Boston Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
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.
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 Boston nursing home abuse lawyers at Jason Stone Law Firm are ready to help.
Our Boston nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can investigate your personal injury 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 the nursing home negligence you and your family are going through.
Call 800-577-5188 or contact our law firm online to arrange your free consultation.
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Boston Nursing Home Abuse Resources
Understanding Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
Nursing home abuse or 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.
Nursing Home Neglect
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. These effects will then have a negative effect on the nursing home residents, leading to injuries or even wrongful death cases.
Physical abuse includes hitting, shoving, slapping, and other types of violent behavior against nursing home residents. It includes other actions as well, however. For example, unnecessary use of restraints might be considered physically abusive behavior. For abuse and neglect cases such as this, make sure to contact our negligence lawyers.
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.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
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 in the nursing homes.
Nursing Homes Financial Abuse
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.
If your loved one is in a nursing home or care facility, we suggest watching for the following signs of abuse:
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.
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, medication errors
Recoverable Damages in a Massachusetts Nursing Home Abuse Case
We will not know how much your family member’s case might be worth until we complete our investigation in the nursing homes.
A judge might also award punitive damages in your nursing home negligence 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. Nursing home neglect must not be tolerated.
Some of the damages that may be available include:
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 elder 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. Elder abuse must not go unpunished.
You can expect our Massachusetts nursing home abuse lawyers 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 nursing home negligence 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.
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 our law firm, the sooner we can go to work building a substantial claim for compensation on your behalf.
Massachusetts Statute of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Home Abuse FAQ
What Can You Sue A Nursing Home For?
Nursing homes and care centers are entrusted with the care and safety of individuals who can no longer care for themselves at home. If a resident of a nursing home is injured or passes away due to neglect, abuse or negligence on the part of the medical team or staff, the facility and individuals are liable and can be sued for damages.
Although there is no amount of money that can truly compensate for a loved one’s suffering, a monetary settlement can ease the financial burden that often accompanies these unfortunate situations. Financial compensation can also ease the mind of those involved by holding the responsible parties accountable and receiving justice for the victim.
Damages for nursing home abuse often include:
- Costs of medical treatment
- Bodily pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental pain
- Costs of finding a new care facility
If the abuse or neglect is severe enough and can be proven to be the cause of death of a resident, a wrongful death claim would include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Medical expenses occurring before death
- Pain and Suffering
Nursing home abuse is a tragedy that is unfortunately on the rise. Some estimate that by the year 2030, the population of 85-year-olds will increase by more than 50%. It is critical that family members watch for signs of abuse, report it if they see it, and then contact a personal injury attorney for help. Holding nursing homes accountable for their actions is an important step in reducing abuse and neglect.
How Long Does It Take To Settle A Nursing Home Lawsuit?
Nursing home abuse claims start with the victim or the victims family contacting an experienced attorney. An initial consultation will help the law firm evaluate whether or not there is an abuse case. If the attorney concludes that there is indeed a case, work should begin immediately.
The claims process for a nursing home abuse case may go as follows:
- Investigation and filing. Your attorney will need the facts of the case along with any evidence you may have. Documents including medical records, legal contracts, police reports will be gathered. Photographic evidence and any witness statements will also be included. With evidence compiled, your attorney will then file your case with the court.
- Discovery. Your attorney will share the facts and evidence of your case with the opposing legal team and be allowed access to the information the defendant has as well. This allows both parties to prepare the case for trial and formulate legal strategies.
- Prepare to negotiate a settlement. Arriving at a settlement agreement before a case goes to court can save time and extra expenses. If a settlement can be reached, and it is in the victims’ best interest, the case can come to an end at this stage.
- Taking the case to court. When a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will represent you in a court of law. Your case will be decided by a judge and in some cases a jury.
A national survey showed that on average, a successful personal injury claim took 10 months to settle. Every situation is different and while no law firm can predict exactly how long the process will take, it is in everyone’s best interest to complete the process as quickly as possible. Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as you suspect nursing home abuse is the first step in the process.
What Is The Average Settlement For Nursing Home Neglect?
Settlement amounts for nursing home abuse cases depend on the extent and length of the abuse or neglect, the actual monetary damages incurred as a result of the abuse, such as medical bills etc., and the severity of the emotional, physical and mental anguish endured. An attorney experienced in nursing home abuse cases will be able to look at the evidence surrounding your case and provide you with a reasonable estimate on what to expect your settlement to be. According to a Health Affairs report, an average nursing home abuse claim is awarded over $400,000 in damages. It is not unheard of for large amounts to be awarded, exceeding $1 million dollars or more.
How Do You Prove Nursing Home Negligence?
Residents of nursing homes and care facilities are some of the most vulnerable citizens in our population. All are reliant to some extent or another, on the care they receive from the staff and medical personnel hired by the facility. This unique vulnerability can make proving nursing home negligence more difficult and doubles the importance of getting it right. Residents of nursing homes may not have the mental awareness to know they are being abused. Often, medical impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia may make communicating incidents of abuse impossible. Some residents may be too frightened to report neglect, fearing their treatment will worsen. It is critical that family members take any report of abuse, mistreatment or complaint seriously.
Proving nursing home neglect is dependent on evidence. Evidence of physical abuse or neglect can be proven by police reports, medical reports, photographs of bruises or other injuries, witness statements and testimony from the victim.
Emotional abuse may be harder to prove but is no less important. Evidence of emotional abuse or neglect can be documented by family members. Testimony of a loved ones depression, fear, withdrawal, lack of social interaction and sudden, declining mental state can support the important claim of emotional abuse.
What Constitutes Neglect In A Nursing Home?
Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide adequate and reasonable care to their residents. Neglect differs from abuse in that neglect fails to provide what a resident needs, versus abuse, where someone is acting to inflict harm on a resident. Neglect is more about what action isn’t taken on the residents behalf. Neglect can be purposeful or unintentional and the effects can be physical suffering or emotional/mental suffering. All forms of neglect are subject to legal action and leave the nursing home vulnerable to lawsuits.
Nursing home neglect may include:
- Lack of medical care
- Not addressing mental health needs
- Neglect of dental care
- Lack of monitoring
- Inadequate hygiene, bathing, changing clothes, toileting needs
- Failure to clean rooms and living areas
- Lack of food or hydration
- Lack of mobility assistance
- Preventable falls
- Staff shortages
- Not responding to residents requests for assistance
- Disregard for feelings
- Lack of activities
- Not providing adequate therapy
Nursing home neglect can be criminal in nature depending on the severity. If you suspect a loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, call authorities immediately to ensure your family member is safe, and then contact an attorney.
Neglect in nursing homes is a serious problem that often goes unseen and unchecked. Family members and friends are very often the only people that can and will speak for the victim. Nursing homes must be held accountable for their actions and inactions toward the residents in their care. Seeking compensation through a personal injury lawsuit is one way to get justice for victims of nursing home abuse.
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®.
Our commitment to your well-being and satisfaction is summed up in our Stone Cold Guarantee®. Our attorneys are ready to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on getting better.
Apprehensive about the costs of an attorney? Don’t be – we review Massachusetts 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.
I have never had such a good experience. He was fast, informative, responded to emails, and got the job done. I have no reservations in recommending him; you will be in good hands.
JESSICA L. | FORMER CLIENT