COVID-19 is a new problem facing the United States. However, nursing home neglect in Florida has been a serious problem for a long time. Anyone who lives in a nursing home in the State of Florida has a right to safety and a reasonable level of care. Reasonable care includes protection from viruses like COVID-19. If you contract COVID-19 while living in a senior care facility, you may deserve financial compensation. Our attorneys for COVID-19 nursing home cases want you to understand your rights.
Grounds for a Nursing Home Lawsuit for COVID-19
If you contract COVID-19 while living in a nursing home or a senior care facility in Florida, you may have a valid legal claim. Suing for nursing home neglect in Florida after COVID-19 contraction involves showing that the victim contracted COVID-19 because of the actions of the nursing home. The victim may have their medical bills covered and receive compensation for pain, suffering and emotional anguish.
There are three primary legal grounds for a COVID-19 nursing home lawsuits: negligence, a Bill of Rights violation and medical malpractice.
Nursing Home Negligence and COVID-19
Negligence is based on a fundamental failure to provide adequate care. Florida law requires the nursing home to provide care that is up to basic standards. However, they are not liable any time a resident contracts an illness. The nursing facility must meet at least minimum standards. Disease prevention is one part of providing adequate care.
With how hard viruses can hit a vulnerable population, the standard of care for a nursing home when it comes to COVID-19 transmission is very high. Sanitation procedures, food preparation and guest screening procedures can all factor into whether or not the facility did enough to stop the spread of COVID-19. You may bring a COVID-19 case against a nursing home that allows the virus to spread based on negligent standards of care.
Resident Bill of Rights Violation and COVID-19
The next type of COVID-19 claims may be based on a violation of the Florida nursing home Resident Bill of Rights. The Resident Bill of Rights is a written statement of law that outlines the minimum rights that all people have when they live in a nursing home facility.
For example, Florida law 429.28(1)(a) is part of the nursing home Resident Bill of Rights. It says that all residents have the right to live in a safe, decent living environment. The environment must be free from abuse and neglect. If the nursing home cannot provide a safe living environment, you may bring a claim for compensation based on a violation of the Bill of Rights.
There are other legal protections in the Resident Bill of Rights that may be relevant in a case of COVID-19 transmission. For example, all residents have the right to regular exercise several times per week. In addition, a Bill of Rights cause of action is not limited to the life of the patient. For a COVID-19 victim, this means a family member can continue to seek justice on behalf of a loved one even if that person passed away from COVID-19.
Nursing Home Medical Malpractice and COVID-19
A case of COVID-19 transmission in a nursing home may also result in a medical malpractice claim. If the nursing home facility is involved in medical care, the care that they provide must live up to recognized medical standards. Part of providing healthcare is the prevention of transmission of disease. Independent of negligence and Bill of Rights claims, it may be appropriate to bring a medical malpractice claim if a resident contracts COVID-19 because of the poor healthcare they receive.
What Can I Recover for a COVID-19 Nursing Home Neglect Case?
The types of compensation that you may receive for a nursing home neglect case include:
- Cost of medical care; includes additional care that you need for pre-existing conditions because of the virus
- Rehabilitative costs; physical therapy
- Antibiotics and other medications
- Hospital stay costs
- Expenses to transfer to another facility, if necessary
- Sanitation expenses
- Pain and suffering compensation
- Mental and emotional anguish payments
- Loss of quality of life compensation
- Property damage reimbursement
- Attorneys fees
- Punitive damages
You may also receive a court order that requires care providers to comply with the Resident Bill of Rights. Ask your attorney if you qualify to request this kind of relief. You may not be eligible for all types of relief in every case. To best understand the approximate value of your case, it’s essential to discuss the specifics with an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
Do I Have a Valid COVID-19 Nursing Home Case?
If there was a COVID-19 outbreak in a nursing home facility, there is a good chance that a resident or their personal representative can bring a COVID-19 nursing home case for compensation. Whether or not you have a valid COVID-19 nursing home case depends on what exactly happened in the case.
The basis for a COVID-19 nursing home neglect lawsuit is that the nursing home didn’t take enough steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. You prove your case by collecting evidence that shows the actions of the nursing home operators and how they contributed to the spread of COVID-19. The best way to know if you have a valid case is to discuss the specifics of the case with a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.
Miami COVID-19 Nursing Home Attorney
Our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys are here to help you evaluate your case and take action if you or a loved one contracted COVID-19 while living in a nursing home. We’re kind, compassionate, aggressive attorneys who will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today for your free and confidential consultation.
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.