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Suing a Nursing Home for Abuse

When Can I Sue for Nursing Home Abuse?

For many families, the well-being of a loved one in a nursing home is an ongoing concern. No matter how close you are to your elderly relative and how often you visit, worrying is a natural part of trusting your loved one’s care to someone else.

If your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, it is important to turn your worries into action. Along with taking steps to protect your loved one’s safety, it is in your best interest to speak to an Albany nursing home abuse attorney about your family’s legal options.

The attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian LLP can help you navigate the complex laws and regulations that apply to nursing homes and pursue compensation on your behalf for abuse or neglect. Please call (518) 463-7784 today for a free consultation.

What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have?

According to the New York State Department of Health, the rights of nursing home residents are:

  • “[D]ignity, respect and a comfortable living environment
  • [Q]uality of care and treatment without discrimination
  • [F]reedom of choice to make your own, independent decisions
  • [B]e informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home
  • [T]he safeguard of your property and money
  • [A]ppeal a transfer or discharge with the New York State Department of Health
  • [P]rivacy in communications
  • [C]hoose your own schedule, activities and other preferences that are important to you
  • [R]eceive visitors of your choosing at the time of your choosing
  • [A]n easy-to-use and responsive complaint procedure
  • [B]e free from abuse including verbal, sexual, mental and physical abuse
  • [B]e free from restraints
  • [E]xercise all of your rights without fear of reprisal”

Nursing homes in New York have an obligation to provide care for residents that respects and does not infringe upon these rights. Facilities are also subject to federal and state regulations that govern the initial and periodic assessment of residents, quality of care, care planning requirements, services provided, procedures for investigating complaints, staff training requirements, and more.

Unfortunately, we often see cases where the rights of nursing home residents are ignored and actively violated because of abuse and neglect by staff members.

Filing a Claim Against a Nursing Home

If your loved one is in a nursing home, it is important for you and your family to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. Watch for these signs when you visit your loved one so you know when it might be time to intervene.

A nursing home abuse attorney can investigate neglect and misconduct on the part of the staff. You may be able to file a claim against the facility for damages stemming from:

Physical Abuse

Hitting, pushing, choking, and other acts of violence all constitute physical abuse. You may notice that your loved one has unexplained bruising, broken bones, and other marks indicative of assault. Physical injuries may also be caused by the improper use of restraints.

Sexual Abuse

No one at any age should have to endure sexual harassment, abuse, or assault. Unfortunately, nursing home residents often come into daily contact with their abusers, resulting in ongoing victimization. Many incidents go unreported because residents fear retaliation.

The effects of sexual abuse and assault are mental and emotional as well as physical. Nursing home residents who have been assaulted may become anxious and withdrawn.

Financial Abuse and Exploitation

Stealing money or valuables from an elderly nursing home resident is truly despicable. However, some unscrupulous members of a nursing home staff may make matters even worse by stealing residents’ sensitive financial information, as well as manipulating seniors into signing away their assets or naming the caregiver as a beneficiary in their will.

Nursing Home Neglect

Negligence in a nursing home can take many different forms. Common issues include:

  • Failure to supervise residents, resulting in falls and other injuries
  • Errors in the use of hydraulic lifts and other equipment
  • Failure to provide residents with proper nutrition and hydration
  • Failure to assist residents with personal grooming and hygiene
  • Failure to answer calls for assistance from residents
  • Mismanagement of medications
  • Failure to identify and seek proper care for residents who become ill or suffer a medical emergency

In addition to errors on the part of the staff, the facility itself may be negligent. Common issues that can lead to neglect and abuse in nursing homes include unsafe premises, inadequate staffing, lack of procedures, and more.

Recovering Compensation in a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

Depending on the facts of the case, you and your family may be entitled to compensation for the following damages in a claim against the nursing home:

  • Medical expenses
  • Your loved one’s pain and suffering
  • Your loved one’s lost quality of life
  • Costs associated with moving your loved one out of the nursing home, relocation to a different facility, home healthcare services, and more
  • Punitive damages (may be awarded in cases involving extreme negligence or willful misconduct)

If your loved one died as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, your family may be able to recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. Damages that can be recovered for wrongful death in a nursing home abuse or neglect claim may include:

  • Costs for medical care prior to your loved one’s death
  • Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
  • Your loved one’s pain and suffering prior to their death
  • Loss of consortium, society, and companionship
  • Punitive damages (in certain circumstances, as described above)

You may be able to settle your case without going to trial, or you may need to file a lawsuit to recover the compensation you and your family deserve. Our Albany nursing home abuse attorneys will advise you of your options and act in your best interests at all times.

Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers Today

Nursing home lawsuits for neglect and abuse don’t just hold facilities accountable for the suffering of residents and the losses their families sustain. These claims can also expose wrongdoing on the part of those who are entrusted with caring for the elderly. Other nursing home residents may be spared from the same fate when families take legal action.

If you believe your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact Dreyer Boyajian LLP for immediate assistance. Our team can help you protect your loved one’s rights and pursue justice for your family.

Please call (518) 463-7784 today for a free consultation with Dreyer Boyajian LLP. Our Albany nursing home abuse attorneys serve clients throughout the Capital District and other areas of New York, including Troy, Schenectady, Saratoga Springs, and more.

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