More than 51,000 of the nation’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, who were either elderly or disabled have died of COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020. Nursing home facilities have become hot spots for spread of the virus in the country.
The alarming spread of COVID-19 amongst nursing home residents is a reflection of the low standard of care provided in these facilities. Cost cutting and understaffing measures undertaken by nursing home owners and management have created a system of neglect.
Young people tend to experience none or just mild symptoms at most, when exposed to COVID-19, but senior citizens with heart and respiratory complications can become seriously ill when exposed to this deadly virus.
Nursing homes have a duty to provide a reasonable care for residents and protect them against future illnesses. When they fail to do this, they can be held accountable for harm caused to the residents.
Neglect can take many forms in a nursing home, from failure to provide adequate treatment to not providing a healthy environment to its residents. If the nursing home management failed to implement proper procedures by not performing screenings, by not refusing visitations, by not implementing social distancing and quarantine norms, they can be held liable for any injuries suffered by the residents.
Over 750 nursing home employees across the 15,000 federally certified nursing homes also have died from COVID-19.
A growing number of negligence suits are being filed all across the country against nursing homes by families whose relatives suffered severe complications or have died due to COVID-19 while living in such facilities. These cases are filed relying on state nursing home resident protection statutes and/or common law tort theories.
In most cases, nursing home staff and management did not disclose timely truthful information to the families about the health status of their relatives until they were severely infected with COVID-19.
In Florida, there are mandatory pre-suit screening periods before a suit can be filed. The Health Care Association in Florida has sent a letter directly to Governor DeSantis asking for “Immunity from any liability, civil or criminal” in regard to COVID-19 related lawsuits.
Because of such developments, it is even more important to seek assistance and guidance from an experienced Florida Nursing home neglect lawyer who is well versed with the latest laws, rules and regulations. A lawsuit may become the only alternative to piece together, the events that actually transpired.
SAFETY MEASURES WHICH NURSING HOMES SHOULD TAKE:-
- Residents should not share rooms.
- Attendants at nursing homes should wear face masks, gloves and PPE kits at all the times.
- Hand washing and hand sanitizing stations should be put up and maintained throughout the premises.
- Windows and doors should be left open most of the time to limit chances of breathing contaminated or recycled air.
- Social gatherings in nursing homes should be avoided until further notice.
- Health check ups including temperature checks should be conducted multiple times in a day.
- Bathrooms and other frequented areas should be sanitized multiple times in a day.
- Asking staff to avoid coming to work, if they have fever or feel Ill.
- Restrict visitations.
- Restrict volunteering.
- If residents test positive, they should be transferred to a hospital or facility set up to handle COVID-19 infection cases.
- Communicate all restrictions, developments and change in procedures to the families of the residents.
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS EXPERIENCED BY NURSING HOME RESIDENTS:-
- Persistent fever.
- Dry Cough.
- Body aches.
- Breathing difficulties.
Many nursing homes have failed to provide compassionate and comprehensive care to elderly and dependent adults in a safe environment during the COVID-19 Pandemic crises. Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to physical injuries and long term psychological consequences.
COMMON WARNING SIGNS OF NURSING HOME NEGLECT.
On visits to the nursing home, it is necessary to look around and see if the premises are clean and safe. It is also important to observe if other residents are healthy and cheerful or not. If you suspect that a loved one is being neglected after being placed in a nursing home, then be sure to look at the following common signs,
- Mood Swings and Emotional Outbursts.
- Reclusiveness and refusal to Communicate.
- Refusal to Eat or take Medicines.
- Lack of cleanliness and poor physical appearance.
- Being withdrawn or distant.
- Frequent infections
- Recurring medical issues
The elderly are vulnerable and often unable to defend themselves. Many are too afraid to come forward when they become victims of neglect and mistreatment.
During Lockdown, as families were not able to have visitations with their loved ones living in nursing homes, a lot of abuse and neglect committed by caregivers went unnoticed and unreported.
It is generally up to family members to stay in contact with residents of Nursing Homes and detect when something is wrong.
STATUTE OF LIMITATION IN FILING A CLAIM FOR NURSING HOME ABUSE IN FLORIDA
If you suspect that a loved one has tested positive for COVID-19 due to neglect while staying in a nursing home, your first reaction should be to seek the best treatment for your loved one and then contact a Miami nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer who can quickly sort out your case and determine the future course of action.
One of the most important aspects of filing a Civil Lawsuit is the need to file it within the limitation period. In Florida, a Civil Lawsuit for Nursing Home negligence should be filed within two years of discovery of the neglect. Hiring an experienced Miami Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer ensures that the case is filed before the expiration of the statute of Limitation. No more than four years can lapse before a claim is filed.
COMPENSATION FOR VICTIM OF NURSING HOME ABUSE IN MIAMI.
If your loved one is a victim of Nursing Home neglect, you may be entitled to receive a settlement for following expenses and damages :-
- Future and past medical bills, including mental health and rehabilitation costs.
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering.
In a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Lawsuit, the case may be filed against both the employees and the Nursing Home itself. Under the doctrine of Vicarious Liability, the Nursing home would be responsible for the actions of its employees.
WHY HIRE KAIRE & HEFFERNAN ?
Our qualified Attorneys possess in depth knowledge and experience in recovering compensation through verdicts and settlements for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse cases in Miami and all across Florida. We know how to effectively deal with Attorneys and Insurance Companies that represent Nursing Homes and their employees.
We know how to obtain and review medical records and have access to the best medical experts. Our team of Miami Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorneys does the following for our clients while investigating a claim:-
- Gather and analyze the Victim’s medical records.
- Study internal nursing home records showing measures taken to sanitize premises.
- Review medical records of other residents to figure out how many COVID-19 cases were detected in the nursing home.
- Study records of visitation from outsiders to the nursing home.
- Study attendance records of staff of the nursing home.
- Study medical history of staff.
- Determine if appropriate COVID-19 related care was administered to the victim.
- Determine if appropriate COVID-19 related care would have made a difference if provided in time.
CONTACT A MIAMI NURSING HOME NEGLECT AND ABUSE LAWYER.
If your loved one has been a victim of Nursing Home neglect or abuse, such victims deserve to be duly compensated for the injuries suffered and other damages. The perpetuator/s of such abuse and neglect should be brought to justice. Call our Miami Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Attorney for a free case evaluation right away.
Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.