Nursing Home Abuse

Albany Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

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Horn Wright, LLP can take some of the stress out of a nursing home abuse case by managing yours on your behalf. We have a long history of representing the wrongfully injured in Albany, including elders who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes and assisted living centers. You can depend on our representation as an elder living in a nursing home or as someone with an elderly family member currently living in such a center. In either situation, we will give your case our full attention in pursuit of justice and maximized compensation.

In a successful nursing home abuse claim, compensation might be awarded for:

  • Nursing home residency costs
  • Medical treatment costs
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional hardship
  • Punitive damages to punish the defendant

Want to know more? Please call us at (855) 465-4622 to arrange a no-cost case evaluation with our Albany team.

Different Forms of Nursing Home Abuse

When a caretaker, resident, or even a visiting family member or third party intentionally harms a nursing home resident, it is an act of nursing home abuse. There are many different forms of nursing home abuse, depending on the harmful actions carried out by the offenders.

A few different types of nursing home abuse are:

  • Physical: An intentionally violent act against an elderly resident like assault or battery can constitute nursing home abuse. Physical abuse can often be easily identified, such as unexplained bruises or cuts.
  • Sexual: There are many stories of elderly residents being sexually assaulted and abused by caretakers who lock them in their rooms without permission. A resident who has been sexually abused will often become afraid when around their assailant.
  • Emotional: Belittling, humiliating, or socially isolating a resident can cause emotional and mental anguish that worsens with time. Signs of emotional abuse are usually newly developed anxiety or depression symptoms.
  • Financial: Caretakers can steal money from an elderly resident’s wallet, purse, or pocketbook. Or they might coerce a resident into allowing them to use their credit card for private purchases. Financial abuse can be spotted by checking an elder’s financial records for unusual transactions and transfers.

Our law firm is equipped with the knowledge and legal experience required to manage any sort of nursing home abuse claim. You do not need to look anywhere else for legal help once you retain our services because we are capable of handling all aspects of a case, from start to finish.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can occur due to various factors, many of which are systemic or related to the environment and culture within the facility. Some common causes of nursing home abuse include:

Understaffing: One of the primary causes of nursing home abuse is understaffing. When facilities are understaffed, caregivers may be overworked, leading to stress, fatigue, and burnout. This can result in neglect or mistreatment of residents.

Inadequate Training: Staff members who are not adequately trained in caregiving techniques, communication skills, and recognizing signs of abuse or neglect may inadvertently harm residents or fail to intervene when abuse occurs.

Poor Hiring Practices: Failure to conduct thorough background checks or properly vetting employees during the hiring process can result in individuals with a history of abuse or misconduct working in nursing homes.

Lack of Supervision and Oversight: Inadequate supervision and oversight of staff by management can create an environment where abuse can go undetected or unaddressed. This includes failure to monitor interactions between staff and residents and to respond promptly to complaints or concerns raised by residents or their families.

Cultural Issues: Negative organizational cultures within nursing homes, such as tolerance for abusive behavior or a lack of respect for residents' rights and dignity, can contribute to the prevalence of abuse.

Staff Burnout and Stress: High levels of stress, burnout, and job dissatisfaction among caregivers can increase the likelihood of abusive behavior towards residents.

Isolation and Dependency of Residents: Residents of nursing homes are often vulnerable due to physical or cognitive impairments, which can make them easy targets for abuse. Additionally, residents who lack regular contact with family or friends may be at higher risk of abuse due to reduced oversight.

Financial Motives: In some cases, nursing home abuse may be driven by financial motives, such as fraudulent billing practices, theft of residents' belongings, or exploitation of residents' financial assets.

Inadequate Policies and Procedures: Nursing homes that lack clear policies and procedures for preventing and responding to abuse are more likely to experience incidents of mistreatment.

Dangerous Outcomes of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect can be just as dangerous as abuse, which might be surprising because neglect is usually accidental. An overworked, exhausted, or inattentive caretaker can forget to complete certain daily duties, putting some residents at risk of an illness or injury. Or neglect can be more dramatic, such as harm caused over weeks or months of inadequate care because the assisted living center has substandard safety, hygiene, and inspection protocols.

Signs of nursing home neglect can vary, such as:

  • Bedsores
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Missing medicative doses
  • Unclean bedding or clothing
  • Unsupervised wanderings

Who is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?

In New York, liability for nursing home abuse can fall on different parties depending on the circumstances of the abuse and the specific roles of individuals or entities involved. Here's a breakdown:

Nursing Home Facility: The nursing home facility itself can be held liable for abuse that occurs on its premises. This includes abuse committed by staff members, failure to properly screen or train employees, or negligence in providing adequate care and supervision to residents.

Staff Members: Individual staff members who engage in abusive behavior can be held personally liable for their actions. This includes nurses, aides, administrators, and any other employees who directly interact with residents.

Management and Supervisory Staff: Those in positions of authority within the nursing home, such as administrators, directors, and supervisors, can also be held accountable if they knew about abuse or should have known about it through proper oversight but failed to take action to prevent it.

Contracted Service Providers: Sometimes, nursing homes contract with external service providers for certain aspects of care, such as medication management or therapy services. If abuse occurs as a result of negligence or misconduct by these contracted providers, they may also be held liable.

Third Parties: In some cases, liability may extend to third parties such as visiting medical professionals or vendors if their actions or negligence contribute to the abuse of residents.

Government Agencies: If abuse occurs in a nursing home that receives funding from government programs like Medicare or Medicaid, government agencies may also become involved in investigations and hold the facility accountable for violations of regulations and standards.

Corporate Entities: In instances where the nursing home is part of a larger corporate structure, the corporate entity may be held liable for systemic issues or policies that contribute to abuse within its facilities.

Form Your Case with Our Help

Your nursing home abuse claim should be started sooner than later to not only better preserve evidence of abuse but also to better protect your loved one from further harm. Please call our Albany nursing home abuse lawsuit attorneys at (855) 465-4622 and request a consultation with someone from our law firm. Do not forget to call the authorities first if you think your loved one might be at immediate risk of physical or sexual abuse.

If you prefer, you can fill out an online contact form instead and we will respond as soon as we can.

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