Injury Lawyers Assisting Elderly Residents of Long Island
At Duffy & Duffy, our injury attorneys are dedicated advocates for nursing home residents and their families throughout Long Island and the surrounding areas. We dedicate a significant portion of our practice to asserting the rights of elderly individuals to receive the quality of care that they deserve without being exposed to unnecessary hazards. Our attorneys understand that nursing home residents often are unable to protect themselves, and we can pursue any legal remedies to which they might be entitled.
Licensed care facilities are supposed to provide support for elderly persons and individuals with severe disabilities. Unfortunately, nursing homes and their employees sometimes fail to live up to the expectations that come with this arrangement. When that happens, the victim and his or her family may pursue compensation.
Holding Licensed Care Facilities Accountable for Abuse
Nursing home abuse is similar to medical malpractice. Just as doctors are expected to meet a certain professional standard when treating patients, so too are licensed care facilities and their employees obligated to provide a designated level of care to their residents. Section 415.1 of the Public Health Law requires New York nursing homes to offer services “in a manner and quality consistent with generally accepted standards of practice.” Meanwhile, the federal Nursing Home Reform Law mandates that a nursing home resident “be provided with services sufficient to attain and maintain his or her highest practicable physical, mental, and psycho-social well-being.”
These standards of care vary based on a resident’s physical and mental condition. A person who suffers from dementia, for example, may need more regular supervision than one who does not. Similarly, a resident who has previously fallen out of his or her bed may require additional safeguards to prevent it from happening again, especially since the facility and its staff would be aware of the risk.
If the home and its workers fail to live up to the standard of care, they are likely to be legally liable for any injuries that result from their negligence. The victim has a right to sue the home and to recoup damages covering medical costs, pain and suffering, and any other losses.
Moreover, an injured person may be able to obtain additional damages when the behavior at issue amounts to gross negligence or willful, wanton, or particularly reprehensible conduct. This form of additional relief is called “punitive damages” and is designed to punish a person or entity for wrongdoing that goes beyond ordinary carelessness.
Some courts have adopted a more expansive view of the circumstances under which punitive damages are generally warranted when considering nursing home cases. Given the high level of care that a facility’s staff is generally required to provide, and their intimate understanding of many of the health and safety risks that often arise in these settings, a court may be willing to find that the failure to properly address these risks can justify punitive damages.
Contact a Long Island Attorney for Guidance with a Nursing Home Negligence Claim
At Duffy & Duffy, we have decades of experience fighting to protect the legal rights and personal safety of New York nursing home residents. We understand the law as it applies to these cases, and we know how to build persuasive cases for the people whom we represent.
If you or a loved one has been hurt at a licensed care facility on Long Island or beyond, you should not hesitate to contact the nursing home negligence lawyers at Duffy & Duffy. We are proudly serve clients in Nassau, Suffolk, and King Counties as well as the Bronx and Queens. Contact us online or call us at (516) 394-4200 to set up a free consultation.