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What Constitutes Nursing Home Negligence in New York?


If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a nursing home, you may be wondering if you have grounds for a negligence claim. To prevail in such a case, there are several elements that must be proven beyond the existence of the injury. Specifically, you must be able to prove that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to you (or to your family member), and demonstrate the types of damages incurred and their value.

In personal injury law, the term “negligence” refers to one party’s breach of the duty of care owed to another party. Therefore, nursing home negligence occurs when a nursing home or one of its caregivers breaches the duty of care owed to a resident. Such negligence can be either an act—such as physical abuse—or omission—such as failing to move a resident regularly to prevent bedsores from developing.

The above paragraph includes the term “duty of care.” This is a legal obligation to exercise a level of care that a person of reasonable prudence would exhibit under the same circumstances.

Both the nursing home and its caregivers owe a duty of care to residents at the facility. Nursing homes have a duty to implement reasonable operating procedures and hiring and training practices. They also have a duty to provide a comfortable living environment with quality care. The healthcare providers at nursing homes have a duty to use the most widely accepted standards of care. If a resident suffers an injury as a result of a breach of the duty of care, he or she (or his or her loved ones) have the right to bring a nursing home negligence claim against all liable parties.

Are Nursing Homes Liable for the Negligence of Their Caregivers?

In some cases, yes. New York courts recognize the doctrine of respondeat superior, so employers may be held vicariously liable for the negligence of employees who are acting within the scope of their employment. That means if your loved one was injured by an employee of the nursing home, you may be able to bring a claim against both that individual and the facility. If, however, the liable party was an independent contractor of the nursing home, vicarious liability might not apply.

What Evidence Will I Need to Prove Nursing Home Negligence?

There’s no universal answer to this question because each claim is unique. But generally speaking, your attorney may use healthcare records; surveillance footage; the facility’s operating, hiring, and training procedures; photographs of injuries; keycard data; expert witness deposition; and the deposition of nursing home staff and residents to prove negligence. Much of this evidence may be time-sensitive, and it might be necessary to file a subpoena to obtain evidence that’s being withheld, so it’s important that you speak with a nursing home negligence attorney right away if you intend to bring a claim.

Discuss Your Claim with a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer in New York

The attorneys at Leitner Varughese offer aggressive and compassionate legal representation to victims of nursing home abuse in Long Island, New York City, and throughout the state of New York. Our lawyers have won more than $100 million in nursing home negligence and malpractice cases. To discuss your claim in a free, no-obligation consultation, call 855-585-2969 or send us a message via our Contact Page.

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The information you obtain on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.  You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  The Firm's attorneys acted as trial counsel, attorneys of record and/or otherwise facilitated in the recoveries of the stated verdict and settlements.  Certain verdicts and settlements achieved by trial counsel and/or outside counsel.  Attorney advertising.