Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Frequently Asked Questions
Our Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse Lawyers Represent Injured Victims and Their Families
At Alonso Krangle, LLP, we see far too many complaints of abuse and neglect in nursing homes, causing serious injury or death to our elderly. Our lawyers have experience and compassion, and work tirelessly to ensure you and your loved ones are compensated should a nursing home employees or administrators act in a negligent way, harming our seniors.
If you think someone you love might be suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or any long-term care residence, call Alonso Krangle, LLP at 516-350-5555 or 800-403-6191. Find out about your legal options today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
What Constitutes Neglect in a Nursing Home?
This occurs when a nursing home fails to meet the basic daily needs of a resident and provide proper care. It is the failure to adhere to reasonable standards of care.
Neglect of our seniors is all too common in the US. The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) estimates that more than 15 percent of abuse complaints in these facilities are for neglect.
General neglect can be intentional or unintentional. It is a form of abuse but can differ in that it is not always deliberate with the intent of causing harm.
Neglect can result from things like indifference, inadequate supervision, carelessness, lack of training, insufficient staffing, and lack of resources.
What Are Some Examples of Neglect in a Nursing Home?
- Failing to provide basics such as sufficient food or water
- Leaving patients unattended for long periods
- Failing to provide medication
- Failing to keep residents clean
- Leaving residents in soiled diapers or linens for extended periods
- Failing to turn or move residents to avoid bedsores and pressure marks
- Ignoring complaints or requests of residents
- Not reporting injuries or concerns to administrators, doctors, or family members
What Is The Difference Between Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?
Neglect is a type of abuse. Whether neglect is unintentional or deliberate, it can cause injuries and even death to loved ones.
Abuse is broader and can also conjure up more purposeful, calculated acts that harm patients, such as hitting, kicking, and pushing. But intent is not required to establish nursing home abuse. Abuse can occur in a variety of ways and cause serious injuries even when the abuse is not physical.
What Are Some Different Types of Neglect?
Nursing home neglect tends to fall into one of the following categories:
Medical Neglect – this occurs when the nursing home staff fails to take care of the basic medical needs of a resident. This might include not giving medications on time (or at all), improperly administering medications, not mobilizing patients to avoid bedsores, ignoring signs of illness or injury.
Social and Emotional Neglect – Maintaining the social and emotional health of residents is part of the job of a nursing home. When employees don’t provide adequate attention to residents, isolate patients, or make it difficult for residents to socialize or interact with others, it can be a terrible form of neglect.
Neglect of Basic Needs – This is possibly the most common most dangerous. Nursing homes promise to provide daily necessities and care to residents. Failure to provide food, water, clean clothes, and daily hygiene can lead to emotional and physical injuries.
What are Some of the More Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
Physical abuse is the intentional act of hurting someone. In a nursing home, every resident is susceptible to physical abuse. Residents with physical limitations, cognitive disorders, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease are especially at risk.
Common physical acts of abuse might include:
- Pulling hair
- Using restraints
- Using an object to injure someone
Physical aggression can cause serious injuries to elder nursing home residents, especially those whose health is already compromised.
Sexual abuse occurs when someone intentionally violates a resident. Sexual abuse can include:
- Unwanted touching/non-consensual sexual contact
- Exposing oneself
- Displaying sexually inappropriate materials
- Sexual innuendo
- Forcing a resident to perform sexual acts
Sexual abuse can cause physical injuries as well as psychological ones. Sexual abuse is often perpetrated against a resident who is unable to give true consent.
Financial abuse occurs in nursing homes when someone steals directly from a resident or exploits/manipulates them for financial gain.
Financial abuse often involves:
- Theft of jewelry or money
- Using credit cards, bank statements, or legal documents
- Deceiving residents, giving misinformation
- Abuse of power of attorney
- Withholding access to money
- Identity theft
Financial abuse can eliminate the resources a nursing home resident needs to pay for care. The emotional despair after suffering from financial exploitation can be devastating.
Verbal Abuse and Emotional Abuse
Emotional, verbal, or psychological abuse occurs when nursing homes cause mental distress and trauma, using words and actions.
Emotional abuse can include:
- Withholding resources like the phone or access to transportation
Emotional abuse can have devastating effects on its victims.
What are Some Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in NY?
There are often warning signs of abuse. It is sometimes up to outsiders to notice these signs and investigate what is happening.
Some signs that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home might include:
- Unexplained injuries
- Broken bones
- Changes in personality
- Sudden weight loss
- Exhibiting lack of hygiene
- Fear of being left alone with someone
- Fear in general
- Changes in sleep habits
It can be difficult to ascertain the nature of abuse and neglect when the victim is ill or impaired. He or she may be afraid to talk about it or unable to articulate what is happening.
What Should I Do if I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
Every case is different, but there are some things you can do if you suspect someone is suffering from abuse or neglect in a New York nursing home.
- Remain calm
- Question the nursing home employees, administration, and management about your concerns and suspicions.
- Speak with your loved one privately
- Take notes
- Call the local police if your loved one is in imminent danger or there is clear abuse. File a complaint
- You can report abuse to the agency in your state that handles abuse claims, the local term care ombudsman, or the National Center on Elder Abuse.
- Consult an experienced lawyer or law firm that handles nursing home abuse or neglect claims. You and your loved one are entitled to protection and possibly financial compensation. Get a free consultation from Alonso Krangle, LLP to find out if you are eligible to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
How Common Is Elder Abuse in New York?
Elder abuse is more common than people realize, especially in nursing homes. According to the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys
- Approximately 5 million elders suffer some form of abuse annually
- An estimated 1 in every 10 Americans aged 60 or older have endured some form of elder abuse
- According to a national survey of nursing home staff, 10% admitted to committing at least one physical act of abuse toward a patient.
- 40% admitted to psychologically abusing patients.
When Should My Family Contact a Nursing Home Attorney?
You should call a lawyer right away if you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused. You will want someone protecting your legal rights and leading the investigation into what has occurred.
What is the New York Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims Against Nursing Homes or Long-Term Care Facilities?
Generally, the time limit in New York to file a nursing home negligence claims the same as that to file a personal injury claim. There are, however, exceptions to this. It is not possible to know exactly how much time you have until you speak to experienced nursing home neglect lawyers, and they hear the facts of your case.
How Can We Help You Prove Nursing Home Neglect?
For most nursing home injury cases, to prove the nursing home is liable, you must show:
- That the nursing home acted negligently or intentionally, violating a standard of care owed to the resident.
- That the negligence or intentional acts caused the victims injuries- the injuries would not have occurred but for the acts or negligence of the nursing home
- That the victim suffered damages such as medical costs, emotional distress, pain and suffering
Proving these elements often requires the testimony of medical experts, medical records, and statements from witnesses and family members.
How Long Can it Take to Litigate a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
If someone you love was injured or died because of nursing home abuse or neglect, filing a lawsuit will not change what happened. It might, however, provide compensation to help ease some of the financial, physical, and emotional pain inflicted by the nursing home.
The legal process can result in compensation, but it does not always work quickly.
If you and your lawyer decide a lawsuit is appropriate, make sure you understand the timeline you are facing. A negotiated settlement might speed up the resolution of your case but is not always in your best interest. You and your experienced nursing home abuse attorney can determine the course of action to take.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Firm for a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
Our law firm takes personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. The amount of the contingency fee can vary based on the outcome of the case, as we would receive an agreed upon percentage from any settlement or verdict you receive. You do not pay an hourly fee and pay nothing if your case is not successful.
Call Alonso Krangle, LLP for Help Filing Your Personal Injury Claim
Our nursing home abuse attorneys have the experience and compassion to help you and your family achieve a successful outcome in your nursing home abuse case. Call us today at 800-403-6191 or 516-350-5555 to schedule your free consultation.