When frail, elderly, and vulnerable individuals are placed in a nursing home, we expect them to be cared for and kept safe from harm. If you or a loved one were injured, neglected, or abused at a nursing home, you may be able to bring about a lawsuit that can provide financial compensation and also deter a negligent nursing home and their staff from harming others in the future. If a victim of nursing home neglect is deceased or incapacitated, a family member, power of attorney, or executor may bring a lawsuit on their behalf.
The nursing home neglect lawyers in Babylon, NY at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your rights and determine an approach to take to stop nursing home neglect and abuse and secure a settlement. We know the law, the courts, and the system, and we will fight to make sure your loved one is safe and that the abusive behavior stops. Contact us today for a free consultation at (631) 600-0000 if you suspect a nursing home patient has been harmed.
Protecting an Individual’s Rights
The first step to proving nursing home neglect is to understand New York’s nursing home laws. The rights of nursing home residents are laid out in a document called “Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident in New York State and Nursing Home Responsibilities,” released along with a full list of New York nursing home regulations by the New York Department of Health.
Basics rights include the right to:
- Dignity, respect, and a comfortable living environment
- Quality of care under 42 CFR § 483.25 and treatment without discrimination
- Freedom of choice to make your own, independent decisions
- Be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home
- The safeguard of your property and money
- Appeal a transfer or discharge with the New York State Department of Health
- Privacy in communications
- Choose your own schedule, activities and other preferences that are important to you
- Receive visitors of your choosing at the time of your choosing
- An easy-to-use and responsive complaint procedure
- Be free from abuse including verbal, sexual, mental and physical abuse
- Be free from restraints
- Exercise all of your rights without fear of reprisals
There are also federal standards that must be met, which are laid out in the federal skilled nursing facility (SNF) Quality of Care. This standard states that “Each resident must receive, and the facility must provide the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being, in accordance with the comprehensive assessment and plan of care.”
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
While nursing home patients may decline due to natural causes, there are some common signs of nursing home neglect. Contact the nursing home neglect lawyers in Babylon, NY at Gacovino, Lake & Associates if you notice signs that include.
- Bedsores and pressure ulcers
- Unexplained falls leading to injuries
- Broken bones, cuts, bruises, or brain bleeds
- Medication errors and overmedicating patients to keep them docile
- Infections such as sepsis, urinary tract infections, and catheter infections
- Physical or sexual assault by staff or other residents
- Failure of staff to respond to medical emergencies
Reasons Neglect and Abuse Happens
One reason for neglect in nursing homes is insufficient staff. Nursing homes are typically funded through federal and state programs. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) suggests the level of staffing that is appropriate based on reported acuity of the facility’s residents.
These suggestions are based on information the nursing home provides for reimbursement. Some nursing homes report their residents as “high acuity” for payment from Medicare but cut their staff below Medicare’s recommended staffing for this category of patient. This results in less patient care and can cause an increase in neglect-related injuries and deaths.
Examples of neglect due to insufficient staffing include:
- Lack of certified nurse assistants to reposition residents frequently, which can lead to preventable bedsores.
- Lack of licensed practical nurses to oversee CNAs can lead to improper transfers, falls, and broken bones.
- Lack of registered nurses can lead to medication errors.
- Lack of doctors can lead to delayed diagnosis of medical conditions and a lack of timely treatment.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine if injuries are truly caused by neglect. Our nursing home abuse lawyers can analyze data and investigate what happened to your loved one to determine if understaffing or other neglect issues resulted in their harm.
How Our Firm Can Help
If you or a loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse, you do not have to face this situation on your own. The nursing home neglect lawyers in Babylon, NY at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. will investigate the situation and examine the evidence. We will fight to get the neglectful situation rectified, help you relocate the abuse victim to a safe environment, and pursue the settlement you deserve.
Do not delay and risk your loved one’s situation getting any worse. Call us today for your free consultation at (631) 600-0000, and to learn more about what a nursing home neglect lawyer may be able to do for you and your family.