Nursing home abuse and negligence statistics are on the rise throughout the United States, including in the State of Florida, and most nursing home abuse cases involve some kind of mistreatment or serious neglect of a patient.
In nursing home abuse and neglect cases, insurance companies oftentimes try to limit their liability exposure—or they may deny liability altogether and vigorously defend any case that is filed and litigated through the Florida court system. The skilled Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA have the legal knowledge and experience to challenge insurance company liability disputes, negotiate a settlement offer with the insurance company, or, if necessary, litigate your case through the Florida court system to a conclusion.
Nursing Home Employees Who Commit Acts of Abuse and Negligence
Nursing home abuse and neglect can occur at the hands of any nursing home employee. The nursing home employees who are most likely responsible for patient abuse or neglect include doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, physical therapists, and nurse practitioners. In addition to negligent nursing home health care providers, supervisors and administrators may also be deemed negligent or vicariously liable for a patient's resulting injuries and damages.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Florida
Some of the most common examples of Clearwater, Florida nursing home abuse, and neglect include the following:
- Errors in dispensing or administering patient medication
- Failing to adequately monitor or treat patients
- Sexually harassing or abusing patients
- Physically or verbally abusing patients
- Intentionally striking or hitting patients
- Failing to respond to a patient's call button or request for medical care or attention
- Mishandling or improperly lifting or moving patients
- Failing to keep, record, or maintain accurate and complete records on patients (including patient medication records)
- Failing to call a doctor or specialist when the situation warrants
- Failing to properly monitor a patient's vital statistics
- Failing to be aware of a patient's documented medical history and preexisting medical conditions
- Failing to heed and consider medication warnings and potential drug interactions when administering medication to patients
- Failing to provide proper patient care and support under the circumstances – especially when patients have special medical needs or limitations
- Failing to report a serious patient complaint or finding a doctor or nurse who is on duty
- Failing to adequately and appropriately respond to a patient's needs (including signs or symptoms of injury, stroke, or heart attack)
Proving Liability and Damages in Clearwater Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Florida nursing home abuse cases fall under Florida medical malpractice law. Under the state's medical malpractice statute, an injured or abused nursing home patient must retain the services of at least one medical expert who will file a sworn affidavit with the court. This affidavit must indicate that the medical expert reviewed the injured nursing home patient's medical records and that he or she is prepared to testify that the patient's standard of care fell below that of a reasonable nursing home health care provider, thereby constituting medical negligence. A healthcare provider who works for a nursing home is held to the high standard of a reasonably prudent health care provider acting under the same or similar circumstances. In addition to the nursing home employee, an injured patient may also have a potential claim against the nursing home for negligent hiring, negligent supervision, and/or negligent retention of the employee.
Assuming the injured patient proves that the nursing home employee was negligent or abusive under the circumstances—or that the nursing home failed to properly monitor or supervise the employee—the injured patient must also show that this negligence proximately resulted in certain injuries and damages. In other words, the patient must prove that these injuries and damages would not have occurred but for the nursing home employee's actions or inactions.
When nursing home health care providers behave in an abusive or negligent manner, serious injuries and damages, such as the following, can result:
- Cuts, bumps, bruises, abrasions, and scarring
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Permanent impairment or disfigurement
- Fractures and broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and other closed-head injuries
- Internal bleeding
An injured nursing home patient may be able to recover some or all of the following types of damages in a Clearwater nursing home abuse or neglect case:
- Payment of all related medical bills
- Payment of lost wages (if applicable)
- Pain and suffering damages
- Emotional distress and mental anguish damages
- Damages for permanent impairment
- Damages for loss of enjoyment of life
- Damages for loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages (in cases where egregious or grossly negligent conduct was involved)
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries and damages as a result of a healthcare provider or nursing facility's negligence, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under Florida law. In cases of nursing home abuse or neglect, the nursing home's insurance company typically holds the purse strings.
Whenever an insurance company is involved, adjusters will do everything in their power to limit the liability exposure of both the nursing home and the insurance company. Insurance companies are never on your side, and their primary goal is not to compensate you for the personal injuries and damages that you sustained. Instead, their goal is to keep as much of their money as possible in their pockets. Consequently, insurance companies try and settle medical malpractice claims and nursing home abuse and neglect claims for as cheaply as possible, in order to wash their hands of them quickly.
Contact a Clearwater, Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Consultation
The knowledgeable Clearwater nursing home abuse attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can negotiate with the nursing home's insurance company on your behalf and assist you with maximizing the value of your case. If the insurance company refuses to place an acceptable settlement offer on the table, our attorneys are fully prepared to litigate your case through the Florida court system. To schedule a free consultation or case evaluation with a Clearwater nursing home abuse lawyer, please call us or contact us online.