Questions by Practice Area

Nursing Home Abuse Facts
Q. How do I know if my family member was abused/neglected in a nursing home?
A. If you believe your loved one was injured through nursing home negligence, you should conduct a thorough investigation. If your family member can communicate, ask them what happened. If they are unable to speak for themselves, speak with an outside doctor who is not affiliated with the facility. You can also try speaking with the director of nursing as to what happened, but you may run into more questions than answers. If you feel like you are getting the run around, report the potential abuse to the appropriate state agency and call our nursing home abuse attorneys to investigate the incident.
At Senior Justice Law Firm, all of our attorneys and staff exclusively focus on nursing home negligence cases. Let our years of experience help you get answers to your questions as to what happened at the facility. Call us toll free now at 1-888-375-9998 to speak with our experienced and compassionate nursing home abuse lawyers for your free case consultation. We are here to help you and your family get justice for the facility’s wrongdoing.
Q. What are red flag injuries that are commonly associated with nursing home abuse?
A. Nursing home abuse is a broad category which encompasses lots of potential scenarios. The more common nursing home abuse injuries we encounter are:

The above injuries are highly suggestive of neglect inside a long term care facility. If your loved one suffered from one or more of the above injuries inside a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact our nursing home abuse law firm right away.

Q. What are nursing home bed sores? Is a bedsore the same as a pressure ulcer?
A. Stats on BedSores

Q. My loved one was injured in a Rehab facility. Is a Rehab facility a nursing home? Or something else?
A. Most ‘rehab facilities’ are classified by law as skilled nursing facilities. Colloquially, these long term care facilities are known as nursing homes, care homes, old folks homes and convalescent centers. They all mean the same thing. The term ‘rehab facility’ is used primarily for marketing purposes, as the term ‘nursing home’ has a negative stigma with potential residents.

Q. I signed an arbitration agreement upon admission to the nursing home. What does that mean?
A. A nursing home arbitration agreement means the parties have opted to avoid the court system (i.e. a jury trial) and instead, agree to going before a private arbitration panel to resolve their dispute. Most residents do not understand what they are signing when they execute this document. If you believe you signed an arbitration agreement, speak with our lawyers immediately so that we can assess whether the document is enforceable. In some venues, arbitration agreements can be opted out of within a small time frame, so time is of the essence.

Our attorneys have had many of these arbitration contracts invalidated for various reasons. If you even suspect you signed an arbitration agreement, speak with our attorneys right away.

Q. My family member was neglected and died. Can I still sue the negligent nursing home for elder abuse?
A. Yes. In almost all venues, the decedent’s survivors or representative can bring a civil action for wrongful injury to the now deceased nursing home resident. This involves opening an estate for the deceased party and appointing one of the family members as the personal representative or executor. From there, the appointed representative can bring the claim on behalf of the victim’s estate, as well as the survivors of the victim.

Q. I don’t care about receiving money for my loved one’s injury or wrongful death. So why sue the nursing home?
A. Money damages are the only remedy allowed by our civil justice system to right the wrongs committed by the nursing home. Most families are unaware that nursing homes are typically owned by large corporate conglomerates. These companies usually generate millions of dollars in revenue. Their main focus (arguably, sole focus) is to make money.

So even if you do not care about getting awarded money for your loss, they care about money. A nasty letter, a negative online review, or even a state investigation means little to these large for-profit companies. But taking their money gets their attention. Taking a nursing home corporation’s profits makes the company change its behavior. We have seen negligent caretakers get fired, policies get changed and facilities get closed; all because of nursing home negligence lawsuits.

Q. What is the difference between an Assisted Living Facility and a Nursing Home?
A. An Assisted Living Facility (A.L.F.) provides a lower level of care than a nursing home. A nursing home (skilled nursing facility) provides 24/7 nursing care, while an ALF provides ‘assistance and supervision’ with activities of daily living.

Q. So does that mean that an Assisted Living Facility is not liable for allowing a resident to suffer injuries?
A. Not at all. Our law firm handles many ALF negligence lawsuits involving resident injuries. An ALF still has a duty to prevent wrongful injuries in their residents. Every ALF resident has a statutory right to live in a safe and decent living environment, free from ALF abuse and neglect. If the assisted living facility was negligent in the care or supervision of its resident, the ALF can be sued in an assisted living facility negligence lawsuit.

Q. How is it determined whether a resident is appropriate for assisted living, rather than a nursing home?
A. An outside physician or ARNP will usually sign a form attesting to the resident’s appropriateness for an assisted living or memory care facility. However, this form only means the patient is appropriate for assisted living at the time of admission. If the resident’s dementia increases or they continually suffer falls, it is the legal duty of the ALF to re-assess the appropriateness of the facility.

Q. What are common ALF negligence injuries?
A. ALF abuse and neglect claims usually involve one or more of the following injuries:

If your loved one suffered any of the above injuries inside an assisted living facility, you may have a viable negligence case versus the ALF. At Senior Justice Law Firm, all of our attorneys and staff exclusively focus on liability cases against assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Let our years of experience help you get answers to your questions as to what happened at the facility.

Call us toll free now at 1-888-375-9998 to speak with our experienced and compassionate assisted living neglect attorneys for your free case consultation. We are here to help you and your family get justice for the facility’s wrongdoing.

Q. What is a Memory Care facility?
A. Recently, savvy assisted living facility corporations realized that they were losing much of their residents due to an increase in their dementia. ALF companies realized that they could keep higher acuity patients if they formed Memory Care wings or Memory Care units. These areas of the facility are specifically created for residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. This means these memory care units owe a higher duty of care to resident’s when compared to traditional assisted living facilities.

Q. I don’t care about receiving money for my loved one’s injury or wrongful death. So why sue the assisted living facility?
A. Money damages are the only remedy allowed by our civil justice system to right the wrongs committed by the assisted living facility. Most families are unaware that ALF’s are typically owned by large corporate conglomerates. These companies usually generate millions of dollars in revenue. Their main focus (arguably, sole focus) is to make money.

So even if you do not care about getting awarded money for your loss, they care about money. A nasty letter, a negative online review, or even a state investigation means little to these large for-profit companies. But taking their money gets their attention. Taking an Assisted Living corporation’s profits makes the company change its behavior. We have seen negligent caretakers get fired, policies get changed and facilities get closed; all because of assisted living negligence lawsuits.

Stats on Hospital ErrorsQ. Is a hospital liable for a nurse’s negligence?
A. Yes. Generally speaking, hospitals employ their nurses, and the hospital is liable for their employee nurse’s negligence.
Q. Is a hospital responsible for a doctor’s negligence?
A. Maybe. Generally speaking, hospitals do not employ doctors, so a hospital is not liable for their doctor through a traditional employer-employee relationship. However, the hospital may be held responsible for a negligent doctor’s actions through agency theory.
Q. What injuries indicate hospital neglect?
A. Hospital negligence can result in an infinite number of injuries. The below list is not an exhaustive list by any means. However, common hospital neglect injuries include:
  • Falls
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Perforations
  • Medication mistakes
  • Surgical errors
  • Elder abuse and neglect
  • Failure to diagnose

If you believe your loved one was neglected in a hospital and suffered grievous injury, contact Senior Justice Law Firm today for a no obligation hospital neglect case consultation: 1-888-375-9998.

Q. Why are hospital falls the most common injury in hospital negligence lawsuits?
A.Falls in Medical Facilities

Q. Is there any excuse for my parent developing a bed sore while in the hospital?
A. Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers (known in the medical industry as HAPU’s) are a ‘Never Event‘ in medicine. This means, they should never occur. Insurance providers like Medicare do not reimburse hospitals for pressure ulcer care if the wound developed in their facility, because the federal government views these pressure injuries as preventable.

If your family member developed a pressure sore in the hospital, contact our law firm today to learn more about your legal rights. 1-888-375-9998

Q. I suspect my doctor committed malpractice. Should I continue to treat with the doctor?
A. If you believe the doctor provided treatment below the standard of care, then no, you should try to switch doctors. When you see your new doctor, do not mention your intention of suing the prior doctor for malpractice. Merely tell your new doctor that you suspect your prior physician made an error and that you are seeking a second opinion.

Q. Is a nursing home responsible for its doctor’s negligence?
A. Maybe. Most nursing homes do not have a physician on as an employee. However, a nursing home may be held responsible for a negligent doctor’s actions through agency theory, or through the legal principle of non-delegable duty.

Q. Is a hospital responsible for a doctor’s negligence?
A. Maybe. Generally speaking, hospitals do not employ doctors, so a hospital is not liable for their doctor through a traditional employer-employee relationship. However, the hospital may be held responsible for a negligent doctor’s actions through agency theory.

Q. Is missing a diagnosis considered medical malpractice?
A. Yes, misdiagnosis of a disease or missing a diagnosis can be deemed doctor malpractice. To determine the viability of a misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis malpractice case, our lawyers analyze the information available to the doctor at the time, the tests that were performed or could have been ordered, and whether the condition was treatable at the time. Our attorneys have handled numerous misdiagnosis doctor malpractice claims over the years and are available to speak with you about your potential case.

Q. My mom had a private duty aide and still fell and broke her hip. Can I sue the aide for elder abuse?
A. Yes, you can sue a private home health aide for negligence if they neglected your loved one. This is true whether it occurred inside a facility (like an ALF) or at their private home. The problem you typically run into is finding insurance coverage for the negligent home health aide.
Q. I doubt the home health aide has her own insurance policy. Can I sue the home health agency for the negligence of the private aide?
A. Yes, you can, assuming the home health agency employed the aide, or, controlled the aide.
Proving legal employment of the private duty aide is easy. Establishing legal control is more challenging. The law provides for liability on the home health aide agency for the aide if the agency had the right to control the aide. Things we typically look for in home health aide agency liability claims are:
  • Did the agency provide the aide to the family?
  • Did the agency control the aide’s hours and days?
  • Was the aide marketed through the agency?
  • Did the aide wear an agency uniform or name badge?
  • Did the agency accept payments from the family on behalf of the aide?
  • Did/can the agency tell the aide what to do?

If the answer the any of the above is yes, then the agency likely controls the aide. This can impute liability for the aide’s negligence to the home health agency.

Q. What are common injuries in a home health aide negligence lawsuit?
A. We have handled cases against home health aides and agencies involving the following injuries:

  • Falls and fractures
  • Bedsores and pressure ulcers
  • Theft
  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect of the patient
  • Failure to administer medication
  • Failure to call doctors and/or 911 when the patient’s condition changes

If your loved one suffered a serious injury or wrongful death due to neglect by a private duty aide, call Senior Justice Law Firm now at 1-888-375-9998 for a complimentary home health aide case consultation.

Q. What are the 5 things I should do after a car accident?
A. Make sure to take these 5 steps after a car crash:
  1. Take photos of the accident scene. Take lots of photos of your vehicle and the vehicle that hit you.
  2. Call 911. Even if you think no one is hurt. Make sure to involve the police and have a report created.
  3. Seek medical attention. Oftentimes after an injury, your adrenaline is pumping. Your back may feel tight and your neck may feel sore, but you do not feel outright pain. Once the fight or flight syndrome wears off, the pain will set in. Make sure to get checked out by a doctor just to be safe.
  4. Report the accident to your insurance company. Be sure not to give any recorded statements though.
  5. Do not go it alone. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Our lawyers have a combined 50 years of prosecuting car accident injury claims. Call us today to speak with an attorney about your claim.

Q. What are the 5 things I should do after a slip and fall accident?
A. After a slip and fall, you may feel embarrassed. How did I miss that puddle? Why did I not see that obstacle on the floor? Rather than let your emotions take control, stay calm and follow these steps.

  1. Even if you are mortified, stay cool and take photos on your cell phone. If you tripped over something, take multiple angles of what you tripped on. If you slipped on water, take lots of shots of that too. If there is no wet floor sign, take a wide angle shot to show that there was no wet floor sign visible.
  2. If you are hurt, go by ambulance to the emergency room. Better safe than sorry.
  3. Be wary of giving statements to the store manager. These can and will be used against you later, so do not speak with them until speaking with an attorney.
  4. Follow up with your doctors. If you are hurting, make sure to get the treatment you need and document your ongoing slip and fall injury.
  5. Call our slip and fall attorneys today. Our lawyers have a combined 50 years of litigating slip and fall lawsuits. Call us now to discuss your slip and fall injury.

Q. I cannot afford to hire a lawyer right now. How much do you charge?
A. The lawyers at Senior Justice Law Firm work exclusively on contingency fee. This means you do not pay us anything unless you make a recovery (i.e. receive a settlement or a judgment). At that time, we will take a percentage of the recovery as attorney’s fees. This number is typically 33.3 to 40% of the recovery, depending on when the case resolves.

Q. What about paying the costs of the litigation?
A. We will never ask for any up-front payment from you. Our law firm gladly pays all costs associated with the pursuing your claim. This includes costs of getting medical records, having experts review the case, depositions and court reporters. If we win your case, we deduct the costs from your recovery.

Q. Why should I retain Senior Justice Law Firm to represent me?
A. You only get one opportunity to bring your claim. Sadly, not all lawyers are created equally. You need a lawyer who cares about you, and is also knowledgeable on the law governing your case. You need a lawyer who handles cases like yours; not a lawyer who accepts any case that walks in the door.

Elder abuse and neglect litigation is a very niche practice area. We created this law firm to handle these very cases. Our attorneys are narrowly focused and immensely experienced in this sub-specialty. To learn more about the lawyers at Senior Justice, click here.

Q. What is Brevda Law and is it the same as Senior Justice Law Firm?
A. Senior Justice Law Firm, PLLC is a separate entity from Brevda Law PLLC. Senior Justice Law Firm handles cases in Florida, Pennsylvania, DC and in other states where our attorneys are admitted. However, New York prohibits the use of trade names (like Senior Justice Law Firm) and requires that the firm name contain at least one name of a lawyer. Accordingly, Brevda Law was created to serve New York clients.

Q. I am hesitant to waste time contacting a lawyer as I do not know if this is a case. How can I quickly determine if my case has merit?
A. We understand your apprehension to speak with an attorney. However, evaluating the case facts is a fairly simple and quick process. Simply call, chat or submit your case facts. Our attorneys can usually decide whether we can assist with the matter within a week or so. Please be as descriptive as possible in telling us who was injured, who was negligent, and what they did wrong.

Q. I cannot physically come into your office. How can we start the case investigation process?
A. Our law firm leverages technology to make the claim process as easy for you as possible.

First, we will send you our contingency fee retainer agreement. This is done electronically via DocuSign, so no printing or mailing is required. Once we have the signed medical authorizations, we begin requesting your loved one’s medical records.

From there, we have these medical records reviewed by a long term care expert, in order to establish the viability of the case. After that, we either send out pre-suit notice to the defendant or file the lawsuit.

Sometimes, cases settle at a pre-litigation mediation outside of the court system. Other cases require litigation and discovery. This really all depends on what the family wants in terms of an outcome, and how ready the defendant is to resolve the case. At the end of the day, you as the client control the outcome and course of the case.


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Updated 4-24-2020