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In the United States, 4 million elderly patients are subject to professional malpractice annually. Despite this fact, nearly 2 million elderly patients are still living in negligent nursing homes as resident patients.

Nursing home abuse of an elderly patient is an all too common cause of personal injury lawsuits. Many elderly individuals living in full-time residential treatment homes find themselves neglected, or under duress from physical or psychological abuse committed by staff. If an elderly loved one has been mistreated, seeking remedies for that injury is your right. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), U.S. federal law provides elderly patients protections from medical malpractice. Informed consent rules state that if an elderly resident patient has competently signed such an agreement, or if consent has been given by a guardian family member, then they have an inviolable right to expect adequate care from a nursing home or assisted living community.

A “Duty to a Professional Standard of Care”

According to U.S. federal law, nursing homes are obliged to a duty to a reasonable standard of professional care. Reporting of injury by an elderly resident or family member signals that negligent mistreatment may be the cause. If an elderly resident has suffered as result of intentional or unintentional mistreatment by nursing home staff, then those staff members have acted negligently. The injured elderly victim, or his or her femily, then has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit because the facility did not exercise the propoer duty of care in protecting the elder resident from harm.

Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987

The federal Nursing Home Reform Act 1987 establishes a standard of care for nursing home operators. Mandatory compliance with Florida State licensure of nursing home facilities is not protection from legal liability. Medical malpractice insurance coverage, and especially for administration of pharmaceuticals is recommended for facilities offering medication treatment services as part of a residential care plan for elderly patients. The Act obliges practitioners be personally responsible for a duty to a professional standard of care. Third party liability for nursing home abuse may also exist if service equipment or another contractor provided attribute is found to have contributed to an elderly resident’s injury.

Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Florida

Florida courts award compensatory damages for nursing home abuse injury claims. If your elderly family member has suffered mistreatment at a Florida nursing home, you can recover on behalf of your loved one in court. Dennis Hernandez & Associates is a licensed attorney practice offering clients legal guidance in Florida. Contact us today to speak to an attorney about filing a personal injury lawsuit.

(image courtesy of Jeremy Wong)