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Can I sue an assisted living facility for negligence?

Lauderhill, FL |

My mother is 94 years old, living in an assisted living facility who wandered off the property(she has documented dementia) and was injured by a fall and was sent to the hospital. The facility had no idea that she was missing and stated that she was at the dinner table, when I called to say she was in the hospital. She broke the bone under her left eye socket, suffered numerous bruises, stitches and is in the hospital in the hospice ward until I move her to a new ALF. Is this negligence on the ALF's behalf and are there attorney's who would take on a lawsuit against an AFL, not a nursing home? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 7


There may very well be an appropriate case to pursue on behalf of your mother. Contact an attorney in FL who handles cases against ALF facilities. Good luck.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


You need to use google or avvo to find a law firm near you that specializes in nursing home negligence case. Allowing a patient to wander out and become injured is a classic malpractice scenario. The key question for you is how badly will your rights be impacted by your state's anti-patient tort reform laws. Elections have consequences and some bad laws have been passed in your state. You need to consult locally.


It may well be a case of damages caused by negligence - in which case, you may sue. Contact an attorney near you that handles personal injury matters.


In cases like this, the biggest drawback is that these facilities often have little in the way of available insurance benefits to pay these claims. Do you happen to have the name of the person that represented that your mother was at the dinner table when she was in fact not even at the facility? Do you have anyone who can testify how she left the facility? Has she done this before? Does she actually have permission to leave the facility on her own? Do you know how she fell? Where she fell? What was the facility's usual practice for checking up on her throughout the day? Was this a hospital bed type facility or are these individual apartment type units? How far from the facility was she? Do you have any indication of how long she had been gone from the facility (either judging by the distance she had walked or any other means)? Does your mother have any recall of these events? Are all of her medical bills being covered or will she be billed for deductibles, co-pays, or uncovered expenses? How is her stay at the ALF funded? Does your mother have lucid intervals or is her dementia a full-time condition? If full-time, does she have a court appointed guardian who could spear-head such a claim for her? Besides the damages from this recent incident, is she suffering from any other conditions that her treaters feel are terminal?
There are a lot of factors in a case like this, and these cases are fact-specific plus the claimants are often at the mercy of the available insurance coverage. This is the dirty little secret in the ALF and nursing home industry.

In my practice, I do both litigation work and financial/estate planning. More and more, I'm phasing out of the litigation work and counseling with other lawyers' clients regarding the financial & estate planning aspects of their legal cases. Many times, the need for my services comes from a change in a client's family situation: birth, death, marriage, or divorce. Other times, the client is settling a suit or claim, and they need to know how to reduce taxes and protect the money so it doesn't get squandered or sued away from them. Whatever your legal situation, there is likely to be a financial component that raises questions or concerns for you.


I'm sorry to hear about this, and it should never have happened with proper supervision and care. There are plenty of local nursing home abuse lawyers that can investigate.


I am sorry to hear about your mother. I regularly handle ALF cases in Broward county. It sounds like you may have a viable ALF neglect case but I would need to gather the records to make a full determination. I'd be happy to speak with you further about this possible case. Please let me know if you have any questions.


Nothing in this answer is to be interpreted as legal advice. I would need more facts to fully assess your case.


There may be a case here. It depends on record keeping, etc. Call a personal injury lawyer.

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