Almost two million older people reside in nursing homes in the United States. The majority of these people require skilled medical care on a daily basis. As more and more Baby Boomers reach their golden years, the need for quality nursing homes and long-term care facilities will grow. Unfortunately, many of these facilities are understaffed, hire unqualified people or do not have the operating budget they need to provide an acceptable level of care. Seniors make the perfect victim, especially if they are in a nursing home. They usually are very frail and don’t speak well or not at all. They may be alone without nearby family, or their family doesn’t visit often. Quite often, seniors are confused, and even if they tell someone they are being hurt, they may not be believed.
There are federal, and state laws governing the operation of nursing homes and these facilities are supposed to be inspected on a routine basis. Some of these are supposed to be unannounced inspections to determine the quality of care provided the nursing home residents. Even so, thousands of nursing homes are cited for poor care, bad management or abuse every year. There are even cases where residents are injured or killed by negligence or worse.
Florida is home to the most seniors in the country, and many of these people spend their final years in a nursing home. If you believe a loved one is neglected, abused, or hurt in some other way while in the care of a nursing home, it can be difficult to prove your claim. This is where a Florida nursing home negligence law firm can help.
These attorneys specialize in elder abuse and nursing home negligence. Family members who realize their relative is being abused or neglected in a nursing home often feel guilty and want to remove the person from home immediately. It can be difficult to find another residential facility for your older relative, and an experienced elder abuse attorney can help find a new facility and work with you on a nursing home negligence claim.
There are several areas of law that may be involved in a claim of nursing home negligence. There may be medical malpractice if the senior is not receiving proper and timely medical care. If the facility is not meeting state or federal standards of care, that is another situation. The facility may be breaching a contract if they are not providing certain services required by their contract with the resident. These may include meals, medications, bathing and personal hygiene, fresh linens, etc. If the facility fails to provide these services, they are in breach of contract. If there is evidence that the resident was improperly restrained, hit or in some other way assaulted, there may be a case for intentional harm.
Since there are so many possible causes of nursing home negligence or abuse, an attorney specializing in nursing home negligence will often be a personal injury, elder abuse, or medical malpractice lawyer. These lawyers practice in a broader area of the law and have the experience to build a strong case to protect the nursing home resident.
Attorneys who focus on long-term care or nursing home abuse or negligence work for the plaintiff or the victim. They will help the victim or their family sue for damages if the nursing home resident is hurt or killed as a result of negligence at the facility.
Finding an experienced Florida nursing home negligence law firm is important. Florida has strict standards of nursing home care, and it is important that your lawyer understands these laws and regulations and can determine which were violated by the nursing home and their staff.
Negotiating with a nursing home or their lawyers on your own is not a good idea. The law is complex, and it can be very difficult to prove negligence without the help of an experienced lawyer. They will have experts who can review the evidence and provide testimony about the abuse or neglect. They will also represent you in all negotiations and court, if necessary. These types of cases are usually very emotional for the family members, so it is wise to have an experienced Florida nursing home negligence law firm help you through the process.