My mother is in a nursing home and her pinky was fractured. She has dementia and doesn't know what happened. I have requested a copy of the Accident and Incident report but have been refused.
You question is more complicated that face value. Depending on your status as the requestor, Power of Attorney, Healthcare Directive, etc. You may be entitled to the medical records from the facility. The nursing notes should explain how the fracture occurred. Perhaps the doctor's orders would as well. The Incident Report depending on many other factors, such as who wrote it, the policies of the facility, the persons who have subsequently reviewed and acted upon the incident report, are all factored to determine if the Quality Assurance protects are afforded to the Incident Report and make it privileged.
I recommend you get the treatment records and see what they have to say and if you believe the incident was possibly due to neglect, then hire a qualified nursing home neglect attorney to investigate the matter, you can find one on AVVO.
The incident should have been reported to the state and you can see if the nursing home is willing to provide that information as well.
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You should seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to aid you. Alternatively, you could just try reporting it to their Corporate Headquarters and negotiating/discussing yourself. Unfortunately, often companies try to take advantage of unrepresented people. I offer a free 30 minute consultation in NYC. Good luck.
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This is a sign of nursing home abuse. Retain a local nursing home abuse lawyer to investigate.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Assuming the facility is located in NY, the short answer to the question is that the nursing home will rely on NY Statute and claim that the Accident & Incident Report are privileged and therefore not disclosable. If you have your mother's Power of Attorney, you can obtain a copy of her nursing home chart for the day(s) in question and review the chart entries where it's likely that there's a description of the incident. The chart entires may not answer all of your questions, but it will be a start.
I am very sorry your mother was injured. It is so hard when our loved ones are suffering from dementia and have been harmed and we cannot find out what happened. I think, as my colleagues suggest, that your best bet is to find a local nursing home abuse attorney to help you investigate the situation. Likely the nursing home will take you more seriously if you involve an attorney. Also, your mom might have an abuse case. There should be no charge for a conversation with the attorney, and if she takes the case, they are generally handled on a contingency basis (i.e. no fee unless you collect.)
For a free consultation related to medical malpractice, personal injury, workers' compensation, social security disability or nursing home abuse, please contact Lowenthal & Abrams, PC at 1-800-876-5299. I am licensed in Pennsylvania, but members of my firm are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. This post is not legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in this post. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance. I am licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania.
Criminal Defense Attorney
A report to adult protective services would result in their clearing up the matter.
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There is a Nursing Home Ombudsman Office. Check with your County Health department first, and then NYS Health Dept.
Normally, an injury like that will send the Medicaid Fraud COntrol Unit scurrying as there may be a criminal case if the pinky broke due to handling by nursing home staff. They won't give you much either, but they should tell you if there is an ongoing investigation.