You may be one of many people in Florida who have a loved one in a nursing home. It’s a situation where you are trusting an institution with the care and well-being of someone very important to you. Florida law regulates services provided by nursing homes. These laws are designed to protect against elder abuse.
In Florida nursing homes, the residents or their family have the right to pursue civil action because of abuse in accordance with Florida Statute 400.023. Should the abuse experienced by an elder result in their death, the resident’s family is entitled to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
In order for a lawsuit involving abuse of a nursing home resident to be successful certain things need to be established in court.
– The nursing home resident was owed a certain duty for care by the nursing home.
– This owed duty was violated or breached by the nursing home.
– The resident suffered damage, loss, injury or even death caused by the nursing home’s breach of duty.
Rights Of Nursing Home Residents
Florida nursing home law entitles residents to be treated fairly as well as with respect and dignity. They have a right to provide a nursing home with their grievances or make recommendations without the fear of retaliation from the nursing home. They should never experience any type of financial, physical or mental abuse. They have a right to services required to preserve their health. Nursing home residents have a right to private communications. A nursing home resident should always be able to make phone calls and have them kept private. Their phone calls should never be monitored by the nursing home. This right also includes having their personal mail be uncensored. They have a right to choose their pharmacy as well as physician. Nursing home residents have a right to participate in community activities as well as religious and social events. They also have a right to decline suggested treatment and not participate in health care planning. Nursing home residents have a right to obtain oral as well as written information associated with the medical and nursing services they are receiving and more.
Statute Of Limitations
When it comes to reporting nursing home abuses in a Florida, there is a statute of limitations involved. This means, if nursing home abuse is not reported immediately and the incident goes past the statute of limitations, there may be no way to use the court system to obtain compensation. Florida Statute 429.296 establishes these time limits. According to the law, an action for damages has to start within two years from the time the incident occurred. It could also be two years from the time of the discovery of the incident. It could also be from the time the incident should have been discovered during the performance of due diligence. There is no situation where legal action for damages can be started later than four years from the date of the incident. This also applies to the date of the occurrence for the event causing the legal action.
Reporting Florida Nursing Home Abuse
Because there is a legal statute of limitations in place, any type of suspected abuse at a nursing home needs to be reported as soon as possible. Should it be discovered that a resident is in immediate danger, steps need to be taken as soon as possible to get the resident away from the facility. Should a nursing home resident or their loved ones suspect any type of nursing home abuse, they should call the Florida Abuse Hotline. It is made available by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. It is 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). The organizations involved work to ensure elder safety with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Adult Protective Services (APS) as well as the Aging Network.
A report of abuse caused by a nursing home should include certain information. The person making the report should include the name and age of the victim as well as the name of the nursing home and its address. The names of any person responsible for the victim’s care who committed the abuse. A thorough description of the abuse should include any injuries, damages as well as length of time the abuse has been occurring. The location in the nursing home the abuse occurred. All dates of when the abuse occurred should also be provided.
Once the abuse of a nursing home is reported, many families will hire a nursing home abuse attorney. This is a stressful process. The victim of the abuse will need to be moved. This will provide challenges as victims often have no trust in nursing homes. Experienced legal professionals will know how to help you and your family during the process of caring for your elderly loved one and obtaining fair compensation.
Call Fenster & Cohen, P.A. today (954) 473-1500