Schenectady Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Schenectady, New York, like any other city, hosts its share of elderly and infirm residents. And any of us could join their ranks at any time. It is not the universal nature of the aging process, however, that generates such widespread revulsion towards nursing home abuse. It is the idea of a staff member, charged with responsibility for the well-being of nursing home residents, abusing that authority to bully someone who is helpless. Please contact our Schenectady nursing home abuse lawyers to talk about your concerns or questions.
Nursing Home Neglect
Not all nursing home abuse is active — some of it is passive.
- “Forgetting” to give a resident a shower or allowing the resident to languish alone and isolated.
- Malnutrition may be a sign of nursing home neglect, especially if your loved one requires assistance to eat.
- Bedsores, also known as decubitus ulcers, are a common sign because it indicates that your loved one has remained in a lying or sitting position for long periods without change.
- Bruises, abrasions and broken bones can indicate frequent falls resulting from inadequate supervision or may even be used as an excuse to ask physical abuse.
Meet Attorney Meghan Keenholts, Esq. – a Fighter
Attorney Meghan Keenholts, Esq., leads our nursing home abuse practice group. Ms. Keenholts graduated summa cum laude (“with highest honors”) from Albany Law School in May 2005 right here in the Capital Region, and she enjoys more than a decade of experience successfully resolving nursing home abuse and neglect claims.
Most clients would prefer an out-of-court settlement of their claim. Although this is not always possible, the vast majority of our nursing home abuse cases are settled out of court. Ms. Keenholts understands that the best way to keep a client out of court is to win whenever she does go to court. Consequently, “Keenholts” has become synonymous with “win,” and opposing parties (nursing homes and insurance companies) know this, which usually motivates them to settle out of court.
Some of Our Related Areas of Practice
We also handle the following related claims, among others:
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
- Defective Products (such as medical devices)
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Vaccine Injuries
- Podiatry Malpractice
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can a nursing home be held responsible for the negligence of its employee?
Yes. Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, employees are the agents of their employers. This means that the employer can be forced to pay for damages caused by the negligence of its employee as long as the employee was acting within the scope of his duties at the time the negligence occurred. You don’t need to prove that the nursing home itself was at fault as long as you prove that one of its employees was at fault. Contact our highly experienced Schenectady nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss your situation.
Are punitive damages available in a nursing home abuse claim?
Potentially, although courts are generally reluctant to award punitive damages even to winning claimants. Punitive damages are awarded, if at all, in addition to normal compensatory damages. To win, the defendant’s conduct must have been outrageous. Organized and systematic abuse, for example, might qualify, as might repeated sexual abuse that was covered up by the nursing home.
What are my legal options if my wife died from nursing home abuse?
If your wife died from nursing home abuse, the personal representative of your wife’s probate estate will be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit under New York law. You will likely be appointed her personal representative, either in your wife’s last will and testament or, if no valid will is probated, upon appointment by the probate court. Wrongful death judgments can be large, and compensation goes to the probate estate for distribution to heirs and devisees.
How can understaffing result in nursing home abuse?
Understaffing is one of the most common causes of nursing home abuse. It is also an issue that directly implicates the nursing home administration since it is administration that determines staffing levels. Understaffing can result in problems such as missed medication, bedsores, or inadequate supervision. This problem is found more often at private, for-profit nursing homes for obvious reasons.
New York State Resource
The New York State Department of Health has a Nursing Home Complaint Form pdf. Further information for filling out this form, as well as optional ways for contacting the Department of Health, can be found on the New York State Department of Health, Division of Nursing Home and ICF/IID Surveillance website.
Start Fighting Back Today
When you suspect nursing home abuse, job one is confirming your suspicions. Job two is getting it stopped right away, and job three is ensuring fair compensation. At E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy, we are adept at all three. The New York civil compensation system is complex and arcane, and you are going to need an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to guide you through it.
Questions? Concerns? Call our Proven and Helpful Schenectady Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
If your loved one is suffering nursing home abuse or neglect, or if you even suspect that this may be taking place, by all means waste no time. Contact us online or call our office at (518) 730-4723 to speak with our Schenectady nursing home abuse attorneys. Our consultations are free of charge, we ask for no upfront fees, and you will owe us nothing unless we win. We serve clients in Bellevue, Stockade Historic District, Woodlawn, and elsewhere in the Schenectady area.