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Florida Nursing Home Bed Sore Case Values
- Statute of Limitations
- Form of Elder Abuse Lawsuits
- What Needs to Be Proved
- Common Defenses Used
- Florida Statistics
- Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
- Case Values
Floridians suffer from elder abuse and other injuries such as bed sores at an alarming rate. However, when we work with clients on these cases, we learn that they care more about the entire suit and not just the compensation that they would achieve, probably because they want to be informed and empowered about the dynamics of their action for justice. In this next section, we highlight many of the important structural and procedural elements of bed sore and nursing home injury cases in Florida so that you understand the nature and form of your lawsuit.
Before you even decide that you want to bring a lawsuit for bed sores, elder abuse, or anything, you need to check to see if you can in the first place. Florida’s statutes of limitations preclude lawsuits that are untimely, that means those that are brought too long after when the injury occurred. Here is the prescription that Florida law provides:
4 years for negligence and 2 years for medical malpractice according to Fla. Stat. Ann. Sec. 95.11(3)(a) and Fla. Stat. Ann. Sec. 95.11(7)(b), respectively. “Limitations other than for the recovery of real property.—Actions other than for recovery of real property shall be commenced as follows: WITHIN FOUR YEARS—An action founded on negligence… WITHIN TWO YEARS.— An action for medical malpractice.”
Form of Florida Elder Abuse Lawsuits
If you are trying to estimate what compensation you could receive for your elderly abuse or bed sore case, then you probably want to start by analyzing what kind of case you will make in the first place. This is a great predictor of jury award and settlement amount outcomes. Here are the most common structures that these cases take:
Negligence: Florida negligence cases simply state that the defendant in question failed to live up to the standard of what a reasonable person would have done with similar facts and circumstances. Furthermore, this breached factually and legally caused the damages of the plaintiff.
Medical Malpractice: Often, those who have suffered bed sores and elderly abuse in Florida bring medical malpractice lawsuits. This means that a health care provider failed to treat the plaintiff reasonably and that this led to the injuries in question.
Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, many people in Florida die for bed sores and elderly abuse. If someone else’s wrongful conduct caused these injuries, then their loved ones can bring a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain compensation for the damages and expenses that result from the decedent’s passing.
What Does a Lawyer Have to Prove in a Florida Elder Abuse Case?
Sitting in court, Florida plaintiffs might think that their lawyers and the lawyers of their opponents are speaking a foreign language. It is not hard to get lost in the terminology, procedure, and process of litigation for elder abuse and bed sores. However, there is a method to their madness. Every case comes down to proving (if you are the plaintiff) or disproving (if you are the defendant) a list of elements relevant to the exact breed of case that is in focus. Negligence, medical malpractice, and wrongful death actions are the most common cases for these kinds of injuries and here is what a successful Florida plaintiff’s attorney will demonstrate:Negligence Cases
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a specific, legal duty.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach caused the plaintiff injury.
- The injury resulted in damages.
- The defendant healthcare provider owed the plaintiff a duty that can be established according to local, medical customs.
- The defendant breached that medical duty.
- The breach was the legal and factual cause of he plaintiff’s injury.
- The injuries led to actual damages to the plaintiff.
- Someone died.
- The death was the result of someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct.
- The death led to actual injuries and damages to the decedent’s family or spouse.
Plaintiffs lawyers spend an inordinate amount of time explaining to their clients what their case consists of, but this can leave them bewildered once the defense puts on its case, especially if the latter wins. Therefore, we try to predict and explain what the defendant might claim so that our clients are completely aware of what is happening in their suit. Here are the defenses that we see most often in bed sore, elder abuse, and related cases:
Pre-Existing Injuries: Expect defense lawyers to use your past activities and injuries to explain the injuries that you think the defendant caused.
Lack of Misconduct: Most defendants try and play the saint. They complain that they did all that was expected of them and they still hurt you but they should not be legally responsible.
Amount of Damages: Defendants spend excessive amounts of time not fighting your legal theories but fighting your math. Specifically, they will try to demonstrate that you are due the amount of damages that you claim, if any.
Plaintiff’s Conduct: Defendants religiously counter that the plaintiff’s conduct amounted to negligence and that this should eliminate his or her right to obtain compensation.
What Kind of Damages do Florida Elder Abuse Cases Have?
In Florida elder abuse and bed sore cases, there is a theory and element known as damages. They are the legally recognizable losses that you are allowed to recover for in court or settlement. Furthermore, you have to prove or you will not have a case. In other words, you cannot bring a lawsuit for an affront to your character; rather, you need to exhibit exactly how a certain injury adversely affected you. Here is how many Florida plaintiffs show damages in elder abuse and bed sore cases:
All the medical bills, prescription bills, rehabilitative bills, and other costs associated with your recovery.
All lost income or wages that you sustained because of the incident.
Any property damage that you incurred because of the incident.
Any decreased quality of life that you can prove (i.e. if you can no longer do things you used to or enjoy things to the extent that you used to before the incident).
Any expenses, lost support, lost companionship or other losses associated with the death of a loved one because of the incident.
Just from these examples, you can gather that there are broad groups of damages for which you can recover: economic, non-economic, wrongful death, etc. In which and for how much you obtain from each of these defends on the facts of your injury and case. One of our attorneys can explain to you the range of recovery that might be available if you brought a lawsuit.Victims’ Checklist
Here is a list of things to take note of or gather for cases related to elder abuse, bed sores, and similar lawsuits:
Any evidence of bills for medical treatment that the incident caused you as well as any incidental expenses.
Any evidence of lost income or wages as well as property damage because of the incident.
A list of all medical providers seen as well as any instructions or notes that they gave you or made that you can gather.
A list of all nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, or other facilities that you stayed at as well as the dates that you stayed at them.
Any evidence of your condition before the incident.
Any evidence of your condition after the incident.
Any evidence of misconduct by the person who caused the incident.
Any evidence of abuse/neglect including bruises, wounds, sores, dehydration, malnutrition, weight fluctuations, medication gaps, etc.
Any evidence of financial manipulation: modifications to estate documents such as wills, transfer of title of assets and bank accounts, disappearance of monies, etc.
For bed sores, evidence of broken skin, pigment discoloration, crater-like abscesses, and even exposed bones/muscles/tendons.
For elder physical abuse, evidence of unexplained injuries, signs of restraint, broken property, inability to visit the victim, etc.
Our team at Nursing Home Law Center LLC has gone to bat for countless plaintiffs in Florida. We have worked with people suffering from bed sores, elderly abuse, malnutrition, financial exploitation, and many other injuries. Along the way, we have realized that clients do not merely want jury awards or settlement amounts-they also information. Knowledge is power. In that vein, we field questions all the time from them wondering about not only what the end of the case will look like but what it will look like along the way. Therefore, to assuage their concerns, we remind them of the promises that we make to every client, past and present, and they include the following:
Experience: We will make sure that only our most qualified and experienced attorneys manage your case through its entirety.
Resources: We will invest all resources necessary to ensure that your compensation is maximized and we will never ask you for a dime until we bring you an acceptable jury award or settlement amount.
Access: At all times throughout the case, we will make attorneys available to you so that your questions are answered and you are informed of what exactly is happening.
No Conflicts: We will promise not to represent nursing homes, hospitals, doctors, medical facilities, insurance companies, or any other related party because we believe in representing their victims and not their friends.
From the beginning, we will bring you onboard our expert team of attorneys but we will also make sure that every base is covered so that you have nothing to worry about. Our attorneys are proud to serve individuals and families across Florida including the following cities: Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Jacksonville and Fort Myers to name a few, contact us today for a free review of your case.Elder Abuse Contact Information
To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Florida:
- 1-800-962-2873 (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home or in a facility).
- 1-800-453-5145 (For suspected elder mistreatment in the home, TDD/TTY access).
Contact us today if you have been the victim of elder abuse or bed sores.
Florida Settlement & Verdicts for Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits Introduction
Florida is home to a very large elderly population and with that comes significant instances of abuse, neglect, bed sores, malnutrition, medical malpractice, dehydration, and other misconduct. While they may not know the next step to take, when clients speak with us they know the endgame. That is why they wonder and ask “What is my Florida elder abuse case worth?” To begin to answer that question we provide the following information. It notes and highlights plaintiffs’ recovery in broad fields. However, what it does not do is give you a contextualized understanding of how your case will unfold or what compensation you could bring home. To learn about that, please call one of our experienced attorneys. He or she can also walk you through the various stages of your lawsuit so you know exactly what is going to happen.Plaintiffs’ Recovery in Elder Abuse Cases
Here is the breakdown of what plaintiffs in Florida obtained for elder abuse cases:
Plaintiffs’ Recovery in Nursing Home Cases
Here is the breakdown of what plaintiffs in Florida obtained for nursing home abuse cases:
Plaintiffs’ Recovery in Bed Sore Cases
Here is the breakdown of what plaintiffs in Florida obtained for bed sore cases:
Compared to the national average, Florida elder abuse plaintiffs recovered about $25,000 more in compensation.
Compared to the national average, Florida nursing home abuse plaintiffs recovered about $120,000 more in compensation.
Compared to the national average, Florida bed sore plaintiffs recovered about $15,000 more in compensation.
Compared to the national average, Florida elder abuse plaintiffs recovered nothing 1% less than others.
Compared to the national average, Florida nursing home plaintiffs recovered nothing about the same as others.
Compared to the national average, Florida bed sore plaintiffs recovered nothing 4% more than others.
Compared to the national average, Florida elder abuse plaintiffs recovered more than $1,000,000 4% more than others.
Compared to the national average, Florida nursing home plaintiffs recovered more than $1,000,000 3% more than others.
Compared to the national average, Florida bed sore plaintiffs recovered more than $1,000,000 4% more than others.
Florida Bed Sore Verdicts & Settlements Involving Nursing Home Defendants
NAME: FERNANDES VS. SOVEREIGN HEALTHCARE
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
This incident involved an elderly man named Joseph Fernandez and the nursing home where he lived. Lawyers for the gentleman brought a lawsuits after he died from injuries he sustained from following out of a chair. However, upon closer examination, they discerned that this was only one example of the neglect and abuse that he suffered during his time there. He also experienced developing bed sores and other serious conditions that affected his quality of life and gave him great pain and suffering. While the defendants denied these allegations, they could not deny the plain facts of the injuries that he suffered while under their care. Therefore, it was no surprise when the jury returned a verdict of $550,000 for the plaintiffs-$50,000 for medical bills and $500,000 for loss of services.
NAME: CARLOS VS. SANTA ROSA MEDICAL CENTER
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
This lawsuit was a wrongful death action. An elderly man passed away at his Florida nursing home and representatives of his estate thought it was because of the negligent care the facility provided him. To evidence this point, they showed he suffered from bed sores and fell out of his bed, fracturing his hip, as well as other examples. The defendant denied that his death was because of these incidents or because of any of its conduct at all. It states that he was contributorily negligent and could not pursue any damages because he died from his own conduct. However, the jury disagreed and awarded the decedent’ family $528,000.
NAME: HAYNES VS. HOME AWAY FROM HOME OF HOLLY HILL INC.
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
This affair escalated rapidly and ultimately led to the death of a nursing home resident. Prior to her passing, she brought suit against the nursing home facility because, in her opinions, it’s negligent care and conduct led to her sustaining bed sores and other pain and suffering. Additionally, in her lawsuit, she claimed that staff should have transferred her to a hospital or other medical facility quicker than they did. The result was that she had to endure great pain. Her complaint sought various damages related to these injuries. However, the defendant nursing home refused to give in and admit that they were in any way responsible for any problems the woman faces (who died shortly before trial). Therefore, the jury had to sort out who was at fault-they sided with the decedent’s estate and awarded the plaintiffs $150,000 in compensation for their damages but nothing for punitive damages.
NAME: DAHMER VS. LAKE WORTH ENTERPRISE
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
The plaintiff in this lawsuit was a former professional wrestler. After living at a number of nursing homes and medical facilities, he transferred to his final home where he began to suffer from bed sores. Quickly, they began to worsen and became infected necessitating his transfer to a hospital. Sadly, the man died shortly after his arrival at the emergency room. His representatives sued the last nursing home he lived at and claimed that their negligent care was responsible for the emergence of bed sores, infection, rapid health decline, and death. For their part, the nursing home objected and countered that his overall medical condition made his death inevitable or at the very least was due in part to the actions of his prior residences. The jury found that the defendant home’s actions was the legal reason for them-wrestler’s death and awarded the family $1,775,000: $800,000 for pain and suffering and $975,000 for punitive damages.
NAME: BURKE VS. SUNSHINE ASSISTED LIVING INC. ET AL.
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
This litigation was brought on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who died after she had spent merely four months at a nursing home. Prior to entering the facility, she was diagnosed and suffering from Parkinson’s disease. However, her problems only worsened upon her admittance to the nursing home. She experienced falls, bed sores, and a general decline in health while there resulting in her death. In the subsequent lawsuit, her lawyers argued that the defendant facility was to blame and sought damages related to these injuries and her pain and suffering while alive. The jury awarded the decedent’s estate $1,670,000.
There is no way to reverse the poor care which likely contributed to the development of pressure sores in your loved one’s situation. Fortunately, Florida law does provide for the family of a patient who developed bed sores while at nursing home or medical facility to file a lawsuit for their negligent care. Contact our office for a complimentary review of your situation with a lawyer who has experience recovering financial compensation for situations like you.