Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you find your loved one has been abused or neglected in a Bronx nursing home, contact a Bronx nursing home abuse attorney. New York law gives you two years to bring a lawsuit against any responsible parties. The elder you love deserves the best quality care as they live out their golden years. When nursing homes and caregivers do not meet that standard of care, they must suffer the consequences so future residents don’t suffer too.
Nursing homes provide a valuable source of the care that some elders need, especially for families that aren’t in a position to care for their older family members at home. A dedicated nursing staff ensures that the elders we love get what they need while treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve. Yet, not all nursing care facilities provide the quality of care we expect our loved ones should receive. This failure to provide adequate care can include a wide variety of negligent behaviors.
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If you know or suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence in a Bronx nursing home, you need to take action to stop the behavior as soon as possible. If the elder you love is in immediate danger, call 911. In other situations, file a complaint against the nursing home with the New York State Department of Health online. You can also file a complaint via telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling the Nursing Home Complaint hotline at (888) 201-4563.
Nursing home negligence impacts the victim and their families physically, psychologically, and financially. If your loved one has been neglected while in the care of a nursing home, New York law permits your loved one, or someone on their behalf, to sue for damages related to the injuries and losses caused by the home’s negligence.
Contact the skilled Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your nursing home negligence case.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP Fights for Neglected Nursing Home Residents
The attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have represented injured clients for 40 years, including those who have suffered illness and injury in negligent nursing homes.
The firm’s dedication to client advocacy, case preparation, and professional excellence has resulted in millions of dollars of damages for their clients in settlements and jury verdicts.
Some recent case examples involving nursing home negligence include:
- $5,032,281 verdict. A six-person jury ruled in favor of our client after the nursing home where he resided ignored his medical needs. The nursing home left our 75-year-old client alone in his room for hours. He had extremely low blood sugar and went into hypoglycemic shock. Additionally, once the nursing home found our client was unresponsive, they did not call an ambulance for him right away. Consequently, he suffered preventable and permanent brain damage from the lack of oxygen to his brain. Our client lived for six months in a coma and hooked up to a feeding tube before he sadly lost his life.
- $500,000 settlement. Staff at a nursing home failed to monitor our 81-year-old client’s diabetes, causing her to slip into a diabetic coma. Unfortunately, she never recovered and her children hired us to seek damages from the nursing home.
- $270,000 settlement. Our client complained of a toothache and the nursing home staff did not assist the resident in obtaining dental care. After neglected complaints of pain, our client developed an abscess and accompanying thrush. The infection was so severe that the nursing home had to send our client to the hospital for treatment with intravenous antibiotics.
These cases are examples of recent nursing home negligence claims and do not guarantee an outcome for your case. Each nursing home negligence case has specific facts and circumstances that add to or detract from the value of the claim. The skilled legal team at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have the experience and resources to hold negligent nursing homes responsible for the harm they cause to their residents.
New York Nursing Home Resident Rights
Under New York law, nursing home residents have the following rights:
- To have a comfortable living environment and be treated with dignity and respect;
- To have quality care without discrimination;
- To make independent decisions;
- To receive written information about services and fees;
- To have their property and money kept safely;
- To appeal any discharge or transfer to the Department of Health;
- To have private communications;
- To choose their daily schedule and activities;
- To welcome visitors;
- To have access to an easy and responsive way to file a complaint;
- To be free from restraints;
- To be free from all forms of abuse; and
- To exercise their rights without fear of retaliation.
Negligence in Bronx Nursing Homes
Negligence is a broad concept that includes many different actions and failures that can harm a nursing home resident. Even when just one caregiver intentionally abuses a resident or passively neglects them, the nursing home can be held legally responsible.
The following situations defined by New York law can lead to a successful nursing home negligence lawsuit, and in some cases, criminal charges against the individual staff member involved:
- Physical abuse refers to a staff member’s intentional use of force that causes pain or injury to a resident. This includes hitting, slapping, punching, and the improper use of physical restraints.
- Sexual abuse in a nursing home refers to non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
- Emotional abuse is a staff member’s intentional infliction of mental anguish on a resident often through threats, intimidation, or other actions like isolation.
- Financial exploitation refers to a staff member or facility’s improper use or mismanagement of a resident’s money and/or property including fraud, forgery, identity theft, withholding access, and coercion.
- Active neglect refers to a facility or staff member purposefully withholding care from a resident and includes such things as withholding food, medication, water, heat, hygiene, medical care, or dental care.
- Passive neglect refers to a facility’s unintentional failure to provide adequate care to a nursing home resident. Facilities are often held responsible for this type of neglect, which typically stems from poor hiring and training practice and ineffective policies. During the recent coronavirus outbreak, the failure of New York nursing homes to keep residents safe from COVID-19 most often falls under passive neglect. In the most egregious cases, caretakers have abandoned residents and actively neglected them.
If your loved one contracted and/or died from COVID-19 in a Bronx nursing home, you should contact us as soon as possible to learn about your options for holding the facility accountable for their failures.
What are the Signs of Nursing Home Negligence?
A recent New York Elder Abuse Prevalence Study revealed that the actual incidence of abuse in nursing homes is 24 times higher than the rate that is reported to authorities. Some residents cannot communicate and others fear retaliation from their abuser. If your loved one resides in a Bronx nursing home, you must keep an eye out for common signs and symptoms of physical, emotional, and financial abuse, as well as neglect—all of which indicate that your loved one may have been subject to nursing home negligence.
Residents who have suffered abuse and neglect often have physical signs such as bedsores, bruises, and wounds. Those who aren’t getting adequate water or food may have pale skin, unexplained weight loss, and sunken cheeks, indicating dehydration and malnourishment. Dirty clothes and strong body odor also indicate your loved one is likely not getting the care and/or items they need to maintain their personal hygiene.
Abuse and neglect can cause significant emotional distress for victims. Some behaviors might be normal for residents, but if your loved one acts out of character, you should investigate. Some common behavioral signs of abuse and neglect include social anxiety, depression, increased worry, confusion, and withdrawal from activities and hobbies. If your loved one mentions suicide or refuses to have a conversation with you in front of staff members, this can be a strong indication of abuse or neglect.
You can find signs of financial exploitation or abuse easily if you know where to look. If you are responsible for your loved one’s financial affairs and property, and you notice missing property, money, or checks, financial abuse is very possible. Unauthorized charges and address changes on bank accounts and credit cards also can indicate financial abuse.
What to Do When You Suspect Negligence in a Bronx Nursing Home
We provided emergency numbers above for immediate action when you know your loved one has been abused or neglected in some way. You should always call law enforcement right away if your loved one is in immediate danger and file a complaint with the New York Department of Health. In other cases, you might suspect negligence, but you aren’t quite sure.
Protect your family member with the following actions when you suspect some type of abuse or neglect has occurred:
- Give notice to the nursing home administration. Immediately report, in writing, any suspected neglect or abuse to the nursing home administrator. This can include sharing that you noticed physical signs of potential abuse and your loved one didn’t have a reasonable explanation. You can also let the administration know if your loved one is behaving differently than usual or any other relevant information that leads you to believe abuse or neglect has occurred.
- Keep detailed records of all interactions. Once you report your suspicions to the administrator, you must document all of your interactions with the administrator, your loved one, other residents, and nursing home employees. Include details of conversations or emails in addition to the time and date. You should also take photos of visible injuries and keep any records that might prove financial abuse. These records will be useful if you choose to take legal action against the nursing home.
- Keep all medical bills. Abuse and neglect can come with medical treatment costs, usually because of physical injury. Yet, some victims also need mental health services to cope with the emotional trauma of neglect or abuse. Keep all relevant bills, including those for transferring your loved one to a new facility.
- Locate another nursing home. In most cases, families choose to move their loved one to a new facility, if they did not die as a result of the nursing home’s negligence. As soon as you suspect negligence, you should start researching new nursing homes, so you are ready to move your loved one if necessary.
- Hire an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. Nursing home abuse and neglect can devastate victims and families, making these cases sensitive. A skilled Bronx elder abuse lawyer can help hold the nursing home and its staff accountable, handle communications with the facility and any insurance companies, and guide you through the complaint process, while you support your loved one during this challenging time.
How to Seek Damages After Bronx Nursing Home Negligence
New York law entitles your loved one, or someone on their behalf, to seek compensation in civil court if they have suffered injury or illness as a result of nursing home negligence. Multiple parties can be named in these cases including caregivers, facilities, and insurance companies. Your Bronx nursing home abuse lawyer will advise you about the parties who might be liable in your loved one’s situation.
Some of the damages you may be able to recover for your loved one after Bronx nursing home negligence include:
- Medical treatment costs related to the abuse or neglect, such as hospitalization, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescription medication, diagnostic tests, etc.;
- Costs associated with transferring your loved one to another nursing home;
- Estimated costs of future medical treatment as a result of the negligence;
- Physical pain and suffering;
- Emotional pain and suffering; and
- Punitive damages when gross negligence or willful harm caused your loved one injury or illness.
Bronx Nursing Home Negligence FAQ
Around 1.5 million people live in nursing homes across the United States, a number that will continue to rise as Americans live longer and Baby Boomers age. Still, as common as it is for seniors to move into nursing facilities, the decision to make the transition to a skilled care setting takes a heavy emotional toll on families.
Stories in the press about nursing home abuse understandably cause families serious concern. No one wants to subject their loved one to trauma, and it is not always easy to figure out if a facility will treat a family member with dignity.
The vast majority of nursing home facilities and their staff care deeply about the residents in their care. Unfortunately, abuse in nursing home settings does happen, and it devastates its victims and their families. If you know or suspect that your loved one has suffered abuse while residing in a nursing home, you have important legal rights to protect. Contact an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to learn more.
Bronx Nursing Home Negligence FAQ
Hiring, training, and supervising qualified staff. Each nursing home in New York must exercise reasonable diligence and care in hiring, training, and supervising staff.
At a minimum, this usually includes:
- Hiring enough staff to operate the facility;
- Screening job candidates for essential qualifications and qualities;
- Training staff in best practices and protocols for all aspects of nursing home operation;
- Monitoring staff for compliance with rules and regulations;
- Taking all allegations of abuse seriously and conducting appropriate investigations;
- Reporting staff misconduct to appropriate authorities when required; and
- Terminating staff credibly suspected of misconduct.
Nursing homes that fail to take adequate steps in hiring, training, and supervising staff to ensure the safety of the residents face legal liability to residents staff members harm through abuse or neglect.
Maintaining clean, safe, well-equipped facilities. Nursing home operators must maintain their facilities in a condition that safeguards residents’ health and wellbeing. Typically, this includes keeping a facility clean and sanitary, replacing worn, obsolete, or broken equipment, keeping areas adequately lighted, and tending to spills, cracked tiles, and other hazards underfoot. Nursing facilities must also monitor residents’ interactions with each other, to ensure safety, privacy, and dignity. A nursing facility that does not keep up with these basic standards of cleanliness and safety faces legal liability to residents injured because of them.
Providing an appropriate medical standard of care. One important function of nursing homes is to provide medical care for residents. In delivering that care, facilities must adhere to the same standard of care that governs all medical professionals by providing care of the same quality and skill as that of a reasonable medical professional. Nursing homes that fail to meet this minimum standard of medical care face potential legal liability to residents whose health and wellbeing suffers as a result.
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, all of which nursing facilities must work to prevent, and face legal liability for allowing it to happen:
- Physical abuse, including hitting, rough handling, and inappropriate restraint of residents;
- Emotional abuse, such as yelling at, demeaning, insulting, humiliating, intimidating, or socially-isolating residents;
- Sexual abuse involving any form of non-consensual sexual contact or activity with a resident by nursing home staff and/or another resident;
- Financial abuse, often consisting of misuse of residents’ financial accounts, coercion of residents into transferring assets, and identity theft; and
- Neglect, which constitutes a failure to take appropriate steps to safeguard residents’ health and wellbeing, even if unintentional.
The examples listed above do not cover the full range of actions by staff or other residents at a nursing home that could amount to abuse or neglect. Any wrongful action that harms a nursing home resident can constitute abuse or neglect that violates the resident’s basic human rights and entitles the resident to compensation.
Paying regular visits to a loved one who lives in a nursing home is the most effective way to spot indications of abuse and neglect.
Here are some warning signs to look for:
- Signs of potential physical abuse: unexplained bruising, swelling, broken bones, or marks on wrists (suggesting restraints have been used); a resident’s fear of a particular staff member; and complaints from the resident about rough treatment.
- Signs of potential emotional abuse: the resident becomes more withdrawn and isolated; the resident’s overall mental health takes an unexpected turn for the worse; the resident shows fear of a particular staff member; the resident complains of ill-treatment.
- Signs of sexual abuse: injuries to sexual organs; bleeding; sexualized conduct around particular staff members or residents;
- Signs of financial abuse: the disappearance of funds from financial accounts; changes in who controls financial accounts; new debts; missing personal property;
- Signs of neglect: all of the signs above; an overall sense of disorganization, understaffing, or lack of responsiveness at a facility; resident complains of loneliness or never seeing anyone; resident’s lack of personal hygiene; unsanitary facilities; broken equipment.
As we said, trust your gut with these signs. If something seems off, then consider taking action and seeking legal help.
Family members who suspect abuse or neglect of a loved one at a nursing home sometimes feel frozen with indecision. They question themselves and their instincts. They feel confused about what steps to take, and in what order, to best serve their loved one’s interests.
Every situation is different, of course, so we cannot provide specific advice that fits perfectly in every situation. However, anyone who suspects that a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home setting may benefit from the following tips:
Health and safety first. The health and safety of the resident should always take top priority in responding to suspected abuse or neglect at a nursing home. If it appears that a resident’s health and/or safety are at immediate risk, family members should take appropriate action to get the resident out of harm’s way as soon as possible. That may mean calling 911, moving the resident out of the nursing home, or complaining directly and forcefully to nursing home staff.
In short, do what you need to do to ensure your loved one’s immediate health and safety.
Before reporting suspected abuse, call our experienced Bronx nursing home abuse lawyers. Many people respond to suspected nursing home abuse or neglect by reporting it to nursing home staff, government regulators, and/or law enforcement. That is not necessarily the wrong thing to do, but we strongly encourage those people to seek the advice of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer before making any sort of formal or informal complaint to anyone about the suspected abuse. In our view, only ensuring your loved one’s immediate health and safety should come before talking to experienced legal counsel about a suspected case of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Why? Because the steps you take in response to nursing home abuse and neglect can have significant legal and practical implications for you and your loved one.
- You, or someone you talk to, may have legal obligations to report the suspected abuse or neglect in a specific manner to specific authorities. Some members of the public have a legal duty to report the suspected abuse of a nursing home resident. These people may have to follow specific steps to report the abuse, even if those steps do not necessarily serve the immediate, specific legal interests of the resident who has suffered abuse or neglect. A lawyer can help you assess your and others’ legal obligations and figure out the best way to honor them while also protecting your loved one’s legal rights and personal interests.
- Nursing homes may try to cover-up. Ideally, nursing homes would react responsibly when someone brings a complaint of abuse or neglect to them. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Abuse and neglect can constitute crimes. Staff and nursing homes that engage-in or turn a blind eye to abuse/neglect may face criminal charges. At a bare minimum, staff members will likely lose their jobs and the nursing home will likely face investigations and potential fines. Reporting abuse informally to staff or administrators at a facility could lead them to destroy or fabricate evidence, or to intimidate the resident into silence. An experienced lawyer can advise you about when and how to raise a complaint about abuse or neglect to minimize those risks.
- Official investigations may cause complications and uncertainty. Lodging an official complaint about a nursing home with a government regulator or law enforcement authority will typically trigger an official investigation. That investigation may uncover important facts and force the facility to change its practices. However, it may also have wide-ranging consequences for the nursing home and its staff and residents that disrupt your loved one’s life and make it more difficult for your loved one to pursue available legal remedies. A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer can often develop a legal strategy that both officially holds the nursing home to account, and also serves your loved one’s (and your own) interests in seeing justice done in your loved one’s specific case.
In other words, formally or informally complaining about nursing home abuse can have significant legal and practical consequences. Nursing home abuse attorneys have the experience and know-how to evaluate a situation quickly (within days, or even hours if need be) to advise family members about the most favorable and effective way to hold a nursing facility accountable while protecting the injured resident’s individual rights.
Nursing home residents who suffer harm because of abuse or neglect often have the right to take legal action seeking compensation from the staff and nursing home operators who harmed them. Every instance of nursing home abuse and neglect has its own unique facts and circumstances, of course, so the legal options available to an injured resident and/or the resident’s family may vary.
However, as a general matter, victims of nursing home abuse or neglect may have rights to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses relating to the treatment of any injury (physical or emotional) caused by the abuse or neglect;
- Non-medical expenses incurred because of the abuse or neglect, such as the cost of moving the resident to a different facility;
- Pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life endured by the resident because of the abuse or neglect.
No lawyer can guarantee that a resident or family will recover compensation in any particular case, nor is there an average or standard amount of damages that victims might recover. Every case is different. However, the most dependable way to give your loved one and your family the best shot possible at full compensation is to hire an experienced, knowledgeable, compassionate nursing home abuse injury attorney to represent you.
Contact Our Experienced Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
Do not wait to speak with an experienced attorney about a suspected case of nursing home abuse or neglect. Make it your second-most-important priority after first ensuring your loved one’s immediate health and safety. The steps you take when you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect can have a significant impact on your loved one’s (and your own) legal rights.
If you know or suspect your family member was neglected or abused in a Bronx nursing home, you can open a live chat with one our representatives, contact one of our experienced nursing home negligence lawyers, or dial (718) 294-0813 for a free case evaluation to discuss the details of your case and learn about the best path forward for you and your family.
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