Nursing homes are entrusted with taking care of our family members at very advanced ages. At this point in their lives, they are some of the most vulnerable members of society. Yet because many elderly people might not have the means or physical capabilities to report neglect and abuse, facilities that are supposed to help these individuals often end up mistreating them or not taking their needs seriously. The state of Florida in particular seems to have consistent issues with people being hurt, mistreated, or neglected in these facilities.
A widespread problem
Nursing home neglect and abuse is actually very common in the retiree dense state of Florida. It has been reported that over 40 percent of homes in the state were cited for medication errors and other serious violations in a three year span. Some errors included doubling the dosage of medication that a patient was supposed to receive over the course of a year, as well as mixing up medications and giving them to the wrong person. One center in Daytona Beach also made the news for denying access to police when they were investigating a possible sexual assault of a patient at the location because it could potentially violate medical privacy agreements.
Various consumer watchdog groups have expressed concern that this kind of negligence in nursing home facilities is far too common, and there is a growing need for increased accountability and oversight. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services reported that one in three nursing home occupants will experience a medication error, infection, or other form of serious harm. These homes are usually dealing with numerous problems such as dated record keeping systems, shortage of staff, and high employee turnover. Most homes are subject to consistent errors because of an environment plagued with problems related to employee retention and organization of patient information and records.
The cases related to medication errors have mostly been settled after lawsuits were filed and the parties agreed to amounts in the range of tens of thousands of dollars. It is still possible that some facilities will face additional litigation and more mistakes may be discovered in the future.
What can a lawyer do to hold the nursing home accountable?
When a nursing home gives out the wrong medication or engages in other forms of improper treatment or even intentional acts meant to harm their patients, they can be held liable in a civil lawsuit. There are various ways in which the civil law holds those who injure others accountable, such as negligence and medical malpractice.
A lawyer will allege that their negligence caused various forms of harm, which can be life threatening or fatal in some situations involving medical care. The amount of money a lawyer can collect from the home will be dependent on the specific facts surrounding their misconduct, but as the previous story shows, a pattern of negligence and serious errors will usually help a plaintiff recover a larger sum. However, any amount of mistakes or abuse should not be overlooked, as even a small error can have grave health consequences for an elderly person.
Talk to a lawyer about nursing home abuse now
If you are the victim of improper care at a nursing home or you suspect one of your elderly family members is being mistreated, there are options available to correct the situation. The lawyers at Koberlein Law Offices specialize in cases of elderly neglect and abuse, and they are available to help clients in Columbia County Florida and surrounding areas.