While most of us would prefer to care for our elderly loved ones at home, the reality is, they often need more care than we can safely provide. Therefore, a nursing home that offers safety, medical attention, and well-trained staff members can seem like a good choice. When your loved one spends their golden years in a facility, the last thing you want to imagine is that their caregivers have neglected them. Unfortunately, all too often, nursing home neglect does occur.
At the Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm, we know that you want answers when your loved one experiences neglect. If you can even locate a bed at another facility, the costs associated with moving your loved one somewhere new can be overwhelming. We are here to help you hold the negligent facility financially responsible for the behavior of its staff.
Florida Nursing Home Population is Growing
Across Florida, approximately 71,000 residents live in long-term nursing facilities. However, when one looks at the population age group growing the fastest, it is not difficult to project that number could grow even faster in the next decade. More than 50 percent of Pasco County residents, including those in Wesley Chapel, are over 60. Twenty percent are over the age of 70.
The Devastating Impact of Nursing Home Negligence on Residents
You expect your loved ones to be cared for in nursing homes. Unfortunately, residents of Wesley Chapel understand this is not always the case.
Some of the complaints we have seen from family members regarding their loved ones who are in one of the skilled nursing facilities in Florida include:
- Malnutrition and dehydration: We all understand how important it is for our family members to eat healthily and take in enough fluids. When your loved one lives in a nursing home, you expect staff members to monitor them to ensure they are eating enough and have access to plenty of fluids. Unfortunately, short staffing, poor note-keeping, and inattentiveness can cause dehydration or malnourishment in elderly residents.
- Bedsores: Of all the issues a nursing home patient faces, bedsores should not be one of them. A lack of movement causes bedsores. Throughout each day, staff members should reposition patients who cannot move to help prevent bedsores. If your loved one has developed these types of wounds, they might be due to nursing staff negligence.
- Restraining injuries: While we never like to think of nursing home staff restraining our loved ones, sometimes they need to do so for their safety. However, nursing home staff must follow federal guidelines for restraints to prevent injury or death. You should not have to worry about a staff member injuring your loved one when they are supposed to be safe.
- Fall injuries: Fractured bones, bruising, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are all potential outcomes when a loved one falls in a nursing home. As people age, maintaining their balance becomes more challenging. In a skilled nursing facility, passages should be free from tripping hazards that could cause loved ones to fall and suffer severe injuries. When the facility fails to maintain a safe environment, they should be held accountable.
- Other errors in care: Medical care is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, when nursing staff mishandle prescription medications or fail to recognize and report signs of medical issues, then your loved one could suffer serious consequences.
At the Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm, we are committed to helping family members of nursing home residents hold nursing home staff to a reasonable standard of care. We can help you if your loved one is a victim of neglect.
When you entrust your loved one’s care to a skilled nursing team, you expect that they will keep your loved one safe. You don’t want to worry your loved one suffering neglect in a Wesley Chapel nursing home.
Pursuing Wesley Chapel Nursing Home Neglect Claims
It is easy to blame a single nurse, a shift supervisor, or a nursing assistant for neglecting a loved one in a nursing home. However, nursing home neglect cases are not always cut and dried.
Florida Statute §400.023(4) states that to hold someone liable for the injuries or illness your loved one suffered in a nursing home, you must prove:
- The negligent party owed the nursing home resident a duty of care.
- The negligent party breached their duty of care.
- The breach legally caused the resident’s loss, injury, damage, or death.
- The resident suffered a loss, injury, damage, or death because the negligent party breached their duty.
Entrusting elder care to a skilled nursing facility often involves days, weeks, or months of research before finding a place that seems to offer adequate care. When a facility breaks that trust, we can help you hold them accountable.
We have some of the highest-rated nursing homes in Florida. However, a high rating does not always mean they are perfect. When someone suffers neglect at a nursing home, it is a good idea to work with a Wesley Chapel nursing home negligence attorney who is not afraid to address your concerns and hold them accountable.
Many parties may be responsible for elder neglect in a nursing home, including nursing staff, physicians, physical therapists, and others. Speak with one of our nursing home negligence lawyers to find out how we may be able to help you with your case.
When Families Should Seek Legal Help for Nursing Home Neglect
If you believe your loved one has suffered an injury or illness due to neglect at a nursing facility, you should seek legal assistance immediately.
Some signs of neglect include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bruising or abrasions
- Excessively dry skin or hair
- Other signs of trauma
If you believe your loved one is a victim of neglect or negligence, you can contact the Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm.
Recording and Documenting Negligent Behavior in Nursing Homes
You should never jeopardize an elder’s health and well-being; if you suspect that your loved one is in danger, you should immediately ensure their safety. However, if you are uncertain about their care, it is generally a good idea to document and record what you see over some time.
You may do this by:
- Making a note of staff interactions during visits
- Photographing any signs of bruising or abrasions
- Writing down or recording any discussion with your loved one indicating a problem
You can discuss this information with an attorney who has experience handling nursing home neglect cases. You must not take any chances that your loved one faces any harm while doing this. If necessary, you should immediately ensure their safety, even if that means removing them from the facility.
What type of compensation is typical in nursing home negligence cases?
As with all personal injury cases, compensation will vary depending on numerous factors.
However, some of the expenses you may claim include:
- Cost of medical care, including hospitalization
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Out of pocket expenses incurred because of moving
- Punitive damages
Do I need a lawyer to file a nursing home negligence lawsuit?
Yes. Florida Statute § 400.0233 explains what steps you must take before filing a lawsuit against a nursing home. If you do not follow these steps, you cannot file a lawsuit in court. For this reason, it is a good idea to hire an experienced nursing home negligence lawyer who knows how to comply with Florida law to file your claim correctly.
How long does a nursing home negligence case take?
There is no set amount of time for the length of a case. Florida statutes establish that a notice must be sent to all involved parties, who have 75 days to evaluate the claim and respond. Then, the claim enters a mediation period before a lawsuit can be filed. The Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm is committed to helping our clients through the process every step of the way.
Is there a time limit for filing a nursing home negligence lawsuit?
Yes. According to Florida Statute §95.11, there is a period of up to four years to file a nursing home negligence lawsuit and two years to file wrongful death suits. Any personal injury lawsuits filed outside these time frames are unlikely to be heard in court. Keep in mind that there may be exclusions or other time limits that apply to your case.
How much will it cost to hire a nursing home negligence lawyer?
The Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm will evaluate your case for free with no obligation. Should we mutually agree to work together, we will work tirelessly to pursue compensation on behalf of your loved one. In nearly all cases, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that until we successfully hold the liable parties financially accountable, you do not pay legal fees.
Contact Our Experienced Team of Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
At the Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm, we do not allow the names of big nursing homes or care facilities to worry us when it comes to holding them accountable. We understand how difficult it is to learn about your loved one’s neglect. Whether they suffer physically or emotionally from a lack of proper care, you cannot afford to let those responsible get away with dangerous behavior.
If nursing home negligence injured you or a loved one in Wesley Chapel, contact the Lucas, Macyszyn, & Dyer Injury Firm at (813) 849-5353 for a free case evaluation. We protect our clients’ rights and work tirelessly to help families through times of pain and fear to seek the justice and compensation they deserve.