The population of Americans over age 65 is expected to increase to nearly 72.1 million in 2030, and more families than ever are entrusting nursing homes with the care of their loved ones. But lack of funding, careless staff, and dangerous living conditions can put residents’ rights to dignity, safety, and cleanliness at risk. Reports of nursing home neglect are not only common but are on the rise–according to reports by Boston 25 News, cases of elder abuse are rising sharply in Massachusetts each year.
If you believe your loved one was, or still is, the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Massachusetts can help you hold the responsible parties liable for their actions or inaction. The legal team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is ready to help– Jason Stone Injury Lawyers wants to help. Our Boston nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can investigate your claim, stand up for your family, and help give you the peace of mind needed to address your personal needs. Let us fight to get you compensation for everything you and your family are going through. Contact our 24/7 legal today—just dial (800) 577-5188 or complete a Free Initial Consultation Form.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect can occur in several different ways. While some types of abuse may seem worse than others, it is important to remember that all of them can impact your loved one’s health status and quality of life.
Neglect is the only type of nursing home abuse that is sometimes unintentional. Neglect often occurs when a facility has poor management or oversight. Overcrowding, being chronically understaffed, and other management issues can contribute to neglect.
Physical abuse includes hitting, shoving, slapping, and other types of violent behavior. It includes other actions as well, however. For example, unnecessary use of restraints might be considered physically abusive behavior.
Emotional abuse often centers around embarrassment, isolation, and humiliation and may include threats against the nursing home resident. In some cases, abusers use these threats to cover up physical or sexual abuse. It can be difficult to notice that your loved one is being emotionally abused unless you witness it occurring.
Any unwanted or inappropriate attention that is sexual in nature may fall under sexual abuse. This includes rape, fondling and touching, taking pictures, exposing oneself to a resident, or unnecessary or excessive nudity.
Financial abuse involves any unauthorized use of the resident’s money, credit cards, or other financial assets. It may also include billing them for treatments they do not need, or for procedures they have not received.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Intimidation, medical conditions, and distance from family members are several of the factors that can prevent long-term care residents from reporting abuse. If your loved one is in a nursing home or care facility, we suggest watching for the following signs of abuse:
- Bruises suggesting the use of physical restraints
- Damaged or missing personal items
- Fleas, lice, mold, mildew, or dirt on your loved one or within the facility
- Odors of urine or feces
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
- Pale complexion
- Poor hygiene
- Signs of dehydration
- Torn clothing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Untreated health problems or injuries
Along with symptoms suggesting abuse, you should also be on the lookout for evidence of careless or negligent nursing home staff, such as:
- Improper heating or cooling in your loved one’s living areas
- Refusal to allow visitation to your loved one
- Inability to explain injuries or changes in your loved one’s condition
- Lack of supervision or allowing your loved one to wander off the premises
- Unexplained changes to your loved one’s medication
Recoverable Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
We will not know how much your family member’s case might be worth until we complete our investigation, but some of the damages that may be available include:
- Medical treatment and related expenses;
- Costs related to changing facilities;
- Out-of-pocket costs;
- Reimbursement of money lost to financial abuse; and
- Damages for pain and suffering.
A judge might also award punitive damages in your case. We can request these damages if we file a lawsuit and there is evidence the nursing home administration acted in a particularly heinous or intentional way. Punitive damages are above and beyond your loved one’s abuse-related damages and punish the liable party for its bad behavior.
Let Us Help You Hold the Abuser Liable
If we can prove that your loved one suffered physical, emotional, and/or financial damages as a result of nursing home abuse, we may be able to help you file a claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit to try to recover compensation for your senior family member. You can expect our team to:
- Manage all communication with the nursing home, its legal team, and its insurance company;
- Launch an investigation and collect all available evidence to support your claim, including compiling records to prove the full extent of your loved one’s damages;
- Calculate the value of the damages your loved one is owed due to his or her suffering;
- Keep you up-to-date about the progress of your case;
- Attempt to negotiate a fair settlement agreement; and
- File a personal injury lawsuit and represent your family in court, if necessary.
Massachusetts Statute of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse
In the commonwealth of Massachusetts, the statute of limitations states that you must file a lawsuit within three years of the incident in order to hold the liable parties responsible for the abuse your family member suffered.
While this deadline applies only to filing litigation, the sooner we can get started on collecting evidence and building your case the better. As time passes, evidence is lost, and in some cases, witnesses may even pass away. The earlier you contact us, the sooner we can go to work building a substantial claim for compensation on your behalf.
Protecting Your Loved One’s Rights
We understand that the discovery of nursing home abuse or neglect can have devastating effects on families, and we’re here to help you through this difficult time. If you believe your loved one was a victim of abuse in their long-term care facility, our legal team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can give you the help and personalized support you need. That is the Stone Cold Guarantee®.
Apprehensive about the costs of an attorney? Don’t be – we review nursing home abuse cases for free to help you determine if a case can be built to prove your claim. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis so you will not owe us attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. With our Stone Cold Guarantee®, you can be sure you’re getting the high quality legal representation your family deserves. So don’t wait—contact Jason Stone today to see how we can protect your loved one’s rights.