elder man sitting on the bed with their cane experiencing nursing home abuse and neglect

Families of nursing home residents trust that nursing home staff will meet their loved one’s physical, medical, and emotional needs. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents suffer injuries due to negligence, abuse, and medical malpractice. Victims or their family members may have a right to hold doctors, nurses, therapists, or other third parties accountable for their abuse and neglect.

The Long Island personal injury attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC have years of experience litigating personal injury cases. We have an in-depth knowledge of personal injury law and use our experience to advocate aggressively for personal injury victims in Long Island and throughout New York City. If you or your loved one have been injured due to nursing home or neglect, don’t hesitate to contact Dell & Dean, PLLC to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation case evaluation. 

Physical, Mental, and Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Multiple types of nursing home abuse and neglect can cause residents serious injuries. Physical abuse includes injuries caused by pinching, hitting, tripping, punching, and force-feeding residents. Unauthorized restraining can also cause serious injuries. Residents can also experience mental and emotional abuse, which may include yelling, emotional manipulation, insults, verbal abuse, harassment, threats, and humiliation. 

Sexual Abuse 

Sexual abuse in nursing homes involves sexual activity without consent or against the resident’s will. Family members can look for signs of sexual abuse, including genital bleeding or bruising, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and other unexpected behaviors. In addition to causing physical injuries, sexual abuse can also lead to mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. 

Injuries Caused By the Negligence of Nursing Home Staff

Not all nursing home injuries are caused by intentional behavior. The negligence of nursing home staff members can cause injuries. Staff members have a duty to use reasonable care when caring for nursing home residents. They breach the duty of care they owe residents. Likewise, nursing home administrators have a legal duty to ensure they are staffed well enough to provide residents with the level of care they need and deserve. They also have a duty to ensure staff members are adequately trained and supervised to avoid preventable injuries. 

Medical Malpractice Involving Nursing Home Residents

The majority of residents in nursing homes have one or more medical conditions that require treatment. Due to their age or medical conditions, residents may be unable to administer medication. Doctors who treat patients in nursing homes have a legal obligation to adhere to the established standards of care defined by the medical community. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s negligence causes an injury that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. 

Doctors and nurses who misdiagnose or fail to diagnose residents with the correct medical condition can cause the resident’s condition to worsen or become terminal due to a lack of proper treatment. Medical professionals also need to check for pressure sores and other conditions that can cause residents additional harm or death. 

Signs of Abuse or Neglect in Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse and neglect can be difficult to detect, especially when residents cannot communicate what has happened to them. It’s important that loved ones look for warning signs of common types of nursing home abuse and neglect, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Untreated cuts, wounds, bedsores, bruises, or welts
  • Abnormally pale complexion
  • Excess and sudden weight loss or gain
  • Bruises in a pattern that would suggest restraints
  • Lice, fleas, or dirt on the resident or in his or her room
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Unattended health problems
  • Torn clothing or broken personal items
  • Emotional dysregulation 

Proving Liability in a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case

If you or your loved one have been injured in a nursing home, you may be wondering whether you have a valid claim for compensation. Proving nursing home negligence or malpractice in a New York court requires plaintiffs to prove several elements. First, the plaintiff must prove that the nursing home owed the resident a duty of care in a safe environment. 

The nursing home, administrator, doctors, nurses, or nurse’s aids breached their duty to provide the resident with the established standard of care. As a result of the breach of duty of care, you or your loved one were harmed, injured, or died. Plaintiffs also need to prove that the breach of providing the standard of care led the victim to suffer damages. Common examples of negligence that can result in liability include the following:

  • Errors related to medication administration or dosage
  • Equipment and device malfunctions
  • Mistakes made by the nursing staff, physician, or contracted healthcare provider
  • Patient harm caused by malnutrition or dehydration
  • Ignoring or allowing the use of unsanitary supplies
  • Failing to correct unsanitary conditions
  • Not addressing the patient’s medical needs or problems
  • Not adequately supervising the patient, causing falling injuries 

Damages Available in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits

Victims of nursing home neglect or abuse can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Under New York law, plaintiffs can pursue economic damages for their medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earning potential, and other quantifiable damages. Plaintiffs can also pursue non-economic damages for the pain and suffering they’ve endured due to their injuries. An experienced attorney can help you correctly value the full value of your or your loved one’s claim. 

Discuss Your Case with a Long Island Nursing Home Abuse Attorney 

Hundreds of thousands of New York residents currently live in or will live in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities at some point. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are legally obligated to protect residents from injuries. Unfortunately, these facilities often fail to staff and adequately provide sufficient training. In other cases, staff members abuse nursing home residents, causing them injuries. Contact Dell & Dean, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your rights if you or your loved ones have been injured in a nursing home facility.