Hurdles In Place As COVID Victims Fight Nursing Homes
Nursing home negligence is nothing new. It’s a tragic issue that’s just as dangerous as abuse. Negligence in a nursing home environment involves the failure to meet a patient’s basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, and essential medical care. Neglect can lead to personal injury, worsened medical condition, and even death.
Many nursing home complaints involve negligence, and with COVID cases flooding nursing homes, these facilities are being scrutinized even more. But if your loved one dies due to a COVID outbreak, what are your legal options?
Since the COVID pandemic started in March 2020, states such as Florida have been taking action to protect nursing homes and other facilities from lawsuits. Indeed, these long-term care facilities have a large degree of immunity in place so that victims cannot sue them and clog up the legal system. Senate Bill 72, signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, raised the bar for those looking to sue nursing homes for coronavirus-related injuries or death.
However, this immunity appears to be allowing nursing home staff to slack off. In August 2021, Florida led the country in COVID-related nursing home deaths. One-third of the state’s coronavirus deaths involve nursing home residents. Overall, the state accounted for 20% of deaths caused by the virus in the United States.
While the elderly have a higher risk of getting infected by COVID, making matters worse is the fact that Florida has one of the lowest rates of nursing home staff vaccination in the nation, second only to Louisiana. This is putting nursing home residents at an increased risk of infection.
When a nursing home or other facility isn’t taking the proper steps to keep patients safe, does it make sense for the state to continue protecting nursing homes as they do the bare minimum to protect paying customers? Leaders in the nursing home business seem to think so. They claim these protections are necessary. Otherwise, the nursing home industry will likely collapse under the weight of excessive lawsuits.
Lawyers would certainly benefit from the law being revised or taken off the books completely. Families of victims wants justice and compensation for their loved one’s deaths. Personal injury attorneys throughout the state have received hundreds of calls related to COVID injuries and deaths in nursing homes.
But in order to sue, there are steep hurdles to climb. One of them is that the victim must have evidence to prove that a specific individual engaged in reckless behavior or intended to give someone the coronavirus. There must be clear intent to harm and it must come from a doctor’s statement. A physician must claim under oath that the defendant’s actions and behaviors led to the victim’s infection – and this is not easy to prove.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
While nursing homes and other medical facilities were once protected from COVID lawsuits, that may no longer be the case with cases surging and staff acting negligently. Victims should have legal recourse.
Seek legal help from the Bradenton personal injury lawyer at The Cahall Law Firm. We will aggressively fight the nursing homes and hold them liable for their negligence. To schedule a free consultation with our office, fill out the online form or call (941) 281-2019.