Assisted Living Facilities
Assisted living facilities offer a level of care somewhere between that of an independent living community (in which residents have relatively few medical needs) and a nursing home (which typically offers round-the-clock skilled nursing care). People who reside in assisted living facilities usually require at least some medical attention as well as assistance with medication and personal care. When these needs are neglected, or a resident is intentionally mistreated, great harm may occur to an elderly person who depends upon nursing and housekeeping staff for their needs. If you believe that a loved one has been hurt due to neglect at an assisted living facility, knowledgeable Rockland County nursing home negligence lawyer Valerie J. Crown will be happy to discuss your concerns and advise you about your options.
Depending upon a loved one’s ability to communicate, it may sometimes be difficult to tell whether they are suffering from neglect in an assisted living or nursing home environment. Generally, people who are able to live in an assisted living facility rather than a full-fledged nursing home have a greater ability to speak to loved ones about things that may be amiss in their care, but this is not always so. The resident may be frightened to discuss an abusive situation, or they may not fully understand that certain duties are being neglected by the facility. Some tell-tale signs include chronic dehydration or malnutrition, frequent falls or infections, or unexplained weight loss.Filing a Claim for Negligence Against an Assisted Living Facility
Seeking compensation for injuries or a wrongful death believed to have been caused by the negligent conduct of an assisted living facility or nursing home requires proof of four distinct elements. First, there must be proof as to the particular duty of care owed by the defendant. In some cases, this may require testimony from an expert witness. Second, the plaintiff must offer evidence as to the defendant’s breach of the duty of care. (Again, expert testimony may be a requirement for this element.) Third, the plaintiff must show that actual damages resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty, and, finally, there must be a link of causation between the plaintiff’s damages and the defendant’s breach of duty. The plaintiff must show each element by a preponderance of the evidence for their case to succeed.
It takes time to investigate an incident of nursing home abuse or assisted living facility negligence, so it is important that a family who suspects mistreatment of their loved one seek counsel as soon as possible. Claims not filed within the New York statute of limitations are almost always dismissed on procedural grounds. This is true even if the plaintiff has a strong case on the merits, based on the evidence, and would have been likely to recover substantial damages. The statute of limitations is simply a deadline that cannot be missed under most circumstances, so it is critical that a family obtain counsel in a timely fashion so that the resident’s medical records may be reviewed, an expert may be consulted if necessary, and the proper paperwork may be prepared and filed in court.Hire a Rockland County Lawyer to Help Assert Your Rights
Assisted living facilities may seem like a good “in-between” place for a family member who can no longer live alone but does not require 24-hour nursing care. Still, residents in these facilities may be very dependent upon their caregivers and health care providers, and a breach of care may be disastrous for the resident’s physical and emotional health. To talk to a Rockland County attorney about your loved one’s case, call Valerie J. Crown at 845.708.5900 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. We represent people who are seeking a personal injury lawyer in Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties, as well as elsewhere in the Greater New York area.