How to Prove Nursing Home Neglect in New York?

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Many older adults need more help than their families can offer. As a result, nursing home care might be necessary. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect happen. It’s important to be aware of the signs of abuse and know how to prove that a nursing home has neglected your loved one. Before you make any decisions, it is important to speak with a  New York City nursing home negligence attorney.  

What is Nursing Home Negligence?

Just like nursing home abuse, neglect in nursing homes happens all too often in New York and other areas. While abuse involves violent acts perpetrated against a vulnerable elderly resident in nursing homes, neglect involves a failure to tend to the person’s basic needs. Sometimes, it occurs as a result of a nursing home being short-staffed or employees being overworked and overly stressed. Neglect can also happen when staff is inadequately trained for the job of caring for frail elderly residents.

If you suspect that your older loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s important to consult with a nursing home abuse attorney. They can look into the situation and help you prepare a lawsuit.

Types of New York Nursing Home Negligence

There are different types of nursing home neglect. Social and emotional negligence occurs when an elderly resident is isolated from his peers. Residents should be allowed to interact with one another as it benefits them.

Other types of nursing home negligence involve an older person’s basic needs and hygiene. If those needs are not being met, it can harm the individual. They must have plenty of food and water. Dehydration is a leading cause of injuries among nursing home residents.  Their living quarters should be kept clean and at a normal room temperature. Elderly residents should also have clean clothing and bedding. They should be bathed regularly. Failure to provide these basic things is considered nursing home negligence.

What are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?

When a resident of a nursing home is suffering from neglect in New York City, they may exhibit certain signs. If your loved one is a victim, the following signs might be present:

  • Sudden change in moods such as depression, fear, crying, or quietness.
  • Unexplained cuts, lacerations, bruises, or more serious injuries such as fractures.
  • Marks on the wrists or ankles signifying physical restraint.
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Suddenly appearing scared, nervous, or uneasy around nursing home staff
  • No longer appearing interested in things they once enjoyed

Any combination of these telltale signs should be taken seriously. If you have noticed your loved one exhibiting any of these signs, you might want to make a complaint by contacting the Health Department. It’s also wise to get in touch with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. It is equally important to look for signs that could lead to neglect:

  • Noticing that there are very few or no nurses at nursing stations during your visit
  • Inability to reach somebody or being placed on hold, or not having messages returned by your staff
  • Noticing that there are more administrators than nurses 
  • Noticing that cold or old food is left by your loved one for long periods of time
  • Recording an uptick in complaints by your loved one that the staff members are ignoring them or their complaints
  • Asking your loved one about how often a nurse or another staff member enters their room to assist them.  
  • Asking your loved one how long it takes for a nurse or another staff member to respond to a call from them 

How Can You Prove Nursing Home Neglect?

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to take the victim’s word about nursing home neglect happening to them as many nursing home residents suffer from cognitive decline due to dementia or Alzheimer’s. Even those who do not suffer from those conditions may not be lucid enough to be able to explain what happened. As a result, the nursing home abuse lawyer must prove that certain elements are in place in the case. They must show the following:

  • The nursing home had a duty of care, which was to provide the expected level of care to the victim.
  • The nursing home breached that duty when a member of its staff neglected the victim.
  • The neglect the victim suffered directly caused them to suffer harm such as injuries.
  • The victim suffered damages as a direct result of the breach of duty of care owed by the nursing home.

In a successful nursing home neglect case, the plaintiff would recover compensation for damages such as medical expenses, ongoing treatment, pain and suffering, and more. For particularly egregious behavior on the part of the defendant, punitive damages might even be awarded.

If your loved one suffered in New York due to nursing home neglect, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer at your earliest convenience. Speaking with an experienced attorney may be able to help you and your loved one receive compensation for the hurt and the injuries they suffered due to the negligence of the nursing home staff. Call for a free consultation with the nursing home negligence lawyers at Kucher Law Group (929) 274-8000.

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