Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in MA
Get Justice for your Loved Ones With the Help of a Lawyer
Laws at the state and federal levels are intended to help nursing home residents receive the appropriate care and attention. Unfortunately, however, some facilities fail to adhere to their requirements.
In some instances, these violations are willful, while others are careless. Whether or not the behavior was intentional, it can cause injuries, trauma, and permanent harm to nursing home residents as well as their family members.
At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C., our MA nursing home negligence lawyers understand what elderly victims and their families are enduring during this time. We can ensure that you receive the personal care that you deserve while protecting your legal rights throughout the process. Our lead attorney has over 25 years of experience advocating for injured Massachusetts residents or families of people who have died in a nursing home.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know before filing a nursing home negligence claim:
- Nursing homes have a legal duty to take care of their elderly residents. If a nursing home fails to provide the care and services that residents need, and this results in harm, distress, or medical problems, this is considered nursing home negligence.
- Signs of nursing home abuse can include physical injuries, rapid weight loss, neglect of basic hygiene, frequent illness, and emotional distress.
- Federal laws require nursing homes to provide a safe environment, with adequate supervision and safety devices to protect residents.
- Different people can be held responsible for nursing home negligence, including the nursing home itself, its staff, management, owners, and third-party contractors.
- To prove that a nursing home is responsible for abuse, you need to document the abuse, review the resident’s medical records, interview witnesses, get expert opinions, review the nursing home’s policies, and show that the abuse caused the resident’s injuries.
- Federal and state laws, such as the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (OBRA ’87) and the Older Americans Act, protect elderly nursing home residents from abuse and neglect.
- If you suspect that a nursing home resident is being abused or neglected, you should report it to the authorities and talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer. This will help protect the resident’s rights and hold the nursing home accountable.
- In Massachusetts, nursing homes are required to provide a minimum level of care and attention, including individualized care plans, 24-hour staff, nutritious meals, and assistance with daily tasks.
- Victims of nursing home negligence may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, future medical care costs, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the facility’s negligence.
What is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home negligence is a serious breach of duty to elderly people. It involves failing to provide essential services and care, which harms or distresses those who trust the facility. Due to a variety of issues, the elder’s fundamental needs cannot be met.
Nursing home negligence violates the basic duty to protect senior people from physical, emotional, and medical harm.
Identifying Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
If you are a victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, or a family member of a victim, you may have a claim for financial compensation from the facility responsible for the elderly individual’s care. There are certain ways to detect nursing home abuse. Some are much more obvious than others, however. When it comes to physical abuse, bruises, scrapes, cuts, rapid weight loss, and a disheveled or unkempt appearance are a few common signs. An individual who gets sick at an uncommonly frequent rate, who does not appear to receive regular baths, or who suffers from dehydration also may be experiencing abuse or neglect.
There are also other types of abuse that a nursing home resident can suffer, including emotional and psychological abuse. A nursing home negligence attorney can help Massachusetts residents or their families bring a claim based on any of these forms of abuse. A nurse or staff member may use his or her position to exploit an elderly individual. Since some elderly individuals suffer from illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s that can make it more difficult to communicate to the outside world, it can be hard to know whether emotional abuse is taking place. There are often no physical signs of emotional abuse, but a resident who becomes withdrawn or who acts distraught or contrary to their usual manner may be a victim. Two other potential types of abuse that are important to take seriously are financial abuse and sexual abuse.
What is the Nursing Home Standard of Care?
Medicare-certified nursing homes must follow strict Federal Regulations that govern the level of care for their residents. Among these pivotal regulations lies 42 CFR sec. 483.25 (h), which dictates that such establishments are obligated to:
- Maintain a Safe Environment: Nursing homes are required to take all necessary measures to minimize potential accident hazards within the resident environment.
- Ensure Adequate Supervision and Safety Devices: Each resident must receive not only the requisite supervision but also be equipped with necessary assistance devices to prevent any accidents that might otherwise occur.
A nursing home may be liable in a civil action if it violates these requirements and a resident is injured. You must contact an MA nursing home negligence attorney if you suspect a violation of these standards to protect your family.
Who is Liable for Nursing Home Negligence?
Knowing who is legally accountable for nursing home negligence is crucial to getting your loved ones justice. Multiple parties are often liable, including:
- Nursing Home Facilities: The nursing facility might be held liable if it fails to meet federal and state care standards.
- Staff and Caregivers: If nurses, aides, and other staff members cause the injury or neglect of residents, they may be held accountable.
- Management and Ownership: Management and owners of nursing homes might be held liable for resident mistreatment due to their policies, decisions, or negligence.
- Third-Party Contractors: The nursing home may be liable if third-party service providers, such as medical professionals or maintenance firms, negligently hurt residents.
Nursing home negligence claims are complicated and require extensive investigation and legal understanding to determine liability. Consult a lawyer if you feel your loved one was harmed by a Massachusetts nursing facility. MA nursing home abuse attorneys can evaluate your case, safeguard your loved one’s rights, and seek justice.
How is Liability Proven in Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
Nursing home negligence lawsuits require proof and a strong legal argument to prove culpability. While details vary, establishing responsibility usually involves several critical steps:
- Documenting the Abuse or Neglect: Gathering all available evidence of abuse or neglect, including photographs, medical records, witness statements, and resident statements, is crucial. This documentation helps establish the facts of the case.
- Reviewing Medical Records: Carefully examining the victim’s medical records can reveal any signs of neglect, such as untreated injuries, malnutrition, or medication errors.
- Interviewing Witnesses: Speaking to individuals who may have observed the abuse or neglect, including other residents, staff members, or family members, can provide valuable testimonies.
- Professional Opinions: Consult with medical professionals, when applicable, to assess the extent of harm and determine if the standard of care was violated.
- Reviewing Facility Policies: Analyzing the nursing home’s policies and procedures can help identify any deviations from the required standards of care.
- Establishing Causation: Demonstrating a direct link between the negligent actions or omissions and the harm suffered by the resident is essential to proving liability.
- Demonstrating a Pattern: If multiple instances of abuse or neglect have occurred within the facility, it may indicate a systemic issue, potentially strengthening the case.
- State and Federal Regulations: Highlighting violations of state and federal regulations governing nursing home care can further support the claim of negligence.
- Legal Representation: Seeking the assistance of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can navigate the legal complexities, build a strong case, and advocate on behalf of the victim and their family.
Proof of liability in nursing home negligence cases often requires extensive investigation, analysis, and knowledge of applicable laws and regulations. Consider hiring a lawyer to investigate nursing home mistreatment and seek justice for your loved one.
What Laws Exist to Protect Elders from Abuse and Negligence?
Many federal and state laws protect elders from abuse and neglect in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. These laws protect older residents’ rights, safety, and well-being. Important laws and regulations include:
- Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (OBRA ’87): This broad federal statute regulates Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes. It covers resident rights, care quality, and facility requirements.
- Adult Protective Services (APS) Laws: APS programs investigate and respond to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation reports in each state. APS regulations differ by state but protect vulnerable adults.
- The Older Americans Act: This federal law funds programs and services to improve the quality of life for older Americans. Nutrition, elder abuse prevention, and supportive services are included.
- Title XX of the Social Security Act: This act promotes community-based care for elderly and disabled adults. This federal provision funds many state programs and services. Its noble goal is to avoid nursing home abuse and neglect.
Together, these rules and regulations protect the elderly in nursing homes and other care institutions. It’s crucial to report suspected elder abuse or neglect to the proper authorities and consult an MA nursing home abuse attorney to defend their rights and hold those responsible accountable.
Establishing Your Right to Recovery from a Negligent Facility
According to Massachusetts law, nursing home facilities are required to provide a minimum level of care and attention to nursing home residents. In general, this includes providing for medical needs and daily care, as well as ensuring that the resident has a safe and home-like environment. Nursing homes are required to prepare an individualized care plan for each resident, to have staff on hand 24 hours a day, and to identify any specific or special needs that each resident may have. They are also required to provide nutritious meals, medications, and assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing, or walking.
If a Massachusetts nursing home negligence attorney is able to show that the victim suffered damages as a result of a nursing home’s failure to provide these things, they likely will be entitled to compensation. One of the most critical steps in the lawsuit is establishing causation. In other words, the plaintiff must show that they would not have suffered harm but for the facility’s negligence. This can be a challenging element of the lawsuit in situations in which the elderly individual suffered from serious, pre-existing medical conditions. As a result, it is a good idea to consult a knowledgeable attorney to assess your claim and to work with any necessary experts. When it comes to damages, the plaintiff can seek compensation for medical bills, future medical care costs, and pain and suffering, among any other costs and losses that may have arisen.
If you or someone you know is charged with assault and battery against an elderly or disabled Massachusetts resident, you must get legal representation. MA nursing home negligence lawyers can advise, develop a solid defense, and protect the accused’s rights.
Call our Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in MA Now!
At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C., we want each client to know that they are receiving the diligent and responsive legal counsel that they deserve. Available to serve residents in areas around Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody, we are deeply committed to this community and to fighting the abuse and mistreatment of elderly citizens. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (888) 207-3524 or contact us online. We also handle claims arising from slip and fall accidents, car accidents, workplace injuries, incidents involving defective products, and other accidents.