How to Prove a Nursing Home Is Understaffed
When nursing home administrators fail to schedule enough doctors and nurses for every shift, the overall quality of care can diminish greatly. Treatments might be delayed, symptoms of illness might go unnoticed, and residents may suffer poor hygiene and other forms of neglect.
While staff shortages may be unavoidable—for example, if the flu is circulating the facility—some can be attributed to nursing homes trying to cut costs. Although New York law does not impose minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes, any residents who suffer an injury or illness due to short staffing may have grounds for a personal injury claim. If a resident dies due to neglect, his or her family members can bring a wrongful death claim.
If you intend to bring a claim on the basis of short staffing, you’ll need strong evidence to support your case. Such evidence may include:
1. Shift Schedules
Shift schedules, timecards, and payroll records can all be used to determine the number of staff members on the clock at various times of day. If the facility refuses to hand over these records voluntarily, your attorney can file a subpoena to obtain them.
2. Hiring Procedures
Even if there’s enough caregivers at the nursing home, the facility might still be considered understaffed if those caregivers aren’t qualified for their position. This may happen, for example, if the nursing home hires too many CNAs rather than RNs to save money. Your attorney can review the facility’s hiring procedures and staff qualifications when investigating negligence.
3. Nursing Home Charts
Every nursing home resident should have a chart that details the daily care he or she receives. This document should include information regarding meals, medication, bathing, and ongoing care like physical therapy. The content of this chart might be used by your lawyer to prove understaffing and other forms of negligence.
4. Eyewitness Testimony
It’s possible that other residents have also suffered as a result of understaffing. Their family members may have even complained to nursing home staff. Although their testimony won’t be irrefutable, your attorney may use it to corroborate other evidence.
A caregiver at the facility may even be able to provide testimony. It’s not uncommon for diligent caregivers to report understaffing to nursing home administrators, only to have the problem go overlooked. Our lawyers can investigate to find out if such a complaint has been made.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in New York
If you want to file a nursing home abuse or neglect claim in New York, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our personal injury lawyers have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.
We have the resources to go up against even the largest nursing homes and their insurance companies. To set up a free consultation with a nursing home neglect attorney in New York, call us today at 716-855-3761. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis.