Good morning. I was very sorry to read your question and learn of your mother's stroke, apparently followed by a number of complications if I have read your question as you had intended it to be understood. The first issue which needs to be made clear is that any prospective claim which your mother might have/have had, could already be barred by the applicable limitations period governing this matter. However, it is impossible to tell just yet whether that is the case or not. You need to immediately consult with several attorneys who are qualified in both medical malpractice matters as well as nursing home abuse and neglect actions. The former is governed by Chapter 766, Florida Statutes (Florida's Medical Malpractice Act); the latter is subject to the mandates and parameters set forth by Chapter 400, Florida Statutes (sometimes referred to as Florida's Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Act, but which actually governs a variety of entitities such as ALF's; ACLF's; as well as Nursing Homes). The reason I think you need an attorney qualified in both areas is that from the mere broadstrokes which your question sets forth, it is quite easy to conceive of a variety of scenarios in which the nursing home (and its owners, administrators, licensee, medical director, employees [such as the nursing staff], and so on) might very well blame your mother's medical providers who are not affilliated with the facility for failing to take certain actions which they will contend, potentially, would have allowed this adverse outcome to have been averted. They may even be correct. Likewise, the medical providers with whom your mother consults who are not affilliated with the facility, if any, will potentially contend in their defense that the nursing staff, for example, failed to bring certain critical observations to their attention, and had they done so, the stroke from which she suffered, might have been avoided.
Either way, you need to act quickly. If the action is not already barred, it could be at any time, literally day by day. There is no way to tell without reviewing your mother's medical records as well as her nursing home chart. Have you, or someone acting for you, gathered these documents from the facility and from her doctors? This would be a tremendously usefuly head start for any attorney with whom you may wish to consult, and time is absolutely of the essence in this matter.
My standard advice is that you should, or ideally, your mother should, consult with three or more attorneys qualified in both areas of legal specialty to which I have made reference. This will allow you and/or your mother/and/or anyone acting on her behalf to determine with whom they feel the most comfortable working; who he or she feels adequately answers the questions which you might like to pose to him or her; and so on. I have handled a great many actions of both types and would be happy to offer you an initial consultation at no cost. You can also find quite a few other qualified practitioners through AVVO. AVVO can coordinate the consultation(s), if you request that they do so, or you can contact me directly on my cellular telephone, the number for which is (305) 972-5720.
Briefly, the applicable statute of limitations, whether this matter ultimately proves to be one governed by Chapter 766 or Chapter 400 is two years from the date on which your mother learned that she had been harmed as a result of medical negligence or nursing home abuse or neglect, or two years from the date on which she should have been aware that this was the case with the excercise of due diligence after reasonable inquiry and investigation, up to an outerbound of four years from the date of the alleged negligence (or abuse).The only exception to these parameters requires a showing of deliberate fraud or concealment of the necessary documents or other evidence without which you could not have discovered the necessary information to form this conclusion and is RARE.
We are pleased to offer a free thirty (30) minute initial telephone consultation, or, if possible, will attempt to schedule a free thirty (30) minute initial office consultation. Neither this offer of a free initial consultation, nor the mere fact that the initial consultation may have ultimately been conducted, whether telephonically or at our office location, should be construed; assumed; interpreted; or understood by any individual who was granted a free initial consultation for which no consideration of any sort whatsoever was tendered, to have formed or created an attorney-client relationship, or to have created any obligations owed by the attorney or attorney's firm to any individual who was given a free initial consultation, by the mere undertaking of the free initial consultation for which no consideration of any sort was tendered to attorney or attorney's firm. The formation of an attorney-client relationship occurs through the process of negotiation between the prospective parties, the individual seeking legal representation, and the attorney, acting individually, or as an agent of a firm (the capacity in which the attorney is acting shall be disclosed to prospective client, if negotiations for legal representation in exchange for good and valuable consideration are undertaken by the prospective client and the attorney. If agreement is reached by and between the parties for legal representation after the mutually satisfactory negotiation of the agreement for legal representation, and all of its individual terms; the scope of representation to be provided by the attorney to the prospective client has been delineated to the mutual satisfaction of the parties; the manner of payment of good and valuable consideration by the prospective client to the attorney has been determined; and it has been conceded by the parties that all of those factors upon which agreement had been reached by the parties and which were recited herein, had been agreed upon by the parties only after careful consideration and sufficient review of the document styled Agreement for Legal Representation, and after it has likewise been conceded by the parties that each respectively had been presented with the opportunity to have the document reviewed independently by each respective party's personal attorney, or any other attorney of his or her chooosing. If the Agreement for Legal Representation contains terms regarding contingency fee agreement or agreements for payment to the attorney for all or a portion of his or her services and legal representation on behalf of the Client, Client concedes that he or she has been presented with an additional document entitled "Statement of Client's Rights", which is a document created by the Florida Bar and approved for use in matters in which payment in full or part, is tendered by contingency fee agreement. Please note that any commentary or response offered through this site is based on the limited set of facts and background data supplied by the individual framing the question and would in all likelihood require more investigation before a complete response could properly be framed to thoroughly answer the question posed. No attorney-client relationship is, or should be presumed to be, formed through the comments or responses provided to the individual posing the question, as a courtesy, here, through this forum, nor should any other duties or obligations be construed; assumed; or otherwise be inferred to exist and/or owed to the individual who posed the question by the attorney who provided the best guidance possible to said individual under the circumstances presented as they were, including the unreasonable assumption that a full and thorough legal analysis of an individual's situation could be formulated simply based on the minute portion of the entirety of the facts and circumstances surrounding any legal matter, which could in no manner possibly be presented here in such a form which would allow for a thorough analysis, evaluation, or legal opinion to be formed by the Attorney.
You say that you are looking for a lawyer. Keep in mind statute of limitations. http://www.statuteoflimitations.net/florida_statute_of_limitations.htm
You can search Avvo's "find a lawyer" for a lawyer in your city, and call a few until you find a lawyer you are happy with and who will represent you.
Licensed in PA & NJ. 29% Contingency Fee. Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com
Negligence and personal injury Medical malpractice Pain and suffering Personal injury Personal injury lawsuits Evidence for personal injury cases Medical records and personal injury Nursing home abuse and injuries Fraud Elder law Healthcare and elder law Medicare and elder law Nursing homes Arbitration Lawsuits and disputes Evidence
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about personal injury law.