Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home abuse and neglect occur across the country, including in the Bronx. If a loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect in a Bronx nursing home, you may be able to recover compensation with the help of a Bronx nursing home abuse lawyer. Nursing home administrators and staff owe a duty of care to all residents, making them liable for any harm they cause or allow in these facilities.
The Bronx nursing home abuse attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP have plenty of knowledge and resources to help victims and their families recover full compensation from negligent nursing homes in the event of abuse or neglect. We have recovered millions in compensation for victims who suffered under abusive or negligent staff and administrators.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
Why Choose the Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP?
If a loved one endures nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be able to recover compensation for injuries and pain and suffering that the victim experienced. It’s important to work with experienced nursing home abuse lawyers in the Bronx who have successfully handled these types of cases in the past.
When you connect with our Bronx personal injury attorneys, you’ll benefit from over 40 years of experience behind our firm. We’re dedicated to advocating for our clients, preparing cases, and providing the most dependable legal services. As a result, we’ve recovered millions of dollars in damages from jury verdicts and settlements.
We can meet with you at our Bronx office, which is along E Fordham Rd and just west of Bronx Park. We can also meet you virtually if you are unable to visit our office or otherwise meet in person.
Over the years, we’ve succeeded with many cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect.
Some of our past successes involved the following settlements:
- A $5,032,281 jury verdict in favor of a victim who died from nursing home neglect. The nursing home failed to meet this individual’s medical requirements, leaving the 75-year-old resident alone for hours before the client received medical attention. Our client then went into hypoglycemic shock and fell unconscious. Even though our client was unresponsive, the nursing home staff neglected to call emergency services. This failure contributed to permanent brain damage resulting from insufficient oxygen to the client’s brain. The client eventually lost his life after living in a comatose state for six months and requiring a feeding tube.
- A $1 million settlement for a 65-year-old client who didn’t receive proper care and supervision for their dementia. Because of the nursing home’s negligence, the client fell multiple times and suffered a cut on her foot that eventually became infected. The infection worsened to the point where the client had to have her toes amputated. A lack of care during her recovery also led to the development of a serious bed sore.
- A $500,000 settlement for an 81-year-old client whose diabetes went unmonitored at the hands of negligent nursing home staff. This negligence eventually caused the client to slip into a diabetic coma from which she never recovered. Her children worked with our attorneys to seek damages from the liable nursing home.
If you want to determine whether you have a case that our attorneys can help with, schedule a free consultation with our Bronx nursing home abuse attorneys. We can discuss your case and detail the options available. Contact our offices today or connect with us online to schedule your free consultation.
Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
After nursing home abuse or neglect in the Bronx, your loved one or another on their behalf can recover compensation through a civil lawsuit. Nursing home abuse and neglect often lead to serious injuries and illnesses when nursing home staff or administrators are negligent. In these cases, you may file lawsuits against multiple liable parties who are responsible for any damages. These parties could include individual caregivers, facilities, and insurers. A reliable attorney will be able to help identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable for the suffering of a loved one.
Victims and their families may be able to recover certain economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages involve specific financial losses, while non-economic damages account for a victim’s pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life.
Some examples of economic damages in these cases may include:
- Medical bills for immediate and ongoing care related to instances of abuse or neglect, including the cost of hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, and prescription medication
- The cost of transferring a loved one to another nursing home upon discovering abuse or neglect
- The estimated cost of future care
Non-economic damages in these cases apply to less tangible losses, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Lasting trauma
- Loss of quality of life or independence
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, some cases may award punitive damages. Punitive damages may apply if nursing homes or staff practice gross negligence or willful harm caused by a resident’s injuries or illness. Unlike other types of damages that compensate victims, punitive damages aim to punish defendants and deter the behavior.
Why Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Occur in the Bronx
Nursing home abuse and neglect are commonplace in the Bronx and other locations across New York. One report from the New York Department of Health (DOH) found that one recent year saw 302 investigations into nursing home abuse and neglect in the Metropolitan Area. These cases investigated violations of Public Health Law (PHL) Section 2803-d, which oversees the reporting of potential abuse and neglect affecting nursing home residents.
The onset of COVID-19 also put nursing home residents at greater risk, requiring additional care and protection to keep residents safe from harm. Another recent report from the New York DOH calculated 416 COVID-confirmed deaths in Bronx nursing homes since the state began reporting.
The risks that nursing home residents face make it crucial for nursing homes and their employees to provide proper care to residents at all times. Any instances of abuse or neglect can have serious consequences and increase the chances of injury, illness, or death.
Several potential causes of nursing home neglect and abuse lead to injuries or illnesses among residents.
These factors may include:
- Understaffed workforces
- Underpaid staff
- Insufficient training
- Issues with individual caregivers, such as the failure to complete a background check
- Specific risk factors among individual residents
If you believe that neglect or abuse has taken place and caused harm to a loved one, the experienced lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP may be able to help you recover compensation.
Types of Abuse and Neglect in Bronx Nursing Homes
The following are some of the defined types of nursing home abuse that could occur in the Bronx:
- Physical abuse. This refers to a caregiver’s deliberate use of force that results in injury or pain to residents. Instances of physical abuse in these situations may include hitting, punching, slapping, or improperly secured restraints that apply too much pressure.
- Sexual abuse. Caregivers may also engage in sexual abuse involving non-consensual sexual contact.
- Emotional abuse. Staff members may emotionally abuse residents by causing mental anguish, which often entails intimidating residents, isolating them, or making threats.
- Financial exploitation. A facility or staff member may attempt to profit through the mismanagement or improper use of residents’ funds or property. Exploitation may involve fraud, identity theft, forgery, coercion, or withholding access to finances.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes and their staff may also neglect residents, leading to injuries or illness through one of two main types of neglect:
- Active neglect. Staff members or facilities may intentionally withhold care from residents, resulting in potentially serious harm. Instances of active neglect may include withholding medication, food, heat, water, hygiene, mental care, or dental care.
- Passive neglect. This type of neglect involves unintentionally providing improper care to residents. Victims and their loved ones often file lawsuits against facilities that fail to hire employees properly, provide adequate training, or implement effective policies, such as those that protect residents from COVID-19.
What to Do if You Suspect Bronx Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you believe that a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect in the Bronx, there are a few actions you can take to begin an investigation. If your loved one is in immediate danger, you should dial 911.
If your loved one doesn’t need immediate assistance, we can file an online complaint against the nursing home through the New York DOH website for you. Additionally, the Nursing Home Complaint hotline, (888) 201-4563, allows people to file a complaint against nursing homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to making the necessary calls, you should take the following steps if you suspect abuse:
- Report the suspected abuse or neglect to the nursing home administration. You will likely submit a written report covering any abuse or neglect you believe your loved one is experiencing, including signs of abuse or neglect. These signs include bed sores, bruises, anxiety, depression, or missing assets such as finances or property.
- Maintain details of all interactions with others. After filing a report with the nursing home administrators, document all interactions you have with them along with your loved one, nursing home staff, and other residents. Be sure to record the time and date of each interaction along with details about the interaction. Also, capture photographic evidence of all injuries and potential proof of financial exploitation. This evidence may help build a successful case against a negligent or abusive facility or staff member.
- Maintain all medical bills. When abuse or neglect takes place, it could lead to medical care that culminates in various expenses. These expenses may result from treatment needed for injuries or mental health services required following abuse. Medical bills may also result from the need to transfer the resident to another facility.
- Find another safer nursing home. If you discover abuse or neglect taking place at a nursing home, one of your next steps may be to transfer your loved one to a new facility. Research different nursing homes to find the right one based on reputation. One reliable source to help you in your search is the New York DOH’s database of nursing home profiles. On the website, you can compare different nursing homes based on their quality and view the results of recent inspections.
- Reach out to a reputable Bronx nursing home abuse attorney. Nursing home abuse and neglect often lead to serious injuries, illnesses, financial losses, and other types of losses for victims and their families. The seriousness of these cases makes it important for victims and their loved ones to find dependable legal representation if they want to pursue a Bronx nursing home abuse or neglect case. A skilled attorney will be able to identify any liable parties responsible for losses, calculate all damages resulting from abuse or neglect, and work to hold the responsible parties accountable. The right attorney will also be able to negotiate with nursing homes and their insurers while guiding you through the complaint process. Your attorney will provide you time to focus on helping your loved one make a full recovery and provide the support they need.
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.
Recognizing signs of abuse at a nursing home is not always easy. Residents of nursing homes have relatively poor health and are prone to accidents. Distinguishing between changes in physical and mental health that reflect a natural part of the aging process, and those caused by abuse and neglect, often requires noticing small differences in a loved one’s demeanor and physical condition, and trusting your gut.
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.
Consult a Reliable Bronx Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has suffered injuries, illness, or losses in a nursing home due to abuse or neglect, you may be able to successfully file a complaint against the negligent nursing home or staff. Jacoby & Meyer, LLP can inform you of your rights and help fight to preserve them if abuse or neglect has occurred.
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