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Brooklyn Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Few people want to spend their golden years in a long-term care facility, but for many elderly people in Brooklyn, it becomes a reality. Deciding to place a loved one into a nursing home is one of the hardest things a person will ever do, but it is sometimes necessary.
One of the most difficult things about placing a loved one into a nursing home is the thought of them being abused or neglected while they are in the facility. When family members find out that this has happened, it is extremely upsetting and most people do not know what to do. The first step should be to contact a Brooklyn nursing home abuse attorney who can help you claim damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
When many people hear of nursing home abuse, it is typically physical abuse that they think of first. It is true that physical abuse is common in nursing homes and that it can occur in many different ways, such as kicking, punching, pinching, and hitting. However, this is not the most common type of abuse in nursing homes. According to the National Council on Aging, financial abuse is most common in nursing homes, with neglect being the second most common.
- Emotional abuse. This is another very common form of nursing home abuse. This type of abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member humiliates or belittles nursing home residents. Sometimes, a staff member may also prevent a resident from taking part in activities they used to love to make them feel withdrawn and isolated.
- Sexual abuse. While no one wants to think about it, sexual abuse is also fairly common in nursing homes. Sexual abuse in nursing homes is just like other types of sexual abuse. It is any form of unwanted touching in a sexual manner. Residents in nursing homes are often unable to give consent due to diseases and conditions. When this is the case, any sexual interaction between a resident and a staff member is considered abuse.
- Self-Neglect. Self-neglect occurs when a resident refuses to eat properly, groom themselves, take medication, or otherwise help themselves. Even in these cases, it is the responsibility of the nursing home staff members to ensure the resident is being cared. When they do not, they can be held liable for it.
- Abandonment. Abandonment is another form of nursing home neglect. This occurs when nursing home staff members leave residents alone for significant periods of time, or they let residents wander without proper supervision.
How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents often cannot express the fact that they are the victims of abuse or neglect. Many times, they do not even realize that it is occurring. For this reason, it is essential that loved ones know what to watch for. The most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain without explanation
- Chapped lips, dry skin, and other signs of dehydration
- A resident becomes sick frequently
- Cuts or bruises that cannot be explained
- Changes in behavior
- Suddenly acting differently when certain members of staff are around
- Unsanitary conditions in the resident’s room or in common areas
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- STDs that cannot be explained
- Financial transactions that cannot be explained
- Sudden changes to an elder’s estate plan, particularly when the resident cannot explain the changes
- Substance abuse
Any time these signs of abuse or neglect are noticed, it is important to speak to a Brooklyn nursing home abuse attorney right away.
How to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
If your loved one has been hurt by nursing home abuse, you can file a personal injury claim against the liable party to collect damages your family member sustained. Medical expenses, pain and suffering, and property damages are just a few types of damages available in nursing home abuse cases. To file a lawsuit, you must be able to prove:
- The nursing home owed your family member a reasonable standard of care,
- The nursing home did not provide the reasonable standard of care, and
- The intentional or negligent act caused your family member to suffer injuries or even death.
While nursing home abuse may be obvious to you, the court will still require you to prove the above elements. Proving them is never easy, so it is important to work with a Brooklyn nursing home abuse attorney. A lawyer will know what evidence to collect to prove your case, and will also ensure your claim is filed properly and on time. In Brooklyn, as throughout the rest of New York, the statute of limitations, or time limit, is 2 ½ years from the date of the abuse or neglect.
Residents that are able to file a lawsuit on their own can do so. However, it is not uncommon for nursing home residents to lack the necessary capacity. When this is the case, a relative, executor, or power of attorney can file a lawsuit on the resident’s behalf.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or someone you love has sustained injuries or has passed away due to neglect or abuse, our Brooklyn nursing home abuse attorneys can help. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, our seasoned attorneys know what evidence to collect to prove nursing home abuse so you recover the full damages you and your loved one are entitled to. Contact us today so we can review your case free of charge.