Manhattan Nursing Home Attorney
Table of Contents
You and your loved one may have worked closely together to choose a nursing home in Manhattan you thought you could count on. You found a reliable facility where you believed your loved one would have a high quality of care, including medical assistance when needed, scheduled meal preparation, and assistance with the tasks your loved one can no longer manage alone. You wanted your loved one to have a high quality of life during the years they spend in a nursing home, including an active, engaged social life and the care they need for any medical concerns.
Unfortunately, not every nursing home provides the high standard of care that you expect for your loved one.
If your loved one suffered neglect in a nursing home, the effects could be devastating. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers will evaluate your situation, help you better understand your rights and, if needed, advise you about how to pursue compensation from the nursing home on your loved one’s behalf.
Contact the experienced Manhattan Personal Injury Lawyers of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today for an evaluation of the abuse your loved one suffered and the compensation your loved one deserves.
What constitutes Manhattan nursing home negligence?
Nursing home neglect is abuse. While it may not leave physical marks on your loved one, it can have far-reaching implications for your loved one’s overall health, including the treatment and management of many common medical problems. Neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to provide the care your loved one needs to maintain their quality of life while residing in that facility.
This could include:
- Failing to provide adequate food or water. As many seniors age, they lose some sense of smell and taste, which can lead them to avoid eating—especially foods that do not have a strong flavor. Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia may refuse to eat outright. A nursing home, however, should identify any potential nutritional problems and help ensure that the seniors residing there receive nutritious food and the opportunity to eat. Seniors refusing to eat or showing signs of malnutrition should receive additional care.
- Neglecting basic hygiene. Many seniors, especially those with disabilities, require assistance with the tasks of daily living. Your loved one may, for example, need help bathing or remembering to get dressed or change clothes daily. They may also need assistance keeping their room clean, including changing bed linens, wiping down surfaces, and taking other precautions to ensure they stay healthy. A nursing home that fails to take care of these basic hygiene tasks is neglecting the resident.
- Failure to provide needed medical care. Many patients in a nursing home require substantial medical care. Seniors may have more health problems than younger people: heart problems, diabetes, and cancer, for example. Not only that, seniors may be more prone to illness and injury than younger people, since the immune system deteriorates and bones often grow more brittle with age. A nursing home must not only manage each senior’s current medical conditions, but also provide care for any illnesses or injuries that arise while the individual lives there. A nursing home is neglectful any time the residents of that nursing home do not receive adequate care, either for conditions that existed before they went into the nursing home or for conditions that arise after entering the nursing home. Neglect may include attempts to hide or failure to treat injuries sustained in the nursing home.
- Failing to take steps that prevent injury. Not every injury suffered by a senior in a nursing home is the result of neglect. Preventable injuries sustained due to a lack of appropriate assistance on the part of the nursing home staff, however, could indicate neglect. For example, the nursing home should not leave a senior at a high fall risk unattended in an area where a fall could occur. The facility should also take care to observe seniors showing signs of dizziness or suffering from illnesses that could raise the risk of a fall. Many facilities need to take additional precautions to keep individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia from wandering off. Failure to take adequate precautions, especially when that failure results in injury to the seniors in the care of the nursing home, could constitute neglect.
Nursing home negligence broadly refers to not providing adequate care to a nursing home resident. Sometimes negligence is willful, and other times, negligence is simply inattention. In each case, action or inaction causes emotional or physical harm to a resident.
Individual caregivers, including nursing assistants and nurses, can be negligent, and facilities, in general, can be negligent.
Actions and failures that typically fall under the umbrella of nursing home negligence and serve as justification for a claim include:
- Physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse
- Failure to provide residents with healthy meals
- Failure to follow resident’s dietary restrictions
- Failure to provide adequate hydration to residents
- Failure to help residents maintain their personal hygiene or provide needed items
- Allowing residents to remain in soiled clothing
- Lack of supervision of residents
- Allowing others to abuse or neglect a resident
- Stealing valuable items from a resident
- Poor hiring practices
- Failure to properly train caregivers
- Ignoring resident complaints
- Failure to help residents get the medical or dental care they need
- Failure to maintain cleanliness and safety
- Allowing bedsores to develop
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
A senior suffering neglect in a nursing home might not speak up. In many cases, a resident’s loved ones identify signs of nursing home neglect based on the symptoms their senior family member displays, rather than due to anything that the senior says directly.
These symptoms could include:
- Signs of malnutrition or losing weight rapidly without an underlying medical condition. While some medical conditions can cause seniors to lose weight rapidly, in the absence of those conditions, your loved one should not lose weight rapidly while under the care of the nursing home. This could be a sign of malnutrition and neglect.
- Signs of dehydration. The nursing home should provide adequate water and other beverages for your loved one. If you notice ongoing signs of dehydration, this could indicate either a medical concern that needs to be brought up with a doctor or neglect on the part of the nursing home.
- Not changing clothes over several days. If you notice your loved one wearing the same clothes every time you visit, especially if you visit several days in a row, this could be a sign of neglect.
- Increased body odor. If your loved one starts to smell, especially more than usual, it could indicate that the nursing home staff does not assist with regular baths. Also take note of any smells within the room itself, especially around the bed linens or in areas where your loved one spends a great deal of time. In some cases, the nursing home may try to clean your loved one up for visitors, but may fail to properly clean the room to hide some of the signs of neglect.
- Medical conditions that suddenly seem uncontrolled when they were previously controlled with medication. If your loved one successfully managed a condition with medication under a doctor’s supervision before going into a nursing home, your loved one should continue to manage that condition with medication. Some medical conditions may worsen over time on their own, especially as your loved one ages. A medical condition that suddenly becomes uncontrolled and seems to stay that way, however, could indicate neglect. Pay particular attention to symptoms like uncontrolled blood sugar or blood pressure when your loved one previously had no trouble with those symptoms while on medication.
- Inadequate or delayed medical treatment for any conditions or injuries. The nursing home should seek medical treatment for your loved one any time the staff members notice symptoms of any type of illness or injury. Failure to seek treatment for illness or injury, including delayed treatment, could indicate neglect or even abuse on the part of nursing home staff. Make sure your loved one receives the care they need for any medical concerns. Check in regularly to make sure appointments occur at the right time, especially if you suspect abuse or neglect.
- Increased injuries, including minor injuries. Your loved one may naturally suffer more bruises with age, and bruises may take longer to heal. If you notice a sudden increase in injuries, however, this could indicate neglect; nursing home staff who, for example, fail to offer assistance with tasks that could lead to injury or who do not adequately monitor your loved one.
- A loved one who suddenly becomes withdrawn. Moving into a nursing home can prove incredibly difficult for many individuals, especially those who preferred to live at home for as long as possible. While you may notice some emotional changes, a loved one who suddenly becomes withdrawn after living in the nursing home for some time or who seems to shut down or not want to discuss their living conditions could be the victim of abuse or neglect. Many seniors will attempt to hide neglect or abuse out of a sense of shame or fear.
- A nursing home staff that always seems overworked and too busy. Pay attention to the staff at your loved one’s nursing home. While they may not tell you directly about any problems, the staff may show signs that they cannot adequately care for the seniors in the nursing home. If you notice regular turnover among staff members, this could indicate that staff are overworked or burned out and therefore unable to provide adequate care to residents. Staff members who constantly seem busy may have too few hands to provide adequate attention to every resident. Also note staff members who seem to spend more time chatting with one another than caring for residents, especially if you notice them ignoring residents during your visits.
What rights do Manhattan nursing home residents have?
Federal law outlines resident rights in long-term care facilities, but New York also outlines more detailed rights.
Under New York law, Manhattan nursing home residents have the following rights:
- Dignity and respect
- A comfortable living environment
- Quality care without discrimination
- To maintain independence
- To keep property and money without
- To private communication
- To choose activities and a schedule
- To receive visitors
- To file a complaint or grievance and have your voice heard
- To be free of all types of abuse
- To exercise all rights without fear of retaliation
What is the statute of limitations for a Manhattan nursing home negligence claim?
If a nursing home resident you love has been harmed from nursing home negligence in a Manhattan long-term care facility, you have three years to sue the nursing home in most cases. If you have tragically lost a loved one because of nursing home negligence, a two-year statute of limitations applies to bring a wrongful death suit against the nursing home.
Some cases warrant an exception to the statute of limitations, but this is rare. It’s in your best interest to act on behalf of your loved one as soon as possible, so you don’t miss out on the chance to recover compensation for injuries.
What is delayed discovery in Manhattan nursing home negligence lawsuits?
Some nursing home residents cannot communicate their needs, desires, discomfort, or pain to caregivers, nurses, and family members because of dementia or another condition related to aging. In other situations, nursing home residents do not report rights violations, abuse, or neglect because they do not want to bother their family or fear retaliation. The result is that you or someone else must notice the injuries to take action.
Delayed discovery is the idea that your loved one’s injuries aren’t discovered for some time after they occur. This might be days, weeks, or months. When delayed discovery occurs, New York courts will typically begin the three-year statute of limitations time clock from the date of discovery instead of the date of injury. This is especially crucial in nursing home negligence cases that involve emotional and verbal abuse because physical signs of injury are limited or non-existent.
What signs may indicate my loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in their Manhattan nursing home?
If the elder you love has suffered abuse or neglect, you will likely notice one or more signs or symptoms. The following signs do not automatically mean your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence. However, they should prompt you to investigate the situation further and report the suspicions to the nursing home administrator.
Signs of nursing home neglect and abuse include:
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
- Excessive weight loss
- Pale complexion, sunken eyes, sunken cheeks
- Unexplained wounds, bruises, or other marks on the body
- Poor hygiene such as body odor, bad breath, and dirty clothing
- Anxiety or depression
- Confusion and disorientation
- Withdrawal from normal daily activities and interactions with friends in the facility
- Hesitation to speak with you in front of others, especially caregivers
- Talk of self-harm or death
What are some signs of financial abuse in a Manhattan nursing home?
Financial abuse can emotionally injure nursing home residents and create an incredible economic burden for families depending on the extent of the abuse.
If you monitor your loved one’s financial situation, the following signs sometimes indicate financial abuse by a nursing care facility and/or their employees:
- Your loved one is missing cash or checks that normally stay with them in their personal space.
- Your loved one is missing valuable personal property such as jewelry.
- You notice abnormal charges on your loved one’s debit or credit card accounts.
- You receive notification for a change of address on financial accounts that you did not initiate.
- You find new accounts linked to your loved one’s Social Security Number (SSN) or name.
How do I report a Manhattan nursing home for neglect or abuse?
If you suspect the nursing home resident you love has been a victim of financial abuse, contact the NYPD to file a report and immediately consult our Manhattan nursing home negligence lawyers. If you suspect emotional, verbal, or physical abuse, you need to call 911 if your loved one is in immediate danger.
You also need to file a complaint against the Manhattan nursing home with the New York State Department of Health. You can file a complaint online or call the Nursing Home Complaint hotline at (888) 201-4563. We can do this for you.
They field calls about abuse and neglect in nursing homes 24 hours a day. Filing a report against a nursing home initiates an investigation process. Remember that even if the Department of Health does not find abuse or neglect, you can still bring a lawsuit against the nursing home. In fact, you do not need the results of a Department of Health investigation to bring a lawsuit against a Manhattan nursing home.
Seeking Compensation After Nursing Home Neglect
Any time you suspect your loved one suffered neglect in a nursing home, you need an attorney to assist with your legal claim. An attorney can help collect evidence, estimate the compensation your loved one deserves for any injuries they suffered due to that neglect, and aid you in pursuing that compensation, including negotiating with the nursing home or the nursing home’s insurance company.
How much compensation should your loved one receive for nursing home neglect?
Neglect can cause your loved one’s overall health to deteriorate, not to mention leaving them with a much lower quality of life than they should expect while in a nursing home.
Your loved one deserves compensation for their losses, including:
- Compensation for any medical expenses related to the neglect. You may need to take your loved one to the doctor or even to the hospital following suspected neglect in a nursing home. Not only do you want to be sure your loved one receives a full evaluation of their physical state following neglect, you may need to seek treatment for any injuries they suffered due to that neglect. Your loved one may require a hospital stay to help combat symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration, or require rehabilitation or physical therapy to aid in recovery from injuries. Your loved one’s personal injury claim may help provide compensation for those medical expenses.
- Assistance moving into a new facility. After your loved one suffers neglect at the hands of the nursing home staff, you may not want to leave them in the care of those same staff members. In some cases, you may choose to move them to another facility. Their personal injury claim may help pay for the move into that new facility, including the cost of packing and moving personal possessions. In some cases, the claim may also include payment for increased expenses faced due to that move: if the new nursing home is more expensive, for example, the at-fault nursing home may need to make up the difference.
- Compensation for pain and suffering. It can prove difficult to quantify the full suffering your loved one faced due to neglect in a nursing home, especially if your loved one does not want to talk about that suffering. Suffering may include a decline in overall health as well as the emotional anguish of not receiving adequate care—not to mention the physical discomfort that comes with many types of neglect. Consulting an attorney can help you better establish how to quantify pain and suffering associated with nursing home neglect.
Who bears liability for neglect in a nursing home?
Most of the time, the nursing home itself bears primary liability for neglect suffered by its residents. This includes neglect suffered due to inadequate staffing as well as neglect suffered because staff members failed to follow appropriate policies. In some cases, you may need to pursue a personal injury claim against the doctors who treated your loved one during a stay in a nursing home, especially if the nursing home has its own care providers on staff.
What types of damages can my loved one receive for their Manhattan nursing home injuries?
If you help the nursing home resident you love to file a lawsuit for negligence against a Manhattan nursing home, he or she could receive compensation for various losses and damages related to their injuries. Compensation could come in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict if the case goes to trial.
Your loved one could receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses including ambulance if applicable, hospitalization, transitional care, diagnostic tests, X-rays, prescription, and follow-up visits to the doctor
- Expenses for mental health services that help neglected or abused residents face the mental trauma of their injuries
- Expenses for transferring to another nursing care facility in Manhattan
- Estimated future medical expenses when nursing home negligence leads to a permanent injury or condition that requires continued treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Exemplary damages, sometimes referred to as punitive damage, when nursing home negligence includes intentional harm or gross negligence
How much money could my loved one receive from a Manhattan nursing home negligence lawsuit?
The value of a nursing home negligence claim varies greatly among cases. Your attorney will review the facts of the case, the economic losses incurred because of the injuries, the emotional and physical impact of the injuries on your loved one, and place a value that includes economic and non-economic damages.
It’s impossible to predict the financial outcome of a nursing home negligence claim. However, a good rule of thumb is that the more severe the injuries, the higher the value of the claim. The same is true of nursing home abuse and ongoing neglect situations. In many situations, neglect and abuse occurs frequently or continuously over time, usually until a complaint happens.
Residents who suffer the impact of negligence for an extended time typically have higher value claims than those injured during one event.
Can I afford to hire a Manhattan nursing home negligence lawyer for the nursing home resident I love?
Yes. Neither you, nor your loved one, need to pay an upfront retainer fee to hire an experienced Jacoby & Meyers LLP nursing home negligence attorney in Manhattan. If you decide to hire us after our free consultation, you’ll enter a contingent fee agreement: Instead of paying attorney fees out-of-pocket, the firm will instead deduct attorney fees only from any money your loved one receives in the form of a settlement or court-awarded damages. You’ll never pay us for our services—the party that harms your loved one will.
My loved one died due to nursing home negligence in Manhattan. Can I sue?
It’s likely: New York law allows you to hold negligent nursing homes accountable when your loved one tragically dies in their care because of their negligence. Eligible surviving family members can bring a wrongful death suit with the help of an attorney against the nursing home responsible for the loss of their loved one.
In New York, a representative of the estate of the deceased brings a suit on behalf of the deceased and surviving family members. The estate can recover some damages above, and family members can receive funeral expenses and compensation for non-economic losses based on their relationship with the deceased.
Will the Manhattan nursing home resident I love have to testify in court?
Each nursing home resident has different capabilities in terms of memory and communication. Even if they were willing to testify, many cannot. In Manhattan nursing home negligence lawsuits, both sides typically try to avoid going to court because litigation is expensive. It’s more likely that your loved one, if mentally capable, will have to give a statement or get deposed by the other side. Sometimes, settlement negotiations fail, and the only option is to go to trial.
Regardless of the exact situation, courts do not want to place undue stress on a nursing home resident. We also prioritize the well-being of the resident you love and protect them from situations that could adversely impact their physical or emotional health. In many cases, witness testimony from you, the treating physician(s), and others, can provide enough evidence to support a negligence claim.
Should I transfer my loved one to another facility?
Deciding to transfer your loved one is a decision only you can make, and it really depends on the situation. If your loved one was abused or neglected by one particular nursing assistant or another caregiver, and they have fired the employee and rectified the situation, you need to weigh the emotional impact of transferring your loved one to a new place against the likelihood of future issues.
If the nursing care facility’s negligence has led to your loved one’s injuries, other residents likely suffered, too. Major administrative issues such as poor staffing and hiring typically continue to lead to negligent practices. In these situations, it might be best to look for another nursing home in Manhattan.
Did Your Loved One Suffer Neglect in a Manhattan Nursing Home?
If your loved one suffered neglect in a Manhattan nursing home, contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (212) 445-7000, through a live chat on our website, or via our contact page.
Our experienced nursing home attorneys will evaluate your loved one’s situation, help you better understand your rights and, if needed, advise you about how to pursue compensation from the nursing home on your loved one’s behalf.
New York, NY 10006
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