New York Elder Abuse Lawyer
Growing older should be a time of relaxation, fewer worries, and being taken care of; however, sadly, far too often, instead of receiving the care they deserve, older people are subjected to abuse and exploitation. The abuse can lead to both emotional stress as well as significant physical injuries. In some cases, the abuse results in death. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, contact an experienced New York elder abuse lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With years of experience and a deep commitment to justice, our firm is dedicated to advocating for the rights of elderly who have been mistreated or neglected. Contact us today to discuss your case and explore your legal options.Reasons Elder Abuse Occurs in New York
Elder abuse can stem from a variety of factors, each contributing to the vulnerability of older adults and the likelihood of mistreatment occurring.
- Caregiver Overwhelm. One significant factor is the emotional toll and stress associated with caring for older individuals, particularly for caregivers who may lack adequate support or training. Caregiving responsibilities can be overwhelming, leading to burnout and exhaustion, which may manifest in abusive behavior towards the elderly person in their care. Even trained professionals can succumb to the pressures of caregiving, resulting in mistakes or lapses in judgment that harm the very individuals they are meant to assist.
- Difficult Family Dynamics. In addition to caregiver stress, strained familial relationships can exacerbate the risk of elder abuse. Relatives who are thrust into caregiving roles due to familial obligations or circumstances may harbor resentment or unresolved conflicts towards the older adult, leading to abusive or neglectful behavior. The complexities of family dynamics, coupled with the demands of caregiving, can create environments where elder abuse is more likely to occur.
- Poor Training and Supervision. Poor training and supervision exacerbate the risk of elder abuse in various caregiving settings. Inadequate training may leave staff members ill-equipped to handle the complex needs of older adults, increasing the likelihood of errors or mistreatment. Additionally, staffing shortages can result in overburdened caregivers who may struggle to provide adequate care and supervision to residents or clients. The stressful work environments prevalent in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home healthcare settings can further contribute to the occurrence of abuse, as staff members may feel overwhelmed and unsupported in their roles.
It is important to recognize that while certain circumstances may contribute to the occurrence of elder abuse, there is never a justification for mistreating the elderly. Regardless of the challenges faced by caregivers or the institutional pressures experienced by staff members, abuse of elders is a reprehensible act that must be condemned and addressed. If you or your loved was seriously injured as a result of being abused, contact an experienced New York elder abuse lawyer as you may be eligible to received compensation for the injuries suffered.Types of Elder Abuse
Identifying elder abuse isn't always straightforward, but it can take various forms. Here are some common examples of New York elder abuse.
- Physical assault: Elder abuse through physical assault involves any non-consensual physical contact that causes harm or distress to an elder. This can include hitting, shoving, grabbing, biting, confining elders against their will, and using excessive force.
- Medical Neglect. Medical neglect is a form of elder abuse characterized by the failure to provide necessary medical care and treatment to an older adult. This type of neglect can have serious consequences for the health and well-being of the elder, potentially resulting in the worsening of medical conditions, untreated injuries, or even death. Common types of medical neglect includes failure to administer prescribed medications, failure to provide timely medical attention to injuries or illnesses, or withholding necessary medical treatments or interventions. In some cases, caregivers or family members may intentionally deny elders access to medical care out of neglect, indifference, or financial motives. Medical neglect can occur in various settings, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, and within the elder's own home. For example, in Yakkey v. Ascher, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 32512 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2009), a lawsuit was filed against New York and Presbyterian Hospital, Long Beach Memorial Nursing Home, Inc., and Long Beach Medical Center based on the victim suffering injuries and subsequent death allegedly due to negligent care provided by the defendants. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants failed to provide competent physical and occupational therapy, monitor the decedent appropriately, maintain sanitary conditions, and prevent the development of severe bedsores, which ultimately led to sepsis and death.
- Sexual abuse: Elder sexual abuse involves any unwanted sexual activity forced upon an elder or involving an elder who is unable to give consent. This can range from rape to inappropriate physical contact and even forcing elders to witness sexual acts or material against their will.
- Financial abuse: Financial exploitation of elders is a prevalent form of abuse that can lead to significant financial losses and emotional distress. This type of abuse includes stealing or misusing an elder's funds, forging their signatures, and engaging in fraudulent activities to exploit them financially.
Recognizing the signs of elder abuse is essential for identifying and addressing mistreatment of older adults. Elder abuse can take various forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglectful abuse.
- Physical Abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns
- Fractures or broken bones
- Signs of restraint, such as rope marks on wrists or ankles
- Overmedication or undermedication
- Fear or anxiety around certain individuals
- Emotional Abuse:
- Sudden changes in behavior or mood
- Withdrawal from social activities or interactions
- Unexplained fear or anxiety
- Symptoms of depression or low self-esteem
- Helplessness or feelings of worthlessness
- Sexual Abuse:
- Unexplained genital infections or injuries
- Torn or bloody undergarments
- Changes in sexual behavior or preferences
- Avoidance of physical contact
- Nightmares or flashbacks
- Financial Abuse:
- Sudden changes in financial status
- Missing valuables or belongings
- Unauthorized withdrawals or transfers
- Forged signatures on financial documents
- Unexplained loans or gifts
- Poor personal hygiene
- Untreated medical conditions or injuries
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Social isolation or withdrawal
If you suspect elder abuse, immediately contact an experienced New York elder abuse lawyer.Holding Abusers Accountable
When elder abuse occurs, holding the abuser accountable is crucial for ensuring justice for the victim accountable. In cases of elder abuse, victims may suffer not only physical injuries but also emotional trauma and financial losses. Pursuing legal action against abusers can help victims obtain compensation for their damages and send a clear message that elder abuse will not be tolerated. If you or a loved one has experienced elder abuse in New York, contacting an experienced elder abuse attorney in New York is essential to navigate the legal process and seek the justice you deserve.
- Medical Expenses: Victims of elder abuse often incur significant medical expenses as a result of their mistreatment. These expenses may include hospitalization, surgery, medication, therapy, and ongoing medical care to address physical injuries or mental health issues caused by the abuse. By holding abusers accountable through legal action, victims can seek compensation for their medical expenses, ensuring they receive the care and treatment they need to recover from their injuries.
- Pain and Suffering: Elder abuse can inflict profound physical pain and emotional suffering on victims. From physical injuries such as fractures, bruises, and bedsores to psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the effects of elder abuse can be devastating and long-lasting. Victims have the right to pursue compensation for their pain and suffering, which can encompass both the physical and emotional toll of the abuse they endured.
- Wrongful Death: In the most tragic cases of elder abuse, victims may lose their lives as a result of their mistreatment. Wrongful death claims allow surviving family members to seek justice on behalf of their loved ones and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Compensation obtained through wrongful death lawsuits can help cover funeral expenses, medical bills incurred prior to death, and provide financial support for surviving family members who have suffered a loss due to elder abuse.
In New York, the statute of limitations for filing elder abuse claims varies depending on the type of claim and the circumstances surrounding the case. For personal injury claims, which may arise from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, the statute of limitations is generally three years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury. This means that victims of elder abuse have three years from the time they became aware of the abuse to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their damages. However, it's important to note that the statute of limitations may be tolled or extended under certain circumstances, such as if the victim is incapacitated or if the abuse was intentionally concealed by the perpetrator or the institution where it occurred. Additionally, for wrongful death claims resulting from elder abuse, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of death. It's important for victims of elder abuse and their families to seek legal guidance promptly to ensure that their rights are protected and that they are able to pursue justice within the applicable timeframes.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Holding abusers accountable for their actions is essential for protecting the rights and well-being of elder abuse victims and preventing future instances of mistreatment. If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder abuse in New York, immediately seek legal guidance from an experienced elder abuse attorney serving New York who can help you understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.