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Dehydration and Malnourishment

If you believe that you suffered injuries as a result of a nursing home’s negligent care or supervision, you may be entitled to compensation. The elder law attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are prepared to help you navigate the legal process and to determine an appropriate way to protect your legal rights.

Knowledgeable Elder Law Attorneys Helping Residents of Stuart and Surrounding Areas

Although many nursing homes provide quality care and ensure that their patients receive the treatment and assistance that they need, there are some establishments that cut corners and fail to meet this standard. One of the most common conditions that nursing home residents suffer is dehydration and malnourishment. There are many side effects and painful conditions that can result from this, especially if you are already suffering from medical conditions or illnesses that require medication. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart nursing home negligence lawyers proudly help nursing home residents hold careless facilities responsible after suffering serious injuries because of neglect. Our nursing home abuse attorneys serve people throughout St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties.

Understanding Florida’s Legal Protections for Nursing Home Residents

Florida has enacted a number of laws and regulations intended to promote wellness for nursing home residents and to ensure a minimum standard of living in nursing homes. Overall, these regulations require nursing home professionals to ensure that each resident enjoys a clean, safe, and homelike environment. The rules also entitle residents to adequate medical care and assistance, as well as nutritious meals. If a patient is immobile, bedridden, or wheelchair-bound, they may have a difficult time obtaining water or food when needed. They may require assistance with drinking and eating, as well as with hygiene and other personal needs.

If a nursing home is understaffed, or if the staff lack sufficient training on how to handle patients with these needs, dehydration and malnourishment may occur. Also, some residents take medications that may interfere with their ability to stay hydrated or their appetite. Other common reasons cited for dehydration and malnourishment are language barriers and mental disorders in patients that prevent them from expressing their needs. If a nursing home staff member intentionally deprives a patient of water or food as an act of abuse, meanwhile, the individual may be liable for punitive damages and criminal penalties. This is something a personal injury lawyer can help with.

Asserting Your Right to Compensation after Suffering Injuries in a Nursing Home

The first step to recovering compensation from a careless or reckless nursing home is to file a negligence action against the facility. In this lawsuit, you will need to prove that the nursing home failed to provide you with adequate care and that your injuries occurred as a direct result of this failure. When it comes to the applicable standard of care, courts will look at Florida’s statutes and regulations to ascertain the level of care that the nursing home should have provided to the victim. Obtaining as much information as possible regarding the facility’s practices, identifying witnesses, and retaining an expert witness in the field of elder care can help your nursing home abuse attorney establish that the facility failed to meet Florida’s laws regarding nursing home conditions. If signs of malnourishment and dehydration-related injuries occurred while the resident was receiving medical care at a hospital facility, meanwhile, the victim may have a claim for medical malpractice against the hospital or medical facility.

After you have established liability and causation, you will need to provide documentation showing the amount of damages that you suffered as a result of your injuries. These typically include medical bills, hospitalization expenses, and pain and suffering. In the unfortunate event that the nursing home staff intentionally deprived a resident of adequate nutrition and hydration, you may also seek punitive damages from the facility. This category of damages is intended to punish individuals and entities that engage in willful and reckless conduct while discouraging others from engaging in the same conduct.