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Bagen Law Blog

How to File a Claim Against a Nursing Home

Posted by Steven A. Bagen

May 6, 2013 10:49:00 PM

The State of Florida has many elderly people living in nursing homes. The trend of lawsuits being filed against nursing homes is a relatively new phenomenon. A recent web survey created to determine which states account for the largest share of these claim types in the country identified two states: Texas and Florida. These two states account for about 50% of claims filed nationwide. The biggest reason why Florida ranks as one of the states with the highest number of litigations filed against nursing homes can partly be explained by the stringent laws that protect the rights of nursing home residents in the state. Among them is the right for nursing home residents to receive sufficient medical care, privacy, therapeutic services, rehabilitative services, dignity, courtesy, and freedom from both physical and mental abuse.

Any person or organization, and not just the resident’s family members, can file a claim against a nursing home. There are many grounds on which you can file complaints, including mistreatment, unsafe conditions, lack of adequate staffing, poor care, improper charges, failure to readmit the resident after being discharged from a hospital, and concerns about transfers and discharges, to name a few. You can file your complaint in writing or through a simple phone call.

Filing a Claim

Whenever a person feels that the rights of their loved ones living in nursing homes have been infringed upon, they have a right to fail a claim with the courts. When building a case, you will need to have proper records and documentation of what has been going on in the nursing home that explains what you feel has trampled upon your loved one’s rights. The documentation that you will require to build your case includes:

  • The name and address of the nursing home
  • Your personal details including, name, contact information, and also how you are related to the aggrieved party
  • The reason why are making your accusation including a detailed explanation of how you feel your loved one has been aggrieved
  • The date and times of the incidents of neglect or abuse by the nursing home staff
  • A list of the names of the officials you have spoken to regarding your case and the dates and time that you spoke to them
  • A record of the responses and remedial actions, if any, taken by the nursing home regarding your complaint

You should have all this documentation in place before contacting the relevant state agencies about your situation. Avoid making general accusations while filing your claim. For instance, if one of the nursing staff hit your loved one; don’t make a claim saying something to the effect that the nursing home should be investigated for physical abuse. Be specific and say that one of the staff members (if you can get the name, so much the better) slapped your loved one on the face. Don’t mince words or make general statements.

You also need to contact the right person at the Department of Health. You can get information about the right people to contact from the Attorney General’s office or online. You will be assigned a case number once you contact an official. The claims process will then proceed from there.

If you have never filed a claim before regarding a human rights violation by a nursing home, you will likely find the task an arduous one. You are more likely to encounter state bureaucracy and red tape rather than a red carpet. Many people simply cannot find enough time to navigate all the hurdles associated with filing such a case. That’s why it makes good sense to contact a reputable and professional personal injury claims attorney. A good attorney will take the burden of the process and will ensure all the proper people and bases are reached in the appropriate time frame.

Steven A. Bagen & Associates specializes in personal injury legal services in Gainesville, Ocala, Jacksonville and Northeast Florida. We have a highly qualified and dedicated team of attorneys who are fully committed to serving you. If you need help filing a complaint or lawsuit against a nursing home, please call and let us help you out.

Topics: Nursing Home Abuse