Syracuse Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers
108 West Jefferson Street,
Syracuse, NY 13202
Seniors make up around 11 percent of the population in Syracuse. While many choose to age in place, many seniors choose to move into senior living facilities, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, to improve their quality of life. As health declines, many seniors need the increased care offered in a nursing home to make it easier for them to stay healthy, get around, and, most importantly, receive the high standard of care they deserve.
Unfortunately, not every nursing home provides the standard of care its seniors deserve. In all too many nursing homes, care falls short.
Did you or a loved one suffer negligence in a Syracuse nursing home? Finkelstein & Partners can help. Contact our Syracuse nursing home lawyers today at (315) 453-3053 to schedule a free consultation.
How Finkelstein & Partners Can Help After Nursing Home Negligence
After you or someone you love suffers nursing home negligence, you may have questions about the compensation the nursing home owes you or your loved one. Nursing homes should provide a safe environment where seniors receive a high standard of care. When they fail in that duty of care, you need an experienced attorney on your side.
At Finkelstein & Partners, we have more than 60 years of experience helping the injured seek the compensation they deserve, including individuals injured by nursing home negligence and their families. Our experienced, determined team of attorneys can pursue your claim.
We help investigate the nursing home and determine why the negligence occurred.
Not only do you want to file a personal injury claim that will help you or your loved one seek compensation for those acts of negligence, you want to prevent negligence from harming anyone else in the nursing home’s care. At Finkelstein & Partners, we help evaluate every element of a nursing home negligence case to determine how and why it occurred, holding the nursing home accountable as we build your case.
We help our clients understand—and get—the compensation they deserve.
Dealing with insurance companies and the nursing home following negligence can make it very difficult to determine how much compensation you really deserve. Insurance companies may try to issue low settlement offers that do not fully reflect the compensation you really deserve for your injuries, or they may attempt to cover up the negligence to reduce the compensation they have to pay out. At Finkelstein & Partners, we help our clients understand the compensation they really deserve for their nursing home injuries, which can make it easier for them to make decisions about their future and their care.
We represent our clients with determination.
After suffering from nursing home negligence, you need someone who will fight for you and stand up for you, your rights, and the treatment you really deserve as you seek to live out your senior years with the highest possible quality of life. At Finkelstein & Partners, we support our clients, represent them with determination, and fight to help them get the compensation they deserve after a nursing home fails in its duty of care to them.
The High Risk of Syracuse Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence can occur at any nursing home in Syracuse, including some of the higher-end facilities in the area. Unfortunately, nursing home negligence can occur anywhere and for a wide variety of reasons.
Syracuse, like much of the rest of New York and even the country as a whole, has long faced staffing shortages in the nursing industry in general and in nursing homes in particular. Some nursing homes deliberately cut staff numbers and hours to save on overall costs. Others simply struggle to keep workers in important caretaking positions, especially if they have ongoing staffing and turnover challenges.
Staffing shortages can lead to a reduction in the overall quality of patient care in nursing homes. The number of staff hours and the actual hours of care a resident can receive directly correlate to the quality of each resident’s care. Staffing shortages can make it difficult, if not impossible, for the nurses and caregivers on staff to provide the high standard of care that the facility’s residents really need and deserve.
A typical nursing home in New York may have a 25 percent staffing turnover rate, though in some areas, that number may increase significantly. High turnover in nursing homes, whether during periods of crisis or during the normal course of operations, can make it very difficult for caregivers to provide the high standard of care residents both need and deserve. High turnover makes it harder for staff members to form relationships with patients and may make it more difficult for staff members to keep up with what type of care each resident needs to maximize the quality of life and overall support for each resident.
Combined with high turnover, poor training can make it very difficult for nursing home staff members to offer a high standard of care to residents. Many caregivers are hired into staff positions with little previous experience. Not only that, each nursing home has a different set of expectations and policies that staff members are expected to follow, which may make it difficult for staff to adapt if they do have previous experience. Poor training can lead to staff members who cut corners, fail to provide seniors with needed care, or who simply do not know what they need to do to offer a high standard of care.
The Impact of Nursing Home Neglect on Syracuse Seniors
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, nursing home neglect and abuse occur all too often. As many as 95 percent of nursing home residents may have suffered neglect or seen another resident in their nursing home suffer from neglect. Not only can that neglect have immense emotional repercussions for many seniors, who may suffer from anxiety or depression as a direct result of the neglect they suffer in their nursing home, but it may also lead to substantial physical effects for neglected residents. Some seniors never fully recover from the neglect they suffer in a Syracuse nursing home.
Symptoms of malnutrition can have an enormous impact on many seniors. Malnutrition may lead to decreased bone density and other major physical effects. Seniors who suffer from malnutrition may quickly see their overall health deteriorate.
Mismanagement of Existing Conditions
Some nursing home staff members fail to provide residents with the medications and medical procedures they need to treat existing physical conditions. As a result, residents may suffer complications of diabetes, heart disease, or respiratory problems due to a lack of needed treatment.
In an understaffed nursing home or one with poorly trained staff, residents often do not get enough water. Bed-bound residents, in particular, are at a high risk of dehydration, which can lead to an increased risk of illness and death.
Increased Injury Risk
Some seniors require intensive observation and care to reduce the risk that they will slip and fall or otherwise harm themselves. In a slip and fall incident, seniors may suffer from broken bones, back and neck injuries, or a traumatic brain injury.
Seniors who have little to no mobility on their own are always at risk of developing bedsores, which can cause immense pain and lead to complications from infections. This risk is extremely high when staff members fail to provide adequate care.
Ongoing or continued negligence can quickly lead to a deterioration in a senior’s overall health and may, in some cases, lead to death.
How Much Compensation Should You Expect Following Syracuse Nursing Home Negligence?
The experienced attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners can help give you a better idea of what compensation you or your loved one should expect for the negligence you suffered if you reach out to schedule a free consultation. Each claim is different based on the specific losses you or your loved one faced. However, most nursing home negligence claims include compensation for both financial losses and intangible suffering related to nursing home negligence.
Compensation for Medical Bills
Often, nursing home negligence leads to either serious injuries or exacerbates existing medical conditions. As a result, the senior suffering from negligence may face large medical bills related to the neglect. Sometimes, negligence may lead to the need for emergency medical care. In other cases, the senior suffering from negligence may need to spend time in an advanced care facility while they recover from the injuries and losses they sustained as a result of lack of appropriate care. As part of a nursing home negligence claim, you can include compensation for related medical expenses.
Compensation for Financial Losses
Sometimes, nursing home negligence leads to direct financial losses. For example, following negligence, a senior may need to move to a nursing home that offers a higher overall standard of care because they now have decreased physical capability due to that negligence. Finkelstein & Partners can help you understand and quantify your financial losses linked to nursing home negligence and help you include them as part of your claim.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Nursing home negligence may cause immense physical pain and discomfort as well as emotional strain. Seniors who have suffered from negligence in a nursing home are at a higher risk of suffering from depression or anxiety. They may struggle to feel heard or worry that they will not get enough attention to take care of any future problems they may face. As part of a nursing home negligence claim, you can include compensation for pain and suffering related to the negligence you or your loved one experienced.
Who Bears Liability in Syracuse Nursing Home Negligence Cases?
Nursing homes have a high duty of care to their patients. Seniors who move into a nursing home assume they will receive a high standard of care that will help improve their overall quality of life. Unfortunately, all too often, they do not receive the care they expect.
The Nursing Home
Most often, the nursing home itself bears liability for instances of nursing home negligence. Most nursing homes carry insurance to help protect the nursing home against negligence claims, so you will likely have to deal with that insurance company to pursue compensation for your claim. When nursing homes fail in their duty to their residents, they may face significant penalties associated with negligence claims.
Some nursing homes use staffing companies to help fill out their staff rosters and ensure that they have the nurses they need to provide care for their patients. Nursing homes rely on staffing companies to conduct background checks and maintain strict requirements for their employees, who must provide the same high standard of care for residents that direct employees of the nursing home should provide.
When staffing companies employ routinely negligent employees, and those employees commit significant acts of negligence, the staffing company may share liability for any injuries their staff cause.
Doctors Who Oversee Patient Care
In some cases, nursing homes may have their own doctors on staff. In other cases, doctors may come in from outside to check on patients. If a doctor notices signs of neglect, including poor management of conditions the senior previously had under control or a declining mental state related to lack of care, that doctor must report the lack of care to the state regulatory body and pursue aid for the senior. A doctor who fails in that duty may face significant penalties.
Fighting Nursing Home Abuse to Better Our Local Community
We take pride in our tireless volunteer work to improve local communities. We encourage this through our volunteer program that gets our team of attorneys involved within the communities where they live.
This includes Syracuse in our push to improve how local businesses and organizations operate. Part of this includes working with local law enforcement and other agencies to make sure our local nursing homes do their jobs and don’t continue the trend of abuse.
Statistics for Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence constitutes one of the worst crimes committed in America and across the world. Unfortunately, the news rarely gives nursing home negligence the coverage it warrants, especially here in New York.
Nursing home negligence can cause families immeasurable pain, not only for the victims involved but to children and other relatives, as well. If you or a loved one recently suffered injuries due to nursing home negligence, don’t think you can’t fight back. You should seek compensation for the likely physical and mental harm nursing home negligence brings.
Retaining the services of an experienced Syracuse nursing home negligence lawyer will help ensure that you don’t miss out on any potential compensation. Contact an attorney today to schedule a free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal rights.
A staggering amount of abuse occurs in nursing homes that should provide reasonable care. Elder abuse occurs in 76 out of every 1,000 older people here in New York, with far too many instances going unreported. Here in Syracuse, nursing home abuse scenarios continue unabated through 2021.
Of those reported, not everyone takes legal steps to win compensation from the nursing home for being negligent. Never let an incident pass without reporting it and seeking legal representation.
We’re available now when you contact our legal firm. When you call us, we’ll take on your case immediately and investigate what happened. Time is of the essence in this case since in many cases reported after the fact people lose key evidence.
Abuse can come from various types of people in nursing homes. It could happen from a family member or a nursing home staffer who feels overworked and underpaid.
There is no excuse for nursing home abuse, yet we see far too many instances of nursing home abuse going undiscovered for a long time.
Physical Abuse and Neglect
We see numerous cases where nursing home staffers physically abuse residents, including hitting, choking, and overmedicating a patient. Workers in these environments should never lose their tempers around older residents, no matter the circumstances. Many elderly people suffer from certain medical conditions that pose many challenges.
Workers need the utmost patience working with these older residents, something many workers don’t have the skills to do. This usually results from inadequate hiring practices and training in many nursing homes due to staffing shortages. Poor executive decisions also constitute a contributing factor.
None of these things excuse any neglect of our elderly population. Physical abuse and general neglect of residents’ needs constitute some of the worst things older patients experience in nursing homes. However, many other forms of nursing home abuse exist. Read on for more information.
Few things prove worse than knowing your aging loved one experienced sexual abuse while in a nursing home. Unfortunately, these scenarios sometimes go unreported for weeks, months, or even years, until someone speaks up.
Our firm handles many cases that involve nursing home sexual abuse here in Syracuse and throughout New York. Residents who suffer sexual abuse from a nursing home staffer or another resident may qualify to seek compensation for their suffering.
Serious mental anguish will accompany knowing that your loved one has experienced sexual abuse, including the prospect of disease. If you find any evidence of sexual abuse in the nursing home where your loved one resides, report it immediately to the authorities.
Your attorney will help you fight against the nursing home that caused this nightmare to happen. Even if the facility took action and fired the staffer involved, it doesn’t take them off the hook for paying you damages.
Abandonment constitutes another form of abuse that doesn’t get talked about enough. Some nursing homes leave their older residents in their rooms alone without any companionship. Being abandoned like this can cause the same negative consequences that accompany physical abuse and can affect the residents on a profoundly psychological level.
The elder population needs more care and respect than being left to lie in a bed by themselves all day. When elderly residents need medical treatment and the staff charged with their care abandons them, it becomes an egregious act that warrants legal action.
Again, we’ll fight for your rights to a settlement when you present evidence that your loved one’s nursing home violated its responsibility to provide adequate medical treatment to all of its residents.
Investigating Your Case
Once you call an attorney, he or she will go to work immediately investigating what happened. Your attorney will likely gather evidence of the nursing abuse by visiting the scene in person.
Nursing home negligence attorneys often go to the nursing home and gather available evidence. While gathering evidence of nursing home abuse can prove more challenging compared to gathering evidence for accident claims, plenty of evidence exists to build a strong case of negligence. This includes video footage from security cameras and interviewing witnesses.
Also, you will want to compile medical reports that show proof of your loved one’s abuse, whether physical, mental, or both. After receiving treatment for physical abuse, establishing a medical paper trail will constitute one of the most crucial steps to take.
Physical signs proving abuse can include bedsores, bruises, cuts, or infections. Mental abuse signs might include depression, sleep deprivation, or lack of interest in activities. Sexual abuse can also show many physical signs during a medical examination.
Next, we’ll fight to gain a settlement for you or your loved one. This typically involves working with the nursing home’s insurance company. It’s almost always a perilous path without expert legal guidance.
Working With Insurance to Gain Settlements
Many nursing homes carry liability insurance to provide coverage when accidents occur. When you seek a settlement from the nursing home for abuse, it usually means working with the nursing home’s insurance company rather than the nursing home directly.
Doing this on your own can prove challenging, and you may miss out on some available compensation. It could even lead to you getting nothing if you tell the insurance company things it can twist to prove you acted negligently in some way.
Never agree to talk to the nursing home’s insurance company if it tries to call you. It will likely try to get you to settle early with an offer that doesn’t reflect the true value of your claim.
Let an attorney handle negotiations with the insurance companies. An experienced attorney will have vast experience in nursing home abuse cases, which will help the attorney pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
Keep in mind negotiations with insurance companies may last a long time. Your case’s success will depend on the evidence you have available to prove your case. The more compelling the evidence, the more likely you will receive compensation to cover the full cost of your injuries.
Insurance companies often prove more apt to settle early if they see the above evidence, plus the chance the case could go to trial. Most insurance companies want to avoid the length and expense of a trial if possible.
Seek Legal Help Immediately
Contact us today if you’ve just gone through nursing home abuse, or you know your loved one went through the same. Don’t wait to seek medical care and legal representation due to the chances of evidence disappearing.
Also, report any nursing home abuse immediately to Adult Protective Services. Doing this helps get an investigation going quicker, something we’ll join in on when you approve our representation.
Syracuse Nursing Home Negligence FAQs
At Finkelstein & Partners, we often receive many questions from our clients about what to expect when we take on their nursing home abuse cases. It’s natural to have concerns and questions about potential outcomes and what to expect.
Let’s take a look at five common questions that we commonly hear:
1. Will I Face Major Legal Bills?
Absolutely not. We work on a contingency fee basis where you don’t owe us anything until and unless we successfully recover a settlement or jury award in your favor. Doing this allows you or your loved one to go through a recovery process in peace without being burdened with legal bills.
You don’t want to face mounting legal bills in addition to the medical bills you’ve likely already accumulated. Take the time you need to recover or to tend to your loved one who suffered abuse.
In the meantime, we’ll work hard on your behalf to get a settlement as soon as possible. Our team also stays in communication with you at all times to keep you up to date on what we’re doing.
2. What Kind of Settlement Might I Receive?
Try not to make any assumptions regarding what you might receive in the way of a settlement. All cases involve different facts and circumstances, and your settlement may vary significantly from what someone else won, even if your cases appear similar.
We still invite you to look at our case results page. This information shows how much we’ve helped clients receive over the years for nursing home abuse. Some cases reach seven figures, and many reach six figures.
One such case involved a nursing home ignoring a doctor’s order for a resident to not eat anything other than soft foods. Unfortunately, the doctor’s order went ignored, leading the nursing home to feed a woman patient a hard-boiled egg. She choked to death as a result, leading the patient’s family to sue. We managed to land a $2.25 million settlement for the family.
Compelling evidence proves key to securing larger settlements. When we take on cases, we visit the nursing home where the abuse occurred to gather evidence. However, it’s also important for you to gather as much proof as possible on your own, since evidence can so easily disappear overnight.
3. Do You Handle Cases From Skilled Nursing Facilities?
Yes, we do. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) receive Medicare funding and have become some of the worst places for nursing home abuse. On our blog, we detailed the recent warnings and reports about how bad SNFs have become.
PBS reported on SNFs and determined that 22 percent of Medicare beneficiaries experienced adverse stays. Up to 69 percent of those patients suffered preventable abuse.
With statistics like this, we’re not afraid to take on SNFs and Medicare to get the compensation you and your family need. Because so many people depend on Medicare, it clearly must work harder to prevent abuse to our elders in nursing facilities.
4. How Long Will It Take to Get a Settlement?
Negotiating with insurance companies for a settlement does take time, as we’ve noted. Sometimes, it can happen quickly if you have clear evidence of abuse in the nursing home.
Most cases never go to trial since insurance companies often eventually agree to a settlement. It could take weeks or months to get there, however.
In the meantime, we will keep you updated on the negotiations taking place. Whenever a settlement offer comes in, we’ll contact you to see if it’s in the ballpark of what you want. If not, we’ll respect your wishes and continue to negotiate.
We also respect your wishes if you want to take your case to trial. Nursing home abuse can mean irreversible life changes, demanding you to fight for the highest possible compensation.
5. How Much Experience Do You Have Handling Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
Our firm has 60 years of experience, with 300 attorneys working in our various New York offices today. Howard S. Finkelstein started our firm in 1959 and slowly built it into what it has become. We’ve taken on major cases since our founding, including against big companies, like Pfizer.
The settlements we’ve reached total millions of dollars for various clients over the years. Numerous nursing homes here in Syracuse have had to pay out sizable settlements to our clients due to negligence.
Legal fights against nursing home abuse continue, with our firm a forefront leader throughout New York.
No settlement we’ve won has ever gone below five figures.
Did You or a Loved One Suffer Neglect in a Syracuse Nursing Home?
If a Syracuse nursing home neglected or abused you or a loved one, do not wait. Contact Finkelstein & Partners today at (315) 453-3053 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.