Utica Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Obtaining Justice for the Victims of Abuse and Neglect
If you or your loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse, you need a personal injury law firm such as Passalacqua & Associates, LLC. Our lawyers are willing to fight for compensation for injuries that were suffered due to the carelessness on the part of employees or other caregivers employed by a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Often nursing home patients feel that they have no one who can advocate for them. Our legal team is committed to protecting the elderly or any other residents of nursing homes who may be suffering abuse and neglect.
Contact the law firm of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC by calling (315) 500-6425 to schedule a free strategy session to discuss your potential case. We are unwavering in our desire to see justice served for anyone who has suffered abuse or mistreatment in a nursing home.
What Are the Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Sadly, there are many types of nursing home abuse that patients and families often report. They are as follows:
Physical abuse: This type of abuse can occur when any resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility suffers bodily harm or injuries. Some examples of abuse include being pushed or shoved, punched, kicked, or restrained with straps or other types of ligature.
Some of the tell-tale signs of abuse in nursing homes include bruises, broken bones, and bleeding. Residents who suffer from cognitive disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are generally considered to be at an even greater risk than other nursing home residents, although the overall danger to all residents is significant.
Emotional abuse: This abuse occurs when a staff member or other caregiver insults or uses threats to control a nursing home resident. Regrettably, this is the most common type of abuse that is reported in nursing homes. Some examples of emotional abuse include:
- Insulting the resident’s intelligence or outward appearance
- Attempting to control the resident’s activities or movements against their will
- Isolating residents from their family members, other residents, friends, or other visitors
- Making threats against the resident
Elder abuse can manifest itself in the form of mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and long-term depression. Other telling signs of potential abuse include your family member exhibiting negative changes in their mood, behavior, or overall outlook on life.
Financial abuse: Misconduct such as this occurs when a person steals, manipulates, or misappropriates money in any way for their own financial gain. Some examples include:
- Stealing a resident’s cash, credit cards, or other valuable items
- Stealing a resident’s bank statements or other important financial records
- Prohibiting the resident from accessing their own bank account or other sources of revenue
- Misusing power of attorney in order to change a resident’s will
Sexual abuse: Any type of unwanted sexual contact, groping, or touching of a resident in a nursing home is considered to be sexual abuse. This type of abuse can manifest itself in the form of scratches, bruises, or sexually transmitted diseases. Along with the physical indications of this type of egregious abuse, residents often experience severe emotional trauma as well.
What Should I Do if I Suspect That My Loved One is Being Abused in a Nursing Facility?
If you suspect nursing home neglect or see signs of abuse, you need to take action immediately. You have an obligation to take the necessary steps and open up a legal case on behalf of your loved one to protect their rights. You also want to be certain that you do not miss any deadlines that pertain to the suspected abuse. The measures that you should take to ensure the health and safety of your loved one are as follows:
Transfer your family member elsewhere: Move your family member to another living facility or have them admitted to the hospital. If they have visible injuries such as bedsores, malnutrition, or dehydration, they will need to be treated. In some cases, criminal charges may be filed against nursing home employees or a caregiver for abuse or neglect. Depending on your personal situation, it may be advisable to have the resident move in with you or another family member until the case can be fully resolved.
Request all available medical records: Gather all available medical records and documents associated with the case of suspected abuse. This includes all records that the nursing home is required by law to keep as well as medical documentation of the treatment that was prescribed for any injuries.
Keep a log or journal with detailed notes: If you begin to notice signs of abuse or any other indications of mistreatment with regard to your family member, be certain to write it down in a log or journal. Some other factors to be wary of in nursing homes are frequent bedsores caused by improper care, being positioned in a bed for an extended period of time, unclean rooms, and medication errors.
You may also notice that your relative has begun to withdraw from social interactions, either with family members or other residents of the nursing home. In addition, they may also develop depression or other sudden changes in behavior.
Take pictures: Photographs can often be key evidence in a case of nursing home abuse. It is crucial that you document the living conditions that are present. For example, if your loved one sustained a fall from loose floor tiles or other unsafe conditions, having evidence to back up your claims could be crucial when seeking compensation for your family member’s injuries.
Call a qualified attorney: Our elder abuse attorneys are highly qualified and understand how inadequate care can be detrimental to your loved one during a time when they should be enjoying their life. We are firmly dedicated to fighting for the rights of those who have been victims of nursing home abuse.
Contact the law firm of Passalacqua& Associates, LLC and ask to speak with one of our nursing home abuse lawyers. They can address your concerns and help to determine if what you suspect to be abuse qualifies under the standards set forth by law. From that point, they can determine what specific action should be taken against the nursing home or assisted living facility. We are committed to seeking justice for your loved one.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim Against a Nursing Home?
If you believe that your loved one died as a result of wrongful death from substandard care or abuse that they received while living in a nursing home, you need to speak with a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
It is the duty of all nursing homes and assisted living facilities to ensure a standard of care for their residents by providing for their personal and medical needs. Failing to uphold this standard of care constitutes nursing home neglect, which often leads to serious injury and even death.
In some cases, the abuse and neglect are deliberate acts of abuse that can directly contribute to death and subsequently open the door to a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the negligent acts that can lead to death include the following:
- Extreme physical abuse
- Injuries sustained in either slip and fall accidents or other falls caused by a lack of supervision or obstacles.
- Severe infections caused by sepsis or bedsores.
- Medication errors
In order to successfully win a wrongful death case for a death that occurred in a nursing home, there are several components that must be proven in order to receive compensation. The personal representative of the decedent’s estate must demonstrate the following to be true:
- The nursing home resident has passed away.
- The death was directly caused by misconduct or negligence on the part of the nursing home or an employee of the nursing home.
- If the decedent had lived, they could have filed a personal injury claim in regard to the wrongful conduct that led to their injury.
- The deceased is survived by at least one individual who has sustained losses due to the death that occurred.
- The death ultimately led to specific monetary damages incurred by a family member or loved one.
It is important to understand that New York limits wrongful death settlements to financial damages. Therefore, wrongful death claims that involve nursing home residents can focus on recovering funeral and burial expenses, loss of social security benefits, lost inheritance, along with nursing and medical expenses sustained as a direct result of the decedent’s fatal injury or illness.
You should also be aware of the fact that New York has a statute of limitations that they place on wrongful death cases. For recovering monetary damages in wrongful death cases, individuals have up to two years to file from the actual date their loved one died.
Conversely, pain and suffering damages are bound under a different statute of limitations. These types of non-economic damages are typically pursued by the decedent’s estate. Under these conditions, the law permits the estate up to three years to file a lawsuit which begins on the date that the negligent conduct or preventable accident occurred that led to the decedent’s death. It also permits a suit to be filed one year from the date of the decedent’s death.
Understanding which laws and statutes govern wrongful death can be complex and extremely difficult to understand on your own. You need to consult with a qualified attorney who understands how to handle wrongful death claims that stem from nursing home abuse and neglect.
Why Should I Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Help Me File A Claim Against a Nursing Home?
If you feel certain that the nursing home or facility where your loved one resides has inflicted abuse or caused your family member to pass away due to wrongful death, you need to hire an Utica injury attorney immediately. Our lawyers in Utica, New York, are ready to assist you in the following ways. We will:
- Initiate an investigation in order to determine who is ultimately responsible for the abuse or neglect.
- Involve qualified medical experts who can make a determination as to the nursing home’s legal standard of care and make a conclusion as to whether or not a breach of the standard of care has occurred.
- Prepare and file all of the necessary court documents and forms, as well as attend legal proceedings on your behalf.
- Conduct interviews and depositions that include all witnesses and defendants that are applicable to your case.
- Formulate a legal strategy that will focus on the strengths of your case.
- Represent your interests and advocate for the rights of your loved one during settlement negotiations.
- Hold the parties responsible for the injuries or death accountable in seeking full and fair compensation.
- Take your claim to trial if necessary to obtain justice for your family member.
Nursing homes have a duty to provide a level of care that ensures that the residents and families of those who live there feel that they are in a safe environment and can adequately provide for their personal and medical needs.
The attorneys at the law firm of Passalacqua& Associates, LLC are fully committed to serving you and your family members in your time of need.
Contact our law firm and ask to schedule an appointment for a free strategy session with an experienced member of our legal team. Our personal injury lawyers are highly qualified to handle these types of cases.
We will be happy to review the evidence that you are able to provide and any other information that you feel is pertinent to your case. We are not afraid to go up against the lawyers that defend nursing home abuse cases. Contact us today by calling (315) 500-6425 and arrange a time to meet with a member of our legal team. We look forward to advocating on your behalf.