Choosing a nursing home for a loved one is never easy. No matter how cautious you are in picking the right facility, things can go wrong. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse lead to many deaths each year. If your loved one died in a nursing home, you may be able to take legal action against the facility. Florida law protects the rights of nursing home residents and allows certain surviving family members to pursue wrongful death claims. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami wrongful death attorneys understand this area of the law and can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve for your harm.
Recently, a Delray Beach man filed a wrongful death claim against the Whitehall Boca, where his 72-year-old mother was recovering from pneumonia. The man claimed that his mother had a medical condition that made it very difficult for her to eat, drink, or swallow food.
In April, the man alleges he was on the phone with his mother when she informed him that she felt as though she was choking. He stated that he called the nursing home to tell them that his mother was in need of assistance, but no one picked up the phone calls.
Documents show that a woman called 911 from the decedent’s room but hung up. When dispatchers returned the call, the receptionist did not know that there was any trouble. The nursing station did not answer.
Reports show that the nursing home staff did not perform CPR. Instead, they stood around the woman’s bed. Reports also indicated that the woman had not been breathing or responding for at least five minutes, and the staff failed to clean the woman’s airway, which was clogged by vomit. This factor significantly worsened her condition.
Under Florida law, any nursing home resident whose legal rights are violated can file a lawsuit against the negligent party. In cases when the resident dies, certain surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. Florida Statutes section 678.18 states that a wrongful death claim can be filed when an individual’s death is “caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract” of someone else.
The Florida Wrongful Death Act allows spouses, children, and parents, as well as any other relatives or adoptive siblings who were financially or emotionally dependent on the deceased, to file a wrongful death claim.
The court will consider a variety of factors when determining the amount of damages that should be awarded in a wrongful death case. These factors include but are not limited to the relationship between the surviving family member and the deceased, the amount of the deceased’s net income available for the surviving family member, the surviving family member’s earning potential, the life expectancy of all parties, and more. In general, however, wrongful death damages will typically include pain and suffering, medical bills prior to the decedent’s death, funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of future support and services.
At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami nursing home abuse attorneys can advise you of your legal rights and options. Our team understands that this is a very difficult time for you and your family, which is why you can expect the utmost compassion from us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss all your concerns. We proudly represent clients across South Florida. To learn more, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or contact us online today.
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