When Can You Sue A Nursing Home?
If you suspect elder abuse from a nursing home in Florida, you may want to seek legal action against the nursing home. After all, they violated their promise of looking after your loved one and ensuring their safety. You entrusted them to take care of your loved one. There are a few areas in which the nursing home can be held responsible for neglect. One of these is by failing to keep the home in question safe and free of hazards. This can be difficult to prosecute as the hazards in question need to be hazards that the staff is aware of in the home. So, hazards like a slip and fall would be something they could be held responsible for in court.
Another aspect that could lead to a potential suit is negligent hiring. This means that the home hired someone who harmed or neglected an elder intentionally. Negligent supervision tends to go hand-in-hand with this. In addition, you may be able to sue if the home isn’t kept in sanitary condition as this falls under the home’s responsibility to provide a safe home. Finally, if there was a failure to provide adequate medical treatment to the elder, malpractice may be able to be argued against the home.
Steps To Consider
If you want to sue a nursing home, there are a few steps you should consider before you end up sitting with them in court. Depending on the nursing home in question, they can sometimes have an excellent lawyer prepared to fight against your claims. As such, you’ll want to be ready, so you can be sure that your loved one receives the justice that they deserve.
1. Check With Your Loved One
This goes without saying, but the first step you should always take is to ensure that your loved one is safe. Depending on the neglect or injury in question, as well as the length that is has occurred, they could be significantly affected. They may even need to be hospitalized. If you believe that your loved one is in danger at the nursing home, then take the steps needed to remove them. If you think it is necessary, you should call 911. Because lawsuits can sometimes take months to finish, you want to make sure that your loved one is put somewhere that can be safe and protected until the matter comes to a close.
2. Inform The Facility
Nursing homes that accept Medicaid or Medicare have to follow a grievance procedure according to federal law. You’ll want to follow this grievance procedure and fill out the necessary paperwork. If you don’t see anything about a grievance procedure, then write or call the facility and inquire. You’ll also want to keep a copy of the letter that you write or record your conversation with the facility. You can work with the facility to ensure your loved one is safe.
3. File A Complaint With Your State Agency
Since each state has an Adult Protective Services agency, you can utilize them to investigate the nursing home. They’ll need to contact your loved one and interview them, so you’ll want to make sure that your loved one is prepared and capable of discussing their time at the nursing home. The investigation the APS conducts can offer evidence that can be used in court against the nursing home.
4. Hire A Lawyer
If you intend to file a lawsuit, then you’re going to need a lawyer. As mentioned before, nursing homes will be bringing in their own lawyer who is likely familiar with protecting this sort of client. You’ll want to hire one quickly, too. The period of being able to sue a nursing home is relatively short, so act quickly. You’ll want to find a lawyer who specializes in elder law or has a great deal of experience in protecting elders against nursing homes. With them in hand, they can help guide you through the confusing legal matters associated when suing a nursing home.
You’re Not Alone
Learning that your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse can be an emotional time. The sense of betrayal can be paralyzing. However, there are resources available to help you through it. With the right lawyer at your side, you can find justice for your loved one and ensure that the nursing home doesn’t hurt anyone else.
Call Fenster & Cohen P.A. today 954-473-1500