Boston Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
Knowing when it’s time to put a loved one into a Boston nursing home is a decision that many people hope to never face. But when you do, you take great care to ensure that the place you choose will provide the best services and compassionate care for your loved one.
Unfortunately, even when you take all those steps and do all the necessary research, bad things still happen. If you are in the unfortunate situation of having a loved one who has been injured or you suspect is being abused in a Boston nursing home, you may have legal options to hold the negligent party responsible and to collect compensation for your loved one’s suffering.
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we’ve been helping people like you through difficult situations for years. Contact us today to find out more about the services and compassionate support we can provide.
We Get Results
For nearly 50 years, Jacoby & Meyers LLP has helped our neighbors get through some of the most challenging situations of their lives. We offer compassionate and straightforward legal guidance because every victim deserves justice. It has paid off for many of our clients—we’ve recovered millions for them during our half-century of practicing law.
Our firm is proud to offer you a free initial consultation to review your case and what has happened to your loved one. If we decide that you have a strong case, we may provide you with aggressive legal advocacy to help your loved one escape a terrible situation and get them compensation to help them get better and get into a better living environment.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
Under Massachusetts law, nursing home residents have rights, including:
- Treated with dignity and respect
- Live abuse-free
- Have physical, emotional, and social wellbeing
Massachusetts law further states that nursing homes must create policies to protect the rights of every resident. Those policies should govern everything from how medicine is distributed and recorded to the types of recreational activities residents are offered. When a staff member or nursing home facility violates these standards, you may have a valid right to try to get your loved one compensation.
#1. Physical Abuse
One of the most common types of nursing home negligence involves physical abuse. This often comes in the form of:
- Intentionally injuring
- Withholding food and water
Physical abuse in a nursing home can be deadly. Because nursing home residents are often fragile, suffering even minor physical injuries can result in serious medical care. This care often becomes expensive and potentially lifelong.
#2. Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse is another unfortunate type of nursing home negligence. Emotional abuse can include verbal threats from nursing home staff and humiliation.
Sometimes, staff will prevent residents from seeing family and friends, creating a situation where the resident feels isolated and though no one cares for them. This type of emotional abuse can be devastating. Nursing home residents may already feel isolated, and denying visitors exacerbates that feeling.
#3. Sexual Abuse
Any type of sexual contact that is unwanted is sexual abuse. This can come in many forms, including stroking of arms and legs or more direct acts like touching genitals.
While often unreported, sexual abuse is a serious concern in nursing homes. Sexual assault, molestation, and even forcing residents to sexually please nursing home staff are unfortunate instances of sexual abuse in a nursing home.
#4. Financial Abuse
Nursing home staff can also take advantage of a resident’s finances.
Like other nursing home negligence, financial abuse can take many forms:
- Stealing cash
- Using resident credit cards
- Using resident checkbooks
- Making checks out to themselves or other nursing home staff
- Manipulating a resident to change their will
- Stealing items of value
While tragic, these types of financial abuse do occur. If you have noticed money missing from your loved one’s bank accounts or items missing from their room, you may be seeing evidence of financial abuse by nursing home staff.
#5. Passive Neglect
While all of the above types of abuse are active, passive neglect can also occur. The most obvious example is staffing. Nursing homes are often understaffed, resulting in resident care declining.
If there is not enough staff, then residents may not receive their medication on time. They may also miss out on recreational activities that help to keep them active and healthy. When a resident falls, there may not be staff around to react quickly and help them get the care they need. While active neglect is heartbreaking, passive neglect can be just as damaging to nursing home residents.
How to Spot Nursing Home Negligence
Some nursing home negligence can be easy to spot, like a bruised arm. But other types of abuse can be very difficult to spot and even more difficult to prove. Making matters worse, some residents do not report abuse, sometimes out of fear of retribution from their abuser and other times because they’re simply embarrassed.
It’s up to you to help keep your loved one safe in a nursing home by knowing the signs and speaking up when your gut tells you something is wrong.
Here are common signs to look for:
- Unexplained injuries
- Sudden bruises
- Sudden weight loss
- Changes in appetite and eating patterns
- Bruises around ankles and wrists
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained financial transactions
If you notice any of these signs, it is crucial for the health of your loved one that you take immediate action. First reporting your concerns to the facility and, if no action is taken, removing your loved one from that facility and calling the police. These are the bare minimum steps you should take; then, you should call a trusted nursing home negligence lawyer in Boston.
Boston Nursing Home Negligence Frequency
Massachusetts has nearly 400 registered nursing homes. These nursing homes charge exorbitant fees, some charging as much as several thousand dollars per month. For those rates, you should expect exceptional care and absolutely no abuse.
Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. The Department of Health and Human Services fields about 600 complaints per year just in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, nearly three-quarters of these complaints were not investigated promptly.
If you have submitted a complaint that seems to have gone into a black hole, don’t wait. Get an aggressive legal advocate on your side. Your lawyer can help you move your claim forward, getting the investigation your loved one deserves. Your attorney will also help you hold the negligent party responsible for your loved one’s suffering.
Long-Term Consequences of Nursing Home Negligence
The consequences of nursing home negligence are far-reaching and have longer-lasting impacts than just your loved one’s immediate care. Nursing home negligence can be so bad that your loved one suffers lifelong consequences. Besides physical injuries, some nursing home victims never fully recover from the emotional trauma of the abuse they suffer.
Some of the most common long-term consequences your loved one may face include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Severe anxiety and depression
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
When your loved one suffers from nursing home neglect, they are also at risk of death. Because nursing home residents are more fragile in health, any injury, any accident, and any neglect can have dire consequences. Working with a skilled Boston nursing home negligence attorney can give you the leg up you need to help hold the negligent party liable for your loved one’s suffering.
Who is to Blame?
When you are considering a lawsuit against someone else for your loved one’s suffering, you need to know who you’re going to sue. In nursing home neglect cases, there could be several parties at fault, and it might even be more than one.
Nursing Home Facility
When your loved one is injured at a nursing home, the facility itself might be to blame. They may have violated Massachusetts law requiring certain policies to be in effect. They may have a culture of ignoring the law altogether or creating policies, but then ignoring those.
The facility may also have poor hiring practices. Even if there is only one bad employee, the facility could share the blame if it did not properly screen applicants and candidates before making a job offer or supervise the employee after hiring them. Many nursing home facilities conduct inadequate background checks, which could make residents vulnerable targets for nefarious actors.
Nursing Home Staff
When a culture of poor behavior doesn’t exist, just one or two bad actors can do a lot of damage. Determining this will require an extensive investigation to see if other residents were harmed and to what extent.
If a staff member has caused your loved one’s injuries, you may be able to sue them individually, along with the nursing home facility. This may increase your odds of getting your loved one the compensation they need to get better and get to a new facility.
Some nursing homes use third parties to help cover staff shortages. Those third parties may not properly vet or train these short-term workers, leaving your loved one exposed.
Nursing homes may also use third parties to help clean the facility. Even though these people may not always have direct access to residents, they may clean their rooms and could easily get their hands on expensive jewelry and credit cards. If this occurs, you may have a claim against the third party as well as the facility.
Compensation You May Get Your Loved One
Getting compensation for your loved one’s suffering at their nursing home might sound trite. But it can be one of the most effective ways to help your loved one get the medical attention they deserve and get out of a terrible situation.
Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical therapy
- Present and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation costs
- Restitution for financial abuse
- Anxiety and depression
- Diminished quality of life
To get your loved one out of a dangerous situation at a nursing home, you may need to move them to a new facility. That can be extremely costly, especially at the last minute. It can also be stressful having to try and find a new facility that you trust to provide proper care for your loved one.
This is all part of the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Depending on the severity and type of injuries received by your loved one, you may also need to get money for medical expenses. Your loved one may incur serious medical expenses as they try to recover from their abuse and neglect.
Your biggest priority is to ensure that your loved one is safe. To do that, you need to get your loved one the medical care they deserve and get them to a new facility.
But to help cover those costs, you may need to file a personal injury claim for damages. Every state limits the time you have to file such a claim. Called a statute of limitations, that time in Massachusetts is just three years. This might seem like a long time, but when you consider everything you need to do in a short time, you could quickly lose sight of that deadline.
If you miss that important filing deadline, you risk missing out on your ability to collect compensation on behalf of your loved one. With the right legal team at your side, you don’t need to worry about those deadlines. All you need to do is help your loved one get better.
Speak With a Trusted Boston Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today
If your loved one suffered injuries while in a Boston nursing home, you may seek compensation on their behalf. To find out for sure, speak with experienced and aggressive Boston nursing home negligence lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers LLP.
Finkelstein & Partners, LLP
15 Court Square
Boston, MA 02108
“If it were not for the integral legal team of experts at Jacoby & Meyers I would not be where I am today with my recovery. I highly recommend hiring Jacoby & Meyers should you ever find yourself injured in an accident, and an individual or company needs to be held accountable for their negligence.” -C.J.
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