FAQs

How soon should I make a claim?

A potential claimant should always seek the advice of an attorney as early as possible. There could be many deadlines to meet, claims against governmental entities may require that the entity be put on notice much earlier than the statute of limitations period. A medical and legal analysis must be done prior to filing a lawsuit, so don’t wait or the lawyer might not have enough time to investigate the claim.

How should I complain if a resident is not receiving proper care at a nursing home?

Begin by speaking with the director of nursing and the nursing home administrator. If your questions are not answered and the problems not resolved, contact the Florida Department of Children and Families Abuse Hotline and ask for an investigation, call the local ombudsman or seek legal advice.

What is medical malpractice or medical negligence?

As a general rule medical malpractice (also known as medical negligence) means that a health care provider caused injury or death to a patient by failing to act within the applicable standard of care.

What are typical medical malpractice claims?

Lawsuits against health institutions and/or physicians for medical malpractice commonly occur under the following circumstances: – Birth injury – Surgical Negligence – Anesthesia Malpractice – Misdiagnosis – Injury from Prescription Drugs/Overdoses – Hospital Bedsores

How common is medical malpractice?

Unfortunately, medical mistakes are commonplace in the United States. A recently published study by the Institute of Medicine reported that up to 98,000 people die each year in American hospitals due to medical mistakes. That makes medical mistakes the 8th leading cause of death in our country.

When should I expect that my injuries were caused by medical malpractice?

Not all medical mistakes are malpractice, but if you or a loved one has suffered an unexpected serious injury or death, you should question whether the injury or death was caused by medical negligence. You owe it to yourself and your family to know the truth and to hold the health care provider responsible for the harm he or she caused. Millions of dollars may be at stake.

What should I do if I have been a victim of medical malpractice?

You may be experiencing pain and suffering and severe financial hardships. You should not go through this difficult time alone. You, the patient, should not be paying for your doctor’s mistakes or negligence. If you or a loved one are living with the consequences of a misdiagnosis, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer who can protect your rights and get you the compensation to which you are entitled. Contact us at 1-877-266-4298. We will review your medical records and will promptly let you know if you have a case.

What happens in a medical negligence action?

First, the attorney must collect all of the appropriate medical records, radiographic films, and other evidence and have them reviewed by a medical expert of the same specialty as the doctor in question. If the medical expert feels that the doctor fell below the standard of care and caused injury, then the attorney prepares an affidavit for him to sign and files that along with a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation against the doctor and/or healthcare facility. That begins a 90-day investigation period where information is exchanged. At the conclusion of that pursuit then the complaint can be filed in court.

What experience does Sinclair Law Offices have in the area of medical negligence lawsuits?

Attorney Charles (“Kip”) Sinclair has been representing victims of medical negligence for more than twenty-five years and has achieved settlements and verdicts for his clients of many millions of dollars. For example, he achieved a combination settlement/verdict of nearly $5 million for a woman paralyzed from a stroke. He also achieved a verdict for a man paralyzed after receiving a flu shot for more than $13 million. Mr. Sinclair is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a select group of attorneys who have achieved verdicts or settlements in excess of $1 million.

What about the costs of pursuing litigation?

Most attorneys (including Sinclair Law Offices) will handle your case on a contingent fee arrangement. This means the lawyers will be paid a percentage of the recovery in the event of a settlement or judgment. Sinclair Law Offices will also pay all the advance costs with the understanding that they will recoup such costs only in the event of a recovery. Therefore, you will be able to secure our representation without having to pay any attorney’s fees or expenses out of one’s own pocket.

How do I choose the proper nursing home for my loved one?

Various nursing home resources are available on the internet, and links to be found on the Sinclair Law Offices Home Page.

What is the statute of limitations for bringing an action against a nursing home?

Any action against a nursing home for nursing home negligence must be brought within two years of the date of the negligence or injury.

Residents’ Bill of Rights

Florida Statutes give all residents of a nursing home the right to:

  1. Civil and religious liberties.
  2. Private and uncensored communication.
  3. Reasonable access to health, social and legal services.
  4. Present grievances without fear of reprisal.
  5. Be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity.
  6. Privacy.
  7. Be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons.
  8. Be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, seclusion and physical and chemical restraints.
  9. Choose their own physician and be informed of their medical condition and treatment plan.
  10. Receive adequate and appropriate health care, protection and support services.

Nursing Home Abuse

How prevalent is nursing home abuse and neglect?

There are 17,000 nursing homes across this country. 1.5 million elderly and disabled Americans reside in nursing homes. According to a congressional report, State inspectors cited nearly 5,300 nursing homes between January 1999 to January 2001. In more than 1,600 of these homes, 1 in 10 of the nation’s nursing residences, the violations were “serious enough to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury”

What should I do if I suspect elder abuse?

Investigate at once. Begin collecting facts. The nursing home will not cooperate in this process. Gather all the material you can so that documents cannot be changed. Contact the abuse hotline and the ombudsman. You should also contact an attorney.

What is the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases?

Two years from the date you knew or should have known about the injury.

How can I find out if there have been any problems with a particular nursing home?

The State of Florida Agency for Health Care Administration surveys each facility and issues citations for any violations that they find. By law, all nursing homes in Florida are required to post their most recent state survey at the facility.

What questions should I ask a facility which I am considering for a loved one?

Is there adequate staff? Is the food good? Is there an activity program for residents? Is the facility clean and free of unpleasant odors