Are Nursing Home Cases Considered Medical Malpractice Cases?

Posted on August 11, 2023 by Shapiro Law Group

comfort alone patient at nursing home, neglected old peopleImagine trusting a nursing home in Tampa to provide quality, attentive care for your loved one, only to discover that they have been injured due to the facility’s negligence or incompetence. This scenario is all too common, raising a critical question: Are such instances of nursing home malpractice considered medical malpractice in Florida?

What Is a Nursing Home Case?

A nursing home case refers to a legal dispute arising from allegations of neglect, abuse, or negligence in a long-term care facility, leading to injury or harm to a resident. These cases can span a wide spectrum of misconduct, from physical abuse to improper administration of medication.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice, on the other hand, occurs when a healthcare professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes injury to a patient. This could involve errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.

Difference Between Nursing Home Cases and  Medical Malpractice

Understanding the difference between nursing home cases and medical malpractice is crucial. Generally, medical malpractice pertains to negligence on the part of healthcare professionals such as doctors or nurses. In contrast, nursing home cases can involve various other forms of abuse or neglect not directly related to medical treatment, such as emotional abuse or financial exploitation.

However, nursing home cases in Florida may resemble medical malpractice claims or might be another type of claim altogether, depending on what was done wrong, and by whom.

When Nursing Home Cases Become Medical Malpractice

Instances of nursing home care morphing into medical malpractice in Florida tend to occur when a resident’s injury or harm is directly tied to a medical error, negligence, or intentional wrongdoing by a healthcare professional within the facility.

In such scenarios, the nursing home doesn’t just fail in its role as a care provider — it actively harms the patient through medical mismanagement. Here are a few common scenarios where nursing home cases might shift into the realm of medical malpractice:

1. Incorrect Diagnosis or Misdiagnosis

If a physician or nurse within the nursing home incorrectly diagnoses a patient or fails to diagnose a clear and present medical condition, it could lead to improper or delayed treatment, causing further harm or even death. Such instances fall under medical malpractice as the healthcare professional fails in their duty of care.

2. Medication Errors

One of the most common forms of medical malpractice in nursing homes involves the administration of medication. Errors can include giving the wrong medication, wrong dosage, or incorrect method of administration. It can also involve failure to administer necessary medication at all, or not monitoring the resident for adverse effects.

3. Improper or Negligent Medical Care

Any form of medical negligence that directly leads to harm or injury, such as performing a medical procedure incorrectly, failing to refer to a specialist when needed, or not following standard medical procedures and protocols, could constitute medical malpractice.

4. Inadequate Follow-Up or Aftercare

Aftercare plays a critical role in a patient’s recovery process. If nursing home staff neglect their responsibility to provide proper follow-up care after a medical procedure or treatment, this negligence can exacerbate health issues and even lead to new ones, falling under the umbrella of medical malpractice.

In these cases, the key is to prove that the harm or injury resulted directly from a healthcare provider’s failure to adhere to the accepted standards of medical practice. This is where a skilled medical malpractice attorney at the Shapiro Law Group can be of tremendous help.

Essential Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case

In Florida, a medical malpractice case must satisfy these criteria:

  • The medical professional owed a duty of care to the patient.
  • That duty was breached by the professional.
  • The breach directly led to injury or harm to the patient.
  • There are quantifiable damages resulting from the injury.

Remember, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice case in Florida is two years from when the patient (or sometimes a particular family member) either knew or should have known with reasonable diligence, that the injury occurred.

Do You Have a Nursing Home Medical Malpractice Claim?

When nursing home abuse becomes a case of medical malpractice, it’s time to seek the assistance of experienced Florida malpractice attorneys. If you believe your loved one has suffered from nursing home medical malpractice in Tampa, Florida, the Shapiro Law Group is here to help. Contact us today and let us fight for the justice your loved one deserves.


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