Florida Nursing Home Abuse Laws
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Everyone deserves to live in a safe and dignified manner, particularly nursing home residents and other vulnerable individuals. But, sadly, instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are all-too-common. Most states, including Florida, have statutes that address the specific rights of nursing home residents and the duties of facilities to protect these rights. While acts of physical abuse may elicit criminal charges of assault and battery, Florida statute lists more than 20 specific rights of nursing home residents. When any of these rights is violated, the resident (often through family members) may file a civil suit against the facility's owners and/or staff members.
Details about Florida's nursing home abuse laws are listed below. See Nursing Home Abuse FAQ and Get Legal Help with a Nursing Home Abuse Issue for more details.
Florida Nursing Home Abuse Laws: Overview
|Florida Nursing Home Residents' Rights
All licensees of nursing home facilities shall adopt and make public a statement of the rights and responsibilities of the residents of such facilities and shall treat such residents in accordance with the provisions of that statement. The statement shall assure each resident the following (§ 400.022):
- The right to civil and religious liberties;
- The right to private and uncensored communication;
- Any medical, legal, or other caretaker/counselor has right to reasonable access to the resident;
- The right to present grievances about staff and/or facilities;
- The right to organize and participate in resident groups and the right to have the resident's family meet in the facility with the families of other residents;
- The right to participate in social, religious, and community activities;
- The right to examine results of the most recent facility inspection by a government agency and plan of correction;
- The right to manage his or her own financial affairs;
- The right to be fully informed (in writing and orally) of services available and related charges;
- The right to be adequately informed of his or her medical condition and proposed treatment;
- The right to refuse medication or treatment and to be informed of the consequences of such decisions;
- The right to receive adequate and appropriate health care and protective and support services;
- The right to have privacy in treatment and in caring for personal needs;
- The right to be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of dignity;
- The right to be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, extended involuntary seclusion, and from physical and chemical restraints;
- The right to be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons or for the welfare of other residents (and 30 days notice)
- The right to freedom of choice in selecting a personal physician;
- The right to retain and use personal clothing and possessions as space permits;
- The right to have copies of the rules and regulations of the facility;
- The right to receive notice before the room of the resident in the facility is changed;
- The right to be informed of the bed reservation policy for a hospitalization; and
- The right to challenge a decision by the facility to discharge or transfer the resident (Medicaid/Medicare).
|Civil Claims for Nursing Home Abuse and Other Violations
In order to establish liability for a violation of the residents' rights listed above, the plaintiff must show the following elements (§ 400.023):
- The defendant owed a duty to the resident;
- The defendant breached the duty to the resident;
- The breach of the duty is a legal cause of loss, injury, death, or damage to the resident; and
- The resident sustained loss, injury, death, or damage as a result of the breach.
|Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim
- Two years, generally (§ 429.296)
- Up to four years in cases where fraud or misrepresentation prevents discovery of incident
|How to Report Instances of Nursing Home Abuse
Note: If resident is in immediate danger, take necessary steps to remove the resident as soon as possible.
Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Florida Nursing Home Abuse Laws: Related Resources
Get Legal Help With Your Florida Nursing Home Abuse Claim
If you, a family member, or loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, you should know that there are legal options. Florida law outlines the rights of nursing home residents and allows for civil lawsuits when any of these rights are violated. Consider meeeting with a Florida injury law attorney experienced in nursing home abuse claims.