Queens Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing homes care for some of our most vulnerable individuals. All nursing home residents have the right to quality care delivered with skill and compassion. But the reality is often quite different. Far too many nursing homes fail to meet even the most basic legal requirements for providing care. Worse yet, some nursing homes actively condone abuse and neglect of residents.
If you have a parent or family member who has suffered due to nursing home abuse, you do not have to sit on the sidelines quietly. The experienced Queens nursing home abuse lawyer at Sullivan & Galleshaw can provide you and your loved one with legal representation. We help our clients bring personal injury–and in some cases, wrongful death–lawsuits against abusive nursing homes. While money can never make up for your loved one’s suffering, it can still send a clear message that mistreatment of the elderly and vulnerable will not be tolerated in Queens.
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur?
Every so often there will be media coverage of nursing home abuse. There is a brief public outcry followed by promises from elected officials and regulators to crack down on the abuse. Yet as time goes by, nothing seems to happen and new stories of abuse emerge. So what leads to these problems in the first place?
There is, of course, no single cause of nursing home abuse. But some of the more common causes we have come across while representing clients include:
- Critical Understaffing – Nursing homes are not something that can be run remotely or at a distance. These facilities require adequate staffing to ensure proper care. But many nursing homes are critically understaffed. Often, it is simply a case of management not hiring enough people. Sometimes, management fails to offer sufficient pay to attract quality talent. As a result, you end up with too few staff working too many hours for too little pay. Inevitably, this leads to a decline in the quality of care received by residents.
- Improper Training – Even when a nursing home has sufficient staff on paper, the people hired lack the proper training to perform their jobs. Again, nursing home residents often require intensive, hands-on care. This means the staff must understand how to provide personal care and support for elderly persons who often have a wide range of critical medical issues. An improperly trained staff member may make mistakes that inadvertently cause the patient to suffer.
- Rogue Employees – While the majority of nursing home staff are dedicated professionals doing their best under trying circumstances, there are always a few bad apples who see residents as potential “marks” for fraud or abuse. These rogue employees may try and take financial advantage of an elderly resident, or in some cases target them for physical and mental abuse.
FAQ Queens Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be complicated to identify before it is too late, and friends and family members often have difficulty knowing about options for filing a claim or holding a facility accountable. The following are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) our Queens nursing home abuse attorneys receive, followed by our answers to these questions.
Q: What Are the Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Queens?
A: Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms in Queens. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), some of the most common forms of abuse and neglect include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, intentional confinement or restraints, passive neglect, willful deprivation, and financial exploitation.
Q: What Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Should I Look For?
A: Given that there are so many different types of nursing home abuse, the signs and symptoms can vary widely. Generally speaking, the NCOA explains that any of the following should be cause for further inquiry and potential concern: unexplained bruises, bone fractures, abrasions, burns, pressure marks, emotional or intellectual withdrawal, change in the level of alertness, lack of interest in activities, strained relationship with a caregiver or staff member, bed sores, poor hygiene, weight loss, or lack of necessary medical aids or devices.
Q: Who is Liable for Nursing Home Injuries in Queens?
A: Most often, the nursing home itself will be liable for nursing home injuries in Queens. Depending upon the specific circumstances, an individual employee or another party could also be liable. In some circumstances, it may be possible to file a nursing home neglect case against more than one defendant.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
A: Under New York law, most nursing home abuse cases that result in a nonfatal injury must be filed within three years from the date of the initial harm.
Q: Can I File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim After an Injury in an Assisted Living Facility?
A: The term “nursing home abuse” or “nursing home negligence” is often used broadly to refer to injuries affecting older adults in various types of facilities in Queens. Accordingly, you should know that it is possible to file an elder abuse or neglect claim, or a negligence claim, against an assisted living facility or another type of facility for older adults if an older adult suffered an injury caused by abuse or negligence.
Q: How Can I Know if an Injury Resulted from Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence?
A: Determining whether an older adult’s injuries resulted from abuse or negligence can be difficult to do on your own. It is important to have an experienced Queens nursing home abuse lawyer assess your case to determine whether your elderly loved one’s injuries likely resulted from abuse or neglect, or whether there could be another cause. It is important to remember that facilities can be accountable for abuse and neglect even when nobody intended to cause harm. If your elderly loved one was injured because of a negligent lack of care due to staff burnout or understaffing, the facility can still be liable and you may be able to file a neglect or negligence claim.
How Should You Deal With Allegations of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you have a family member living in a nursing home, and they raise allegations of abuse with you, it is important to always take such complaints seriously. Far too many cases of nursing home abuse get swept under the rug because people dismiss a resident’s complaints as nothing more than a symptom of their mental decline. Sometimes we just do not want to believe a nursing home’s staff is even capable of abuse. But when such abuse is reported–or especially if you personally observe signs of abuse–it is best to take action rather than stay silent.
The first step in dealing with abuse allegations is to raise the matter with the nursing home’s management or ombudsmen. Obviously, this does not guarantee the problem will be addressed. As you might suspect, nursing home managers are often inclined to “circle the wagons” and protect their own rather than confront abuse head-on. That is why you must be prepared to report abuse allegations to local law enforcement.
You can also hire a qualified Queens nursing home abuse lawyer. At Sullivan & Galleshaw, we represent residents and their families, not nursing homes and their management. Our only priority is advocating for your family member. If necessary, we can prepare, file, and prosecute a nursing home abuse lawsuit on your behalf. Depending on the circumstances, your loved one may be entitled to substantial cash compensation from the nursing home that enabled abuse to occur.
So call us today at (718) 843-0300 to schedule an initial free consultation. There is no obligation. We simply want to learn more about your family member’s situation and explain how we can best help them address the abuse they suffered at the hands of their nursing home.
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