Florida Nursing Home Laws
Choosing a lawyer who is thoroughly experienced with Florida nursing home laws can make an invaluable difference in your case. At our Daytona, FL, law firm, our team of attorneys is well-versed in this area of litigation, and will work on your family's behalf to reach a successful outcome. We take nursing home abuse cases seriously, as we believe strongly in helping those individuals who are unable to help themselves. If you suspect that a loved one was emotionally or physically abused while in the care of a nursing home facility, or exploited for financial gain, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Statutes and Laws Governing Care Facilities
During your initial consultation, we can go over specifics of state laws in detail, as well as advise you of your rights, answer any questions you may have, and recommend a course of action. Florida statutes regarding nursing homes are extensive and in many cases complicated; our goal is for you and your family to be able to make informed decisions regarding how best to move forward.
Covered under Florida statute 400.022, nursing home residents have extensive rights and privileges, as bestowed upon them by the State of Florida. If these rights are violated, it may be grounds for criminal charges, a civil suit, or both. Nursing home residents have the right to:
- Religious freedom
- Private and uncensored communication
- Participate and organize resident groups
- Participate in social and cultural activities
- Information regarding the nursing home facility's services
- Information regarding the nursing home facility's standing
- Manage financial affairs or delegate such action
- Be informed of medical care options and treatment
When you place a loved one into a long-term care facility, he or she does not relinquish the rights that we hold dear as citizens.
In Florida statute 400.023, it is stated plainly that residents of nursing home facilities have a legal course of action should their rights be violated in the course of their residency. Furthermore, this action may be brought about by the resident him or herself, or a legal guardian or designee. As a family member, this statute enables you to file a civil, personal injury, or wrongful death claim against your loved one's long-term care facility if the care facility partly or fully contributed to your loved one's injury, emotional suffering, or financial loss.
Availability of Records for Investigation of Residents' Rights Violations
As stipulated in Florida statute 400.0234, residents of nursing home facilities have the right to access facility records regarding their care. Additionally, nursing home facilities must provide these documents if requested by legal counsel or state officials in the course of their duties as part of the state's Good Faith Discovery requirements. What this means for your loved one and our team of attorneys is transparency. Access to any evidence that may prove relevant in a personal injury case must be provided.
Unfortunately, sometimes the unthinkable occurs, and nursing home residents are deliberately abused by their caretakers. In such cases, criminal charges can often be brought against the liable party. However, Florida statutes 400.0237 and 400.0238 also enable punitive damages to be brought against the liable party or the long-term care facility, or both. Punitive damages are monies awarded to the victim in addition to compensatory damages, and are levied in order to punish the defendant and prevent similar behavior from others.
If it is established that your loved one was deliberately abused, rest assured that we will explore all avenues to maximize your family's recovery and hold the liable parties responsible for their actions.
Property and Personal Affairs of Residents
Florida statute 400.162 states that a nursing home resident's property and personal affairs remains his or her property while a resident of a long-term care facility, and that facility owners, managers, employees, administrators, and representatives have no right to use or dispose of these items. Sadly, many nursing home residents are taken advantage of as they are often unable to defend themselves. Money may be stolen and items may be discarded without the resident's consent.
At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, we believe that there is no such thing as a petty crime when it concerns an elderly individual in the care of others. If you suspect that your loved one's belongings, personal affairs, or money have been stolen or misused, we urge you to take action.
Contact Us to Schedule a Consultation
To get a better understanding of Florida nursing home laws, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. To schedule a consultation, contact Chanfrau & Chanfrau today.