Are there legal ramifications for acts of abuse or neglect to residents in a nursing home?

When a Florida nursing home abuses or neglects one of its residents, and this abuse and neglect causes injuries to the resident, the nursing home can be held responsible for its negligence and be forced to pay monetary damages to the resident. Thus, the resident (with the help of their family, guardian or power of attorney) can hire a lawyer who can file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home seeking money damages for the violation of any of the resident’s rights.

An experienced Florida nursing home negligence attorney will be able to seek civil damages against the nursing home for several different kinds of injuries and losses experienced by the resident. The economic damages that can be recovered are fairly easy to calculate. These types of damages are the following:

  • Unpaid medical bills and expenses related to your treatment and recovery;
  • Future medical expenses that might be necessary for future treatment, if necessary.

The non-economic damages that you would be able to recover are a more difficult to discern because your lawyer is not just adding up numbers. Non-economic damages are for what the injuries did to your life, including:

  • Pain and suffering from your injuries;
  • Permanent scarring;
  • Permanent disability or lack of mobility due to the injuries
  • Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental suffering and the loss of life’s pleasures;
  • Humiliation and damage to your reputation.

Further, some cases offer a plaintiff an ability to seek money from the nursing home that are called punitive damages. Punitive damages can be awarded to the injured resident not to compensate the plaintiff for any injuries, but to punish the nursing home or its staff for outrageous or intentional behavior. Punitive damages are not allowed in every case, though.

Not only can a civil lawsuit be filed, but the nursing home can be investigated and fined by an adult protective services agency for violation of any Federal or state regulations that cover the care of senior residents in Florida’s nursing homes. Further, the nursing home and its staff can even be criminally charged and prosecuted if they are found that they had malicious and intentional conduct.

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