When older adults get to the point when it becomes impractical to remain in the home, or the same happens to younger people with serious medical conditions, a nursing home may be the best option. When we take our loved ones to a nursing home, we expect they will be well-cared for by professionals and given the dignity and respect they deserve.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case in nursing homes that are sometimes more interested in making money than properly caring for residents who are in much need of care. According to a recent news article from the Sun Sentinel, lawmakers are not happy with current regulations following some highly-published deaths that occurred following hurricane Irma. Many urge more must be done to protect Florida nursing home residents, not only in times of crisis, but year-round. There have been around a dozen bills filed to address the problems that have occurred, and are continuing to occur across the state including our area in South Florida. This is not the first time legislators have tried to make tougher laws pertaining to the operation of nursing homes, but as our West Palm Beach nursing home injury lawyers can explain, they have not made much progress in the past. One major reason for this has to do with economics. Florida has been a major destination for retirees across the country due to the warm weather, and it has been for decades. This means there are a lot of older residents and that leads to more residents in managed care facilities in our area. This has led to a very strong nursing home industry lobby that is doing whatever they can to decrease per-patient cost to maximize profits.
What advocates for nursing home patients feel might turn the tides this time is that the public has been made aware of how bad things have become and lawmakers are finally facing push back in a very important election year.
Among the laws that advocates hope to be charged are the Minimum Standards for Nursing Homes codified in Rule Chapter 59A-4 of the Florida Administrative Code. One thing to keep in mind however, is that if a nursing home is negligent and that negligence results in injuries of any type, including emotional damage, to a love one, you may have a case regardless of whether minimum standards were met.
This can be a rather complicated area of law and the facts will often dictate what can be done, but the best thing to do is to speak with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer as soon as possible to see if you have a valid case. There should be no cost for the initial consultation so that should not be a concern. These cases are often taken on a contingency fee basis so there should be no cost for legal representation unless the plaintiff is successful in obtaining money for a settlement or from a jury following trial.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Nursing home reforms top agenda for 2018 Florida Legislature, January 5, 2018, By Dan Sweeney, Sun Sentinel
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State Shutters Florida Assisted Living Facility Amid Filthy Conditions, Dec. 8, 2017, Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Blog