Nursing homes provide our loved ones with care and support in their older years, and families usually trust that nursing homes in Florida will treat their loved ones with the care and respect that they deserve. However, if a nursing home is not properly staffed with well-trained and caring individuals, it can lead to tragic cases where a loved one dies prematurely while in the care of a nursing home. Florida Statutes §400.023 provides that whenever a nursing home resident’s death is the result of willful or negligent actions by a nursing home, the surviving family of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you believe your loved one died as a result of negligence or abuse, a Florida wrongful death in nursing homes lawyer can be available to guide you through this difficult and emotional time. Contact a knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorney and schedule a legal consultation.
What Types of Actions Constitute Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?
The law in Florida mandates that nursing homes provide their residents with a certain level of care. Specifically, Florida Statutes §400.032 provides that nursing homes must protect their residents to the best of their reasonable abilities from each of the following harmful conditions, among others:
- Assault and abuse
- Unsanitary conditions
Challenge of Proving Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes
To prove that a nursing home has wrongfully caused a loved one’s passing, their family will need to prove the following elements pursuant to Fla. Stat. §400.023(3):
- The defendant nursing home owed a duty of care to the resident
- The defendant nursing home breached their duty to the resident
- The breach of this duty was the proximate cause of loss, injury, death, or damage to the resident
- The resident sustained loss, injury, death, or damage as a result of the breach
However, because nursing home residents often have underlying medical conditions, it can sometimes be difficult to prove that a nursing home and its staff directly caused a resident’s death. To prove that a nursing home acted negligently, a Florida wrongful death in nursing home lawyer may have to conduct a thorough investigation of a nursing home’s policies, a resident’s medical history and condition, and the level of care the nursing home provided.
Collecting Compensation for a Loved One’s Passing
There are two separate categories of wrongful death damages that a family can seek. Florida Statutes §400.023(b) provides that in a case where a family loses a loved one due to negligence, they must elect to pursue either survival damages or wrongful death damages.
Florida’s Wrongful Death Act provides that survival damages can include:
- Lost support and services
- Loss of a loved one’s companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
Finally, in some egregious cases, grieving family members may be entitled to pursue punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish a nursing home for extreme recklessness, or gross and flagrant disregard for human life.
Deciding between survival damages and wrongful death damages can be an incredibly private and sensitive decision, and families should carefully consider this decision before filing a lawsuit for wrongful death.
A Florida Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes Attorney is Available to Help
Wrongful death cases in nursing homes are markedly different than other wrongful death cases. Beyond proving that a nursing home was negligent, a plaintiff must prove that this negligence specifically caused a resident’s passing. This can often be difficult in a nursing home since many residents have underlying medical conditions that nursing homes may use as a defense in an attempt to shift or avoid liability.
However, if you believe your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect which led to their passing, then a Florida wrongful death in nursing homes lawyer could conduct a thorough investigation of your loved one’s passing.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy, but a compassionate Florida nursing home wrongful death attorney can guide you through this difficult time. Call today to schedule a private and confidential consultation.