New York City Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Brooklyn & All of NYC
We trust that nursing homes and other assisted living facilities will provide our elderly loved ones with the level of care and respect they deserve. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nearly two million Americans currently reside in nursing homes, and the increase in abuse, neglect, and malpractice against the elderly has become a national concern.
Abuse and neglect of our most defenseless population can take many forms, and the federal and state regulations that exist to govern the rights of nursing home and assisted living residents sometimes fail. The result is elderly victims who suffer serious injuries due to negligence or abuse from trusted caregivers. These elderly victims may have a legal right to receive money damages.
From our office in Brooklyn, our New York City nursing home abuse attorneys fight tirelessly for justice and fair compensation on behalf of victims of negligence and misconduct. At Rubenstein & Rynecki, we believe that the mistreatment of the elderly is simply unacceptable, and those responsible for such conduct should be held accountable. If you believe that you or your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm right away for a free, confidential consultation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Most people assume abuse involves physical violence. In reality, neglect is also a form of abuse, and it represents one of the most common forms of abuse, resulting in declining health and, in many cases, eventual death.
Nursing home abuse and/or neglect take many forms, including:
- Physical Abuse and Neglect: Physical abuse includes causing physical harm to an individual, such as assaulting someone, whereas physical neglect occurs when nursing homes fail to attend to a resident’s physical needs. This includes things like poor nutrition, medication errors, and failing to ensure a cleanly, sanitized environment for residents.
- Emotional/Mental Abuse: Emotional/mental abuse includes things like berating or belittling residents, yelling, threatening, or even neglecting to care for the mental health needs of a resident. Although this type of abuse does not leave physical injuries, it can be as damaging to victims as physical abuse.
- Sexual Abuse and Assault: Nursing home sexual abuse and assault takes all the same forms as any other type of sexual abuse, including unwanted physical contact and sexual touching, sexual contact or intercourse with someone who cannot or does not give consent, rape, assault, and even pressuring someone into sexual activity.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse occurs when individuals seek to take advantage of elderly nursing home residents and/or exploit them for financial gain or control. Examples include stealing, manipulation, forgery of financial and other documents, and preventing residents from accessing funds.
Perpetrators of abuse, as well as the nursing homes and assisted living facilities that employ them, can be held legally responsible for all types of abuse and neglect. If you or someone you love has suffered physical, emotional, and/or financial harm due to nursing home abuse or neglect in New York City, contact Rubenstein & Rynecki to learn how our attorneys can help.
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
There are times when nursing homes are negligent in the medical care and treatment rendered to elderly residents.
Some examples of nursing home abuse and neglect include (but are not limited to):
- Failing to utilize reasonable, proper, and appropriate skill and care in the treatment of elderly residents
- Allowing and permitting elderly residents’ medical conditions to worsen without proper treatment
- Failing to utilize standard and accepted medical practices and procedures
- Failing to administer appropriate drugs
- Failing to properly/sufficiently move an elderly person to prevent pressure sores
- Failing to keep complete, proper, and accurate medical records
- Failing to timely utilize a mechanized, air-pressure mattress in the treatment of non-ambulatory patients
- Failing to timely and/or properly institute scheduled courses of physical therapy to make an elderly patient ambulatory
- Failing to take all the proper, adequate, and indicated reasonable steps that were necessary to treat, prevent, alleviate, and/or remedy an elderly person’s injuries
- Failing to perform proper and/or thorough physical examinations
- Failing to refer elderly persons to properly and competent specialists
- Causing and/or allowing the elderly persons medical conditions to worsen and deteriorate
- Retaining unqualified and unskilled physicians and personnel
- Failing to review and evaluate staff and physicians at indicated intervals
- Failing to adequately supervise staff and physicians
- Failing to follow and carry out the orders of the attending physicians
- Failing to obtain an informed consent
- Failing to exercise the degree of skill and diligence to which elderly persons are entitled
Essentially, much like cases involving medical malpractice, if the nursing home or assisted living facility failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, it can be held liable for resulting injuries and damages.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Placing loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities represents a difficult decision for most individuals, who make this choice to ensure their loved ones obtain the continuous care and professional attention they need. No matter how much research you do prior to selecting a facility, you need to remain watchful for signs of abuse and neglect.
Some signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Changes in personality, mood, or behavior
- Noticeable tension between a resident and a caregiver
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Unexplained injuries, such as cuts or bruises
- Fall-related injuries, including broken bones
- Catastrophic injuries, such as brain or spinal injuries
- Unexplained death
- Unusual changes in weight
- Signs of malnutrition/dehydration
- Unsanitary living conditions or lack of personal hygiene
- Broken eyeglasses or damaged clothing
- Medical bills that do not reflect actual rendered services
- Refusal of a facility to permit visitation
- Financial irregularities, such as unexplained withdrawals or bounced checks
- Changes to a will, trust, power of attorney, or similar documents
Because many of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect mimic symptoms of advanced age and illness, such as dementia, it is even more important that you keep an eye out for any unusual or unexplained changes in your elderly loved one. If you notice anything suspicious, you can report it to the nursing home or to the proper authorities.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in New York City
If you suspect that your elderly loved one may be suffering at the hands of a caregiver—or if you are a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect yourself—there are several things you can do to report the suspected abuse/neglect. First, if you believe you, your loved one, or anyone else is in immediate danger, call 911. You can obtain emergency medical aid and report the abuse/neglect to the police in this way.
In other instances, you can report nursing home abuse and neglect in New York City by:
- Calling the New York City 24-hour hotline at (800) 621-4673
- Calling the Nursing Home Complaint Hotline at (888) 201-4563
- Filing an official complaint with the New York State Department of Health’s Division of Nursing Home and ICF/IID Surveillance
- Contact the local long-term care ombudsman in your area
- Finding resources on the New York City Department for the Aging’s website
After ensuring your safety/the safety of your elderly loved one and reporting the abuse, reach out to an experienced attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. An attorney can assist you in bringing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the liable party, including the person who carried out the abuse/neglect and/or the facility itself.
Contact Rubenstein & Rynecki Now for Aggressive Legal Representation
Few things are worse than realizing the facility you trusted to care for your elderly loved one has failed to provide an adequate and acceptable level of care and has, instead, actively caused your loved one harm. At Rubenstein & Rynecki, we understand the emotional complexity involved in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Our attorneys and staff provide compassionate, personalized assistance and support throughout the legal process, as well as consistent communication and open accessibility. We believe that you and your family deserve justice, and we are ready to fight aggressively for the fair compensation you are owed.
Our New York City nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys serve clients in Brooklyn and all of the surrounding areas. We provide legal services in English, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Greek, and Creole to meet the needs of our clients, and we do not collect any fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.