When you make the decision to place your elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home or other healthcare facility, you are doing so with the trust that the caretakers will do all possible to keep your loved one safe and happy.
Unfortunately, sometimes nursing homes fail to monitor staff or maintain a high standard of care, and nursing home abuse can often result from such shortcomings.
Families can receive compensation for the abuse of a loved one in a nursing home setting. However, there are several factors to be aware of both before and while filing a lawsuit in the state of Florida.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Common signs that an individual is suffering nursing home abuse may include:
- Unexplained injuries like cuts or bruises
- Rapid weight loss
- Signs of dehydration like cracked lips
- Unsanitary conditions
- Sudden changes in mood or behavior
- Delayed family visits by staff
Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
In most personal injury cases, only the injured party is able to file a lawsuit due to injury. However, some nursing home residents are hindered mentally or physically. This means that they may be considered unfit to make decisions surrounding legal proceedings.
For this reason, an injured individual’s legal guardian or an organization acting with their permission may also have the right to file.
How to Sue for Nursing Home Abuse
If a loved one has experienced an injury at a Florida nursing home and you’ve decided to sue, here are the steps you will be required to take:
- Notify the nursing home. According to Florida law, an individual filing an abuse lawsuit must notify the nursing home of the claim against them. Then, you must wait 75 days before officially filing your lawsuit in order to allow the nursing home time to assess their liability and launch an investigation into the abuse claim.
- Review the settlement offer. After the 75-day waiting period, the nursing home will present the findings of its investigation and either an offer to reject the claim or settle.
- Take legal action. You have the right to either accept or reject the settlement offer at this point so long as a decision is made within 15 days. If you decide to reject, you only have 60 days to file your lawsuit, so it is important to act quickly.
Abuse in a place that is supposed to be safe for your loved one is absolutely devastating, and it can have lasting effects on you and your family. Tampa’s medical malpractice attorneys at Lorenzo & Lorenzo understand the legal proceedings surrounding nursing home abuse cases, and we will not stop fighting for your family’s due compensation.
Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help.