ATTORNEYS DEDICATED TO HOLDING NURSING HOMES ACCOUNTABLE FOR ABUSE AND NEGLECT THROUGHOUT FLORIDA
If you have arrived at this page, it’s probably because you, a loved one, or a friend has suffered from abuse or neglect in a Florida nursing home or nursing rehabilitation center by a nursing home staff member. Rest assured; Distasio Law Firm is here to help our older adults who have been victimized. We hold nursing home facilities, assisted living facilities, and skilled nursing rehabilitation centers accountable in every city or county in Florida to pay money damages when their actions cause injury to their residents and violate Florida’s laws and expectation.
A Florida nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm has more experience handling these cases than most any other personal injury law firms in the state. You can go to our case results page to see for yourself. In fact, not only is our Founder, Scott Distasio, a board-certified civil trial lawyer, he has also been handling nursing home lawsuits since 1990 when he first became an attorney.
Our decades of experience holding nursing homes accountable can and will make a difference to the outcome of your case. To get your case started right away, give one of our seasoned personal injury attorneys a call.
Case Results from Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases We Have Handled for Other Florida Residents
Real settlements from nursing home and neglect cases that Scott Distasio has handled for the victims and their families who wanted to seek justice for the wrongdoing.
- $3,000,000.00 SETTLEMENT
- $1,700,000.00 SETTLEMENT
- $1,200,000.00 SETTLEMENT
Florida Nursing Home Lawyer for Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home litigation is a complex task that requires detailed knowledge of the special federal and state statutes and regulations that govern them. At the federal level, those laws include federal regulations that govern facilities that receive Medicare payments. At the state level, those laws include a special set of resident rights that all nursing homes must provide to their residents. Holding these facilities accountable not only includes having a detailed knowledge of these laws, but it also requires in depth experience in suing these facilities.
Don’t trust your abuse or neglect case to a regular personal injury attorney. Insist on a law firm that specializes in holding long term care facilities, nursing homes, and nursing rehabilitation centers accountable for harming the frailest among us. If you’re looking for a nursing home attorney for abuse or neglect in Florida, Contact Distasio Law Firm so we can start the process immediately. Our Florida nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to put our years of experience to work for you.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can come in many different forms. However, there are patterns that seem to occur over and over again. Our nursing home abuse lawyers in the state of Florida have unfortunately seen it all. If you suspect your loved one has been neglect or see signs of nursing home abuse and neglect taking place, we urge you to call.
Below is a list of the most common forms of abuse and or neglect in nursing homes.
- Aspiration Pneumonia
- Bed Rail Entrapment
- Bed Sores
- Brain Bleeds
- Choking Death
- Combative Residents
- Dropped Patients Hoyer Lift
- Elopement and Wandering
- Feeding Tube Neglect
- Falls lead to broken bones and Fractures
- Impacted Bowels
- Insect Bites (ie: bed bugs)
- Medication Errors
- Poor Hygiene
- Sexual Abuse
- Slip and Falls
- Smoking Accidents
- Unexplained Broken Bones
- Urinary tract infections
- Ventilator Neglect
- Wheelchair transfer injuries
- Wrongful death
The Reason for Bad Care in Nursing Homes
The truth is that most nursing homes are trying to provide good care. Unfortunately, some of them are greedy. They are trying to make so much money that they put profits over people.
Off course there is nothing wrong with making a profit. The problem occurs when the pursuit of profit is so intense that human lives are sacrificed.
Nursing homes recognized long ago that reducing costs increases profits. The largest cost to running a nursing home is the cost of nurses and nursing assistants. By reducing the number of these key employees and reducing their pay, tremendous savings can be achieved.
But nurses and nursing assistants are critical to providing quality care to residents. When nursing homes reduce staffing levels below what is necessary to meet the needs of residents, they make more money.
They also ensure there will not be enough staff to supervise residents that need supervision and to perform all the tasks that each resident needs help with. The end result is an environment that virtually ensures abuse and neglect will occur. Our Florida nursing home abuse lawyers know how to spot these unscrupulous facilities and we know how to use the Florida nursing home abuse laws to hold them accountable for the harm they cause.
What Happens if We Agree to Take Your Case
If we agree to take your case, it will not cost you anything unless we get a recovery. The first thing we do is order all the medical records from the nursing home and other health care providers that provide care to your loved one.
We also research the facilities’ history to find out if they have a pattern of failing to provide good care. Once we have all the medical records, we will hire the right health care professionals to review the records and testify as expert witnesses against the facility.
After we have ensured there is a good faith basis to hold the nursing home accountable for their wrongdoing, Florida law requires us to send the facility written notice that we intend to file a lawsuit if they are unwilling to pay money damages for the harm they have caused. The nursing home then has 75 days to do the right thing. If they refuse, the next step is filing a lawsuit. Most cases settle after filing a lawsuit and engaging in the discovery process.
This includes forcing the nursing home to provide us with the necessary documents to prove your case and taking depositions under oath of facility employees. Rest assured, however, if the facility refuses to settle your case, we have the resources and ability to go to trial and hold them accountable in front of a jury.
What Damages Can We Collect
Most residents in a nursing home do not have lost wages or a loss of earning capacity. But that does not mean they suffer no damages. In fact, Florida law entitles a nursing home resident to collect money damages for the medical expenses they incur in the past and in the future because of abusive or neglectful conduct. For example, the cost of hospitalization and the cost of increased care because of wrongful conduct are all recoverable.
In addition, the injured resident is entitled to recover money damages for any bodily injury, pain and suffering, disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, and loss of capacity to enjoy life. In nursing home cases, these emotional damages are often quite large.
The Statute of Limitations in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
*Updated Statute of Limitations as part of HB837 as of Friday, March 24th, 2023 the Florida Statute of Limitations for “An action founded on negligence” has been reduced to 2 years instead of 4 years.
In every type of personal injury case, a lawsuit must be brought in a certain amount of time. If the claim is not brought within that time, it is legally not possible to hold a wrongdoer accountable for the harm they have caused. This time period is called the statute of limitations.
In Florida, the statute of limitations for a nursing home abuse case is two years from the time the incident is discovered or should have been discovered but no more than 2 years from the date the incident occurred. For this reason, it is very important to contact a Florida nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible.
Hiring an Attorney to File Your Case Is Not Just About Money
If your loved one is abused or neglected in a nursing home, you should definitely report it to the Agency for Health Care Administration. They will investigate the conduct and may even fine the facility a nominal amount. Unfortunately, these financial fines are so small, the facilities do not seem to care. The process often leaves family members unsatisfied with the results.
Most clients do not come to us in search of financial recovery, but instead to see justice for their loved ones. In these types of cases, where medical and nursing professionals have abused or neglected your loved ones, pursuing a claim accomplishes more than simply winning a financial recovery. It’s often much more personal to the family members of the abused victim.
Many family members are outraged at what has happened. Filing a civil claim gives the family the ability to hold the facility accountable for their actions by requiring the facility to money damages the wrongdoing. It will show the facility that you will not tolerate their actions.
It may even help prevent this from happening to other nursing home residents. We call it the deterrent effect.
Most facilities are run by large corporations that are profit driven. When they have to pay money damages, it cuts into their profits. In our experience, when a for profit company loses profits, they change their ways to protect their profits. That’s why we call it the deterrent effect.
We apply the case law and statutes properly to get the justice you and your family deserve. While money can never undo the wrongs of an abusive or negligent caretaker, it is the method of ensuring change in the system, to see a better tomorrow for our elders, both currently under their care, and those who will soon be in their care. Our goal is simple, to get justice for victims, to hold wrongdoers accountable, and to see families move forward in life as best as possible.
What to Expect from the Legal Process
If you decide to hire our Florida nursing home abuse lawyer, here’s what you can expect from the legal process:
Our team will meet with you and your loved one to discuss the case. They will gather information about your loved one’s injuries, medical history, and the circumstances of the abuse or neglect. The lawyer will also explain the legal process and answer any questions you may have.
The lawyer will investigate the case, gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses. They may consult with medical experts to determine the extent of your loved one’s injuries and the care they will need in the future.
Demand Letter and Settlement Negotiation
If the evidence supports your loved one’s claim, the lawyer will send a demand letter to the nursing home administration and their insurance company, outlining the injuries and damages suffered by your loved one and demanding compensation. The lawyer will negotiate with the nursing home administration and their insurance company to reach a fair settlement for your loved one’s harm.
If a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. They will represent your loved one’s interests in court and fight for their legal rights. The legal process can be lengthy and complicated, but your lawyer will be with you every step of the way, keeping you informed of any developments and advocating for your loved one’s best interests.
10 Things to Do if You Suspect or Know of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
First you need to know that these facilities rarely police themselves. When staff in a skilled nursing facility act poorly and abusively towards a patient, it is extremely uncommon for their peers to report their actions and behaviors to authorities.
This failure to report can stem from any number of reasons such as fear of losing their job, workplace retaliation or harassment, or being outcasted in their social circles for being the whistleblower. This leaves the responsibility of you, the family member of the patient, the caretaker, their guardian, to advocate for your vulnerable elderly family members in their time of need.
10 Things to Do:
- Immediately seek medical attention.
- When injuries occur, it is extremely important to get medical attention, call 911 if the injuries are severe and require immediate attention, and explain to the doctor that you believe your loved one was wrongfully injured.
- Report The Abuse and Neglect
- Do not stay silent, take the time to contact the reporting agencies listed below and report the act of abuse or neglect to the agencies right away. This will start the investigation process and create a record of your complaint.
- Photograph and Document
- Photograph the injuries on your loved one’s body, not only when the injuries are found, but over the healing process, whether the injury gets better or worsens in time, the photographs will show what they have suffered. Document all visits to doctors, and complaints of pain, discomfort, or changes in normal life.
- Speak with our Attorneys for Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly
- Contact our office right away and start the have a consultation with our lawyers who will evaluate your claim and go over the process of filing a lawsuit for the injuries. Our elder abuse and neglect attorney has more than 32 years’ experience with these types of cases and is ready to fight for you.
- Let Distasio Law Firm Handle Your Case
- We will gather all the records, and demand justice for your loved one who has experienced neglect and abuse in a skilled nursing facility. Our dedicated staff will take the reigns and guide you through the process, while fighting to hold the wrongdoers accountable. When the facility is not willing to settle your case to a fair and reasonable value, we file a lawsuit and when necessary, take them to a trial.
How to Report Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Vulnerable Elderly Adults
While reporting bad care to these government agencies is a good start. They are, however, overworked. In addition, sometimes the nursing homes create relationships with government regulators that make it hard for these agencies to hold them accountable. That is why you should call an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer, like us here at Distasio Law Firm, to find out if the facility can be held accountable for their actions, or lack thereof.
In Florida, there are three main places to report bad care statewide, below is a list of contact information for abuse and neglect reporting.
Florida Abuse Hotline
- English: 800-962-2873
- Spanish/Creole: 800-962-2873
- TTY: 800-955-8771
Florida Agency for Health Care Administration
- Telephone: 888-419-3456
Florida Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
- Telephone: 850-414-2323
It’s Ok If You’re Not Sure If You Have A Case – Call A Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Now
If you are not sure if you have a claim, or are unsure if you should file a claim, that is ok. Speaking with a Florida nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm is free, and your consultation is completely private. After speaking with our office, we can schedule a time for you to meet with our attorneys to go over your potential claim in depth, explain the process, and what you can expect from the process.