New York Nursing Home Lawyers
When you make the difficult decision to place your loved one in a nursing home, you expect the caregivers and the facility to treat your loved one as you would treat them. Most elder care professionals care about their residents and treat them with respect. Unfortunately, there are some bad apples. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a New York nursing home or elder care facility, their injuries and suffering may entitle them to recover damages. Contact a New York nursing home abuse lawyer at Jacoby & Meyers today.
To pursue compensation for your loved one, you will need to speak with an experienced New York Nursing Home Lawyer. You owe it to your loved one to help them recover from their injuries, both physical and mental.
You can help prevent your loved one from suffering by researching potential facilities before placing them in a nursing home. New York even has a website to help you with this process. But even if you take the right steps, your loved one might suffer injuries at a nursing home. When that happens, you can seek compensation for their suffering by holding the at-fault parties liable.
Types of Abuse and Neglect
Five million nursing home residents suffer from some form of abuse each year. This statistic is staggering. But not all nursing home residents are elderly. In fact, about 15 percent of nursing home residents are under the age of 65. So it’s not just senior citizens who are suffering from abuse and neglect.
Abuse and neglect victims all suffer differently. Some suffer physical pain, others suffer mental anguish, and still others suffer financially. But most victims suffer some combination of these types of abuses.
Physical abuse often happens when a caregiver handles a resident too roughly. But it can also occur when a caregiver does not provide proper assistance to the resident with bathroom trips, food, and medication. All of these behaviors put your loved one at risk of great physical harm. Any evidence you see that your loved one is being handled too roughly or not being provided with adequate assistance should not be ignored.
While physical abuse can be easy to spot, emotional abuse is often more difficult to detect.
Mental and emotional abuse often comes in the form of:
- Degrading comments;
- Isolation; and/or
Caregivers who do not have your loved one’s best interests at heart might try to manipulate them and others in their care so that they do not have to do as much work. This reprehensible behavior can result in your loved one feeling disconnected and not cared for, which is the exact opposite of the purpose of an elder care facility. Residents are not supposed to feel less than human or that they are an inconvenience to a caregiver. If you suspect your loved one is suffering emotionally, you should take action right away.
Financial abuse can occur when a caregiver steals money from your loved one or forces them to pay them extra for certain assistance. This type of exploitation is against the law. It can also damage your loved one’s physical well being. If a caregiver or facility is financially abusing your loved one, they may be unable to pay for medical care, prescriptions, or other necessary items.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes occurs when a caregiver coerces or forces a resident into sexual behavior. Other residents can also sexually abuse their fellow nursing home residents. When visiting your loved one, look for signs of bruising or scarring as well as torn or lost clothing.
Often, people dismiss signs of nursing home abuse or neglect as something related to the elder person’s mental state or health conditions. But it’s important to understand and recognize certain signs so you can help ensure your loved one receives proper care.
If you notice any of the following, ask your loved one and the care facility for more information and an explanation:
- Sudden weight loss;
- Sudden change in attitude;
- Timidity around caregivers;
- Unexplained diseases or infections;
- Sudden financial difficulties; and/or
- Changes to a will or power of attorney.
Elder people have enjoyed a long life and may feel ashamed of their inability to protect themselves as they age. They often do not come forward, even to loved ones, with information about abuse or neglect. They may even feel they are somewhat to blame. That’s why it’s so important for you to recognize signs of abuse or neglect and take swift action. Your loved one depends on you.
Facility Abuse and Neglect
While a particular caregiver may be primarily responsible for abuse and neglect of your loved one, the nursing home facility may also be liable. If you can show that the facility acted negligently, you can hold them liable and collect damages from them instead of or in addition to the individual caregiver.
A nursing home has an obligation to residents to hire only the best staff and caregivers. The nursing home must thoroughly review the applicant’s background and qualifications, including conducting a criminal background check to discover if a candidate has any history of abuse or violence. It is the nursing home facility’s legal duty to hire qualified staff and take every precaution possible to ensure your loved one is cared for properly.
When a nursing home does not employ enough staff to adequately care for its residents, the facility may be held liable for any injuries to residents. Many facilities find it difficult to retain adequate staff, and this is particularly true right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. When a facility becomes understaffed, your loved one may not receive proper care or possibly even no care at all. When this happens, holding the facility liable for your loved one’s suffering is often the best way to help them recover but to also ensure this tragedy does not happen to anyone else.
Caregivers should have certain qualifications when they come to work at a nursing home. But they should also receive adequate training, regardless of their previous experience. Certain residents might require a different level of care than the caregiver is used to providing. Improperly caring for any resident can lead to injuries for which the nursing home might be liable if the facility failed to provide staff with adequate training.
Nursing home residents often receive daily doses of medication. While most caregivers and facilities take appropriate steps to ensure the right medication is given in the right doses to the right patients, sometimes mistakes happen. Unfortunately, the results can be deadly. If your loved one is injured because they received too much medication or the wrong medication, the nursing home may be liable for their injuries.
Types of Damages
Abuse at a nursing home can forever change your loved one’s life. They may suffer physically, emotionally, and financially.
Because abuse can impact their entire life, your loved one may be eligible to pursue damages for the following:
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment of life;
- Emotional distress;
- Medical bills; and
- Rehabilitation costs.
Focus, in particular, on the medical bills your loved one faces as a result of their abuse. Depending on the severity of their injuries, they may need to undergo extended hospital stays, multiple surgeries and doctor’s visits, rehabilitation, and other life-altering medical treatment. All of this may require substantial medical intervention, which is expensive.
In the face of medical bills resulting from abuse, your loved one could face financial ruin. That’s why it’s so important to make sure the at-fault party is held accountable for the medical bills. But not just past medical bills for your loved one’s care, also any future medical bills.
Your loved one did not cause their injuries and they should not have to bear responsibility for paying them. That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted New York nursing home abuse lawyer, especially if you start to receive communications from the other party’s insurance company.
Insurance Company Settlement Offers
When your loved one suffers injuries in a nursing home, you just want them to get better. One way to help is to collect damages from the at-fault party. These often come in the form of settlement offers. But be cautious of quick, low-ball settlement offers from an insurance company.
The first offer from an insurance company is never their best offer. They almost always start with a low-ball settlement offer in the hopes that you take it quickly and without thinking about all of the future expenses your loved one may face. If you fail to account for those future needs, you may be excited about the idea of a quick settlement. The problem is that when you sign a low-ball offer, you may waive your right to bring any future claims against the insurance company for the abuse. That means that if you later realize there were not enough funds to cover your loved one’s future medical expenses, it’s too late.
This is a tragic situation. We cannot stress enough the importance of working with our skilled nursing home and abuse and neglect attorneys in New York. We can help protect your loved one’s rights and maximize their compensation.
What to Do When You Suspect Abuse
If you suspect your loved one has been subject to abuse or neglect, immediately report your concerns to the facility management and to the state of New York. The state has departments that can help investigate your concerns and make sure your loved one and other residents receive the care and attention they deserve. Many nursing home abuse and neglect cases go unreported. That’s why it’s important to keep a close eye on your loved one and monitor their well being. You may be the voice they and their fellow residents need.
After you alert the facility’s management to your concerns, make sure they take action. If they do not take any action or conduct an investigation, you may need to alert the police and file a police report. This can help ensure your loved one receives proper medical attention and care for their injuries.
Finally, you should also speak with a New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorney. The right lawyer can help guide you through the complex and time-consuming process of filing a claim, reporting the incident to the state, and communicating your concerns to the nursing home. Your loved one’s health and safety may depend on you taking prompt legal action.
Our New York Nursing Home Lawyers Can Help
Nursing homes must care properly for all of their residents. They must provide adequate and safe living conditions as well as physical, mental, and medical support. If they fail to provide these things and your loved one suffers an injury, the caregiver and facility could be to blame.
When you find a nursing home lawyer in New York you trust, they can help you and your loved one recover compensation for their suffering. With years of experience helping clients just like you, we welcome your questions and stand by ready to help.
If you choose to work with us, we may be able to help by:
- Gathering and reviewing medical records, witness statements, and other evidence;
- Filing your case with the court;
- Ensuring compliance with New York and federal laws;
- Negotiating with insurance companies; and
- Protecting your loved one’s rights at trial.
While it’s true that most nursing home abuse and neglect claims settle out of court, you should hire a lawyer who can take your case to trial if necessary. Not every law firm has the resources to work with expert witnesses, take depositions, negotiate with insurance companies, and protect your loved one’s right at trial. We do, and we pride ourselves on standing up to the biggest insurance companies all to help abuse and neglect victims recover and maximize their compensation.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering at the hands of an abusive caregiver or nursing home facility, do not delay any longer.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
39 Broadway Suite 1910,
New York, NY 10006
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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