We put a lot of faith in nursing homes and the care they can provide for our loved ones. With such trust comes the duty, both morally and legally, to treat nursing home patients professionally, with an emphasis on their safety and wellbeing, in addition to dignity and kindness. Unfortunately, there are instances where staff at nursing homes breach their legal obligations, are negligent and contribute to the mistreatment or death of our loved ones. In these cases, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you're in a situation like this, consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling nursing home abuse cases in New York. Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law can assist you.
Signs That Nursing Home Neglect May Be Occuring
A sudden occurrence, like a fall or a stroke, can commonly lead to the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home. In other situations, a loved one's health may have gotten worse over time as a result of a chronic illness, a crippling injury, or other illnesses. While in the care of nursing home staff, there are several indicators of potential nursing home neglect that family members can keep an eye out for. These include:
Bruises and Injuries From Falls
Nursing home residents may be more prone to stand up on their own and have a slip and fall accident if personnel ignore their requests for help. Insufficient staffing or, in the worst circumstances, abuse may be the cause of nursing staff inattentiveness.
Nursing home patients frequently develop bedsores, sometimes known as "pressure injuries," despite the fact that they are clinically preventable. Bedsores are wounds that form as a result of persistent pressure on the skin; they can become highly dangerous infections and even result in fatalities. As a result of the patient's inability to move, roll over, or get out of bed, bedsores frequently develop as a result of their prolonged immobility. As a result, the patient relies on the nursing staff to carry out those duties. Bedsores may be an indication of nursing home neglect if the staff is not providing the patient with proper care.
Facilities with a lack of staff may have trouble regularly feeding and administering medications to all of the residents, including your loved one. Malnutrition, nutritional deficits, and other issues resulting from not receiving their meds regularly can result from this.
A contributing factor to nursing home neglect is understaffing, which exposes patients to considerable health hazards and leaves them more vulnerable. According to federal statistics, up to 90% of nursing homes in this nation are understaffed.
Proving Nursing Home Neglect
There are four important components of any negligence claim: duty of care, breach of that duty, causation, and damages. You must be able to demonstrate these components to prove a nursing home neglect claim and win.
Duty of Care
Having a legal responsibility that the defendant owes you is the first requirement for proving negligence. Generally, it is obvious that a nursing home has a legal obligation to provide you or a loved one with reasonable and proper care.
Breach of Care
By failing to take the actions that a prudent nursing home facility would have taken in the same situation, the nursing home violated its duty in this aspect of negligence. A clear breach of care may have occurred if the nursing home disregarded safety procedures or other rules.
Causation means you need to be able to prove that the injuries suffered by the patient were due to the breach of care. The events leading up to the incident were brought on by a nursing home with inadequate staffing or a lack of safety measures, thus showing their negligence.
Damages frequently take the form of medical expenses and future medical treatment that may be anticipated. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are also recoverable. Alternatively, a wrongful death lawsuit can include extra damages like burial costs, lost companionship, and other recompense for your loss in the event of a death.
Nursing Home Settlements
Nursing home lawsuit settlements take place when a nursing home care facility agrees to give a victim of nursing home abuse or their family compensation. The victim or family member accepts and agrees to not file a lawsuit in return. Depending on a number of variables, settlement amounts can vary, but can go beyond $1 million. Settlements in nursing home lawsuits may make it possible for victims and their families to receive funds more quickly than if the case went to trial.
Health Affairs reports that the average nursing home abuse settlement is just over $405,000 in the United States.
In a settlement, the victim is compensated for:
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial costs
- Future medical care
- Wage losses
- Medical expenses
- Punitive damages (which hold the nursing home accountable)
If settlement offers are not made, cases involving allegations of nursing home abuse may be heard by a judge or jury. However, settlements are usually the route taken since they take less time and aren't as risky as going to trial. In fact, Black's Law Dictionary states that settlements are reached in around 95% of personal injury cases.
Having an experienced attorney to represent you can aid you greatly in getting fair compensation.
Factors Determining Nursing Home Abuse Settlements
How much you might be awarded in a nursing home abuse settlement can be impacted by a number of factors, which includes:
Depending on the type of abuse, your compensation may be less or more. A wrongful death lawsuit may result in a higher award than a neglect case in which someone lived. In addition, cases of medical misconduct may yield higher payouts than those involving emotional abuse. Stronger cases may involve hunger, dehydration, brain damage, or fractured bones brought on by avoidable falls.
Jurisdiction, or a government's right to make legal judgments, refers to the location of the nursing home abuse or neglect. While many nursing home abuse lawsuits must abide by state law, some are subject to federal law. Settlement amounts in nursing home lawsuits may be influenced by local laws, such as restrictions on compensation and additional penalties for harming the elderly.
Strength of Your Case
If the defendant thinks you have a small chance of winning at trial, they may make a small settlement offer or no offer at all. You can prevent this by working with a nursing home abuse attorney. Attorneys that specialize in cases of nursing home abuse can gather the proof required to make a compelling argument at trial.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Are Here To Help
If your loved one is being mistreated or neglected in their care facility, take action right away. Our New York lawyers specialize in nursing home abuse cases and are here to help you submit a claim, explain your legal options, and look into your case.
For a free consultation, get into contact with Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law today.