Nursing home abuse is a growing concern in Massachusetts. It preys on the weakest members of our society, who often cannot speak up for themselves to ask for help. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of abuse, a Springfield, MA, nursing home abuse lawyer can help. Find out more about nursing home abuse, from red flags to potential damage awards, and who you can contact for help.
People in Massachusetts choose Cava Law Firm when they want results. Our tailored approach makes it easy to work with us.
Here are some of the top reasons our clients choose our law firm:
If you are looking for the right law firm to fiercely and passionately advocate for your nursing home abuse case in Springfield, choose Cava Law Firm. With that said, let’s learn more about nursing home abuse.
Nursing home abuse is the mistreatment or neglect of older adults in assisted living homes and skilled nursing facilities. Nursing home abuse comes in various ways. Caretakers may harm their residents intentionally or unintentionally. Both may qualify as elder abuse. Nursing home abuse can result in medical emergencies, trauma, and even death.
Nursing home abuse may spring from several factors, including staff burnout, improper training, and understaffing. Exhausted employees may be less alert or react slower to emergencies like strokes or falls.
If you suspect nursing home abuse, you want to act before anyone can inflict additional harm. There is a good chance that you have never encountered nursing home abuse before and are unsure of what to look for. Your best option is to speak directly with an experienced Massachusetts nursing home abuse attorney about your suspicions and begin researching ways to move your loved one into another facility or home quickly.
Here are some of the common warning signs that someone may be inflicting nursing home abuse upon your loved one:
The following are common warning signs of psychological abuse:
Any sudden physical or psychological issues the facility cannot adequately explain should raise suspicions.
Often, nursing home abuse is not particularly targeted or malicious. Instead, it manifests in neglect. The resident is not well cared for. They may not be fed, cleaned, or turned properly. Even without malice, neglect can cause significant harm to the resident’s physical and mental well-being.
With roughly 1.4 million Americans in nursing homes around the country, nursing homes have come under increased scrutiny in recent years. Between 2013 and 2017, nursing home abuse deficiencies more than doubled, rising from 430 incidents in 2013 to 875 in 2017, with the most significant increase in severe cases, the US Government Accountability Office found.
Nursing home abuse concerns have been rising in recent years, attracting attention from worldwide organizations like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO found the following:
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) lists the following rates of abuse in institutions by category:
Depending on whether you have suspicions of nursing home abuse or actual proof, there are different things you can do about it. A Springfield, MA, nursing home abuse lawyer can help you plan your response.
If the abuse is happening now, call 911. The police will investigate and file a police report. This report may become critical in any future nursing home abuse claims. Do not call 911 frivolously. If you suspect abuse, contact the relevant Massachusetts agency to report your suspicions.
You should contact the following Massachusetts agencies to file a complaint against the facility:
If you have proof of nursing home abuse, you should immediately remove your loved one from the nursing home. This may be difficult to do immediately, as you will have to find another acceptable location quickly. You may consider having your loved one stay with a relative for a short time until you can locate a new home.
A nursing home abuse lawyer in Springfield can advise you on your options.
Evidence is crucial to winning a nursing home abuse case. Without evidence, there is not much a lawyer can do. Obtaining the proper evidence can secure your claim and damage awards. If you find any evidence of abuse, document it thoroughly.
Examples of evidence you should document include:
If you notice anything else that seems suspicious, document it.
If you have a mild suspicion that nursing home abuse is occurring, consider dropping by the facility at unexpected hours for a surprise visit. If you regularly visit your loved one during the day on the weekend, consider visiting in the early morning or during the week. If the staff tries to prevent your visit, have an excuse prepared. Unexpected visits can yield surprising information about what is happening when no one is watching.
If red flags have alerted your suspicions of nursing home abuse, it may be time to speak with a lawyer. Not every suspicion is well-founded, but experienced nursing home abuse lawyers have seen enough cases to know when an injury should take place.
Your lawyer will listen to your side of the story and ask any pertinent questions to get the essential facts. They will inspect the evidence you have collected and then give you a quick analysis of their first impression of your case. If you have enough information to make a claim, they will explain the process and walk you through your legal options.
If you need more to have a solid case, they can advise you on things to look for and evidence to collect. They can also suggest additional options that have yet to occur to you.
What Qualifies as a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
Nursing home abuse falls under medical malpractice in Massachusetts. You will qualify if you have sufficient evidence to make your nursing home abuse claim.
In Massachusetts, nursing board regulations define abuse and require all nurses who observe abuse to report it. It specifies that abuse may be physical, mental, sexual, or emotional harm.
A Springfield, MA, nursing home abuse lawyer can analyze your claim to see if it qualifies.
How Long Do I Have to Sue for Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse and medical malpractice fall under the Massachusetts statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Generally, you have three years to file a lawsuit before the claim becomes time-barred. However, some factors can result in shorter statutes of limitations.
The statute of limitations begins when the abuse occurs, or you first discover it. If the abuse began four years ago, but you only discovered it this month, your statute of limitations has just begun. However, if you found out about the abuse four years ago and failed to file a lawsuit, you would likely be time-barred from filing one now.
To know the precise length of your statute of limitations and when it started, you should speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Springfield.
What Are Damages?
Damages are the civil remedy you request the court to award you in your lawsuit to make you whole again. Although no monetary reward will ever remove the experience of abuse, monetary damages can help ensure your loved one spends the remainder of their life comfortably.
Damages for nursing home abuse fall into several categories.
Economic damages include expenses that can be easily calculated, like:
There are no limits or caps on economic damages.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate, but their harm is no less damaging. These damages include compensation for:
The court awards punitive damages when they wish to make an example and deter future conduct. These damages are unpredictable and not ascertainable beforehand.
Our law firm and experienced nursing home abuse lawyers are proud to have recovered multimillion-dollar results for our clients in Springfield, MA.
Our goal is to seek the maximum compensation awards for our clients to reduce any financial strain caused by their injuries. You can rest assured that our skilled legal team will fight to protect your rights to fair compensation while offering compassionate service.
Call Cava Law Firm if you need an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who is prepared to help you receive the compensation you deserve. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation so you can discuss your case.
At Cava Law Firm’s we have a proven record of success that speaks for itself. Contact us today at (413) 737-3430 or (413) 781-CAVA (2282) to arrange your free consultation.