Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Buffalo, NY
Cases as poignant as nursing home abuse and neglect reflect the need for qualified, compassionate, and skillful legal representation. At The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, we take our responsibility as an advocate for your loved one in long-term care seriously. We hold negligent nursing homes and careless staff accountable for their actions and lack of care, protecting the interests of vulnerable residents. Our extensive history as nursing home abuse lawyers has made us the go-to firm across western New York. We strive to ensure that every long-term care resident receives our compassion and the most compensation possible for their experience.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Truly Care
The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility is a difficult one for many families. Putting the care and health of your loved one in the hands of a residential care facility requires a lot of trust in the home’s staff and their training. If you trusted a skilled nursing facility, assisted living home, or another long-term care service to support your loved one but have noted indications of abuse or neglect, you aren’t alone. Sadly, many people will prey on the most vulnerable.
Nursing home negligence takes many forms, and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish genuine abuse or neglect from common accidents that elderly people have. Or, sometimes, your loved one may be confused about what is going on, and there may be no neglect at all. Experienced nursing home abuse lawyers can determine true abuse and how it happened. When you choose The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, you’ll get the benefit of not just our legal knowledge but also the niche experience of our expert witnesses and advisors.
Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, or financial. Incidents of nursing home abuse go largely unreported, as residents may be fearful of retaliation if they complain. Or, families may live far away and not be able to regularly visit their loved ones, so they may not notice the harm that’s being done to them. Nursing home abuse and neglect are illegal, and you and your family member have rights. Nursing home abuse lawyers advocate for those rights and protect your interests.
The Role of Nursing Homes
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are long-term care, residential homes that provide medical treatment and personal care for the elderly and infirm. Staff members help residents get dressed, bathe, and even use the toilet. Many people in these communities have difficulty with mobility. Careworkers may have to transfer them from bed to a wheelchair or walker or help them move from sitting to standing.
Because many people in these homes are already in poor health or have difficulty caring for themselves, accidents can happen. However, nursing homes have a duty of care for their residents and are specially trained to keep patients safe, comfortable, and as healthy as possible.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Approximately one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse. The signs of nursing home neglect or abuse may be mistaken for the ordinary course of aging. Many people in assisted living and nursing homes have trouble with mobility or are physically frail. However, if your loved one exhibits any of these signs of abuse, it’s time to call nursing home abuse lawyers.
Signs of abuse:
- Broken bones
- Medication overdose or medication withholding
- Head injuries
- Sudden death
Some instances of nursing home abuse are characterized not by active harm being inflicted on a person, but by the effects of not being cared for. Signs of neglect include:
- Soiled bedding or clothing
- Poor hygiene
When residents of nursing homes are emotionally abused, they may experience significant mental distress. Signs of emotional neglect or abuse include:
- Complaints of poor treatment
- Frequent crying
- Fear, especially when staff members are around
While some of the signs of emotional abuse may be similar to symptoms of dementia, or signs of physical abuse simply indicate a person’s mobility challenges, it’s always best to take steps to ensure that your loved one is protected. Nursing home abuse lawyers can help.
I Think My Loved One Is Being Neglected. What Can I Do?
Documentation of any of the above signs of neglect and abuse is vital to building a nursing home abuse case. Like all evidence, if nursing home injuries aren’t recorded quickly, the evidence can fade as the person heals. Many people in nursing homes may be affected by memory decline, as well, and may forget that the injuries or abuse occurred.
Documenting what you’ve personally witnessed, from taking photos or videos to transcribing what your loved one tells you, is critically important for your nursing home abuse lawyer.
Documenting these instances on a calendar or dating your photos, videos, and recordings can help, as it can establish a pattern of long-term neglect. Especially when dealing with a patient who vacillates between lucidity and senility, getting timely testimony is of the utmost importance.
Contact nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as you suspect something is amiss in the long-term care facility. Your attorney can guide you through what to ask your loved ones and how to best protect them while the lawyer builds the case. Seeing your loved one being mistreated can be painful, and many people are angry and frustrated. Your nursing home abuse lawyer is your advocate during the process, helping you make the best decisions for your loved one.
How Can Nursing Home Lawyers Help Me?
If the nursing facility knows that you’re documenting your loved one’s condition or your nursing home abuse lawyer has already served them with written notice, then their staff may try to clean up their act. Now, the nursing home knows that it’s being monitored closely. They may worry that you and your family will talk to the families of other residents.
Nursing homes (and their insurance companies) don’t want lawsuits, and they don’t want to be in court. Unethical facilities and their operators may attempt to hide evidence or sweep what your loved one says under the rug, blaming the situation on the effects of old age. Preserve all evidence, including conversations with the facility’s staff, by making copies and giving everything you have to your nursing home abuse lawyer.
Every nursing home abuse claim has a deadline for filing, known as a statute of limitations. In New York, the statute of limitations is three years. Your attorney will ensure that you meet this deadline for filing and that you have the appropriate documentation to support your claim. They’ll also walk beside you during the process, from initial filing through testimony, mediation, and even in a court of law.
You can protect your loved ones and their rights by acting quickly. Nursing home abuse lawyers have expert witnesses who may examine your loved one to ascertain their claims in order to provide expert witness testimony in your case. Don’t take on a nursing home and their insurance company alone. Have an advocate, like those at The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, by your side.
Has Your Loved One Been a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect, call a lawyer. Nursing home abuse lawyers are skilled at protecting the interests of vulnerable, frail seniors who cannot advocate for themselves. At The Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, we are dedicated to providing expert witnesses and testimony who can help hold bad nursing homes and their staff accountable. We work with clients across Western New York. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on your case.