Personal
Injury Lawyer

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

An experienced Buffalo attorney can help

You expect certain things when a loved one is moved into a nursing home. You expect that your loved one's needs will be met and that he or she will be treated with dignity and respect. But sometimes nursing home residents are the victims of abuse or neglect. A nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at the Law Offices of James Morris will fight for their rights.

Many nursing home residents are unable or afraid to speak about what happened to them. But you know when something is wrong. You want the abuse or neglect to stop and for your loved one to be safe. But you may not be sure what to do next. That's why you need an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney on your side.

Nursing homes usually deny responsibility, and even question whether there was any abuse or neglect. They may try to suggest that what's been happening to your loved one is simply the result of getting older. But our attorneys know where to look for evidence of abuse or neglect. Then we build strong cases to hold the negligent parties accountable.

Common types of nursing home neglect and abuse include:

Nursing homes have a responsibility to care for our loved ones and help keep them safe and as healthy as possible in their later years. Abuse or neglect can affect your loved one physically, emotionally, mentally or financially. Victims of abuse or neglect may not be aware of what happened, or may feel too ashamed or embarrassed to speak about it. We speak for them.

Experienced representation that gets results

Our first concern is to make sure that your loved one is safe and is getting proper medical treatment. Then we fight to get justice for the damage your loved one has suffered. This can include compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse or neglect, as well as pain and suffering, emotional distress and other types of damages.

We focus on getting the best results in your loved one's case. Our attorneys have helped many victims of nursing home abuse and neglect recover the financial compensation they deserve through negotiated settlements and jury awards.

But it's important to act fast. Important evidence that can prove nursing home abuse or neglect can be lost or destroyed. The memories of witnesses can fade over time. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can take steps to preserve evidence and interview witnesses while their memories about what happened are fresh.

If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home in Buffalo or anywhere in New York, contact us to learn more about how we can help. An experienced attorney can meet with you and go over your options during a free case evaluation.

One thing you don't have to worry about is the cost. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means we pay the costs to move your case forward. You owe us nothing unless we recover compensation.

Bed Sores/Pressure Sores

These are painful injuries that develop on the skin of nursing home residents after prolonged pressure, often from staying in one position for too long. In the later stages of bed sores, wounds can cut through skin and muscle tissue. Bed sores also increase the risk of infections, such as sepsis.

Bed sores are common in nursing homes, and staff members should take steps to prevent them. This involves moving patients regularly, especially if they are confined to a bed or wheelchair. Nursing homes are also responsible for making sure residents receive proper nutrition. And if bed sores develop, they need to be treated promptly and correctly.

Negligence by nursing home staff members can lead to the development of bed sores and make them worse. We hold these staff members accountable for their neglect and help residents recover financial compensation.

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Falls in Nursing Homes

Because so many residents have issues with mobility, falls are common in nursing homes. Many rely on canes or walkers, and obstacles in their path can increase their risk of falling. They can also fall after tripping over cords or slipping on a wet surface. Residents who are weak from malnourishment or who aren't getting needed supervision are also more likely to fall.

Falling can result in serious injuries for nursing home residents because they face a higher risk of broken bones. These include bones in their arms, hands or legs. The most serious concern is a broken hip, which can leave residents immobile for a long period of time and may require surgery. Other injuries can include pulled muscles, bruises and cuts.

Nursing homes have a responsibility to help prevent falls among their residents. This includes taking steps to ensure that pathways are kept free of obstacles and that floors are kept clean and dry. It includes installing handrails and helping residents who require assistance with mobility. When facilities are negligent, we hold them accountable.

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Choking Incidents

Some nursing home residents have trouble chewing and swallowing food. This could be because of a neurological disorder that affects the muscles in the throat. Or they could be prone to dehydration. Others may have suffered a stroke that resulted in nerve damage, or may require the use of a feeding tube.

In all of these scenarios, there is the risk of choking. Food can get caught in a resident's upper airway, leaving them temporarily unable to breathe. This can lead to coughing, gagging, or passing out before the airway is cleared. The experience can be very stressful for residents and leave them reluctant to eat. Unfortunately, choking incidents can also be fatal.

Nursing home staff members need to assess residents for choking risks and take steps to prevent choking incidents. Failing to do so is an example of nursing home neglect. We hold negligent parties responsible.

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Infections and Sepsis

A big concern in nursing homes is the spread of infection among residents. Many residents have compromised immune systems and medical conditions, and an infection can result in serious illness. Common infections seen in nursing homes include pneumonia and urinary tract infections (UTIs). Another concern is sepsis - a medical complication involving infections in which chemicals are released into the bloodstream, resulting in inflammation and illness.

Infections can have very serious health consequences for nursing home residents. The flu or pneumonia can make it difficult for them to breathe. Urinary tract infections can result in pain and problems with bladder control. Sepsis can result in serious illness that causes breathing problems, abdominal pain, and reduce heart function.

It is the responsibility of nursing homes and staff members to take steps every day to help prevent infections. This includes setting and following procedures for hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment, as well as regular cleaning and sanitation of the facility. Failing to take these steps is neglect.

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Medication Errors

It is very common for nursing home residents to be prescribed one or more medications. Dispensed and taken properly, medications can help residents stay healthy. But medications can have powerful effects, so it's extremely important to make sure that residents are given the correct medication in the correct dosage.

Unfortunately, many things can go wrong. Residents can be prescribed or given the wrong medication. Staff members may get the dosages wrong, fail to give residents all of their medications or even give medications to the wrong resident. If residents don't get the correct medication in the correct dosage, their condition can get worse. If given the wrong medication, they can suffer serious side effects.

Medication errors can be made by doctors, nurses, pharmacists or others. They can happen due to understaffing or poor training. But medication errors are always examples of negligence. We hold the negligent parties accountable and fight to recover financial compensation for injury victims and their families.

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Physical Abuse

Sadly, some nursing home residents are victims of physical abuse at the hands of nursing home staff members, other residents, or visitors. Examples include hitting, slapping, punching or being hit with a belt or another object. Residents may feel helpless to stop the abuse, and often don't report for fear that nothing will happen and the abuse will get worse. The nursing home has a responsibility to both carefully vet all of its employees and to maintain a secure and safe environment for every resident.

Physical abuse can lead to painful injuries for residents, such as bruises, cuts and broken bones. Victims can also suffer humiliation, shame and embarrassment for being victims. Some may suffer depression. Residents who are abused may become withdrawn and reluctant to talk, even with loved ones.

Our experienced attorneys know where to look for evidence of physical abuse. We make sure that your loved one is safe and free from further harm. We then take steps to hold the negligent parties accountable and recover financial compensation for the damage your loved one has suffered.

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Sexual Abuse

Some nursing home residents are sexually abused, whether by staff or other residents. This abuse can take many forms. Examples can include unwanted and inappropriate touching, or forcing residents to undress. Other examples include sharing sexually explicit materials or sexual harassment. Sexual abuse can also include sexual assault or rape.

This type of abuse can greatly damage the health and well-being of residents. Physical injuries can include bruising and bleeding. Some residents may suffer from STDs or other infections. Residents who suffer sexual abuse may be left feeling ashamed, embarrassed and humiliated. They may also fear that the sexual abuse will happen again.

Our attorneys know how to build strong cases that prove sexual abuse occurred. We take steps to ensure your loved one is safe from further abuse. And we take legal action to hold the negligent parties accountable for what happened.

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Financial Exploitation

Many seniors in nursing homes become victims of financial exploitation. Residents who are disabled, lonely and/or isolated are especially vulnerable. A staff member may pretend to become friends with these residents, then gain access to their funds, assets and property for their own personal gain.

Financial exploitation can take many forms. There may be changes in wills and estate planning documents. A family member may notice unexplained financial transfers or withdrawals, or the ordering of unusual items, services or subscriptions. In some cases, there may be missing cash or belongings.

Our attorneys have handled many cases involving this type of financial exploitation. We know how to identify it and can take quick action to put a stop to it. We then focus on building a strong case to hold the negligent parties accountable and to recover compensation for the money that's been taken.

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