While nursing homes are supposed to take care of their residents, the sad reality is that sometimes the nursing home or their employees harm those they are charged with protecting.
Unfortunately, the nursing home’s negligence may lead to death. When this occurs, the law in St. Petersburg allows for certain family members to recover for the wrongful death of a loved one.
A compassionate attorney with experience in St. Petersburg nursing homes may be able to provide the answers to your questions about how the law in this area applies to your specific case.
Wrongful Deaths in Nursing Homes Lawsuits
In a wrongful death lawsuit, a surviving family member must prove in a court that the death of their loved one was due to a “wrongful act, negligence, default, or breach of contract or warranty.”
According to Section 786.16 of the Florida Code, also known as the Florida Wrongful Death Act, the intent of the wrongful death laws in St. Petersburg is make sure the surviving family members do not bear the cost and damages of a wrongful death. Instead, the law aims to shift those responsibilities to the wrongdoer who is responsible for the death.
What Causes a Wrongful Death?
For most wrongful death cases that arise out of nursing home care, negligence is the most common avenue for families to seek recovery for their damages. The most common wrongful death cases involve a love one who passed away as a result of:
- Abuse by either the staff or other residents
- Medical malpractice
- A bed sore or pressure ulcer that was not treated
- Slip and fall
Because the law in this area is very fact-specific, not all of the previous examples will constitute a wrongful death under the laws applicable to St. Petersburg.
Who Can File a Lawsuit in St. Petersburg?
Further, not all family members will be able to bring the wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home or any other responsible party.
Under Section 786.16 of the Florida Code, an individual may only bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a family member who passed away if they are their spouse or child. In some circumstances, a sibling may also be able to file the wrongful death lawsuit in St. Petersburg, but those circumstances are more fact-specific.
Statute of Limitations
In addition to the limitation on which family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit, the wrongful death laws also limits the amount of time the surviving family members will have to file a lawsuit against the nursing home.
Under Section 95.11 of the Florida Code, the family member must file the wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of their loved one’s death. However, there are exceptions to this law in certain circumstances. For example, if the wrongful death was caused by medical malpractice that the family could not have known about until a later point in time, they may be able to file a lawsuit at a later point in time.
Contact a St. Petersburg Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes Attorney Today
Nursing homes exist to take care of those who can no longer take care of themselves. When they fail in this duty, and one of their residents passes away, they may be liable for the death. Families representing the interests of the deceased may be able to recover compensation for the death.
Contact an experienced attorney who may be able to help answer your questions and consult with you about whether the passing of your loved one in a nursing home constitutes wrongful death under St. Petersburg laws.