Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Negligence in Florida?

Doctor examining senior woman using oximeter

Nursing homes exist to take care of our loved ones as they age. When our relatives are in a home, we expect caregivers to provide them with the help and comforts they need. Unfortunately, neglect is all too common in Florida nursing homes.

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of neglect in a nursing home, you may feel outraged, angry and helpless. Your loved one has rights. They may deserve financial compensation. Our Miami attorneys for nursing home abuse and neglect can assist you in bringing a claim to protect your loved one and fight for their rights. Here’s what you need to know.

Can a Nursing Home Be Held Accountable for Negligence?

If a person suffers injuries or financial loss because of poor treatment in a nursing home, Florida law gives them the right to sue for financial compensation. It is a civil case for monetary compensation based on the failure on the part of the nursing home to provide adequate care.

RELATED: Early Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

What Is Considered Negligence in a Nursing Home?

Negligence in a nursing home is a failure to live up to reasonable standards of care. The requirements are very high for nursing homes because they are in the business of providing care and comfort to their residents. Negligence can be affirmative actions that harm the resident, or it can be neglect.

What Are Some Examples of Nursing Home Negligence?

Some examples of nursing home negligence include:

  • Inadequate food and water
  • Assault and battery
  • Sexual assault
  • Poor access to exercise and movement throughout the facility
  • Emotional abuse and harassment
  • Fall hazards
  • Medical malpractice and poor tending to medical needs
  • Isolation; not allowing socialization with other residents
  • Financial exploitation
  • Cleanliness and sanitation problems
  • Interrupting private communication

Although these are the most common types of abuse found in nursing homes, there are other ways residents may suffer due to a caretaker’s negligence.

Care Worker Mistreating Senior Woman At Nursing Home

How Do I Get a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit Settlement?

To get a settlement for a nursing home neglect lawsuit, you must assert a claim. Sometimes, your attorney can negotiate a resolution by working directly with the defendant outside of a formal suit. However, in most cases, you must file a legal claim to get a nursing home neglect lawsuit settlement.

When you bring a legal claim for a settlement, you must prove that neglect occurred. You must show the standard of reasonable care. Then, you must demonstrate that the care providers did not live up to those standards. Finally, you must show how harm resulted to your loved one. The losses must be the result of the neglect that occurred.

What Laws Apply to Florida Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuits?

There are several sets of laws that may be important in a nursing home negligence case:

  • Florida Nursing Home Bill of Rights – The State of Florida passed the Nursing Home Bill of Rights with Florida Statutes 429.281. It clearly states the rights that each person has when they live in a care facility. A person has the right to live free of physical, mental, emotional and financial abuse. They may have access to the services that they need to maintain health and well-being. In addition, they can manage their own financial affairs and present concerns and grievances without retaliation.
  • United States Nursing Home Care Standards – Nursing homes must adhere to federal standards of care. The federal Nursing Home Reform Act, 42 U.S. Code 1395i-32, creates requirements for assessing functionality, quality assurance and written plans of care. There are stated penalties for non-compliance and falsification.
  • Florida Civil Negligence Laws – Laws that allow victims of negligence to receive financial compensation apply in nursing home cases. Under Florida law 768.813, all individuals in society have a duty to act reasonably in a way that does not hurt others. When a person is entrusted to the care of someone else, that standard is exceptionally high. Abuse and neglect are forms of negligence when the individual or even an institution is responsible for the care of someone else. When neglect contributes to the harm of an individual, they may use the law to make a legal demand for financial compensation.
  • Florida Criminal Laws – In some cases, nursing home neglect may be criminal. Abuse of an elderly adult is against Florida law 825.1024. In addition, crimes like assault and battery and fraud may apply in cases of elder abuse. Even when a civil remedy is also appropriate, there may be times that an individual is responsible for a crime by committing elder abuse or neglect.

What Can You Do if You Think a Care Home Is Negligent?

If you think a care home is negligent, there are several things that you can do:

The right way to respond to nursing home negligence depends on the exact situation. Our attorneys for nursing home abuse can help you determine the best plan to respond.

elderly discussing their nursing home negligence with attorney

RELATED: Who Should I Report Nursing Home Abuse To?

How Much Is a Nursing Home Negligence Case Worth?

The value of a nursing home negligence case depends on several factors. The nature of the nursing home’s actions, the severity of injuries and other losses to the victim, and the strengths of the legal claim can all play a role in the value of the case. It’s important to understand your role as the plaintiff to methodically gather evidence to build a strong legal claim.

Experienced Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys in Miami, FL

Learning that your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse is devastating. Are you asking yourself, “Are there nursing home neglect attorneys near me who can help?” If so, we’re here to help. Contact the Bernstein & Maryanoff legal team with decades of experience fighting for victims just like you. In fact, it’s all we do. We want to be the personal injury attorneys who go the extra mile when you need us most.

Since 1983, we have been helping families protect their loved ones, hold wrongdoers accountable and get the maximum compensation possible for their cases. Contact us today to connect immediately with a member of our team.

Sources:

1FLA. STAT. § 429.28 (2021)

242 U.S.C. § 1395i–3

3FLA. STAT. § 768.81 (2021)

4FLA. STAT. § 825.102 (2021)

About the Author

Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.

Jack Bernstein is a hard working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you've been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.

The information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.