Personal Hygiene Neglect
Poor personal hygiene can cause even healthy people to develop infections and serious illnesses. In nursing home residents, a lack of proper hygienic care can be even more dangerous – not to mention extremely demeaning and humiliating for the patient, who is no longer able to care for their personal needs. Many nursing home residents are wholly or mostly dependent upon caregivers for not only medical care, food and water, and mental stimulation but also routine care such as bathing, washing of the hair, shaving, trimming of nails, and changing of soiled clothing or undergarments. If you suspect that your loved one has been harmed in a New York nursing home due to a staff member’s personal hygiene neglect, Rockland County nursing home negligence lawyer Valerie J. Crown can advise you about the process of holding the nursing home, assisted living center, or long-term care facility liable in a court of law.
Like other negligence cases arising from injuries or a wrongful death, personal hygiene negligence cases begin with a four-part inquiry. What duty of care did the defendant nursing home owe to the patient? Was there a breach of that duty by the defendant? Did the patient suffer damages that are reasonably quantifiable? Was there a link of proximate causation between the nursing home’s breach of the duty of care and the harm that befell the patient? In civil lawsuits seeking monetary compensation for neglect, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. Unlike criminal cases, in which the prosecution must convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the plaintiff in a nursing home negligence case need only prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence in order for there to be a finding of liability. In certain nursing home cases, the burden of proof is actually shifted to the nursing home.Time is of the Essence in Personal Hygiene Neglect Cases
Lawsuits involving nursing home negligence or abuse can be very complicated and are often met with much resistance from the owners of the facility and their insurance companies. It can be difficult for them to admit that they have made a mistake, especially when a careless action has resulted in serious injuries or even death. It is easier to think that there was some other reason for the patient’s deterioration or injury. Other health conditions and old age in general are often blamed for problems that, in reality, resulted from a professional caregiver’s mistake or unwillingness to perform their job properly.
Beginning the litigation process promptly, while memories are still fresh and evidence has not begun to fade, can help. Claims must be filed within the statute of limitations, or else the patient or their family risk the dismissal of the case on procedural grounds. Speaking to counsel as soon as personal hygiene neglect of a patient becomes apparent helps make sure that there is plenty of time to not only properly investigate the case, document the patient’s injuries, and file the necessary paperwork in court, but also review the patient’s file in depth and consult with expert witnesses who can testify on the plaintiff’s behalf at trial.Retain an Injury Attorney in Rockland County to Fight for Your Legal Rights
The best way to protect a nursing home resident against future harm (and to discourage similar treatment against other residents in the future) is to take timely legal action. A successful nursing home negligence case, based on personal hygiene neglect, can result in substantial money damages that can help with the patient’s medical costs caused by the neglect, as well as compensating the patient for the pain, suffering, and humiliation endured due to the nursing home’s carelessness or misconduct. To speak to an experienced injury lawyer in Rockland County about your loved one’s possible mistreatment, call the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., at 845.708.5900 or contact us online. We represent people throughout the Greater New York region, from Rockland and Orange to Suffolk and Ulster Counties.