Getting optimal care for ourselves or our loved ones as they age and deciding the best place to get that care is a decision many in the population face at some point in time. There are many reasons why a patient will ultimately decide, along with their families, to live in a nursing home. When you or your loved one takes this step, you entrust that the facility you choose will provide the best possible care and act in your best interests throughout your stay.
Unfortunately, the widespread need for nursing homes means that while there are many excellent facilities and caretakers, there are also many that do not provide the necessary care for their residents and, in fact, endanger their lives through their negligence.
If you believe you or your loved one has suffered injuries due to the negligence of a nursing home facility and its staff, you are not alone. You do not need to continue to risk your well-being; you may recover compensation under the law. Nursing home negligence happens in nursing homes across the country and within Wappingers Falls. Our team of Wappingers Falls nursing home negligence lawyers can help you get to a safe facility and fight for the compensation you may need to recover from your nursing home negligence injuries.
Table of Contents
- What Compensation is Potentially Available to a Victim of Nursing Home Negligence?
- Statutory Time Limitations on Filing a Legal Action for Nursing Home Negligence
- What May Qualify as Nursing Home Negligence in Wappingers Falls?
- Potential Injuries or Complications That May Occur When a Patient Suffers Neglect in a Nursing Home
- The Steps You Can Take if You or a Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Negligence in Wappingers Falls
If You or a Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Negligence, Contact Finkelstein & Partners—The Injury Attorneys
At Finkelstein and Partners, we understand the importance of caring for the aging and elderly population within our communities, such as here in Wappingers Falls.
We want to help victims of nursing home abuse or negligence fight back and to help their suffering no longer go unnoticed. It is not okay to look the other way and neglect the vulnerable residents of such essential facilities that should ensure patients’ health and quality of life. Our nursing home negligence attorneys team can guide you through this challenging process.
With over six decades of experience helping injury victims and assisting clients to fight for their losses, we are the team you want to help you during this challenging and difficult period. We know what it takes to fight nursing homes that are neglecting their residents and causing injuries that could lead to death or painful complications. We take pride in being there for our clients and their families. We are a successful firm because we know that our clients come first. If you believe your loved one is in danger of further harm and has suffered injuries while in a Wappingers Falls nursing home, contact our team of Wappinger Falls personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.
What Compensation is Potentially Available to a Victim of Nursing Home Negligence?
The implications of nursing home negligence or abuse can be devastating to the victims and their families. The long-term complications that can develop following a nursing home negligence injury can result in the need for medical intervention such as hospitalization or surgery. The resident’s life may also be at risk in the most severe cases. Nursing home fatalities are an unfortunate potential consequence of negligence and abuse cases.
If your loved one suffers an injury due to negligence during their stay at a nursing home facility, they may be eligible for compensation for their damages under the law. This includes both economic and non-economic damages that may result from the negligence injury. Furthermore, New York law does not limit the amount of damages in a legal action for losses when relating to nursing home negligence injuries or wrongful death.
Damages that can be available in a nursing home abuse or negligence case include:
- Medical costs
- Future medical expenses and care necessary
- Pain and suffering due to the physical injuries as well as the emotional and mental distress
- If your loved one loses their life, you may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death action against the nursing home
The Unfortunate Reality and Pervasiveness of Negligence in Nursing Homes
Horror stories of nursing home negligence and abuse are something you may hear about on the news but do not think can happen to you or a family member. Sadly, it can and does happen each year to many nursing home residents with little ability to fend for themselves.
In just a period of one year’s time, the New York Department of Health will receive thousands of complaints either online, by mail or by telephone about potential nursing home issues. Nearly 800 of those complaints refer to actions that relate to nursing home abuse, mistreatment or neglect.
While this is a staggering number of nursing home residents affected by the negligent behaviors of caretakers or facilities, it still does not accurately represent the pervasiveness of the problem. Hundreds, if not thousands, of more incidents are likely negligence and abuse but do not get reported to the agency for investigation. In addition, not all nursing home residents have a family member or advocate to assist them in getting the help they need when they cannot file the complaint themselves.
Statutory Time Limitations on Filing a Legal Action for Nursing Home Negligence
Unlike other types of personal injury cases that may have clear statutory guidelines for how long an individual has to file a lawsuit for their injury, in nursing home negligence cases, the answer can vary depending on who owns and runs a facility. For example, while the New York statute of limitations allows a nursing home negligence victim to pursue a lawsuit within three years of the alleged incident of abuse or neglect, this length of time does not necessarily apply to government-run facilities.
Certain protections and bureaucratic requirements that apply to government agencies may lead to a significantly shorter amount of time to allow a victim to seek compensation for their losses from the parties responsible.
Contacting our Wappingers Falls nursing home negligence attorneys as soon as you suspect abuse or neglect will ensure that the case remains within the statutory limitations and protect your right to compensation.
What May Qualify as Nursing Home Negligence in Wappingers Falls?
One of the biggest hurdles to getting help to a victim of negligence in a nursing home is identifying there is a problem. Caretakers and workers of nursing homes may try to explain away injuries and give you false information about how they occurred or who caused them.
Speaking with your loved one nursing home resident regularly will help you make sure that they are receiving the top-quality care they deserve and can give you some indication or warning signs. However, not all of our loved ones can communicate what is happening to them effectively, or they may be unable to communicate with you at all. There are potential warning signs that neglect or abuse may be occurring even if your loved one is unable to convey the details of the incidents happening to them in the nursing home.
Nursing home negligence and abuse can look different for each patient. Some more blatant and potentially criminal examples of abuse are physical actions such as hitting a resident, pushing or even sexual abuse. Neglect can sometimes stay hidden beneath the surface for some time before the family begins to suspect a problem.
Repeated falls because a room is not maintained, bedsores because a patient is not routinely turned, or malnutrition are all examples of neglect that may not occur overnight, but develop after continuous neglectful behavior of the caretakers in charge of your loved one’s care.
These are some things to look out for if you suspect nursing home negligence or abuse:
- A decline in a patient’s overall hygiene
- A patient that was recently mobile is becoming immobile
- The room of the resident is in disarray and dirty
- Development of bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers
- Sudden decline in the mental state of resident
- Development of withdrawal or depressed mood
- Erratic behavior of the resident, particularly in the presence of only specific individuals
- Evidence of dehydration or malnutrition
- Fractures or broken bones
- The decline in the overall health of a patient with no medical explanation
- Unexplained bruising or repeated injuries, or falls
Potential Injuries or Complications That May Occur When a Patient Suffers Neglect in a Nursing Home
Sadly, incidents of neglect or abuse can result in a domino effect on a resident’s overall health and mental state. What may at first be one injury can develop into multiple injuries over time that put a patient’s health at risk of life-threatening complications and make them susceptible to more serious injury.
Suppose an injury that occurs because of a nursing home’s negligence continues to go without proper proactive action to address the resident’s health by the facility and caretakers. In that case, they are further endangering the life of the resident. Secondary infections are one of the most pervasive complications and threats to the life of a nursing home resident suffering from any injury.
Your Obstacles to Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
Sadly, the fight for justice and compensation for a loved one’s injury due to nursing home negligence is not an easy one to take on. Nursing homes often do not face strict mandates under New York law to carry liability insurance. Those that do may not offer much coverage or have low policy limits on losses that do not cover the extent of your loved one’s losses.
This does not mean that you cannot fight for the compensation your loved one deserves, but rather that it might be a bigger fight against them. If your loved one suffers injuries due to neglect, you can consult with your lawyer about the potential of filing a lawsuit against the facility or provider directly responsible. An attorney working for your loved one in a nursing home neglect case will investigate their injuries and the cause of the injuries and discover all parties that may be liable to them in the case.
The Steps You Can Take if You or a Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Negligence in Wappingers Falls
When you have any suspicion that your loved one is suffering from neglect as a patient in a nursing home, you must act quickly to prevent further harm, preserve evidence and get them the help they need to recover and heal.
1—Contact the Authorities if There Is a Possibility of Criminal Activity
If you believe that your loved one is a victim of physical or sexual abuse, call 911 immediately to get them out of harm’s way and get the authorities to launch a criminal investigation into the matter.
2—Move Them out of the Facility if You Can
If your loved one is at risk of further harm, it is best that you move them into another nursing home facility as soon as possible to prevent worsening or new injuries.
3—Report the Abuse of Neglect to the New York Department of Health
The New York State Department of Health offers many convenient options to accommodate your preference for filing a complaint against a Wappingers Falls nursing home facility.
4—Contact a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
It can feel like an overwhelming task to fight for your loved one’s rights. It would be best if you did not try to handle this matter on your own. Nursing homes have attorneys and insurance companies that will stand in your way to getting the justice and compensation your loved one may be eligible for under the law. Hiring a lawyer that can work on behalf of your loved one will give you the best advantage at getting the compensation for the losses they need to cover their care and needs.
Get Help to Protect Your Rights in a Nursing Home Negligence Case—Call Finkelstein & Partners—The Injury Attorneys
Contact our team of attorneys at (845) 298-2870 for a free case consultation regarding your or your loved one’s nursing home negligence or abuse incidents. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer will speak with you about the process of seeking compensation and what options may be available for you.