal, or other services
- Refuse medication and treatment and to know what might happen if they do not receive them
- Receive suitable and appropriate health care, protective, and support services
- Privacy in treatment and in caring for personal needs
- Be treated courteously, fairly, and with dignity
- Be free from mental and physical abuse, any form of physical punishment, and prolonged involuntary seclusion
- Be free from physical and chemical medications/restraints except those ordered by their own physician
The Right to File a Lawsuit
Perhaps the most important right afforded to nursing home residents in Florida is the right to file a lawsuit if their rights are being abused by the nursing home and its staff. Under Florida Statutes §400.023, nursing home residents can either file a civil suit themselves have a family member or guardian could do so on their behalf.
Liability in Nursing Florida Homes
Admitting a resident means not only that nursing home staff must care for that resident, but also that they are liable for any harm that they inflict through accident or intent. When a nursing home resident is abused or otherwise not afforded their rights under the law, one or more parties in the nursing home may be defendants in a civil lawsuit, including:
- Nursing home staff members such as nurses, physical therapists, or nursing assistants
- Nursing home administration members
- The owner of the nursing home
- Physicians or other healthcare professionals affiliated with the nursing home
Anyone who feels that their rights—or those of a loved one—as a Florida nursing home resident were violated should speak to an experienced attorney to determine if they have valid legal grounds for filing a claim. Legal counsel could help pinpoint which parties may be legally responsible and seek to recoup damages from them.
Enforcing Nursing Home Resident Rights in Florida with an Attorney’s Help
Nursing homes cannot be held accountable for negligent treatment of their residents unless family members, their attorneys, and other agencies are able to help support and enforce Florida nursing home patient rights. If you have a loved one residing in a Florida nursing home who is not being afforded their rights or is being abused, reach out today to schedule an initial consultation.