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When our loved ones are placed in a nursing home, we trust that they will receive the utmost care and respect. Unfortunately, this trust is sometimes broken due to negligence or intentional harm. At Roth & Khalife, LLP, our nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to standing up for the rights of our most vulnerable citizens and ensuring that justice is served for victims of nursing home abuse in New York City. Contact us today for a FREE consultation. 

What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse in NYC?

Nursing Home Abuse in NYC

Nursing home abuse in NYC encompasses a range of harmful behaviors directed toward elderly residents in care facilities. Understanding the scope and nature of these behaviors is crucial for protecting vulnerable populations. Here are the primary forms of nursing home abuse recognized in New York City:

  • Physical Abuse: This involves intentional infliction of physical harm such as hitting, slapping, pushing, or using excessive force. Signs of physical abuse can include bruises, fractures, cuts, or reports from the elder about being mistreated.
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse: Emotional abuse occurs when staff or other residents cause emotional pain or distress through verbal or non-verbal acts. This can include yelling, threatening, humiliating, ignoring, or isolating the resident. Signs might be withdrawal from normal activities, unexplained changes in alertness, or unusual depression and anxiety.
  • Sexual Abuse: This includes any non-consensual sexual contact or interaction, including with residents who are unable to give consent due to cognitive impairments. Evidence of sexual abuse may include bruises around the breasts or genital area, unexplained venereal disease, or bleeding from the anus or genitals.
  • Financial Exploitation: This occurs when staff or others improperly use an elderly person’s funds, properties, or assets. Examples include stealing cash, forging signatures for financial transactions, or coercing residents into modifying wills or contracts. Indicators can be sudden changes in bank accounts, missing belongings, or unexplained financial transactions.
  • Neglect: Neglect is the failure to provide necessary care, which can lead to serious impairments or distress. This might involve inadequate food, water, medicine, hygiene, comfort, or safety. Signs of neglect include malnutrition, bedsores, poor personal hygiene, and unattended health problems.
  • Abandonment is a form of neglect in which the nursing home staff desert the elderly residents or fail to ensure they are looked after by someone responsible.

The state of New York has specific laws and regulations that protect nursing home residents from these types of abuse. Nursing homes must maintain certain standards of care and ensure the safety and well-being of their residents. If these standards are not met, it can constitute abuse or neglect, and legal action can be taken against the responsible parties.

Victims of nursing home abuse or their families in NYC can seek legal recourse by reporting the abuse to local authorities, including the New York State Department of Health, and by consulting with legal professionals who have experience in elder law and nursing home abuse cases.

How a NYC Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help

As a dedicated NYC nursing home abuse lawyer at Roth & Khalife, LLP, we are committed to protecting the rights of the elderly and ensuring that victims of nursing home abuse receive the justice and compensation they deserve. Here is how we can assist if you suspect that a loved one has been subjected to abuse in a nursing facility:

Legal Representation

  • Thorough Investigation: We conduct a comprehensive investigation into the alleged abuse. This includes collecting and reviewing medical records, nursing home records, and any available surveillance footage. We also interview witnesses, including other residents, staff members, and visitors who might have insight into the situation.
  • Navigating Legal Complexities: Nursing home abuse cases involve complex state and federal regulations. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers are well-versed in these laws and understand how to navigate the bureaucratic red tape to build a compelling case on your behalf.

Advocacy and Support

  • Advocating for Victims: We are staunch advocates for our clients. We represent your loved one’s interests in all legal proceedings, negotiating with nursing home representatives and insurance companies to secure a fair settlement. We are prepared to take the case to trial if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached.
  • Providing Support: We understand that cases of nursing home abuse are highly sensitive and emotional. Our team offers not just legal representation but also emotional support to families dealing with the distress of abuse allegations. We handle every case with the utmost compassion and respect for your family’s privacy and well-being.

Securing Compensation

  • Compensation for Damages: Victims of nursing home abuse may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. We work diligently to ensure that victims receive maximum compensation to cover both the immediate and long-term effects of the abuse.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the abuse is particularly egregious, we may also seek punitive damages. These are intended to punish the offending party and deter future misconduct.

Ensuring Future Safety

  • Prevent Future Abuse: Our goal is to address the harm done and prevent future instances of abuse. By holding negligent facilities accountable, we help improve safety standards in nursing homes across New York City.

No Financial Risk

  • Contingency Basis: We handle nursing home abuse cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not pay any upfront fees. Our firm only receives payment if we successfully recover compensation for you.

If you suspect nursing home abuse, do not wait to take action. Contact Roth & Khalife, LLP today for a free consultation. Let us use our experience to help ensure your loved one’s safety and justice. Together, we can fight against nursing home abuse and work towards a safer environment for all our loved ones.

Common Injuries from NYC Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home abuse can result in a wide range of serious injuries and health problems for elderly residents. These injuries not only cause immediate physical pain and discomfort but can also lead to long-term complications and a decline in overall quality of life. Here are some common injuries associated with nursing home abuse in New York City:

Physical Injuries:

  • Fractures and Broken Bones: Often resulting from falls, physical restraints, or rough handling by staff.
  • Head Injuries: Including concussions and traumatic brain injuries, which can occur from falls or being struck on the head.
  • Bruises and Cuts: These can be signs of rough treatment, improper handling, or physical altercations with staff or other residents.

Bedsores (Pressure Ulcers):

Bedsores are a common sign of neglect. They occur when residents are left in one position for too long without being moved, leading to skin breakdown, particularly over bony areas.

Malnutrition and Dehydration:

These conditions can develop when residents are not provided with sufficient or appropriate food and water, which is a form of neglect and can lead to significant health deterioration.

Emotional and Psychological Injuries:

  • Depression and Anxiety: These can be exacerbated or caused by emotional abuse, including verbal assaults, threats, or isolation imposed by caregivers.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Can develop after experiencing or witnessing abuse or severe neglect.

Sexual Abuse Injuries:

Includes physical injuries to the genital area, sexually transmitted infections, and psychological impacts such as trauma and severe emotional distress.

Infections:

Poor hygiene and neglected medical care can lead to various infections, including respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and sepsis.

Medication-Related Injuries:

Overmedication or under-medication can cause serious complications in elderly patients. Medication errors can lead to acute poisoning, exacerbation of pre-existing conditions, or the onset of new medical conditions.

Worsening of Pre-existing Conditions:

Neglect can lead to the worsening of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or arthritis due to a lack of proper medical attention and care.

These injuries can have devastating effects on the health and well-being of elderly individuals and often require immediate and long-term medical attention. Identifying the signs of abuse early and taking legal action can help prevent further harm and hold the responsible parties accountable. At Roth & Khalife, LLP, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to advocating for the rights and dignity of nursing home residents. If you believe a loved one has suffered from any form of abuse in a nursing home, contact us to discuss how we can help you seek justice and ensure their safety.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?

In cases of nursing home abuse, determining liability is crucial to ensure that justice is served and that victims receive appropriate compensation for their suffering. Various parties can be held liable depending on the circumstances of the abuse. Here are the primary entities and individuals who might be held responsible:

Nursing Home Staff

  • Direct Caregivers: This includes nurses, nursing assistants, and other personnel directly involved in the resident’s care. They can be held liable if their actions or neglect directly harm a resident.
  • Other Employees: Maintenance staff, administrators, and any employees interacting with residents can also be held liable if their actions contribute to abuse or neglect.

Nursing Home Administration

  • Management: The administration of a nursing home can be held liable for systemic issues such as inadequate staffing, insufficient training, or failure to supervise employees adequately.
  • Owners: The nursing home owners can be liable for failing to ensure that their facility meets legal standards and adequately cares for its residents.

Medical Professionals

  • Doctors: Physicians who provide medical care in nursing homes can be held liable if their negligence leads to medical errors, improper treatment, or a failure to diagnose conditions that harm residents.
  • Pharmacists and Pharmacy Staff: Errors in dispensing medications or inadequate monitoring of drug interactions and side effects can also lead to liability.

Third-Party Contractors

  • Outside Consultants and Contractors: Specialists, therapists, or any external service providers who are not direct nursing home employees but provide services to residents can be liable if their actions cause harm.

Government Agencies

  • Regulatory Failures: In rare cases, government agencies responsible for inspecting and licensing nursing homes might be liable if their failure to detect or act on violations contributes to the conditions allowing abuse.

Legal Considerations

To establish liability in nursing home abuse cases, it is necessary to demonstrate that the party had a duty of care to the resident, that this duty was breached, and that the breach directly resulted in harm to the resident. Proving these elements typically requires a detailed investigation and the experience of legal professionals experienced in elder law.

What Causes Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is a serious issue that stems from multiple factors, often related to systemic problems within the facility, as well as individual shortcomings. Understanding these causes is essential to prevent abuse and ensure the safety and well-being of elderly residents. Here are some common causes of nursing home abuse:

  • Understaffing: Too few staff members lead to burnout and shortcuts in care.
  • Inadequate Training: Staff lacking training on how to handle the complex needs of elderly residents, particularly those with cognitive impairments.
  • Poor Working Conditions: Low wages, long hours, and high job stress can contribute to employee dissatisfaction and abusive behavior.
  • Lack of Oversight: Insufficient supervision allows neglectful or abusive behaviors to go unchecked.
  • Negligent Hiring: Hiring without proper background checks increases the risk of employing individuals with a history of abusive behavior.
  • Cultural and Institutional Attitudes: Facilities that view residents as tasks rather than individuals can foster neglect and abuse.
  • Isolation of Residents: Isolated residents are more vulnerable to abuse, with fewer people to notice and report issues.
  • Financial Motives: Financial exploitation occurs when staff or others take advantage of the vulnerability of elderly individuals for personal gain.

These points highlight the need for strict hiring practices, adequate staffing, ongoing training, and a culture of respect and dignity to prevent nursing home abuse.

What To Do If You or a Loved on is a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse 

If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, taking swift and effective action is crucial to protect the victim and hold the responsible parties accountable. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Ensure the Safety of the Victim

  • Remove the Victim from Harm: If the abuse is ongoing or life-threatening, arrange for the victim to be moved to a safe environment immediately.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Obtain medical care for any injuries or health issues caused by the abuse.

2. Document the Evidence

  • Take Photographs: Document any physical injuries or poor living conditions.
  • Keep Records: If possible, maintain a log of incidents, including dates, times, descriptions, and the names of involved staff.
  • Gather Testimonies: Obtain statements from the victim, other residents, visitors, and sympathetic staff who might have witnessed the abuse.

3. Report the Abuse

  • Contact Local Authorities: File a report with the police for immediate intervention, especially in cases of severe abuse.
  • Notify State Agencies: In New York, contact the New York State Department of Health or the local ombudsman program, specifically designed to handle cases involving the welfare of nursing home residents.

4. Consult a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

  • Legal Advice: Contact an experienced elder abuse lawyer. They can advise you on how to proceed legally to protect the victim’s rights.
  • Explore Legal Action: Your attorney can help you understand your legal options, including filing a lawsuit for compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

5. Support the Victim

  • Emotional and Psychological Support: Consider professional counseling to help the victim deal with the trauma associated with abuse.
  • Stay Involved: Regularly visit and check on the welfare of your loved one if they continue to reside in a care facility.

6. Prevent Future Incidents

  • Choose a New Facility Carefully: If relocating the victim, thoroughly vet the new facility for its standards of care, staffing ratios, and history of violations.
  • Advocate for Better Care: Engage with facility administrators to discuss ways to improve care and ensure such incidents do not recur.

Take Action Against Nursing Home Abuse Today

If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, you don’t have to face it alone. Contact Roth & Khalife, LLP for dedicated, compassionate legal support. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers will tirelessly ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. Protect your rights and your loved ones by calling us today for a free consultation. Let us help you make a stand against nursing home abuse.