Marion County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The choice to place your aging mother, father, or another family member into a nursing home facility can be a significant and difficult decision to make. Ideally, you could do so with the belief that the caregivers of the facility will treat your loved one as if they are their own family members. However, there is an unfortunate but real possibility that the very people you entrusted with your loved one’s care are treating them poorly or negligently failing to meet their needs.
If you suspect your elderly family member is suffering from abuse or neglect, the first step is to remove your loved one from the nursing home or assisted care facility responsible for their care. Next, contact a Marion County nursing home abuse lawyer, so that you and your family can be informed of your rights and how to file a claim against those who harmed you. Call an experienced attorney today to schedule a consultation.
Rights as a Nursing Home Resident
There are many different types of abuse and neglect that can occur in a nursing home. Failure to care for residents with low mobility or ability to conduct self-care may lead to bedsores and infections, dehydration and malnourishment, slips and falls, and wrongful death. Lack of nursing home security, prescription drug errors, doctor negligence, assaults and attacks, and sexual abuse can also qualify as abusive actions committed by nursing home staff or administration.
Under Florida Statutes §400.022, all nursing home facilities must adopt and publish a statement of the rights and responsibilities of the residents. In addition, the facility must treat each resident in accordance with those rights. In Marion County, all residents of nursing homes and assisted care facility have the right to, among other things:
- Be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of dignity
- Be free from mental and physical abuse
- Civil and religious liberties
- Private and uncensored communication
- Present grievances on behalf of themselves or others to the necessary parties
- Organize and participate in resident groups in the facility
- Examine the results of the most recent inspection of the facility
- Freedom of choice in selecting a personal physician and pharmaceutical supplies and services from a pharmacy of the resident’s choice under the Title XIX of the Social Security Act
Establishing a Claim of Nursing Home Abuse
If someone believes that a nursing home violated a resident’s rights, either as a resident or the guardian of the resident, they may bring a civil claim against the nursing home. The basis of such a claim is that the nursing home has a duty to exercise reasonable care towards their residents and subsequently failed to execute on that duty. Florida law stipulates that reasonable care is the degree of care which a reasonably careful licensee, individual, or entity would use under like circumstances.
A nursing home abuse claim is established by a preponderance of the evidence. The claim must prove that the defendant owed a duty to the resident, that the defendant then breached that duty, that the breach was a legal cause of loss, injury, death, or damage to the resident, and that the resident sustained a loss, injury, death, or damage because of the breach. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Marion County should be able to properly investigate and compile evidence of how a nursing home breached their reasonable duty of care.
Statute of Limitations
An abused or neglected nursing home resident—or a family member filing on their behalf—has two years after the incident to file a claim of nursing home abuse. However, if fraud or misrepresentation prevents the discovery of the incident, the deadline may be extended up to four years.
Contact a Marion County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
The initial shock of a loved one being abused in a nursing home facility can quickly turn into resentment and anger. A call to a Marion County nursing home abuse lawyer may alleviate this frustration and help turn it into action to hold those who harmed your loved one accountable. Call today to speak with a seasoned legal profession and start exploring your legal options as a nursing home resident or guardian.