Nursing home neglect and abuse

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Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

We trust nursing homes to deliver the highest level of care for our elderly and disabled adults. We rely on nursing home staff to show professionalism and go beyond simply providing basic needs and accommodations. New York and New Jersey law is in alignment with these expectations, requiring facilities and their teams to strictly comply with the duty to provide proper care to the people in their facilities. However, sometimes the reality is that some nursing homes do not provide that standard of care. They can be understaffed, underfunded, and poorly managed. Our most vulnerable people can become victims of nursing home neglect and suffer from poor nutrition, bed sores, falls and even death.

At Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, we fight for the rights of the victims of nursing home neglect. We are dedicated to fighting on behalf of the susceptible individuals who experience injuries due to negligence, recklessness, or even willful actions. Our lawyers have extensive experience helping victims and their families obtain compensation from facilities that fail to properly take care of our loved ones. We fight nursing home abuse and enforce the rights of those victims of abuse. No one should be victimized by a nursing home that they trust with their lives.

Identifying Elder Abuse

Identifying elder abuse is sometimes obvious when a victim has visible injuries such as bed sores but often can be more difficult. The National Institutes of Health define resident neglect or abuse as a designated caregiver’s failure to meet the dependent’s needs. Often, the caregiving staff or other residents compromised the resident’s safety through neglect, mistreatment, or physical assault.

Typical forms of elder abuse and neglect involve:

  • Leaving the victim unattended. Failing to attend to a nursing home resident can lead to bed sores.
  • Failing to ensure the resident has the ability to move about safety and is not exposed to fall risks.
  • Not providing the resident with routine baths and showers upon request or on schedule.
  • Chronicle failures to administer prescription drugs, according to the doctor’s orders
  • Allowing the resident to live in an unclean environment
  • Failing to provide the resident with necessities including shelter, food, water, and hygiene assistance
  • Dismissing or ignoring the resident’s grievances or complaints
  • Not answering the resident’s call light within a reasonable time frame

Warning Signs

It is essential to recognize the warning signs so you can take action immediately:

  • Abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, or emotional. Physical abuse is defined as willfully inflicting pain or suffering upon an elderly or disabled person or restraining them. Bruises, cuts, or scrapes, bone fractures, bedsores, and injuries from falls may indicate physical abuse. Mood swings, uncharacteristic outbursts, anger, and withdrawal from others may signal signs of emotional abuse.
  • Neglect is also variable, as it may include anything from forgetting to administer medication to placing a victim in an unsafe situation. Nursing home accidents are often the result of neglect, where the conduct violates the standard of care, even if it was a mistake.
  • Financial exploitation or abuse may be difficult to spot if you do not have access to the victim’s bank accounts or other assets. Still, you should watch out for situations where the victim cannot pay bills or allows someone to handle banking under suspicious circumstances.

Legal Remedies

At Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, we can provide a legal remedy to nursing home abuse. A case can be brought to obtain compensation for the victim and compel the nursing home to care for a resident properly. A case can be brought against:

  • An individual person that works as a caregiver, such as a nurse, orderly, nursing assistant, or similar position;
  • Nursing home administrators or managers who are responsible for properly supervising their teams; and/or,
  • The owners or operators of the nursing facility;

A person who has proper standing to sue would be the victim or their family in the event of disability. A legal guardian may need to be appointed if the victim cannot care for their affairs. Compensation can be recovered for:

  • Physical pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress and anguish; and,
  • The costs for medical care necessary to treat the victim’s injuries.

The victim, or their nursing home abuse lawyers, must prove that negligence resulted in their injuries. The attorney might show how staff members, or the facility, neglected to meet the resident’s needs. Proving a case could involve:

  • Documenting eyewitness accounts
  • Gathering audio, photographic, and video evidence that might involve surveillance cameras
  • Taking depositions to record the testimony of participators
  • Referring the victim to specialists to undergo additional diagnoses to determine the extent of the harm involving their disorder, personal injury, or mental health

New York Law Protects The Vulnerable

It may be possible to recover punitive damages in some nursing home abuse cases. New York Public Health Law § 2801-d provides a private statutory cause of action for residents of nursing homes injured due to any violation of a “resident’s rights” that causes an injury. This remedy is in addition to any case the victim may have for negligence or medical malpractice.

The Public Health Law states:

“Any residential health care facility that deprives any patient of said facility of any right or benefit, as hereinafter defined, shall be liable to said patient for injuries suffered as a result of said deprivation…

For purposes of this section, a ‘right or benefit’ of a patient of a residential health care facility shall mean any right created or established for the well-being of the patient by the terms of any contract, by any state statute, code, rule, or regulation or by any applicable federal statute, code, rule or regulation.”

New York and the federal government have established numerous statutes, codes and rules, and regulations that create a “right or benefit” established for the “well-being” of nursing home residents. These laws form a code of minimum standards for nursing homes requiring that staff provide care within accepted professional standards. Federal law also provides standards for nursing home care,  42 C.F.R. § 483.1 is a federal regulation that provides minimum standards for nursing homes addressing all aspects of nursing home resident care, including quality of life, quality of care, nursing, physician, dietary, and other necessary services.

To obtain damages under section 2801-d, plaintiffs must prove that the nursing home’s deprivation of a “right or benefit” caused the injury claimed. Punitive damages and attorney’s fees may also be awarded under the statute.

At Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys fight for the victims of nursing home neglect. If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse in a nursing home, developed pressure sores (bedsores, decubiti), fallen, or become dehydrated/malnourished due to a nursing home’s neglect, call us.

Of course, should you have additional questions, we welcome you to contact us for a free consultation. If there is a case, we work on a contingency basis – there is no fee until we obtain compensation for the victim of nursing home abuse.

Nursing home abuse can be emotionally and physically devastating. Michael J. Asta, Esq. is one of New York’s leading personal injury attorneys with over 500 Million Dollars recovered for clients and over 30 years fighting for New Yorkers like you. You can be confident that the legal team at Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers is fully committed to winning the best possible results for our personal injury clients and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, call Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers at (212) 244-6555 or complete the contact form here on our website so we can help you. The consultation is free, and we work on a contingency basis meaning there is no fee until we obtain compensation on your behalf, guaranteeing you’ll never come out of pocket.

Asta & Bickoff, Personal Injury Lawyers, Where Quality Representation Doesn’t Cost, It Pays.

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