Our family members and loved ones deserve the best care and treatment, regardless of how old they are. Unfortunately, abuse towards the elderly is not an uncommon occurrence.
Nursing homes are expected to be safe, secure facilities in which older family members can be comfortable. They should be treated with care and respect while staying at any nursing home.
Despite this expectation of care, almost 4,000 cases of nursing home abuse are reported in New York a year. Many more go unreported.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic only increased instances of nursing home abuse. There were many cases in which a lack of health safety and protocol led to sickness and even death for at-risk nursing home residents.
The law takes nursing home abuse very seriously. However, because the details of cases can be tricky, and responsibility for abuse can be challenging to determine, a lawyer can assist in filing your case.
No matter the circumstances of your case, there is sure to be a lawyer that fits your needs. Contact us at 1-800-966-4999 to learn more about what you can expect from the right lawyer.
We are here to help you learn more about nursing home abuse as well as find the right nursing home abuse lawyer for you.
Nursing Home Abuse: Signs and Common Incidents
Nursing home abuse can vary in type as well as a detriment to the victim. While some instances of nursing home abuse are verbal, leading to emotional and psychological harm, other types involve physical violence and negligence.
Instances of nursing home abuse in which physical violence and negligence are at play can result in mild to serious injury and even death in extreme cases.
Most cases of nursing home abuse are part of an ongoing and repetitive pattern. Often, victims are too scared to speak out against their predators.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Finding out that a family member or loved one is being abused or harmed by another individual is never easy. But to work towards ending the abuse, you must be aware of how nursing home abuse can affect an individual.
If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, look for the following signs.
- Unexplained injuries or bruises on the body
- Broken bones or fractures
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Poor hygiene and personal upkeep
- Overmedication or lack of treatment for pre-existing conditions
- Changes in mood or energy levels
- Increased anxiety or depression
If you recognize any of these common signs in a loved one living at a nursing home, you may want to investigate further to identify the root of the cause.
As mentioned, victims of nursing home abuse may be reluctant to talk about the abuse they face.
You must be as careful and considerate as possible when approaching a loved one with such concerns. It may be helpful to employ the help of a licensed therapist or mental health professional in doing so.
Nursing Home Abuse and the Law
To file a nursing home abuse case, you must first understand the legal circumstances surrounding nursing home abuse.
Your lawyer will be able to help you through this process, as with all parts of any case you file. They have the legal knowledge to help you understand your rights and what compensation you are entitled to.
This is especially important because many instances of nursing home abuse have been concealed or hidden from the public.
Despite investigations, some nursing homes in which these incidents occur are not held responsible for injuries or trauma the victims incurred. This typically occurs when there is not enough evidence to prosecute a perpetrator.
A competent lawyer will help you build a strong case against the responsible parties. Nursing home abuse is taken very seriously under the law.
Individuals responsible for this abuse may be sentenced to jail time if convicted. If the nursing home knew about the abuse and covered it up, managers may also be convicted as accomplices.
Besides this, victims may also be entitled to compensation for the suffering they have endured.
Because every case is different, the outcomes of your lawsuit may differ from those of others facing nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse: Steps To Take
Hiring a lawyer early on in the filing process will provide you with guidance in taking important initial steps and ensure your case will not be compromised by the defendant’s legal team.
One of the most important steps in a nursing home abuse case is hiring a great lawyer. This is especially important in these cases because nursing home abuse cases can be complicated. Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-800-966-4999 to find a lawyer you can trust.
Aside from hiring a lawyer, there are certain steps you should take to help ease the process of filing your case.
Seek Treatment for Your Loved One
After identifying that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, the first step you should take is to help them receive the proper treatment.
Make sure that any doctor or provider that your loved one goes to for treatment is not affiliated with the nursing home in which they were abused.
This step is crucial. Not only does it ensure that your loved one receives the help they need after being victimized, but it also helps record any injuries or trauma an individual suffered after being abused.
The second most important step in filing a nursing home abuse case is securing any evidence of the abuse. This includes medical documents and photos of any injuries, as well as witness statements from anyone who saw the abuse occur.
Without proper evidence, you will not have enough to build a case against those responsible for the abuse. Luckily, an experienced lawyer knows how to gather and secure evidence so that all the information you need is available.
File a Nursing Home Abuse Complaint Form
After gathering the evidence you need, you must fill out a nursing home abuse form with the New York State Department of Health.
This step ensures that the proper actions will be taken in investigating the nursing home in which the abuse occurred and the individuals responsible for the abuse.
Your lawyer will help you fill out and process the form, as well as represent your claim.
Finding a Lawyer for Your Nursing Home Abuse Case
There are many qualified lawyers in New York City, several of which have had much success within their respective fields.
While everyone wants the best lawyer they can get, the best lawyer for you is the one that fits your case as well as your needs.
When looking for a lawyer, here is what you should keep in mind.
Lawyers can have experience in many different fields.
If you are looking to file a nursing home abuse case, your best bet is to consult with a personal injury lawyer, specifically one that deals with nursing home abuse cases.
Before you hire a lawyer, research and ask about their case history, as well as their success rate with the type of case you are looking to file.
You do not have to be best friends with your lawyer, but there has to be a certain degree of compatibility between you two.
When consulting with a lawyer, ask yourself, are they trustworthy? Will they make my case a priority?
Because your lawyer will have access to a lot of your personal information, you must choose one that you can trust.
While lawyers have a plethora of legal knowledge and resources, make sure that you can trust the lawyer you choose will apply all of their knowledge and resources to your case.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers: Key Takeaways
Finding out your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse is difficult, but you are not alone.
To hold those responsible for the abuse accountable, you should hire a lawyer to aid with your case.
Any lawyer you choose should have experience dealing with nursing home abuse cases in the past. They should be trustworthy and dedicated to working for you while you and your family recover from the abuse.
One way to find a lawyer for your case is by consulting with a reputable law firm. At Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C., we can answer any questions you may have as well as connect you with one of our experienced attorneys.
You can reach out to us today to book a free consultation with a member of our team. We are here to help you, so contact us at 1-800-966-4999.