Elder abuse is a serious issue across the United States, and Florida is no exception. The Florida Department of Children and Families reported over 2,500 cases of verified elder abuse in Florida alone during 2015, which marked an increase from previous years. Many of these incidents take place in nursing homes, where the residents’ loved ones are not present to protect them. There are many different types of elder abuse, including physical abuse, mental abuse, and sexual abuse. However, a less publicized situation that nursing home residents may face is medical neglect. At The Grife Law Firm, our Boca Raton nursing home negligence lawyers can assist Florida families with seeking compensation after a loved one suffers harm as a result of a nursing home facility’s failure to provide a timely diagnosis. Nursing home facilities are often understaffed or lack appropriately trained personnel to provide residents with the care that they require. As we age, it is not unusual to develop new medical conditions or physical ailments, or to experience a worsening of a current condition. If these issues are not identified on a timely basis, serious injuries or even fatalities can result.Florida Provides Ample Protections for Nursing Home Residents
Florida Statute 400.022 requires nursing home facilities to make a public statement regarding the rights of nursing home residents. This includes the right to receive appropriate and adequate medical care. Diagnosis is a critical step for any patient because it allows the treating physician to prescribe a course of treatment that will either control or remedy the condition. If the illness is misdiagnosed or never diagnosed at all, the condition may reach a more serious level than it would have had the professional caught it in time.
Under Florida law, if you or a loved one suffered harm as a result of a nursing home’s failure to diagnose your medical condition, you can bring a claim of medical negligence against the facility or the associated medical professional providing treatment to residents. However, medical malpractice law recognizes that medical professionals are not perfect. Your attorney must show that the diagnostic error occurred as a result of the treating doctor’s negligence, which means that they fell below the appropriate level of care for their specialty and situation in failing to promptly diagnose a condition.Establishing Negligence in a Delayed Diagnosis Case
Showing that your medical provider acted negligently can seem daunting. One way to prove that they failed to use appropriate care in rendering a timely diagnosis is to look at the tests and examinations that they used to reach the diagnosis. Many doctors use a process called differential diagnosis to rule out certain conditions. This involves looking at a patient’s symptoms and test results, creating a list of possible diagnoses, and ruling each of them out successively to reach a final conclusion by a process of elimination. If the doctor failed to conduct tests or diagnoses that would have been conducted by a prudent and competent doctor, the doctor was likely negligent.
If you are successful in establishing negligence, you must next show that the delayed diagnosis caused your injuries. In other words, you must show that you would not have suffered harm, or would have suffered less severe consequences, had the doctor diagnosed you at an appropriate time. Finally, after causation, you can submit evidence showing the amount of damages that you suffered as a result of the delayed diagnosis, such as medical bills and pain and suffering.Schedule a Consultation With a Boca Raton Attorney
The tenacious nursing home negligence lawyers at The Grife Law Firm have seen firsthand how devastating a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis can be for a victim and his or her loved ones. Our team of legal professionals has provided legal counsel to victims and their families in cities such as Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. We realize that you may have many questions about your legal options, potential compensation, and the ways in which an attorney can assist you. That is why we offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss your situation. Call us now at 1-855-998-0770 or contact us online to get started.