Understanding Nursing Home Abuse

At Adams Law Firm, P.C., our Bronx county injury attorneys possess sophisticated knowledge of New York’s no-fault regulations. This is the law that initially pays your bills, lost wages, and other accident related expenses.

We also understand the severe physical and financial hardships associated when personal injury occurs. Depending on your situation, you may face expensive medical bills, lost wages, and use of a car. We are committed to obtaining full, fair and complete recoveries for our clients.

Often times, patients are unable to clearly or effectively communicate abuse to others, including family members, or they may be threatened or too intimidated to alert someone of the abuse. This dynamic often puts many elderly patients at the mercy of their caregivers. Additionally, the side effects or evidence of abuse can be hard to recognize.

Here are some warning signs that your loved one is being abused by those who should be caring for them: 

  • They begin to develop bed sores
  • You notice they are displaying symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • There is a noticeable decline in personal hygiene
  • The exhibit signs of dehydration and malnutrition
  • They develop inexplicable bruises, bruises or lacerations

Our Rockland County car accident attorneys also understand the limitations imposed by no-fault We are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home abuse victims. Our legal team understands how emotional and mental abuse may be difficult to prove, as there may not be overt signs or evidence. Our diligence and thorough case preparation help us to determine and prove liability.

Remember: while the signs of abuse are not always easy to detect, knowing what to look for allows you to act quickly in the event that your loved one is being abused

Case Focus: Lydia

Keeping a list of ones’ medications and their dosages is important in any setting.  But this is heightened when someone is in a facility or has a third-party caregiver.  Medication in the wrong amount, at the wrong time, or receiving the wrong medication are all errors that are preventable

Fortunately, most of the time the affect is relatively minor, and the harm passes quickly.  Other times, the consequence may be quite serious and long-lasting.  And sometimes the damage is somewhere in between these two extremes.

Our client’s mother was over 90 years of age.  Aside from an aide for only several hours a day to assist at home, she lived independently. 

After an illness, she had lost some strength.  To help her regain some mobility, her doctor recommended that she enter a nursing home for short-term rehabilitation.

It was at the facility that an aide gave her more than prescribed dosage of a medication.  She became ill and was bedridden for a period.  After she improved the facility told our client that her mother that for this reason, she needed an extended course of treatment.

While the facility did not tell her daughter about this error, she sensed that something did not add up.  She retained us.  We obtained the chart and after extensive review were able to prove not only that the error occurred, but that the facility attempted to “cover-up” their error.

One way the facility tried to defend this case was to argue that the prolonged therapy increased the woman’s mobility.  We scoffed at this argument.  The case settled for a meaningful sum of money and with our client’s satisfaction that the facility had been held accountable.

Settlement: $120,000.00

Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

Remember: you do not need to stand for any type of abuse your loved one suffers at the hands of their caregiver

Case Focus: Brian

Brian, who resided out of state, was 53 when he suffered the catastrophic brain hemorrhage that rendered him unconscious and on artificial support for the rest of his life. He was also terminally ill with AIDS.  His family relocated him to a nursing home in New York, where they believed he would receive the level of care and attention that an individual in his situation requires.

Early on, Brian’s family noticed he was developing bed sores on his head, body, and limbs. When they raised their concerns with the home’s faculty, they tried to pass the blame by arguing that the ulcers were pre-existing, and that in any case, Brian was not experiencing any pain or discomfort, so it didn’t really matter anyway.

Brian’s family were proactive in recognizing that the home and their sister hospital were both deflecting the blame to somebody else and downplaying the severity of his bed sores. But they couldn’t fight them alone. They needed the help of a law firm with the expertise and the dedication required to take on the Nursing Care Industry, and win.

That was when they sought our counsel.

Through an exhaustive review of thousands of pages of medical records, our unrelenting team were able to prove that JB was expressing a pain response when his ulcers were examined. We demonstrated categorically that JB was suffering because the care home were negligent in their obligation to properly look after him. Armed with this knowledge, we went to battle.

The care home responded by denying their accountability on the grounds that every other facility the family had contacted declined to admit their loved on. This attitude of “you don’t have a choice, so deal with how we administer our care” is very typical of neglectful care homes, and we weren’t buying it. Their attitude should have been, “here we have a very ill man, with serious co-morbidities that both exacerbate the development of bed sores and prevent their healing. We should be doing everything in our power to mitigate this man’s suffering, and listen to the concerns raised by his family.”

We were able to prove that this care home was indeed responsible for the pressure ulcers that JB had developed, even in the face of their steadfast denial of abuse and neglect. We successfully held an uncaring facility to account for their lack of adequate care, and in doing so secured a remedy of $175,000 for Brian’s family to properly help him with the end of his life, pay for a proper funeral, and with an acknowledge of the harm caused to him.

Diligent Case Work

At Adams Law Firm, P.C., we understand that nursing home neglect or abuse can be difficult to pursue, as residents may be too scared to report it or too ill to notice it. Our dedicated lawyers conduct thorough background work to help determine and prove physical, mental and emotional abuse.

We interview witnesses, including residents, family members and employees. We also consult with investigators and other experts, such as psychologists, psychiatrists and physicians. Their expert testimony can help illustrate the serious consequences of their treatment and prove liability. Additionally, we dig into the nursing home’s background to uncover other instances of abuse and showcase a pattern of neglect.

Attorneys with Adams Law Firm, P.C. understand the tough decision you had to make in order to place a loved one in a nursing home. You likely toured several facilities, asked countless questions and believed you selected the right home for your loved one.

Nursing homes are obligated to provide a specific standard of care and quality of life to their residents. Unfortunately, several factors including poor staffing, lax supervision and carelessness can all lead to senior citizen abuse and injuries.

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    Adams Law Firm, P.C

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