Dedicated Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Proudly Serving New York
The elderly should be able to live out their golden years in safety and security. Unfortunately, nursing homes and other facilities often do not provide the care seniors need and deserve. A New York nursing home abuse lawyer can help if your elderly loved one came to harm at a nursing home in New York.
Nursing home negligence cases involve a host of different challenges. You and your family may be entitled to significant compensation, but it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.
Attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have more than 100 years of combined experience representing those who have been harmed through no fault of their own. We are driven by the desire to obtain justice and fair compensation for our clients.
For a FREE case review, please call (212) 543-1600 to speak to a Bronx New York nursing home abuse lawyer. Our attorneys serve clients throughout the Bronx and other areas of New York.
What Are the Types of Abuse in a Nursing Home?
Nursing home abuse can take multiple forms. Overall, there are five major types of nursing home abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional and verbal abuse, financial abuse, and neglect.
Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Physical abuse is any type of wrongful act that results in physical harm to a nursing home resident. Common examples include:
- Slapping and punching
- Unnecessary use of physical or chemical restraints
Signs that a nursing home resident is being physically abused may include:
- Welts, cuts, and bruises
- Broken bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Damaged personal items (eyeglasses, dentures, personal possessions, etc.)
- Signs of restraint (particularly around the wrists and ankles)
- Changes in behavior, such as fearfulness, emotional outbursts, etc.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Sexual abuse is any form of unwanted sexual contact. Abuse may be perpetrated by nursing home staff, caregivers, and even other residents.
Examples of sexual abuse in nursing homes include:
- Sexual assault and rape
- Unwanted touching, groping, and fondling
- Forcing residents to remove their clothes
- Taking nude photos of residents
- Sexual comments and threats
Sexual abuse and assault in nursing homes often go unreported. This can be attributable to victims’ fear of reprisal from their attackers, diminished capacity, and more. However, there are potential signs that a nursing home resident is being sexually abused. These may include:
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Injuries to the breasts, thighs, genitals, and buttocks
- Torn or damaged clothing and bedding
- Depression and anxiety
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Emotional, verbal, and psychological abuse may involve:
- Demeaning comments
- Yelling, shouting, and screaming
Abusive staff and caregivers may also isolate residents or withhold food, water, medication, and more as a means of exerting control. Potential signs of emotional abuse in nursing homes include:
- Refusal to socialize with others or see visitors
- Aversion to particular caregivers and members of the nursing home staff
- Decline in physical and emotional health
Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes
Types of financial abuse and exploitation in nursing homes include:
- Stealing money and belongings from residents
- Cashing a resident’s checks and keeping the money
- Unlawfully accessing the resident’s bank accounts
- Manipulating the resident into adding a caregiver or staff to their will, assigning them power of attorney, etc.
- Stealing a resident’s identity
Nursing home residents often have little in the way of financial resources. Financial abuse and exploitation can leave them without money to pay for necessities. Common signs of financial abuse in nursing homes include:
- Unexplained withdrawals and transfers
- Mysterious charges
- Overdrawn bank accounts
- New credit cards, accounts, and more opened in the resident’s name
- Items and money missing from the resident’s room
- Sudden changes in beneficiaries, cosigners, and more on legal and banking documents
Nursing Home Neglect
Neglect is a broad term that encompasses the many ways nursing home staff can fail to provide residents with adequate care. Common examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Failure to provide residents with food that meets their nutritional and dietary needs
- Inadequate hydration
- Failure to assist residents with basic hygiene needs
- Providing insufficient assistance for residents with mobility issues
- Medication errors and failure to dispense medications
- Delays in providing medical treatment for illnesses and injuries
- Leaving residents unattended and/or failing to supervise them
Signs of nursing home neglect may include:
- Bed sores (also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers)
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unexplained injuries
- Antisocial behavior
- Worsening health
- Aggravation of existing medical complaints
- New medical issues
- Anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, etc.
- Elopement (where the resident leaves the facility unbeknownst to staff)
Verdicts and Settlements
$325,000 - Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
To a nursing home resident who developed a Stage IV ulcer requiring surgery where the nursing home alleged the resident was non-compliant with recommendations to reduce pressure from excessive wheelchair use.
Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse and neglect needs to be investigated promptly in order to identify all parties who may have harmed your loved one. Although caregivers and non-clinical staff members may be directly responsible for committing the abuse or neglect, the nursing home itself is generally liable for the negligence and wrongdoing of its employees.
All nursing homes owe a “duty of care” to their residents. What this duty of care entails can be found in the contracts between residents and the facility, as well as rights guaranteed by state law (see Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident in New York State) and federal law (see Your Resident Rights and Protections as a Nursing Home Resident). Broadly, this includes the nursing home’s obligation to provide a safe and secure living environment, assistance with daily needs (feeding, hygiene, etc.), medical care, and more.
Evidence may show that the nursing home has failed to meet the duty of care. Common issues that lead to nursing home abuse and neglect for which the facility may be held liable include:
- Improper hiring practices
- Failure to train and supervise employees
- Negligent security
- Failure to keep the premises in safe condition (premises liability)
- Inadequate supervision of residents
- Misuse of equipment
A Bronx New York nursing home abuse lawyer will collect evidence to prove that negligence on the part of the nursing home led to the abuse and/or neglect your loved one has been forced to endure. Our attorneys will also determine if any additional parties are responsible for nursing home neglect or abuse, such as the manufacturer of a defective device that led to your loved one’s injuries.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home residents and their families may be entitled to significant compensation for damages stemming from abuse and neglect. It is crucial to consult a New York nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to determine how much your case may be worth.
Recoverable losses in a nursing home abuse claim may include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- The cost of medical-related travel
- Assistive devices (e.g., wheelchairs, canes, etc.)
- The cost of relocating your loved one to your home or another facility
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Scarring and disfigurement
- The loss of enjoyment of life
Tragically, it is not uncommon for nursing home residents to die as a result of abuse or neglect. If you believe nursing home abuse or neglect led to your loved one’s death, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You and your family may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Damages are not capped in New York personal injury and wrongful death claims. This means that you can seek compensation for all of the economic damages (i.e., financial losses) and non-economic damages (i.e., pain and suffering and other losses that are non-financial in nature) that you and your family have sustained.
The successful resolution of your case is contingent on the decision to hire a knowledgeable attorney. A New York City nursing home abuse lawyer at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will seek to maximize your compensation through a fair settlement or, if necessary, by filing a lawsuit and taking your case to trial.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in NY?
If your loved one is severely injured, seriously ill, and/or you believe he or she is in imminent danger, you should call 911 as soon as possible. Ensuring that your loved one is safe should be your number-one priority. In addition to getting your loved one any necessary medical care, you may want to file a police report if you have reason to believe that criminal activity was involved (such as physical abuse, sexual assault, etc.).
You should also make a complaint to the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The NYSDOH’s Division of Nursing Home and ICF/IID Surveillance is the state government agency responsible for overseeing nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in New York. Residents, family members and others can report suspected abuse and neglect by phone, online, or by mail.
Information you will need to provide when making a complaint about nursing home abuse or neglect includes:
- Information about the resident, including the type of facility in which they are/were housed
- The name, address, and city where the nursing home is located, as well as the resident’s room number
- Details of the complaint, including the date(s) of the incident(s), whether law enforcement is involved, the status of any complaints you have made with the facility, and more
The Department of Health will only investigate complaints concerning incidents that have occurred within the past year. As such, it is important to report suspected nursing home abuse or neglect as soon as possible.
Reporting nursing home abuse creates an official record of the mistreatment or negligence your loved one has suffered, which can support your subsequent civil claim against the facility. Making a complaint can also bring serious issues to the attention of the authorities, which can ultimately prevent other residents of the nursing home from being abused or neglected in the way your loved one has.
How Long Do I Have to Sue for Nursing Home Abuse in New York?
There are several legal time limits (known as the statute of limitations) you need to be aware of when bringing a nursing abuse claim in New York. The applicable statute of limitations depends on the circumstances of your case:
- Personal injury: 3 years (see New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 214(5))
- Wrongful death: 2 years (see New York Estates, Powers & Trusts § 5-4.1)
- Medical negligence: 2 years and 6 months (some exceptions apply; see New York Civil Practice Law & Rules 214-A)
You have a limited time to file a lawsuit if your loved one was injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect. Although your claim may be settled before the statute of limitations expires (in which case a lawsuit will be unnecessary), it is vital to preserve all available options for pursuing the compensation you and your family deserve.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi will never hesitate to file a lawsuit if that’s what it takes to obtain a favorable outcome. If no settlement can be reached, our trial lawyers can represent you effectively in court with the goal of winning the maximum award possible.
Thousands of families in and around the Bronx trust nursing homes to provide their elderly loved ones with quality care. Unfortunately, we have seen countless examples of seniors being abused and neglected by caregivers, staff, and nursing home administration.
You and your family shouldn’t have to face the aftermath of nursing home abuse or neglect on your own. Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help.
Our attorneys have over a century of combined legal experience in nursing home abuse claims and other complex matters. We have been repeatedly recognized as the best in our field, achieving a number of awards and honors from our peers in the legal profession.
Please call Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi at (212) 543-1600 today for a FREE case review. Our nursing home abuse lawyers serve clients throughout the Bronx and other areas of New York.