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Nursing Home FAQs

Generally, in my experience, the reason that abuse and neglect occurs in assisted living facilities, or even nursing homes, is because the facilities don’t have enough staff to meet the needs of the residents.

Yes. The law requires that if your health insurance company put out money for medical care that was due to the direct result of the abuse and neglect, they must be paid back.

If you’re speaking to an experienced nursing home attorney then no you will not have to pay to speak to them.

Generally yes. If your case goes into litigation, you’re going to want your attorney to hire a qualified nursing expert who’s experienced in nursing home care, as well as a doctor expert. Often times you may need other experts, but generally a nurse and a doctor are required.

Yes, generally speaking. More than 90% of personal injury cases, which include nursing home cases, settle out of court.

The number one defense of a Florida nursing home is that your loved one was so sick that their own medical conditions caused the bad outcome. That their own medical conditions caused the bed sores or caused the broken bones or caused the dehydration or the massive weight loss or all the infections they suffered.

If the resident is complaining to the assisted living facility itself, nothing should happen to the resident at all. If you’re complaining to DCF, what generally happens is an investigator is assigned to the case, who will come out and review the residents chart as well as interview a number of witnesses.

Under Florida law, Statute 429.28, that sets out the resident’s rights for a resident in an assisted living community. That includes the right to live in a safe environment that is free from abuse and neglect.

The laws in Florida are slightly different for a nursing home case versus a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice mandates that you have to hire an expert witness in order to prosecute the claim even before filing a lawsuit. A nursing home claim does not. The other big issue is that if your loved one dies as a result of either nursing home abuse and neglect, or medical malpractice, if you are the child of that loved one and if you’re an adult, you can pursue your claim. However, if you’re not 25 years old or younger, then you have no medical malpractice claim in Florida.

When an assisted living facility is not meeting the needs of its resident, and that results in harm, that qualifies as neglect.

Assisted living facility neglect is generally when the facility is not providing the level of care and services your loved one needs, and that results in harm to them. Generally speaking, that can be when your loved one develops bedsores, unexplained weight loss, is having a number of falls, and results in broken bones.

No. Most residents in a Florida nursing home are there because they’re very sick. Often times they have some form of dementia and are unable to communicate. The law requires that a nursing home protect all residents whether they can speak or not, or communicate in any form or not. And they have to protect those rights, and provide them adequate appropriate healthcare and protect them from abuse and neglect.

The most important piece of information will be the nursing home chart. That will provide a lot of useful information in prosecuting your claim. Other useful information will be photographs of your loved one, for example if there’s any bedsores, or poor living conditions. Also, the other thing that would be useful is if there are any notes of observations of care being provided by you or any other family members or friends.

Then you would have a claim for wrongful death. The wrongful death beneficiaries under Florida law are either a spouse. If there is no spouse, then it would be the children, and it doesn’t matter the age of the children of the resident who passed away as result of abuse or neglect.

Usually the most important information is the facility chart, but other information that is important is if you have any photographs of the poor condition your loved one is living in, bed sores, those type of things. Also, if you have any notes or logs of the care and treatment that you’ve been concerned about, those are also important.

Generally, that is when an assisted living facility is not meeting the needs of the resident, and it results in harm such as bed sores, a number of falls, broken bones, dehydration and malnutrition.

A nursing facility generally provides more intensive care than at an assisted living facility. At an assisted living facility, the resident usually has their own private room and are assisted in being given their medications, meals and provided some assistance with their activities of daily living such as bathing, eating, bed mobility, those such things.

I would immediately contact an experienced attorney if you suspect abuse or neglect. That attorney can then get the medical records, review those medical records, and advise you on how you should proceed.

Some of the biggest signs are unexplained bruising, broken bones, a number of falls, bedsores, dehydration and unexplained weight loss.

The biggest warning signs are bedsores, but don’t discount if your loved one has a number of falls, if they end up breaking a bone, if they need to be hospitalized for dehydration, if they’re having unexplained weight loss. Those are also warning signs.

Assisted living facilities are in between independent living and the care provided at a nursing home. Basically, your loved one can no longer live on their own, and they need assistance with making sure they’re taking their medication, providing an assistance in what’s called activities of daily living, such as bed mobility, bathing, eating. Their meals are also provided to them, but they have their own room within the assisted living facility.

Absolutely you should be concerned if a loved one has a bad sore. The first thing you should do is contact an experienced attorney. You should also take photographs of that bed sore if you can. You should also speak to the nursing staff about this as well as your loved one’s primary care physician.

Yes, most nursing home residents should have a contract, but even without a contract, the nursing home has a duty to provide adequate and appropriate healthcare to a resident and to protect them from abuse and neglect, whether there’s a contract or not.

Absolutely, an assisted living facility has a duty under the law to provide access to adequate and appropriate healthcare and to protect residents from abuse and neglect, whether there’s a contract or not.

Absolutely. The fact that your loved one is in a nursing home in the first place indicates that they’re seriously sick and most likely old. There’s no question that you should pursue a nursing home abuse and neglect claim.

Yes, Florida Statue 400.022 is the nursing home bill of rights that sets out those rights that a nursing home must provide, including the right to adequate and appropriate health care, and the right to live in an environment that’s free from abuse and neglect.

It should cost you nothing as far as out-of-pocket expenses. In Florida, on personal injury cases, a nursing home case is a personal injury case. The Florida Bar sets out what’s called contingency fee contract. Basically, I or my firm is taking the risk with you. The standard fee before a lawsuit is filed is 33 and one-third percent of the gross recovery up to $1 million. After the lawsuit is filed, the standard fee is 40% of the gross recovery up to $1 million.

Contact an experienced attorney. Once again, an experienced attorney will be able to review the nursing home records and determine if there’s been abuse or neglect. Oftentimes, families come to me, and they come to me on a specific issue. Then once we receive the medical records, there are a number of areas of care that were deficient or where the nursing home was negligent, and the family wasn’t even aware of it.

Be knowledgeable. Research the nursing home. Go onto Florida Health Finders.Gov. Look for the nursing home. Get information. Talk to an experienced attorney. Knowledge is power.

My favorite website to go to is FloridaHealthFinder.gov. You go to that website. You input in the search bar nursing homes. It should pull up a number of information. You select find a nursing home and then in the next screen, it will have a number of information. Either the name of the nursing home, the city of the nursing home. You put that in. You press enter. It’ll pull up the information about that nursing home. Specifically you will see inspection reports. Click on that and that should pull up all the agency for healthcare administration state surveys about that nursing home in the past several years.

Google them, but I would also suggest that you go to the clerk of court and the county that the nursing home resides in. You look up the nursing home’s name and that should give you a list of cases that were actually filed against the nursing home in that particular court of law.

One of the best tools I’ve found is FloridaHealthFinders.gov. Go to that website. Then in the search bar put assisted living facility. You should then pull up, it should have assisted living facilities, find an assisted living facility. On the next page, it will have a lot of information where you can either put in the assisted living facility name or even the city or just the county. Click on that button, then select the assisted living facility you want to do research on. Once it pulls up that page, you will see inspect reports. You click on that and that should provide you with the agency for healthcare administration surveys for that facility for the last few years.

Technically no, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You want to get an experienced attorney who handles nursing home cases. They can be very complex. The medical issues can be complex. The companies that own and operate that, trying to figure that information out can be complex. So really, you want someone who’s experienced in nursing home cases to prosecute this claim for you.

Yes, they do. I’ve had a number of clients who were in their 20s and 30s who required nursing home care and they are protected by the same laws as the elderly.

Yes. If the health insurance company paid monies out that were related to the abuse and neglect of your loved one, then you are required under the law to pay back the insurance company those monies that they put out.

Yes, if Medicare or Medicaid happened to pay for medical pays that were related to the abuse or neglect, then the law requires that they receive that money back.

Yes. The staff at an assisted living facility is required, under the law, to support suspicions of abuse, or neglect.

Yes, if you are the resident who suffered the abuse and the neglect, you can recover for your pain and suffering. If you are the loved one of a resident who has died as a result of abuse and neglect, it depends under the Florida wrongful death statute. If you are a spouse or child of that resident, then you can be compensated for your pain and suffering.

Absolutely. The right to sue a nursery home for abuse and neglect does not go away because the resident happened to die. You can sue for that resident’s pain and suffering, as well as for their wrongful death.

Absolutely. In fact, generally speaking, more than 90% of personal injury cases, which include assisted living facility cases, settle out of court.

Technically, yes, but I would not recommend it. You want someone who is experienced in handling nursing home cases. Why? Because there are a number of nursing homes. You want to make sure that attorney understands the medical issues as well as the companies that own and operate these nursing homes, and only an experienced nursing home attorney will provide you that.

Yes they can, but I would suggest two things. One, you want to make sure that the new facility that the nursing home resident is going to will accept that resident, and two, you want to make sure that whoever’s paying for that nursing home care is ready, willing, and able to pay for the new nursing facility.

Yes. Florida Chapter 400 sets out resident’s rights, which specifically include the right to sue for physical, emotional or psychological damage.

Yes, if the nursing home feels that they cannot meet the specific needs of the resident, they can ask the resident to leave.

Yes, under the law, if the assisted living facility can no longer meet the needs of the resident, they can ask the resident to leave.

Yes, the Florida statutes as well as federal regulations require nursing homes to staff specifically nurses and CNAs at a minimum number in order to protect the residents.

The time limits to sue in a Florida nursing home case are two years from the date you knew or should have known of the suspected abuse and neglect.

Yes, Florida law and federal law requires that nursing homes keep specific daily records of care.

There are no limits on damages, however, many nursing homes have limited insurance policies. And that’s why you need to have an experienced lawyer who knows the companies and can explain the insurance policies that these nursing homes have.

Yes, the two primary ways of litigation in the Florida nursing home case are either A, a jury trial, or B, most nursing home contracts contain what is called an arbitration agreement. And if you’ve accepted that arbitration agreement, then that is the other course of litigation. Arbitrators are usually one to three lawyers who practice in the area of nursing home litigation.

No, they are not. Nursing home cases are governed by Florida Chapter 400. Medical malpractice cases are governed by Florida Statute Chapter 766.

Yes, they are. If the nursing home knew or should’ve known that this other resident posed a danger to other residents.

Yes under Florida law they are required to keep records of the care they provided, however the records will not be as intensive as they are at a nursing home or hospital.

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