Nursing Home Injury Lawyer for Abuse, Neglect, Falls, Choking & Wrongful Death
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have a legal duty to assess the needs and limitations on each resident, and to develop (and implement) care plans. As a resident’s physical condition changes as they age, these care plans must be updated to account for the resident’s changing needs.
As an example, some residents never should be allowed to walk unattended. Others may have difficulty swallowing, and thus need to be given only blended food. Bedridden residents will need to be rotated on a prescribed interval so that they do not develop bedsores (also called pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers), which can lead to skin breakage, infection, sepsis, and potentially death.
Tragically, many nursing home residents are injured and die each year from situations that should have never occurred. As nursing home injury lawyers, we carefully investigate injury and wrongful death cases to determine whether the injury or death was the result of neglect, negligence, or abuse. We retain medical experts to review records to determine whether protocols were not developed (or were not properly implemented), so that we can determine whether a case for negligence exists.
You Deserve Answers, Justice, and Compensation – We Can Help
Call us today for a free consultation. There is no fee for our services unless compensation is recovered. We also advance all costs of litigation.
Why Do Residents Suffer Needless Injury and Death in Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities?
In most cases, wrongful injury and death are the direct result of putting profits above resident care.
Facilities are understaffed.
Staff are not properly trained. Corporations hire lower levels of staff (such as untrained staff) instead of higher-trained professional (such as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and nurses. Wages are set too low to attract qualified employees. Facilities cut corners to save costs.
When nursing home injuries and death occur due to negligence, abuse, and neglect, the injuries and death are both tragic and foreseeable. Unfortunately, it seems that the only way that many of these facilities will change their practices is through being held legally accountable for their wrongful and dangerous practices.
How Many Americans are Living in Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities?
1.6 million Americans are living in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.1 Nursing homes are intended to provide high-quality and compassionate care to residents who require around-the-clock assistance due to advanced age, disability, or illness. However, individuals living in nursing homes are at an astoundingly greater risk of abuse, neglect, and injuries. In fact, one in ten adults over the age of 60 will experience elder abuse in any given year. Nursing home abuse is so prevalent that the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched the National Nursing Home Initiative to investigate and prosecute nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care.2
Those with aging parents look to nursing homes to provide quality care for their loved ones. Therefore, it can be shocking when families learn that their beloved family member is being mistreated by those charged with providing this care. If left unchecked, neglect and abuse can lead to physical symptoms, severe depression, and early death. Thus, family members need to be vigilant to ensure that nursing homes provide the best care possible.
As Springfield nursing home injury lawyers, we handle nursing home injury and wrongful death cases in Springfield, Greenfield, Northampton, and throughout Massachusetts. We want to help you seek justice against those who have harmed someone you love. Taking legal action can help in obtaining justice, seeking the compensation deserved, and preventing negligent providers from preying on elderly individuals. Call our office to schedule a free consultation. If we take your case, we will do so on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not owe a fee unless we win.
How Do I Know If My Loved One is Being Abused in a Massachusetts Nursing Home?
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents sustain physical, emotional, or even sexual abuse. Victims are often unable to fight back due to their frail physical and mental state. Further, some caregivers may even threaten violence or expulsion from a facility, making elderly individuals reluctant to report injuries. For these reasons, it can be critical to watch out for the following warning signs, as they often signal abuse:
- Mood and personality changes
- Unexplained bumps, bruises, and welts (especially around the wrists or arms)
- Frequent complaint regarding not being taken care of
- Withdrawn, passive, or emotionless behavior
- Refusal to participate in activities
- Refusal to eat
- Confusion and disorientation
- Hesitation to speak openly, especially in the presence of a particular care provider
- Fear when staff is nearby
- Bedsores and other lesions
- Soiled beds or furniture
- Lack of personal items
To help detect substandard or dangerous care, it is vital to pay special attention to a loved one’s demeanor and note the condition of their room and hygiene. Most importantly, it is critical not to dismiss any complaints of abuse.
What Types of Injuries are Caused by Nursing Home Negligence?
Neglect, abuse, and negligence present in many forms and varying degrees of severity. The following are some of the most prevalent injuries that result from elder abuse:
- Bedsores. If a resident spends too much time in a bed or chair, bedsores can quickly develop on hips, feet, or the back. If left untreated, residents can experience infections, hospitalizations, and even death.
- Bone Fractures and Breaks. Falls are the most common cause of bone breaks in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and other long-term care housing. It is the staff’s duty to prevent residents from falling by providing constant monitoring and assisting with walking and transport according to each resident’s needs.
- Emotional Abuse. Emotional abuse can be even more devastating than physical abuse, as it is harder to detect and can lead to severe depression and suicide attempts.
- Falls. Of the 1.6 million Americans residing in nursing facilities, approximately half fall annually.3 Falls can have serious consequences, especially in frail residents. Many residents have care plans that dictate that they should never be allowed to walk unattended. If they are placed in a situation in which they are likely to attempt to walk, or when staff ignore the care plan, the facility many be liable.
- Bed Sores (Pressure Sores). Nursing home residents often sustain severe bed sores (pressure sores), which are painful and can be life-threatening. In most cases, bed sores are the direct result of improper care. Bed sores often lead to infection and sepsis, which further compound a bad condition.
- Countless residents die each year as a result of choking. Many residents have medical conditions that render them unable to swallow solid food properly, putting them at a high risk of choking if they are given the wrong types of foods. When choking occurs as the result of the failure to properly assess a resident’s needs for liquid food, or if a resident is give solid food against the requirements of their care plan, the facility can be held legally liable if a choking injury or death occur.
- Malnutrition. Approximately 20% of nursing home patients have some form of malnutrition.4Staff have a responsibility to ensure that residents receive proper nutrition; thus, if an individual is dehydrated or malnourished, the facility could be held responsible.
- Medication Errors and Abuse. Medication errors readily occur due to nursing home staff negligence. Distributing the wrong medication or administering incorrect dosages can have fatal consequences. Additionally, staff may intentionally over-medicate a resident to cause the resident to sleep more than usual, so that the resident is easier to care for. This is abuse.
- Sexual Abuse. Elderly residents are especially vulnerable to sexual assault. Many with memory loss or advanced dementia cannot alert family members to what is happening, making it critical for loved ones to be hyper-aware of signs and symptoms of abuse.
- Wrongful Death. The conditions noted above, as well as other conditions, can sometimes result in death. As a result, it’s important to retain a nursing home wrongful death lawyer to determine and prove how a chain of events caused and resulted in the death of a loved one.
Call Us to Discuss Your Legal Options
Seeing a loved one injured in a nursing home as the result of neglect, abuse, or negligence is heartbreaking. We trust nursing homes to care for our loved ones and treat them with respect. When this trust is broken, and our loved ones suffer injuries or even death, justice and compensation are due.
For over two decades, our firm has tenaciously represented injured individuals and families in injury and wrongful death cases.
We invite you to call us to speak with us for a free consultation about your loved one’s case. During this consultation, we will review your case, compassionately address your concerns, explain your legal options, and tell you how we can help. We represent clients in injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there are no fees for our firm unless compensation is recovered.
How Can We Help?
Please call us at 413.781.0000 or fill out this form.