While medication is often necessary for many nursing home residents, serious injuries can occur when staff members overmedicate people in their care. Whether done negligently or intentionally, the overmedication of frail, elderly patients can cause unresponsiveness, unconsciousness, brain damage, and even a tragic death. If you are concerned that a loved one has been given an excessive amount or an inappropriate strength of medication, Rockland County nursing home lawyer Valerie J. Crown can help.
Our compassionate staff is here to assist you in exploring your legal options following a loved one’s injury or wrongful death in a nursing home, retirement home, skilled nursing facility, or assisted living center. As a small firm, we can offer each person who comes to us the personalized attention and care that anyone deserves when they are dealing with such a traumatic situation. We take great satisfaction in helping you assert your rights and try to move forward with your life. You can reach Valerie directly through her cell phone at 845.598.8253, and we are proud to make ourselves available to clients at any hour of day or night.Seeking Damages After an Incident of Overmedication
In situations in which the medication or sedation of a nursing home resident is necessary, it is very important that nurses and other staff members carefully monitor the situation and stay in appropriate contact with physicians or other medical personnel. Sedation should never be used as a form of punishment, nor should a patient ever be harmed in any way while under the influence of a sedative or medication. In any case in which negligence, abuse, or other wrongful conduct against a nursing home resident is suspected, it is important that the family contact an attorney as soon as possible so that the case may be investigated and, if it is warranted, a lawsuit filed against the responsible party, seeking damages for the loved one’s injuries or death.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine when a nursing home patient’s condition is deteriorating for legitimate, medical reasons, as opposed to when he or she is suffering from negligence or abuse, such as overmedication. If your loved one has experienced erratic behavior, an abrupt or unexplained personality change, extreme fatigue or exhaustion, or other unusual symptoms, you should consider the possibility that he or she has been overmedicated. In some situations, overmedication results from the misuse of a drug that was actually prescribed for the patient, but it can also happen when staff members administer an unprescribed medication, including powerful psychotic drugs. In facilities with staffing shortages or a “drug first” mentality, this can be a particularly common problem.
Nursing home negligence lawsuits require the plaintiff to show that the defendant in the case owed a legal duty of care, the defendant breached that duty, there was causation between the breach of duty and the victim’s harm, and quantifiable damages arose. Overmedicating a resident, whether as a punishment or a way to keep the resident under control, almost certainly would be a breach of the duty of care. A central issue would consist of showing that the resident’s symptoms would not have developed if the nursing home staff had not overmedicated the resident.
Medical malpractice in nursing homes also may be responsible for an incident of overmedication. If you are bringing this type of claim, expert testimony is usually required in order to establish the standard of care to which a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional should have adhered, as well as to establish why the standard was not met.
In successful nursing home negligence cases, including those involving medical malpractice and wrongful death, the amount of financial compensation recovered by the victim or his or her family depends on the nature and extent of the injuries, the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct, and the level of pain and suffering endured by the victim.Consult a Rockland County Lawyer for a Nursing Home Negligence Case
Timeliness is very important when it comes to being an effective injury attorney for someone who has been hurt or has died due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home. In addition to complying with procedural rules, such as the statute of limitations, and increasing the thoroughness of the post-accident investigation, a family should move swiftly in determining whether to pursue legal action so that further harm will not come to their loved one. To talk to Rockland County nursing home negligence attorney Valerie J. Crown, call us at 845.708.5900 or contact us online. We help clients throughout Greater New York, including in Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange Counties, as well as in New York City. In most cases, no legal fees are due unless we recover compensation for you. Se habla Español.