Questions by Practice Area
Q. How do I know if my family member was abused/neglected in a nursing home?
A. If you believe your loved one was injured through nursing home negligence, you should conduct a thorough investigation. If your family member can communicate, ask them what happened. If they are unable to speak for themselves, speak with an outside doctor who is not affiliated with the facility. You can also try speaking with the director of nursing as to what happened, but you may run into more questions than answers. If you feel like you are getting the run around, report the potential abuse to the appropriate state agency and call our nursing home abuse lawyers to investigate the incident. Call us toll free now at 1-844-253-8919 to speak with our Florida elder abuse lawyers.
A. Nursing home abuse is a broad category which encompasses lots of potential scenarios. The more common nursing home abuse injuries we encounter are:
- Wrongful death
- Bedsores (decubitus ulcers)
- Broken bones
- Malnutrition and weight loss
- Medication errors
Q. What are nursing home bed sores? Is a bedsore the same as a pressure ulcer?
Q. My loved one was injured in a Rehab facility. Is a Rehab facility a nursing home? Or something else?
A. Most ‘rehab facilities’ are classified by law as skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes). The term ‘rehab facility’ is used primarily for marketing purposes, as the term ‘nursing home’ has a negative stigma with potential residents. Legally, nursing homes and rehab facilities are classified the same under Chapter 400.
Q. I signed an arbitration agreement upon admission to the nursing home. What does that mean?
A. A nursing home arbitration agreement means the parties have opted to avoid the court system (i.e. a jury trial) and instead, agree to going before a private arbitration panel to resolve their dispute. Most residents do not understand what they are signing when they execute this document. If you believe you signed an arbitration agreement, speak with our lawyers so that they can assess whether the document is enforceable. Our attorneys have had many of these arbitration contracts invalidated for various reasons.
Q. My family member was neglected and died. Can I still sue the negligent nursing home for elder abuse?
A. Yes. In Florida, the cause of action does not die with the victim. See, Florida Convalescent Centers v. Somberg. Our Florida elder abuse lawyers will set up an estate for the deceased party and appoint one of the family members as the personal representative. From there, the P.R. can bring the claim on behalf of the victim’s estate, as well as the survivors of the victim.
Q. What is the difference between an Assisted Living Facility and a Nursing Home?
A. An Assisted Living Facility (A.L.F.) provides a lower level of care than a nursing home. A nursing home (skilled nursing facility) provides 24/7 nursing care, while an ALF provides ‘assistance and supervision’ with activities of daily living.
Q. So does that mean that an Assisted Living Facility is not liable for allowing a resident to suffer injuries?
A. Not at all. Our law firm handles many ALF negligence lawsuits involving resident injuries. An ALF still has a duty to prevent wrongful injuries in their residents. Every ALF resident has a statutory right to live in a safe and decent living environment, free from ALF abuse and neglect. If the assisted living facility was negligent in the care or supervision of its resident, the ALF can be sued in an assisted living facility negligence lawsuit.
Q. What are common ALF negligence injuries?
A. ALF abuse and neglect claims usually involve one or more of the following injuries:
- Elopement (unauthorized wandering out of the facility)
- Repeated falls inside the ALF
- Unexplained injuries, like bruises, broken bones or bedsores
- Medication mistakes
- Assisted Living Bed Sores
- Allowing physical or sexual attacks by staff or other residents
A. Yes. Generally speaking, hospitals employ their nurses, and the hospital is liable for their employee nurse’s negligence.Q. Is a hospital responsible for a doctor’s negligence?
A. Maybe. Generally speaking, hospitals do not employ doctors, so a hospital is not liable for their doctor through a traditional employer-employee relationship. However, the hospital may be held responsible for a negligent doctor’s actions through agency theory. For a more thorough explanation of hospital responsibility for doctor malpractice, click here.Q. What injuries indicate hospital neglect?
A. Hospital negligence can result in an infinite number of injuries. The below list is not an exhaustive list by any means. However, common hospital neglect injuries include:
- Pressure ulcers
- Medication mistakes
- Surgical errors
- Elder abuse and neglect
- Failure to diagnose
Q. Why are hospital falls the most common injury in hospital negligence lawsuits?
Q. I suspect my doctor committed malpractice. Should I continue to treat with the doctor?
A. If you believe the doctor provided treatment below the standard of care, then no, you should try to switch doctors. When you see your new doctor, do not mention your intention of suing the prior doctor for malpractice. Merely tell your new doctor that you suspect your prior physician made an error and that you are seeking a second opinion.
Q. Is a hospital responsible for a doctor’s negligence?
A. Maybe. Generally speaking, hospitals do not employ doctors, so a hospital is not liable for their doctor through a traditional employer-employee relationship. However, the hospital may be held responsible for a negligent doctor’s actions through agency theory. For a more thorough explanation of hospital responsibility for doctor malpractice, click here.
Q. Is missing a diagnosis considered medical malpractice?
A. Yes, misdiagnosis of a disease or missing a diagnosis can be deemed doctor malpractice. To determine the viability of a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis malpractice case, our lawyers analyze the information available to the doctor at the time, the tests that were performed or could have been ordered, and whether the condition was treatable at the time. Our attorneys have handled numerous misdiagnosis doctor malpractice claims over the years and are available to speak with you about your potential case.
A. Yes, you can sue a private home health aide for negligence if they neglected your loved one. This is true whether it occurred inside a facility (like an ALF) or at their private home. The problem you typically run into is finding insurance coverage for the negligent home health aide.Q. I doubt the home health aide has her own insurance policy. Can I sue the home health agency for the negligence of the private aide?
A. Yes, you can, assuming the home health agency controlled the aide. In other words, the law provides for liability on the home health aide agency for the aide if the agency had the right to control the aide. Things we typically look for in home health aide agency liability claims are:
- Did the agency provide the aide to the family?
- Did the agency control the aide’s hours and days?
- Did the agency accept payments from the family on behalf of the aide?
- Did/can the agency tell the aide what to do?
If the answer the any of the above is yes, then the agency likely controls the aide. This can impute liability for the aide’s negligence to the home health agency.
Q. What are common injuries in a home health aide negligence lawsuit?
A. We have handled cases against home health aides and agencies involving the following injuries:
- Falls and fractures
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers
- Physical abuse
- Florida elder abuse
- Failure to administer medication
- Failure to call doctors and/or 911 when the patient’s condition changes
A. Make sure to take these 5 steps after a car crash:
- Take photos of the accident scene. Take lots of photos of your vehicle and the vehicle that hit you.
- Call 911. Even if you think no one is hurt. Make sure to involve the police and have a report created.
- Seek medical attention. Oftentimes after an injury, your adrenaline is pumping. Your back may feel tight and your neck may feel sore, but you do not feel outright pain. Once the fight or flight syndrome wears off, the pain will set in. Make sure to get checked out by a doctor just to be safe.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Be sure not to give any recorded statements though.
- Do not go it alone. Hire an experienced car crash attorney. Our lawyers have a combined 50 years of prosecuting car accident injury claims. Call us today to speak with an attorney about your claim.
Q. What are the 5 things I should do after a slip and fall accident?
A. After a slip and fall, you may feel embarrassed. How did I miss that puddle? Why did I not see that obstacle on the floor? Rather than let your emotions take control, stay calm and follow these steps.
- Even if you are mortified, stay cool and take photos on your cell phone. If you tripped over something, take multiple angles of what you tripped on. If you slipped on water, take lots of shots of that too. If there is no wet floor sign, take a wide angle shot to show that there was no wet floor sign visible.
- If you are hurt, go by ambulance to the emergency room. Better safe than sorry.
- Be wary of giving statements to the store manager. These can and will be used against you later, so do not speak with them until speaking with an attorney.
- Follow up with your doctors. If you are hurting, make sure to get the treatment you need and document your ongoing slip and fall injury.
- Call our slip and fall attorneys today. Our lawyers have a combined 50 years of litigating slip and fall lawsuits. Call us now to discuss your slip and fall injury.
Q. Is a commercial landowner liable for injuries that occur on their property? What is negligent security?
A. A landowner may be liable for injuries that occur on their property if the injury was reasonable foreseeable. This can apply to slip, trip and falls, as well as criminal attacks. The latter category is called negligent security liability.
Negligent security arises out of criminal attacks on the property that probably could have been stopped had the landowner paid for proper security measures. Common negligent security injuries include:
- Rape and sexual assault
Negligent security cases almost always involve catastrophic injury. Proving liability may be a challenge, so make sure to speak with a lawyer experienced in negligent security claims. Our lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for victims of negligent security cases. If you have a question on a potential negligent security lawsuit, call our lawyers today. The consultation is free of charge.
Q. I cannot afford to hire a lawyer right now. How much do you charge?
A. The lawyers at Senior Justice Law Firm work exclusively on contingency fee. This means you do not pay us anything unless you make a recovery (i.e. receive a settlement or a judgment). At that time, we will take a percentage of the recovery as attorney’s fees. This number is typically 33.3 to 40% of the recovery, depending on when the case resolves.
Q. What about paying the costs of the litigation?
A. We will never ask for any up-front payment from you. Our law firm gladly pays all costs associated with the pursuing your claim. This includes costs of getting medical records, having experts review the case, depositions and court reporters. If we win your case, we deduct the costs from your recovery.
Q. Why should I retain Senior Justice Law Firm to represent me?
A. You only get one opportunity to bring your claim. Sadly, not all lawyers are created equally. You need a lawyer who cares about you, and is also knowledgeable on the law governing your case. You need a lawyer who handles cases like yours; not a lawyer who accepts any case that walks in the door. We created this law firm to be just that. Narrowly focused and immensely experience. To learn more about the lawyers at Senior Justice, click here.
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