New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Choosing to place a loved one in the care of a nursing home is often a time-consuming and difficult decision. You will do your best to find a location that will provide an enriching environment and quality care that you can’t provide on your own. Unfortunately, many nursing homes across the country still face significant cases of nursing home abuse and neglect, as these locations create environments that leave the elderly vulnerable to their caretakers. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we take nursing home abuse seriously. We will fight for the justice your loved one deserves so you and your family can move forward.
According to statistics collected by the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys, an estimated 5 million older adults suffer abuse every year. Additionally, 36% of residents admitted to witnessing at least one incident of physical abuse. Even when the consequences are not fatal, nursing home negligence robs victims of their dignity and sense of security. If your loved one has suffered abuse or other indignities in a nursing home, contact the New York nursing home abuse lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP at (212) 779-0057 today.
- Why Hire Hach & Rose, LLP,?
- Follow These Steps If You Suspect Your Loved One Is the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
- How Hach & Rose, LLP, Will Handle the Investigation
- Compensation Available for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
- Most Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
- Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
- Common Injuries Suffered from Nursing Home Abuse
- How Much Does A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Charge In Legal Fees?
- New York Laws Associated with Nursing Home Abuse Cases
- Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits in New York
- How to Navigate the Insurance Claims Process
- Nursing Home Abuse FAQs
- Speak to A Dedicated New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Why Hire Hach & Rose, LLP?
The Hach & Rose, LLP abuse and neglect attorneys have well over 100 years of combined legal experience. We are among the top-rated attorneys in New York and, together, have been selected for the New York Super Lawyers list, the New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, the Top 40 under 40 trial attorneys list, and have also been named to the elite Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We have built an excellent reputation and helped hundreds of clients recover significant damages through successful settlements and verdicts.
It’s important to know that a resident’s rights are protected by both federal and state laws. In fact, New York public health laws have specific provisions protecting nursing home residents from abuse and neglect. Our knowledge and understanding of these laws allow us to approach each case with a strategy that serves our clients’ interests and reaches their legal goals.
We can help you recover compensation for damages such as medical costs, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. You and your family should not be financially responsible for the associated costs of nursing home abuse. We will help you hold the facility or staff member accountable for their actions.
Follow These Steps If You Suspect Your Loved One Is the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
If your family member shows any signs of abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to take action. You should immediately initiate a legal case to protect their rights and ensure you don’t miss any deadlines. Follow the steps below if you plan on filing a claim or lawsuit for financial compensation for your loved one’s losses:
- Transfer your loved one – Move them to another nursing home or have them admitted to the hospital. You want to ensure their future safety and adequate treatment of injuries. If necessary, move them in with a family member while you’re dealing with your legal case.
- Request resident and medical records – Obtain copies of all records associated with the case, including records from the nursing home and medical documentation of their treatment.
- Keep detailed notes – Track any possible signs of abuse and neglect that you notice toward your family member, including the severity and frequency of injuries. Signs of abuse and neglect may vary widely; examples may include bedsores, bruises, cuts, medication errors, poor nutrition, and unclean rooms. Emotional signs of abuse and neglect may include withdrawal from social interactions, depression, and sudden behavior changes. Experienced attorneys can help you determine if signs you’re seeing could indicate abuse or neglect.
- Take pictures – Photos of visible injuries could serve as useful evidence in your case. You should also take pictures of the living conditions. For example, if someone from maintenance failed to repair a damaged handrail that caused a fall, having evidence could improve your chance of recovering compensation.
- Call the New York State Department of Health – File an official complaint with the New York State Department of Health, which may be used as evidence in your case. The health department will investigate the complaint. They will potentially visit the facility, conduct interviews, review records, and, if warranted, make a citation against the nursing home.
- Call an attorney – The abuse and neglect attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP strongly believe that every nursing facility resident has a legal right to a safe environment. Our attorneys will help clarify the steps needed to protect your loved one, from learning how to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect to contacting the proper authorities and providing a clear assessment of your case. The sooner you contact our attorneys, the sooner we can begin collecting evidence to make a strong case against all potentially responsible parties, including the nursing home and staff members.
How Hach & Rose, LLP Will Handle the Investigation
Our New York nursing home abuse attorneys have handled cases like yours for countless clients. When you hire us, we will review all the information you provide and begin investigating the incident. First, we will need to establish who was at fault. Just because a nurse, resident, or another party abused your relative doesn’t necessarily mean they are the only person to blame. The nursing facility could also bear liability if they negligently hired an unqualified employee or knew about the abuse but did nothing to stop it.
While we’re investigating your case, we will need to obtain relevant evidence that proves abuse occurred, who the perpetrator was, and what injuries your loved one sustained. Some of the evidence we will collect includes:
- Police/incident report
- Statements from witnesses
- Patient records
- Hospital and treating physician records
- Billing statements, invoices, prescriptions, and other costs
- Policies and procedures for the hiring and training of nurses
- Photos of injuries and conditions at the nursing home
- Security video footage of the incident
- Employee records
- Maintenance and repair reports
- Incidents of reported abuse to other residents
We will remain diligent during our investigation and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. Our legal team won’t allow the nursing home to get away with what they have done to your loved one. Abuse of a vulnerable person is unfair, and it should never have happened. You can count on Hach & Rose, LLP and our dedicated New York nursing home abuse lawyers to build a strong case that gets the results you want.
Compensation Available for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
When someone becomes the victim of abuse, they often suffer physical, emotional, and financial losses. These losses are known as damages. They include economic damages, which refer to actual expenses, and noneconomic damages that include the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by an injury.
The damages you can pursue in a nursing home abuse case include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Out of pocket expenses
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Loss of consortium (only applicable to spouses)
The amount of compensation you receive from an insurance company or jury will depend on various contributing factors. Hach & Rose, LLP will review those factors to determine a fair value for your loved one’s total damages. They could include the following:
- Type of injury and how severe it is
- Duration of necessary medical treatment
- Total expenses incurred
- Development of disability, impairment, or permanent medical condition from the abuse
- Whether sufficient evidence proving fault exists
- Effect of the incident on quality of life
- Estimated cost of future medical care
- Length of the recovery period
- Emotional or psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or anxiety
- Coverage available on the facility’s insurance policies
Insurance companies are notorious for denying claims or providing lowball settlement offers. They will not be on your side throughout the legal process. We will communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and aggressively pursue the compensation your family member deserves. We won’t allow them to take advantage of you or violate your rights. If they refuse to settle for an amount we believe is fair, we are fully prepared to take your case to court.
Most Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
The cause of abuse and neglect will depend on multiple factors, such as the facility’s procedures, nurses’ qualifications, maintenance schedules, and available resources to provide adequate care. When a resident sustains injuries, the employee or nursing home could face legal ramifications depending on what led to the abuse.
The most common causes of abuse in nursing homes include:
- Understaffing – One of the most common reasons for abuse and neglect. Nurses and other workers have to take on extra responsibilities to complete their tasks, often leading to extra hours, exhaustion, and frustration that causes abuse.
- Inadequate training and supervision – Management should train new employees on policies and procedures to ensure every resident receives an adequate standard of care. Failure to do so could result in staff members cutting corners or making an error that leads to injuries.
- Unqualified or inexperienced employees – Nurses must have the experience, qualifications, and education necessary to provide healthcare and assistance to each patient. Understaffed facilities will hire whoever is available without checking on their experience.
- Underpaid staff – Nurses who don’t make fair wages might take out their anger on their patients. They might feel that their work isn’t appreciated, leading to inadequate care.
- Negligent hiring practices – It’s crucial that nursing facilities perform thorough background checks on all new employees to ensure proper licensing, qualifications, and experience. They should also check for a criminal background or prior instances of abuse.
This list doesn’t include all of the potential causes of nursing home abuse and neglect. If there was another reason that your loved one suffered physical or emotional harm, contact Hach & Rose, LLP. We will review the case and determine if the facility or an employee should be held liable.
Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
When you think of abuse, you probably think of the physical aspects. However, physical abuse is not the only form of abuse that occurs in nursing homes. Staff members, nurses, and even other residents could abuse your loved one emotionally, financially, or sexually.
The most common types of nursing home abuse are:
- Physical abuse – Using physical force against another person, causing an injury or physical pain. Kicking, punching, slapping, shaking, and shoving could result in severe injuries, such as broken bones, dislocated shoulders, and traumatic brain injury.
- Emotional abuse – Inflicting psychological pain, distress, or anguish through verbal and nonverbal actions. Common examples include yelling, humiliating, intimidating, and harassing.
- Sexual abuse – Use of force, coercion, or threats to engage in non-consensual sexual contact. Warning signs are difficult to notice and often include bruising around the genitals and thighs, trouble walking or sitting, and emotional withdrawal.
- Financial exploitation – Illegal or improper use of someone’s assets, money, or personal property. Perpetrators might exploit a resident by forging their signature on a financial document, using credit cards without permission, or tricking them into signing over a will or power of attorney.
- Neglect – Failure to provide the victim with basic needs. This can result in malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and other severe conditions and injuries.
- Abandonment – Desertion of a resident by a person who assumed responsibility for providing medical care. Leaving an immobile patient unattended for long periods, failing to administer necessary medication, and ignoring a patient’s call for help are all examples of abandonment.
If you believe your loved one has become the victim of abuse, Hach & Rose, LLP will review the evidence to determine if you have a case we can pursue.
Common Injuries Suffered from Nursing Home Abuse
The injuries sustained in a nursing home will depend on the type of abuse that occurred. Some injuries will heal with proper medical treatment, while others result in long-term disabilities or medical conditions. The most common injuries that could indicate nursing home abuse include:
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Broken or fractured bones
- Internal bleeding and organ failure
- Tooth loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cognitive impairments
- Lacerations, bruises, and scratches
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Depression, anxiety, and other psychological injuries
When someone you love requires ongoing medical care, the cost can cause significant financial strain. Some severe injuries need surgery or months of physical therapy to heal. Hospital and physician bills are expensive, and you should not have to pay out of pocket for any of them. The at-fault party should provide the necessary compensation so you can afford all the damages your family member incurred at the hands of someone else.
% of reported elder abuse by type
How Much Does A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Charge In Legal Fees?
Hach & Rose, LLP works on a contingency fee basis. That means we do not charge upfront legal fees or costs when we take on nursing home abuse cases. We won’t expect our fees unless we win a settlement from the insurance company or reach a favorable jury verdict in a lawsuit. You won’t have to pay us if we lose your case.
We also provide initial consultations for free. There’s no risk to speak with us about your case and receive the advice you need to make an informed decision.
Body parts bruised from physical abuse
New York Laws Associated with Nursing Home Abuse Cases
State and federal laws regulate the operation of nursing homes to ensure proper care, health, safety, and well-being of all residents. That includes how big the facility should be, the number of beds they must provide, and the licensing they must hold. Staff members are also responsible for following certain regulations when interacting with patients, administering medical care, and carrying out their job duties.
There are rights afforded to every nursing home resident in New York, such as:
- Receive information in writing about services and fees before moving into the facility
- Have respect, dignity, and a comfortable living environment
- Freedom from being restrained
- Ability to choose activities, schedules, and other preferences
- Freedom from suffering all types of abuse
- Freedom to make independent decisions
- Access to quality care and treatment without discrimination
- Secure storage of money, property, and belongings
- Freedom to choose the day and time to have visitors
- Complaint procedure that is easy to use
- Exercise all rights without fear of retaliation
The Patient Abuse Reporting Law requires all healthcare professionals in nursing homes to report neglect and abuse. The Department of Health must investigate any allegations they receive and issue sanctions against facilities and individuals found guilty. They can also administer sanctions against anyone they discover did not report abuse or neglect.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits in New York
You must comply with different laws if you want to file a lawsuit for the injuries your loved one suffered from abuse. A statute of limitations is a timeframe for initiating legal action against another party in the civil court system. New York requires that you follow a three-year statute of limitations if you want to sue a nursing home or employee.
Handling a lawsuit can be complicated and often requires the assistance of an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer. We can take over your case to complete each step and guide you through the confusing legal process.
- Step 1 – Prepare legal documents. We will prepare the Complaint and Summons and file it with the appropriate civil court. A Complaint explains the allegations being made against the defendant. A Summons notifies the defendant of their obligation to appear in court.
- Step 2 – Serve the defendant with the documents. We will hire a process server or another qualified party to deliver the Summons and Complaint to the defendant. This step must be completed within 120 days of the initial filing. We will receive an affidavit of service to file with the court upon receipt of service.
- Step 3 – The defendant must file an Answer with the court or send it directly to us if they don’t retain legal counsel within 20 days of service. The Answer will include their responses to our allegations and any counterclaims they intend to file against you. If they don’t respond, we could obtain a default judgment.
- Step 4 – Discovery process. This stage of a lawsuit allows the plaintiff’s attorney and the defense attorney to request the disclosure of evidence and other documents. Common discovery requests include Interrogatories, Request for Admission, Request for Production, and Depositions.
- Step 5 – Mediation. We might schedule a mediation and try to reach a settlement agreement. During this meeting, the plaintiff, plaintiff’s attorney, defendant, defendant’s attorney, and a mediator will attempt to settle the case before going to trial.
- Step 6 – Trial preparations. If we can’t reach a settlement agreement with the opposing counsel, we will start getting ready for trial. We will continue to gather evidence, find witnesses that can provide testimony in court, speak to experts, and prepare arguments against the defense attorney’s case.
- Step 7 – Judgment. If we win the case, we will return to court so the clerk can enter a judgment that determines how much compensation the defendant will have to pay. If we lose your case, we might be able to file an appeal.
How to Navigate the Insurance Claims Process
Whether you choose to file a claim alone or with the help of a lawyer, there are critical steps you need to take. Nursing homes and nurses will purchase liability insurance to cover an injured party’s damages. Before you file your claim, you will need to obtain a copy of the appropriate insurance policy. We can review it to determine how much coverage is available and if it will be enough to compensate for your losses.
Evidence is essential in any type of insurance claim. You will need to provide proof that abuse occurred and resulted in injuries. Hach & Rose, LLP has the resources to locate relevant evidence and request copies of all records and other documentation associated with the case.
If your loved one is still getting treatment, you should ask the doctor for an estimated cost of future treatment. This will be useful in determining how much money you should demand from the insurance company.
File your claim and submit all the evidence you found. The insurance company will review everything and provide a settlement offer. They will likely offer a low amount in an attempt to save money. This is where a New York nursing home abuse lawyer’s experience and knowledge will come in handy. We won’t allow them to violate your family member’s rights to adequate compensation. If they still refuse to settle for a fair amount after negotiations or deny the claim altogether, we can file a lawsuit.
Nursing Home Abuse FAQs
If someone you loved was the victim of abuse, you might not know the steps you should take to pursue legal action. You want to hold the people responsible for causing their injuries accountable but don’t have experience with a situation like this. Below we answer the most common questions people ask about nursing home abuse cases.
It can often be a difficult task to determine if abuse is affecting an elderly resident. This is a reason many abusers target them in the first place. The elderly are more susceptible to bruises, cuts, and other small injuries from everyday activity. However, these wounds can also be signs of abuse. To determine when abuse is occurring, make a note of the severity and frequency of the injuries. You should also look for warning signs, such as bedsores, withdrawal from social activities, symptoms of depression, and other sudden or strange behavior changes.
Unfortunately, caretakers are some of the most common perpetrators of abuse in nursing homes. In many situations, the people that you and your loved one trust the most are the ones that take advantage of their patients. Many caretakers abuse their position of authority and take advantage of patients with physical or mental deficits. In a lot of cases, victims avoid incriminating their caretakers for fear of disbelief or retaliation. Some victims who experience memory loss may not be able to identify their abuser. Those who take advantage of the elderly in these situations commit serious crimes and should be brought to justice for their actions.
When facing an abuser of any kind, it can be very difficult for the victim or their loved ones to have an impact on the situation. This is particularly true of nursing homes, which often aim to protect their reputation more than their residents. The lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP know the underhanded tactics that nursing homes use to get out of lawsuits, and we are prepared to make sure they face the consequences of their actions. We will help you gather the necessary information to prove the nursing home’s abusive behaviors and build a case in your favor. The advice and assistance of a lawyer will not only make creating your case a simpler process, but it will also increase your chances of winning and bringing an end to this injustice.
You may question whether it is worthwhile to take your case to court if you stopped the abuse. However, in many cases, you or your loved one may be able to receive compensation for the suffering they endured. Additionally, you could use the financial award to transfer them to a better facility or pay for a different form of care. Our New York nursing home abuse attorneys will calculate your economic damages and determine a monetary value for your noneconomic damages. We can’t provide an exact amount you could recover but an estimate of what we believe your case is worth.
When selecting a nursing home, it is important to find a facility that suits you or your family member’s health needs. Some of the things you may want to consider when choosing a nursing home include:
- Compile a list of potential nursing homes within traveling distance.
- Speak to friends, neighbors, senior groups, and social groups about potential facilities
- Check the Medicare and Medicaid website for a list of certified nursing facilities
- Determine the facility’s proximity to family members and friends so that visits can be as frequent as possible
- Make an unannounced visit to the facility to determine the general feel of the place. Ask questions:
- Is the atmosphere friendly?
- How does the staff treat residents?
- Is the facility clean?
- How is the temperature?
- How is the food?
- What steps are taken in the event of a medical emergency?
- Are there trained medical professionals on staff?
- Where is the nearest hospital to the facility?
- After the unscheduled walk-through, set up an appointment with the facility’s administrator to ask questions regarding visitation, meals, hiring practices, and staff requirements.
- Finally, try to determine the overall quality of life of the residents. Does the facility provide social events? Opportunities to interact with friends and other residents?
Speak to A Dedicated New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
At Hach & Rose, LLP, we have an experienced legal team that will fight hard to hold the nursing home accountable for the harm they caused. Your loved one should have peace of mind knowing they will have a safe and healthy future ahead of them. We will use our knowledge of state laws and regulations to prove wrongdoing and restore you and your family’s financial security. You will not be alone during this devastating experience. We will remain by your side until the very end.
If you suspect a nursing home of abuse or neglect, call the New York nursing home abuse attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP for a free consultation at (212) 779-0057 or contact us online.