The State of Florida is well known as a haven for retirees. Its warm climate and beautiful scenery make it so inviting for senior citizens. As a matter of fact, about half the people in Florida are in their mid 40’s or older, and the median age in Florida is 5 years older than any other state in the United States.
Given the fact that a considerable number of Florida’s population are more advanced in age, it's only natural that there are a lot of nursing homes here. Florida has more assisted living centers and nursing homes than most states. According to the Florida Health Care Association, there are 691 licensed nursing homes in Florida, representing approximately 84,448 beds, and 3,080 assisted living facilities. Before deciding to move into one of these facilities, it would be prudent to look extensively into their background of patient care, and whether or not they are duly accredited by the state.
As people reach their old age, it’s not always guaranteed that they will have family to take care of them and their needs. And even with family around, it’s not guaranteed either that they will be able to take care of their seniors who may have needs that require the skills of professional caregivers.
Nursing homes are a practical option for seniors who need care and attention. These homes are staffed with doctors and nurses at all times, hence they are able to respond to the needs of the elderly should an emergency occur. Likewise, they are surrounded by people of the same age with whom they can interact via the various social and recreational activities available at these facilities.
While facilities for assisted living present many benefits for those considering moving into them, bear in mind that they do not come cheap. As per the FHCA, the average cost of a private room can cost you $100,375. We must also keep in mind that they also come with a few risks. Before deciding to spend that much on a room for yourself or your loved one, you must consider these risks. These risks include injury from other residents, getting injured by the nursing home staff, and in some cases the elderly fall victim to physical and mental abuse in these facilities. Due to neglect from staff, the elderly are also prone to get into accidents in these homes.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Florida
If you are a senior citizen who has sustained injuries while staying at an assisted living facility, or if you have loved ones who have been the victim of a nursing home accident, having an attorney by your side will prove advantageous. If you get hurt or learn that your family member has been hurt, you need to make sure that you or they receive proper medical attention at the soonest possible time. Your primary concern at this point has to be health, safety, and recovery.
Once you or your loved one are out of harm’s way and on the road to recovery, the next thing you need to do is call a personal injury attorney in Florida. Cases of elder abuse and nursing home accidents are on the rise. It is unfortunate that not everybody takes their job as caretaker seriously. Nursing home accidents occur on a daily basis in this country. Listed below are some of the most common accidents:
- Falls and trips
- Physical abuse
- Patients dropped by nursing staff
- Attack by other residents
- Intentional abuse at the hands of a caretaker
You may also look for certain signs if you suspect that a loved one in a nursing home is being subjected to various forms of abuse and neglect. According to the National Institute for Aging, these signs are:
- Stops taking part in activities he or she enjoys.
- Looks messy, with unwashed hair or dirty clothes.
- Has trouble sleeping.
- Loses weight for no reason.
- Becomes withdrawn or acts agitated or violent.
- Displays signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth.
- Has unexplained bruises, burns, cuts, or scars.
- Has broken eyeglasses/frames, or physical signs of punishment or being restrained.
- Develops bed sores or other preventable conditions.
- Lacks medical aids (glasses, walker, dentures, hearing aid, medications).
- Has an eviction notice for unpaid rent, a notice of late mortgage, or home eviction.
- Has hazardous, unsafe, or unclean living conditions.
- Displays signs of insufficient care or unpaid bills despite adequate financial resources.
If you or your loved one have been involved in any of these, call a lawyer at the earliest possible opportunity. Your lawyer will contact the nursing home and they will file a claim on your behalf with the nursing home’s insurance company. They will study your claim and will give you their legal opinion on whether or not to file a lawsuit.
Your personal injury attorney will negotiate with the nursing home where the accident occurred. They will try to avoid going to trial as much as possible since trials are time-consuming and financially and emotionally burdensome, especially to the injured party. As much as possible, the aim is to reach a settlement out of court and your attorney will try to achieve that to the best of their ability.
Personal Injury Destin Florida
Your personal injury lawyer will do research on your case. He will review the injuries suffered by your loved one. Some of the common injuries associated with nursing home accidents are:
- Broken bones and bruises
- Bed sores
- Fractured hips
- Internal injuries
- Urinary tract infections
In some cases, the elderly residents are at the mercy of the staff at the home. They are dependent on them for their feeding, grooming, administration of their medication, and for those who can no longer move on their own, they depend on the nursing staff to be turned over in order to avoid bed sores from forming. If these are not done properly, patients are susceptible to accidents and sustaining the above mentioned injuries.
Injuries such as those enumerated above are painful and can take a while to recover from. In some cases, these can even lead to the death of the elderly resident. Depending on the severity of the accident and the extent of the injuries sustained, you and your loved one may be entitled to compensation, especially for your medical expenses.
Sadly, by the time most people realize their loved ones have been hurt, it is often too late and the damage caused is irreparable. Many residents who are injured in nursing home accidents do not recover. They may suffer a stroke as a result of the negligent ways of the institution’s staff. It is once they are in the hospital that you start to piece together what happened. In such cases having a lawyer by your side can be very helpful as your attorney can help you in the process of evidence gathering and help you determine what kind of evidence or proof is needed in order to allege negligence or willful abuse by the nursing home.
If a member of your family passes away as a result of a nursing home accident, you may be entitled to a wrongful death claim. However, you must act fast on this as Florida’s statute of limitations for wrongful death is only two years. This is a much shorter period compared to most states. The counting of this period starts from the date of death due to negligence.
If your family member dies from a nursing home accident, call a personal injury attorney immediately. The experienced staff at the Browning Law Firm know how to handle your wrongful death case. They will handle your case professionally and compassionately while guiding you through the legal process and answering any questions you may have.
Contact a Personal Injury Firm in Florida
If you or a loved one have suffered a nursing home accident, you need a lawyer as several problems may arise out of this one injury. You may be looking at having claims against multiple parties, and there will be a need to prove that the accident and the injury sustained are attributable to the negligence of the nursing home staff.
The number of people entering nursing homes and assisted living facilities increases annually. This means the demands of the job can be overwhelming. It can take a toll on the nursing home staff and the quality of the care they give can be affected. This is how mistakes occur and how accidents happen.
If you, your loved one, or anyone you know is involved in a nursing home accident, call Browning Law Firm for a free consultation. Your attorney can answer any questions or concerns you may have. It is important that they get a chance to review all the documentation you have. Bring the following for your initial meeting:
- Accident and incident reports from the nursing home
- Pictures of any injuries
- Statements from other residents
- Contact information for the nursing home
- Name and contact information for any eye witnesses
Your attorney will review this information. He will also conduct extensive research to find out what the nursing home’s history is for resident care and it has a history of abuse and neglect. He will work hard to get you the compensation your family deserves. Call now. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you win your case.