When Can I File a Claim for Nursing Home Abuse?
Older adults go into nursing homes at the point when they need long-term, round-the-clock care. Nursing home residents have certain rights guaranteed to them under federal and Massachusetts law. Among these are the right to a clean, safe environment, assistance with their daily needs, proper medical care, and freedom from abuse or neglect. If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be entitled to file a claim for compensation.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs when caretakers harm long-term care facility residents. Both intentional and unintentional harm may qualify as abuse. Factors contributing to the prevalence of resident abuse in nursing home facilities include understaffing, negligent screening and hiring, improper training, and staff burnout. Abuse should be reported immediately to the proper authorities, such as the local police or Adult Protective Services. It may also be in your best interests to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
What Types of Abuse Occur in Nursing Homes?
Abuse can take different forms in nursing homes. Some types of abuse may be more difficult to detect in elderly residents. The basic types of nursing home abuse are:
- Physical abuse: This type of abuse involves knowingly causing physical harm to residents. It may involve hitting, kicking, slapping, shoving, pinching, or inflicting physical injury in other ways. Over-medication and use of unreasonable restraints are also examples of physical abuse.
- Emotional abuse: Although it leaves no visible marks, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. It includes any action that harms a resident’s emotional well-being, such as taunting, name-calling, or yelling at a resident, or isolating a resident from friends and family.
- Sexual abuse: Unthinkable as it may be, nursing home residents can become victims of sexual abuse, perpetrated by staff members in some cases. Sexual abuse includes any form of unwanted sexual activity.
- Neglect: This is one of the most dangerous forms of nursing home abuse. Residents may be left unattended for extended periods of time, with their basic needs neglected. Nursing home neglect can lead to dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores, infections, and other complications.
- Financial exploitation: Nursing home residents can become victims of elder financial abuse. Elderly residents with dementia may be particularly vulnerable to theft and financial exploitation.
How Does an Injured Resident File a Claim for Compensation?
If your loved one has been injured by nursing home abuse or neglect, you may have a claim for compensation against the negligent staff member, nurse, doctor, or nursing home facility. Examples of injuries on which a claim can be based include malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, infections, fractures, and other effects of abuse or neglect.
The first step is to consult with an experienced attorney. Our Boston personal injury lawyers can investigate your loved one’s injuries, determine fault and liability, assess the full extent of your family’s losses, and negotiate skillfully with the other side for a full settlement. If necessary, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf against the negligent parties.
Why Choose Us?
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we have extensive experience and a reputation for results. Our founding attorney, Christopher DiBella, has been named a “Rising Star” by Boston Magazine, listed among the Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association, and named one of the Premier 100 trial attorneys by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys. If your elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, call us at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.