Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you suspect a friend or loved one has been a victim of abuse, contact a Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney for help.
Long-term care center abuse and neglect cause basically the same kinds of injuries. However, from a legal standpoint, there’s a significant difference between these two things. Neglect is an unintentional injury. Unintentional basically means non-accidental in this context. Abuse is an intentional, though not necessarily malicious, injury.
Advanced legal theories, like negligent hiring and negligent supervision, usually apply in abuse and other intentional tort claims. Frequently, nursing home abuse is physical. A small amount of physical force, like a push or a shove, could seriously injure a frail nursing home patient. Other kinds of nursing home abuse include sexual, financial, and emotional abuse.
The dedicated Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorneys at Kohn Law demand more than fair financial compensation in these cases. Our legal team also stands up for the rights and dignities of nursing home residents. Our passion in these areas fuels the purpose we have in personal injury claims. This purpose includes old-fashioned values, like hard work, dedication to clients, and open communication.
Starting a Negligence Claim
We mentioned some common legal theories in nursing home abuse claims above. These theories are useless without the evidence to back them up. Victim/plaintiffs must establish negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Medical records and eyewitness statements are usually the most important pieces of evidence in a nursing home abuse claim.
Financial and other medical records show the extent of injury, the victim’s future prognosis, and the costs of past and future treatments. Additionally, many medical reports include a doctor’s professional opinion as to how an injury happened. If necessary, a Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney can arrange for an additional medical examination, usually at no initial cost to the victim.
As for eyewitness statements, there’s often no witness to the abuse. Such evildoers usually go to great lengths to hide their actions. The most effective eyewitness statements are usually before-and-after statements. If a victim’s behavior changed significantly, something prompted that change.
On a related note, hidden surveillance cameras, or “granny cams,” are usually illegal in the SUnshine State. Florida is one of less than a dozen states wherein both parties being recorded, visually or otherwise, must consent to that recording.
Resolving a Negligence Claim
Less than 5 percent of the nursing home abuse claims in Florida go to trial. Victims like to avoid trials because the litigation process is often long and drawn out. Defendants like to avoid trials because they don’t want details of the abuse, and the nursing home’s role in that abuse, to become public.
Settlement negotiations usually begin once medical treatment ends. At that point, an attorney can determine a claim’s settlement value. Basically, a negligence claim’s settlement value is like a new car’s sticker price.
In a few cases, important matters, like the legal issues and the extent of damages, are straightforward. Informal negotiations often resolve these claims.
However, in most claims, there are serious questions in one or both of these areas. Such claims usually settle during mediation.
Essentially, mediation is a court-supervised settlement negotiation session. Before mediation, insurance companies can make low-ball offers or simply go through the motions. During mediation, the court prohibits these practices. As a result, civil mediation in Florida is about 90 percent successful.
Reach Out to a Committed Lee County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Fort Myers nursing home abuse attorney, contact Kohn Law. You have a limited amount of time to act.