If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff, call an attorney as soon as possible. Commencing the investigation right away may give your legal team the chance to obtain time-sensitive evidence before it’s altered or destroyed. It will also provide the opportunity to file a lawsuit, if necessary before the statute of limitations has passed.
In the state of Florida, there are strict filing deadlines for nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits, which you can read about here:
If You’re Bringing the Suit Against a Private Entity
Generally speaking, victims of nursing home abuse or neglect have two years to take action against the facility. If the cause of action is not apparent right away, they have two years from when the incident was discovered or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence; however, the statute of repose is four years. That means the lawsuit cannot be brought more than four years after the cause of action accrued, regardless of when it was discovered.
As with most statutes, though, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. For example, if the facility attempted to conceal evidence of wrongdoing or intentionally misrepresented facts to prevent discovery, the deadline is extended another two years, therefore making the statute of repose six years instead of four.
An exception also applies to victims who were already incapacitated before being abused or neglected. If your loved one was mentally incompetent before they received substandard care, the statute of limitations may be tolled.
If You’re Bringing the Suit Against a Government Entity
If your loved one happens to reside in a government-run facility, you will have to act fast. The actual filing deadline may be the same as if you were suing a private party, but a lengthy investigation must be completed first.
Generally speaking, you will have to allow for a 180-day investigation after submitting written notice of your claim. If the agency ends up denying the claim, you may then file a lawsuit, assuming the applicable statute of limitations has not passed.
What If the Abuse or Neglect Caused the Wrongful Death of My Family Member?
If your loved one died as a result of the nursing home’s negligence or abuse, your family may have grounds for a wrongful death claim. In Florida, the typical statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years. The clock doesn’t start when the mistreatment occurs, though; it starts on the date when the victim passes.
Call (727) 821-1500 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Florida
If you intend to sue a long-term care facility in Florida over the abuse or neglect of a loved one, contact Emerson Straw. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of collective experience representing the injured and their families. To schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida, send us a message or call (727) 821-1500.