Who is Liable For a Nursing Home Injury in New York?

Nursing homes in New York provide care to persons of all ages who need round-the-clock care and supervision. While all such facilities provide basic nursing care and services, some nursing homes have arrangements available for specialized care for persons with special medical needs. New York State regulations and federal regulations govern the operation of these facilities and they lay down standards to assure that the elderly residents get the best possible care and quality of life.

liable nursing home injury

While most nursing homes in New York City do adhere to these standards, it is quite possible that there may be instances where residents of a nursing home are the victims of negligence that may lead to severe injury or illness.

How Can You Identify Nursing Home Negligence in New York?

When the nursing home does not provide its residents with proper care, they may suffer from several health problems. Therefore, it is vital to identify such negligence by nursing homes and takes steps to protect your loved ones. Identifying cases of nursing home injury can be quite difficult unless you know specifically what to look for. Here are a few common signs to watch out for:

  • Unexplained injuries such as cuts, bruises, or welts
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Frequent infections
  • Fractures
  • Unexplained, rapid weight loss
  • Mood swings or emotional outbursts in an otherwise emotionally balanced elder
  • Repeated instances of bedsores
  • Avoidance of social contact
  • Noticeable behavioral changes
  • Refusal to consume food or water or medication
  • A caregiver who does not leave the resident alone to talk with others

When Can a Nursing Home be Held Responsible for Negligence in NYC?

Under New York law, any situation in which a nursing home resident suffers some physical or mental harm due to the intentional acts or the negligent behavior of a caregiver is considered as nursing home abuse or negligence.

As per state and federal laws, nursing home residents in NYC must not be restrained unless it is for their own safety or for the safety of others living in the same facility. If you find that your loved one is subject to restraints in order to punish them or to make it easier for the caregiver to administer care, it is a definite case of nursing home abuse.

Nursing home administrative authorities must make sure that they provide the promised level of care to their residents. They need to ensure that they hire a sufficient number of caregivers who have been screened and found suitable for providing care to residents. There has to be sufficient supervision of the primary caregivers to ensure that the quality of care is not compromised upon.

Any situation in which a nursing home does not care adequately for its residents, or fails to ensure their safety due to poor selection or supervision of caregivers is a potential case of nursing home abuse or negligence. Failing to maintain the nursing home in a condition that renders it fit for residence and use is also considered as nursing home negligence.

What are the Types of Negligence in NYC Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes in New York may subject their residents to different types of abuse and negligence. Some of the most commonly encountered nursing home injuries and accidents include:

  • Falls in which the residents suffer physical and/or emotional injuries due to the negligence of the caregiving staff.
  • Lack of appropriate care especially to residents who cannot move on their own. If the caregiver does not often change the positions of the bedridden or physically disabled patient, they are more likely to develop bedsores.
  • Failure to meet the medical needs of the resident – this may include failure to give the medication as prescribed, giving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage and failure to administer the medication in the right manner.
  • Lack of adequate nutrition causes residents to suffer malnutrition. This is more likely to occur in persons who require feeding assistance or those who refuse to eat although there can be generalized malnutrition in all residents of the nursing home if they are provided with poor calorific value food. Dehydration too is observed in residents when the caregivers fail to ensure that they consume the necessary quantity of water.

If residents are placed in a separate room that isolates them from any form of social communication or contact with others, it could constitute nursing home negligence. If you find out that such isolation was imposed by the nursing home on your loved one as a form of punishment, you may definitely hold the nursing home responsible for outright abuse.

What are the Forms of Psychological Abuse in NY Nursing Homes?

Physical injuries that arise from abuse are relatively easy to discover. Psychological abuse in which there is no physical abuse involved is however far more difficult to identify. This is more so in the case of abuse that is non-verbal in nature. Often, all you may notice is a feeling of extreme anxiety, fear, or sadness in the resident for no specific reason, with these emotions growing steadily worse with time.

Caregivers may verbally abuse residents by shouting, insulting, or mocking them in public or privately. There may be verbal threats or comments that cause the resident to feel insulted or ashamed or guilty.

Some of the ways in which caregivers in a nursing home non-verbally abuse a resident include:

  • Using gestures and signs that intimidate
  • Ignoring all requests and not responding to any appeal for help or conversation
  • Isolating the resident from other residents or friends or family
  • Preventing the resident from participating in any social activity in the nursing home

In a few instances, residents may grow more agitated when they face constant abuse but the more common reaction is to withdraw into a shell and avoid human contact. Family members and caregivers of the victims should consult with a dedicated nursing home injury attorney in New York to protect their rights in these cases.

Is Negligence in Alzheimer’s Care Facilities in NYC Possible?

Residents with Alzheimer’s disease are at greater risk of nursing home abuse or negligence. This could be the outcome of several complex factors:

  • In Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, there can be significant mental confusion that prevents the affected individual from even realizing that someone is abusing them.
  • Some residents with these conditions may not be able to recollect that they were abused and therefore, do not report the same.
  • Difficulty in expression is common in Alzheimer’s disease and this means that the affected individual cannot clearly communicate the details of the abuse to which they are subjected.
  • If a resident with dementia is known for being incoherent in their thoughts or speech, the authorities may not believe their words if they report being abused.

In such situations, the onus lies on the family members who must be alert to any inexplicable change in the behavior of their loved ones.

Stay Alert When Visiting Your Loved One in a NY Nursing Home

While most nursing homes in New York do provide the promised level of care and support to their residents, it is vital that you do not get complacent about the service provider to whom you have entrusted the care of your loved one.

Whenever you pay a visit to meet your dear one at the nursing home facility, check the following:

  • Is the room or living area clean and hygienic?
  • Are there signs of the sheets not being changed for very long?
  • Is your loved one in a clean and hygienic condition?
  • Are there any unexplained physical wounds or bedsores?
  • Is your loved one interacting and communicating with you as usual?
  • Are there any signs of emotional distress in them?

Ask your loved one about whether they are receiving good care and make sure you discuss any concerns with the nursing home administration. Quite a few resident care facilities are understaffed and this may be responsible for an occasional delay in attending to residents. While this may understandable in some exceptional situations, you must definitely raise your voice in protest when such delays become the norm or when they lead to unacceptable lapses in care.

Talk to an Accomplished Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer in New York

Cases of nursing home negligence or mistreatment or abuse may be handled as personal injury lawsuits under New York law. If you have discovered that the nursing care facility that houses your loved one is subjecting to any form of neglect or abuse, make sure you immediately contact a compassionate and experienced nursing home injury lawyer.

As personal injury attorneys in NYC with several years of experience in handling nursing home abuse cases, our team can help you understand your rights in such situations and guide you to take the necessary steps to protect your loved one.

At Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP, our nursing home injury attorneys have helped several clients recover compensation for the damages suffered by their loved ones in facilities with abusive staff. To discuss the specifics of your case, do call Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP today at 1-800-660-2264 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.