Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Getting Justice for the Elderly in Long Island, New York City, & Westchester County
A loved one’s emotional health might suffer just as much as their physical health as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect. The fact is that many elderly people in long-term care facilities are subjected to mistreatment on a daily basis. These nursing facilities’ elderly residents are susceptible for a variety of reasons. If you suspect your senior loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you should move swiftly to recover damages for the mental and physical harm they have suffered. A nursing home abuse lawyer can fight for your elderly loved one’s rights and help them obtain the extra assistance they need to heal from the abuse and neglect they suffered in their nursing home. Many nursing home patients claim nursing homes engage in harmful practices that leave them neglected and injured as a result of their caregivers’ carelessness.
Many of those same residents, on the other hand, do not pursue a personal injury lawsuit to help them collect monetary damages for their injuries, medical treatment, or emotional trauma caused by the facility and its staff. Our team of nursing home abuse lawyers can provide you or a loved one with the legal counsel they need to hold negligent nursing homes responsible for the mistreatment of your loved one accountable.
What Qualifies as Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home neglect can occur in many forms such as physical abuse, verbal abuse, neglect, and negligence.
Neglect is any single or repeated act of intentional or unintentional negligence committed by a nursing home professional that has the potential to cause physical, mental, or psychological harm to nursing home residents. Any commission or omission of an act that harms a patient may be considered nursing home abuse.
In New York, nursing home negligence often comes under the category of elder abuse and is widespread throughout the United States. Approximately 1.7 million people are cared for in nursing homes every year and it is estimated that a quarter of all Americans will receive long-term care at some point in their lifetime.
Thousands of nursing home residents die from starvation, dehydration, or bedsores each year and all three of these conditions are a result of nursing home malpractice.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse occurs in many ways. These include: physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, improper care, failure to provide care or medical treatment, and physical negligence
Nursing Home Negligence Can Take Many Forms Such as:
- Home health attendants who negligently drop a patient
- Patients who are burned by scalding water
- Falls from wheelchairs
- Falls from beds where the railing was not placed in an upward and locked position or where the patient was left unattended in an unsafe situation
- Improper or insufficient care which leads to bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Improper or insufficient care which leads to malnutrition or dehydration
- Patients who injure themselves by trying to get up by themselves because they couldn’t obtain assistance
- Slips and falls due to premises liability such as: broken or slippery floors, loose cords, clutter, etc.
Problems With the Care Facility May Be Due To:
- Poorly trained, poorly paid, or insufficient nursing staff
- Inadequate responses to questions about nursing home care
- Sometimes, staff members have a history of violence. Other times, staff members are poorly qualified or not trained adequately.
Even if it isn’t deemed deliberate, elder abuse and neglect can happen in a variety of ways. This might take the form of physical, verbal, or mental abuse and neglect. In either instance, significant injury to nursing home residents can occur, which may be irreparable depending on the victim’s condition and medical history. There are clear indicators and signs of abuse that might help you determine whether you should seek legal assistance for a possible nursing home abuse lawsuit. The following are signs of physical and emotional abuse that nursing home abuse victims can sometimes display:
- Injuries to the head
- Broken bones
- Pressure ulcers
- Rashes, cuts, and scrapes
- Atypical behavioral shifts
- An abrupt shift in attitude
- Unwillingness to interact with people
There are many forms and types of elder abuse. This can come in the form of financial abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. No matter what type of abuse an elder has experienced at a nursing home, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you get justice for the damage that has been caused. If you observe some of these indications in your loved one and believe nursing home mistreatment is to blame for their sudden mental health and physical health problems, call a Long Island nursing home abuse attorney right away. Everyone, particularly those that are unable to effectively defend themselves against abuse and neglect by others, ought to be treated with dignity and compassion. With the aid of one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys, you can bring those responsible for your loved one’s mistreatment to justice now.
What Can You Sue a Nursing Home For?
Long-term care facilities are supposed to help their older residents handle their day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, many assisted living nursing homes take advantage of the fact that many of their residents simply cannot defend themselves the way they used to. Whether physical abuse, financial abuse, or emotional abuse, the amount of physical or emotional harm a helpless resident of an abusive nursing home can end up with is unfathomable. Nursing home residents deserve much better treatment and they deserve justice for the abuse or neglect they have received. That is where an abuse attorney can come in handy. A nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm can pursue legal action to bring the nursing home that acted with negligence accountable for their unruly actions.
We can assist you or a loved one with filing a personal injury claim that can help you recover damages for any injuries and losses sustained as a result of the nursing home’s negligence. One of the most impactful aspects of nursing home abuse or neglect is having to deal with out-of-pocket medical costs due to the physical harm you or a loved one sustained. Getting treated for common nursing home neglect injuries like broken bones, bedsores, malnutrition, and infections can be costly for you and your family. Medication, physical therapy, surgeries, and more can pile up and hurt your financial health. We can assist you in recovering damages for medical expenses so you can get back on your feet in no time.
If signs point to physical elder abuse at a nursing home, it is also possible that nursing home residents have also experienced emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can happen for many reasons. An elder abuse victim may feel isolated or alone because of the way they have been treated. We can help you recover compensation for the mental anguish you or a loved one have been through. Nursing home neglect can have a serious impact on your mental health. A nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm wants to ensure you get the compensation you deserve for the mental anguish you have dealt with.
Abuse cases are challenging because proving negligence and proving the extent of the damage done to you or a loved one can be difficult. However, having a nursing home abuse lawyer from our Long Island law firm can reassure you and your family that justice can be brought to the negligent assisted living facility that hurt you. Don’t make the mistake of going at this alone. A nursing home abuse and neglect attorney from our law firm will always work in your best interests and we will do whatever it takes to hold the nursing home responsible for negligent behavior accountable.
What is the Average Settlement for Nursing Home Neglect?
When it comes to settling an abuse and neglect claim, there are many factors that can determine how much compensation you may end up getting. The first key is to prove negligence in your case. While that may sound easy enough, it can actually be quite challenging without the right neglect attorney assisting you on your case. Once negligence has been proven, may also have to prove the extent of the damages you have suffered. In either case, having an injury attorney investigate your case from top to bottom can help you put together a strong and successful case.
With that evidence in hand, an injury attorney can also negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company representing the eldercare facility you are suing. In general, each elder care facility may have strong representation when it comes to fighting back against abuse claims. Hard evidence such as medical care invoices, medical records, and expert testimony can provide you with a lot of leverage going forward. Get the compensation you deserve with the help of our distinguished nursing home injury lawyers today. We understand just how important it can be for you and your family to get the most compensation possible for your case and to get the justice you deserve. We will do whatever it takes to achieve that for you.
What are the Next Steps I Should Take?
Mistreatment in nursing homes occurs for a variety because of various factors. Understaffing and undertraining in any specific nursing home are some of the major causes of nursing home mistreatment. Many nursing homes lack adequate funding and may be severely understaffed. With less personnel available to provide customized care to each patient, it’s more likely that staff may ignore rules or standards that could jeopardize a resident’s health. Similarly, if staff is inexperienced, they may not be aware of the appropriate processes for promoting the security and well-being of each and every nursing home resident.
Whatever the cause of your elderly loved one’s abuse in a nursing home is, contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer in Long Island can offer the most effective opportunity of collecting financial compensation for all of the harm that has already been done to them. No one deserves to be abused or ignored, especially those who are in constant need of our assistance. Our personal injury law office can provide you and your family with the advantage you need to maximize the success of your nursing home abuse claim. Our law office is devoted to helping senior clients and providing them with the best possible solution for their cases. We have many years of professional experience and are proficient in various areas of personal injury law.
What should you do if you notice signs of neglect or abuse such as unexplained injuries, an unexplained change in behavior, poor hygiene, complaints of pain such as back pain which could be a bedsore, or sudden weight loss?
In order to advocate for your loved one, who you suspect may be the victim of abuse or neglect, you must know what rights a nursing home resident has. The following link to the Department of Health Website delineates the rights residents have.
You have the right to exercise your rights without fear of reprisal. In other words, you have the right to assert your rights without fear that the nursing home will retaliate against you for doing so. I have found that families are reluctant to come forward because they fear that the nursing home will retaliate by discharging their loved one.
Attend Care Plan Meetings
Under the New York Public Health Law, a nursing home resident has the right to receive quality care and treatment. If you suspect that they are not receiving quality care there are a variety of actions you can take. If you are designated as the legal representative of your loved one by the nursing home, you have the right to attend care plan meetings. This is something that few families take advantage of. Nursing homes must have multidisciplinary care plan meetings to implement and review your loved one’s care plan. At the meeting, you can expect a nurse supervisor, doctor, physical therapist, if appropriate, dietician, and other service providers. This is a rare opportunity for you to discuss your loved one’s needs. It is important that you come prepared for the meeting. You might want to obtain your loved one’s medical records before attending so you can review the care plan beforehand. At the meeting, you can express your concerns and insist that they document your concerns in your loved one’s chart.
What is an Ombudsman?
Every nursing home in New York State has an ombudsman whose job it is to protect vulnerable residents and protect their most basic rights. They are also a resource you can use to resolve disputes, get advice on how to make sure your loved one gets quality care, and advise you on residents’ rights.
Should I File a complaint with the Department of Health?
Every nursing home resident and/or their representative has the right to file a complaint with the New York State Department of Health Hotline.
You should file a complaint with the Department of Health (DOH) if you suspect that your loved one’s basic rights have been violated or they have suffered abuse and/or neglect. Obviously, use your discretion when deciding whether to report the nursing home. You might be able to involve the ombudsman and resolve the issue without involving the DOH.
If you have a specific complaint and/or concern, make sure that the staff documents it in your loved one’s chart. For example, if you believe that your loved one isn’t getting turned and repositioned consistent with their care plan, then make sure they document your concern. Maybe your loved one isn’t getting the proper medications, or sufficient physical therapy, etc. It is important that your concerns are in the medical record for all of the staff to see.
Consider taking photographs as well as videos of any visible injuries. If your loved one has bedsores in a private area you can insist that the nursing staff take photographs. You should also consider keeping a journal.
You Should Know the Certified Nurse Aides That Care for Your Loved One
Nurse aides provide the majority of care to nursing home residents. They feed, bathe, comfort, and turn and reposition residents. They are on the frontline. Get to know them. Watch them work and decide for yourself if they seem rushed and unable to provide basic care. You may want to ask for the aide to attend the care plan meeting.
Should I Look for Another Nursing Home?
This is a very personal decision that only you can answer. There are many factors, not the least of which is, is the nursing home is close to your home? Would moving your loved one would result in fewer visits? You want to avoid this if possible. I would advise you to first try and resolve the issues before moving your loved one. Of course, use your judgment. If your loved one is at great risk then you might have to act quickly and have them transferred.
Do I Have a Right to Obtain My Loved One’s Medical Records?
Yes, if you are the legal representative. Under New York State and Federal law you have a right to a copy of your loved one’s medical records. A simple written request for the records is sufficient. If you are only interested in a specific time period let them know. Should I install a camera in my loved one’s room if I suspect abuse?
Clients have done this but the decision to do so was made long before they hired me. This is a complex decision that cannot be addressed in this format. There are many factors including the right to privacy of your loved one and their roommates.
Attend Family Council Meetings
Many nursing homes have family council meetings where the family members of the resident gather to discuss various issues. As the expression goes, there is power in numbers so you may find that other families are having the same experience as you. You might also find out about other issues you weren’t aware of at these meetings.
One of the most effective ways to ensure that your loved one gets quality care is to visit often. Studies have demonstrated that just showing up and visiting results in better care for your loved one. Visit at different hours of the day including late at night when there are fewer staff. Make sure you sign in so there is evidence that you visited. As a lawyer, one of the criteria I use in selecting a case is whether the family visited often. If they didn’t visit, I would like to think there to be a good reason.
Should I Call a Lawyer?
A lawyer will investigate your claim and if appropriate seek money damages for your loved one’s pain and suffering. Our firm doesn’t get paid unless there is a recovery from the nursing home. We are typically paid one-third (1/3) of the gross settlement.