Sadly, thousands of nursing home residents suffer injuries or abuse every day from the facilities that are supposed to be taking care of and protecting them from harm. Families entrust their loved ones to the care of licensed facilities, only to have their elderly relatives abused or harmed.
If your loved ones were abused, neglected, or exploited while living in a nursing home facility, they may be entitled to compensation under Florida law for the injuries that they have suffered. In this type of situation, a St. Augustine nursing home abuse lawyer may be of assistance to you.
Typical Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take many forms and be inflicted by different perpetrators in a nursing home setting. Some of the different forms of nursing home abuse include the following:
- Physical Abuse – kicking, hitting, shoving, burning, or using inappropriate restraints on nursing home residents
- Sexual Abuse – any consensual sexual activity, including unwanted and inappropriate touching, fondling, exposure of private parts, and rape
- Emotional Abuse – directing words at residents that ridicule, humiliate, insult, embarrass, or verbally abuse them
- Financial Exploitation – using fraudulent or deceptive tactics to take money or property from nursing home residents
Neglect also may be considered a form of abuse in elderly nursing home residents. When nursing home employees and care providers fail or refuse to provide care meet residents’ basic needs, neglect may have occurred.
Nursing Home Residents’ Legal Rights
Florida Code §400.022 sets forth the Nursing Home Residents Bill of Rights, which contains a listing of all the legal protections and rights that are in place for sick and elderly nursing home residents. Chapter 59A-4 of the Florida Administrative Code also establishes minimum quality requirements for licensed nursing homes.
Additionally, nursing homes that receive federal funds in the form of Medicaid and Medicare are subject to certain requirements involving quality of care pursuant to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, 42 CFR Part 483. Given these rights and protections established under both state and federal law, nursing home residents do have legal recourse should abuse occur in these facilities.
Requirements for St. Augustine Claims
Under Florida Code §429.29, nursing home residents, their guardians, individuals acting as their powers of attorney, certain organizations, and the personal representatives of deceased residents’ estates all have standing to file claims based in negligence or intentional conduct against nursing homes and their employees. Successful lawsuits can result in compensatory damages, punitive damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
All such actions are subject to a two-year statute of limitations under §429.296. This requires that all actions be filed within two years of the time that the alleged abuse is discovered or should have been discovered through due diligence. Furthermore, any such action must be filed no later than four years of the incident of abuse.
Get Help from a St. Augustine Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
When you discover that a loved one living in a nursing home was abused, you are likely to be horrified, confused, and unclear how to proceed. However, you may be able to get some of your questions answered by an experienced St. Augustine nursing home abuse lawyer.
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney may be able to help investigate the circumstances of potential claims and assess any potential claims that you might have against the nursing home and its employees. If you have an eligible claim, a lawyer may even be able to represent your loved ones’ interests in filing a lawsuit to get compensation for your loved ones’ injuries.