Nursing Homes and Assisted Living
Medical Malpractice Attorneys to Protect a Loved One
The patient population perhaps most vulnerable to medical malpractice is that of elderly loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living facility where their families believe they will be healthy and safe.
The media is full of horror stories about mistreatment of older people living in these institutions, each report more terrifying than the next. Residents unable to care for themselves are sometimes at the mercy of poorly trained or unsupervised staff instead of the qualified doctors and nurses they need.
Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Happens Despite Regulations
Licensed nursing homes are subject to federal and state regulations that require them to meet standards of competence and care. Federal law, for example, requires them to have sufficient nursing staff, develop a comprehensive plan for each patient’s care, maintain acceptable parameters of nutritional status, ensure that significant medication errors are not made, keep accurate clinical records, and generally promote each resident’s quality of life.
Nursing homes that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding must comply with federal regulations; others are subject only to state regulation. Chapter 59A-4 of the Florida Administrative Code, for example, provides specific rules for licensing nursing homes and for physician and nursing services, medical director criteria, dietary and pharmacy services, and regular evaluation of the quality of care.
Despite regulations, malpractice and negligence in nursing homes is all too common and can lead to a patient’s death or permanent injury from:
- Medication errors violating the “right patient, right drug, right route, right dose, right time” rule for those who administer them;
- Insufficient or poorly trained staff who fail to monitor patients, fail to intervene on a patient’s behalf, or fail to safeguard a patient from injury;
- Unqualified caregivers who may even have a history of violent behavior;
- Improper use of or failure to maintain medical devices or other equipment essential to caring for a patient.
Rules for Assisted Living Facilities Differ from State to State
Although some health care advocates are lobbying for federal regulation of assisted living, right now each state enacts its own licensing procedures and rules. Assisted living residences are not medical care facilities. In fact, many states specifically prohibit assisted living facilities from providing continuous skilled nursing care. Unfortunately, some assisted living companies skirt the rules by employing unqualified staff to perform medical functions or contracting with off-site healthcare providers that do not provide continual on-site care and monitoring. Regardless, a standard of care applies to assisted living facilities as well.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Can Hold Wrongdoers Accountable
If you suspect that medical malpractice was a factor in the death or injury of elderly loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living residence, the Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Searcy Denney can help you investigate the situation and pursue the justice that your family deserves.
Our legal teams draw upon more than 40 years’ experience handling medical malpractice cases in which we have recovered millions of dollars for our clients and their loved ones. In just one recent example, Searcy Denney medical malpractice attorney Karen Terry settled a case in mediation for $618,500 on behalf of a nursing home patient who died from a fall when nursing home staff failed to supervise him and failed to take preventive measures.
If you wish to schedule a free confidential consultation with one of our medical malpractice lawyers, please fill out our Contact Form or call us at 1-800-780-8607 for an appointment.