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Can You Sue for Nursing Home Abuse in New York?

Can You Sue for Nursing Home Abuse in New York?

Nursing home abuse is a vile occurrence that is all too common in New York. Law enforcement often pursues perpetrators with criminal charges, but criminal charges offer no tangible comfort for nursing home abuse victims. Suing for nursing home abuse, on the other hand, can lead to tangible justice in the form of financial damages. 

Can You Sue for Nursing Home Abuse in New York? 

Yes. New York allows victims to sue when they experience nursing home abuse. In fact, victims have various legal avenues to pursue a nursing home abuse claim, such as: 

  • New York Public Health Law Section 2801-d: Establishes a cause of action for nursing home residents for rights violations 
  • Public Health Law 2803-c: Contains numerous rights for nursing home patients, including the right to be free from abuse 
  • 10 NYCRR 415.12: Establishes quality-of-care standards meant to protect nursing home residents 
  • Contract: Failing to provide contractually agreed-upon services is a breach of contract that allows the nursing home resident to sue. 

However, victims must build a strong case that can withstand attacks from insurance companies and defense lawyers. They need experienced nursing home abuse lawyers to represent them and defend their right to compensation.  


Ultimately, victims of nursing home abuse need damages to cover their losses. Damages in nursing home abuse cases are available for all manner of economic and non-economic losses, including: 

  • Medical treatment costs for the abuse 
  • Financial losses related to the abuse, such as loss of income 
  • Pain and suffering damages 

In some cases, the abuse is of a willful or wanton nature. Victims in these cases can seek exemplary damages. Exemplary damages are punitive in nature and are awarded in conjunction with and not instead of other available damages.  

Whatever the case, swift action is called for to protect the right to compensation. There is a three-year window in most cases to seek compensation for losses caused by nursing home abuse.  

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home abuse is an unlawful act that may occur as a single, isolated incident or repeatedly over time. Regardless of how often it occurs, warning signs typically manifest themselves and should be investigated by a nursing home resident’s loved ones.  

Pressure Sores 

Pressure sores include bedsores and pressure ulcers that develop after extended periods of time in bed without movement. The weight of the body prevents blood and oxygen from moving freely at the compressed location, leading to open sores that spread and become infected. Failure to treat them can lead to amputation and death. 

Fractures and Broken Bones 

Unexplained fractures or broken bones should be taken as a sign of physical abuse or neglect. In no reasonable situation should a nursing home resident develop a broken or fractured bone in an unexplained fashion.  

In reality, there are explanations for these injuries, but they are often not made a part of the official record when abuse is the cause.  

Dehydration and/or Malnutrition 

Both dehydration and malnutrition are more than red flags. They represent complete and utter failures on the part of the nursing home and the professionals tasked to care for residents.  

Family members who become aware that their loved one is dehydrated or malnourished should take quick action to protect them. Step one would be to demand a thorough explanation of why their loved one is dehydrated or malnourished. 

Unexplained Behavioral Changes 

Unexplained behavioral changes from a nursing home resident should be noted and investigated. They often signify that some sort of impactful occurrence has happened or is taking place.  

In some cases, the change may be a positive one, such as a new level of happiness due to a new relationship. However, other changes may indicate problems. These changes include: 

  • Going from being an extrovert to an introvert 
  • Talking much less or much more than normal 
  • Loss of hygiene standards 

Essentially, any uncharacteristic and unexplained change usually means something has occurred that may be entirely innocuous or even beneficial. It may also be abuse. Families are strongly advised to delve into any changes that are even the slightest out of the ordinary. The life and well-being of a loved one could be on the line. 

Silberstein, Awad & Miklos Will Fight to Get You Justice 

If you or someone you love has been abused in a nursing home, our nursing home abuse lawyers can inform you of your options and fight to get you justice through compensation. Don’t hesitate to get the protection and recompense your loved one deserves and needs. Contact Silberstein, Awad & Miklos for a free case review today.