“Can You Sue a Nursing Home For Negligence?” This is a question that many families ask when their elderly loved one is subjected to mistreatment or abuse in a nursing home. As the trial for a Hollywood Hills nursing home administrator begins this month for the negligence the nursing home showed its residents during Hurricane Irma shows, it’s an important question to answer. Negligence can take many forms and can cause harm to residents in numerous ways, from medical to physical, emotional, or financial abuse.
This article will provide a brief overview of nursing home negligence and the legal options available to families who have suffered due to the actions or inaction of a nursing home or its staff.
Can You Sue a Nursing Home For Negligence?
Yes, you can sue a nursing home for negligence if you have suffered injuries or financial loss due to poor treatment in the facility. The following laws are relevant in a nursing home negligence case:
Florida Nursing Home Bill of Rights
This law, found in Florida Statutes 429.28, outlines the rights of individuals living in care facilities. It states that residents have the right to live free of physical, mental, emotional, and financial abuse, access necessary services to maintain their health and well-being, and manage their financial affairs and present grievances without retaliation.
United States Nursing Home Care Standards
Nursing homes must adhere to federal standards of care outlined in the Nursing Home Reform Act, 42 U.S. Code 1395i-3. This act requires nursing homes to assess functionality, implement quality assurance measures, and create written care plans. In addition, there are penalties for non-compliance and falsification.
Florida Civil Negligence Laws
Florida law 768.81 states that all individuals have a duty to act reasonably and not harm others. When a person is entrusted to the care of another, that standard of care is exceptionally high. Abuse and neglect are forms of negligence, and when neglect contributes to harm, the victim may sue for financial compensation.
Florida Criminal Laws
In some cases, nursing home neglect may be considered a crime under Florida law 825.102. Other crimes, such as assault, battery, and fraud, may also apply in cases of elder abuse. If a person is responsible for a crime by committing elder abuse or neglect, they may face criminal charges in addition to a civil lawsuit.
How to Prove Nursing Home Negligence
To prove nursing home neglect, it is necessary first to identify the accountable party. This could apply to both the nursing home and the staff assisting with your loved one’s care. Next, you’ll need to collect proof to back up your claims, such as medical records, witness statements, and other pertinent paperwork.
It’s important to note that nursing home negligence can take many forms, including:
- Not relocating residents frequently enough, leading to bed sores;
- Not supplying residents with sufficient water, nourishment, or suitable accommodation;
- Preventing residents from participating in physical activity, socializing, or going outside;
- Not offering appropriate hygiene and healthcare services;
- Not providing enough security;
- Not having enough caregivers on hand; and
- Not implementing effective hiring and training protocols.
In some cases, neglect or abuse may result from intentional harm. Examples of intentional torts in nursing homes include:
- Financial exploitation, such as faking signatures to amend a resident’s will or withdrawing funds without the resident’s permission;
- Putting a resident under restraint when it is not required to do so;
- Hitting an elderly person to force them to follow instructions; and
- Assaulting a resident sexually.
Once the culprit has been identified, you must show that their actions—or lack thereof—damaged your loved one. This entails demonstrating that the harm or injury your loved one experienced was directly caused by the nursing home’s or a staff member’s negligence.
You’ll need to gather proof, such as medical records, witness statements, and other pertinent paperwork to prove your case. To establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the activities of the nursing home and the injury suffered by your loved one, you might also need to speak with medical professionals.
Finally, you must prove that the nursing home’s negligence caused harm to your loved one. Physical harm, emotional suffering, and monetary losses like medical costs might fall under this category.
Keep thorough records of all losses, including medical bills, invoices for out-of-pocket expenses, and proof of lost wages. To bolster your case, you should also present the testimony of medical professionals and other witnesses.
Suing a Nursing Home for Negligence: Get the Right Attorneys on Your Side
If you or a loved one has experienced abuse or negligence at the hands of nursing home staff, don’t hesitate to get the help you need. Get the Justice You Deserve with RRBH Law. If you’re asking, “Can you sue a nursing home for neglect?” the answer is yes, and our Miami-based boutique law firm is here to help.
At RRBH Law, our attorneys personally handle every case and offer unparalleled personal attention, keeping you updated every step of the way. With a mission to be the voice for ordinary citizens against powerful interests, RRBH Law has the legal expertise and unmatched service to help you get the results you deserve. Call (305) 800-4663 today to schedule a consultation, and let us fight for your rights.