Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Deciding to place your elderly loved one into an assisted living center or a nursing home isn’t easy. You worry whether the staff will treat them with respect and if they’ll get the proper care and attention. Nursing homes have to meet regulations at state and federal levels, but the unfortunate reality is that many don’t have enough staff. Also, many facilities have overworked or undertrained staff on duty.
The National Council on Aging estimates that one in 10 Americans aged 60 and up have experienced elder abuse in some form. This harm can be anything from basic care neglect, medical neglect, and personal hygiene neglect to emotional or social needs neglect. These instances can cause health problems, from bed sores to more serious issues like broken bones or wrongful death.
Every day, innocent victims suffer from nursing home abuse and neglect. We have experienced nursing home abuse attorneys in Simsbury, Glastonbury, and Hartford, CT, who are ready to help your loved one get the justice they deserve. We’ll help you gather evidence to build a solid case to help you get the best outcome possible for your pain and suffering.
Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Statistics
In 2020, the US Census Bureau estimated over 56 million elders aged 65 and older live throughout the United States, making up 16.9% of the population. The same survey predicted that this number would jump to 73.1 million by 2030. This means that the already overwhelmed nursing homes will have to stretch even thinner to accommodate the aging population, which can increase the risks of abuse or neglect.
The World Health Organization reported that instances of elder abuse and neglect are higher in long-term care homes, and they found that two out of every three staff reported committing a form of abuse in the past year. The WHO also found the following:
Nursing Home Laws in Connecticut
Nursing home neglect is one of Connecticut’s most significant underreported personal injury areas. To make things worse, many elders in nursing homes can’t be their own advocates due to mental or physical impairments. So, it’s up to their loved ones and nursing home negligence lawyers to help defend this vulnerable demographic’s rights to have a comfortable and safe living environment.
Nursing homes have to meet strict state and federal regulations, and the staff has a duty of care to the residents in these facilities. If someone you love has sustained a personal injury directly from neglect or abuse in the nursing home, several laws are in place to help protect you. The neglect laws will apply to all of the following:
Any willful and knowing elderly person abuse in a nursing home, including physical, verbal, or sexual, is punishable by Connecticut law. Also, remember that the definition of physical abuse includes overly forceful or inappropriate physical restraint usage.
The definition of neglect can encompass failure to provide essential services to residences, like access to water, food, and medication or basic needs. It also includes the failure to monitor the residents adequately. For example, if an older adult falls because they didn’t get the assistance they need to move around or the staff wasn’t watching them, you can file a personal injury claim with a nursing home negligence attorney. Also, medical malpractice is a serious and common form of nursing home abuse or neglect. Suppose a resident doesn’t get the medication they need at the scheduled time, doesn’t get the proper treatment for illnesses, or receives the wrong medications. In that case, this resident is entitled to compensation.
Financial Fraud and Maltreatment
Residents of nursing homes are vulnerable to different types of financial abuse. For example, someone can take their cash or steal their valuables, or they can manipulate the residents into modifying their wills or sharing confidential information. If you or your loved one is a victim of financial fraud or maltreatment, you may be able to recover compensation for the money someone took from you, plus additional payment.
Additional Information Regarding Connecticut Laws for Elder Abuse
In Connecticut, laws require anyone who witnesses nursing home abuse or neglect to report it to the Commissioner of Social Security. In addition, nurses, doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists, patient advocates, and other professionals who routinely interact with nursing home residents can get a fine of up to $2,000 if they witness abuse or neglect and fail to report it.
Once you get in touch with the Commissioner of Social Services, they’ll start an investigation. If the investigation finds evidence to support elder neglect or abuse, the victim and the family can get financial compensation. Even if the first investigation shows no abuse, obtaining a nursing home abuse attorney is a good idea. If the initial investigation misses signs of neglect or abuse, a Connecticut personal injury lawyers can help you prove your case.
By trying to get compensation, you’re helping to hold nursing homes accountable for the conditions they allow. Residents of Connecticut show these facilities that the cost-cutting measures they have, like utilizing fewer regulatory measures or being short-staffed, don’t pay in the long run. By enlisting the help of a nursing home negligence lawyer in Hartford, CT, you’re working to create a safer living environment for every resident.
Connecticut nursing home abuse or neglect cases have a statute of limitations of two years. This may sound like a long time, but factoring in the lengthy initial investigation makes filing early critical. If you believe a loved one is the victim of abuse or negligence, you should immediately contact a nursing home negligence attorney. They’ll help you get a fair settlement while holding the nursing home accountable for their actions.
Identifying Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home negligence is elder abuse against residents who live in an assisted living facility. Neglect involves breaches of duty or poor care practices that cause these residents to suffer.
Several negligence types can happen in a nursing home or long-term care facility, including social and emotional, basic needs, hygiene, and medical neglect. When a nursing home doesn’t meet the standards of care for the residents, it can negatively impact their physical and emotional well-being. There are several warning signs of nursing home neglect. These include:
- Excessive or unnecessary sedation or medication
- Inadequate or a lack of disability accommodations
- Poor hygiene, like dirty and unwashed clothing or no dental care
- Reluctance to speak with staff members present
- Uncharacteristic behavior changes
- Unexpected or unexplained injuries or death
- Unsanitary conditions
- Untreated illnesses and injuries
- Voluntary self-isolation or social withdrawal
There are also several types of neglect, and some of the biggest forms to keep an eye out for include:
- Abandonment – This happens when staff has no regard for your loved one’s well-being.
- Basic need neglect – If the nursing home fails to give the residents a safe, clean environment, medications, or adequate food and water, this is basic need neglect. Residents can suffer from dehydration or malnutrition as a result.
- Emotional or social neglect – The staff may ignore the resident, not allow them to interact with friends or family, or they may leave them alone. Residents with mental or physical disabilities are at a higher risk for this type of neglect because they could need their caregivers to help them interact with other people.
- Medical neglect – Medical neglect is when staff doesn’t work to prevent or treat health problems. This can result in infections, inadequate diabetic care, mobility issues, or other health problems.
- Personal hygiene neglect – This is a failure on the nursing home’s part to ensure that the residents have proper laundry, dental care, and bathing opportunities. Residents who suffer from this neglect may wear soiled clothing or appear dirty.
- Self-neglect – This happens when an elder can’t take care of themselves, but they don’t ask for help or refuse help.
One of the easiest ways to spot signs of nursing home negligence is to keep in frequent contact with and visit your loved one. They may not be able to tell you what’s going on or be too scared to speak up, or they may not be aware of the neglect. Asking questions about their staff interactions or daily routines and looking at their living arrangements in person can help you determine their quality of care.
How Is Liability Determined in a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
Assisted living facilities and nursing homes must provide residents with a certain level of care and meet state and federal regulations. The nursing home may be legally responsible if a death or injury occurs when the resident or patient is in the facility under staff supervision. Figuring out if the nursing home or staff is liable for your loved one’s wrongful death or injury requires you to prove that there was a breach in the duty of care. You must also prove that this breach directly resulted in injury or wrongful death.
Negligence is failure to meet the care requirements set by state and federal levels, which is more likely to open the caregiver or nursing home to liability. However, you have to prove five primary factors in any tort claim to win your liability case:
- The plaintiff has the burden of establishing a legal duty of care.
- The plaintiff must also demonstrate that there was a breach in the duty of care by the facility or caregiver.
- In any negligent tort case, the plaintiff has to prove that the wrongful death or injuries directly resulted from the facility not providing a reasonable standard of care.
- Next, the plaintiff and their nursing home negligence attorney have to document the damages sustained due to the defendant’s negligent actions.
- Finally, the plaintiff or resident has to show that the damages are pecuniary and non-pecuniary and that the resident didn’t cause the injuries or harm themselves.
How Does a Negligence Lawyer Help With My Case?
A nursing home abuse attorney can help you file a claim against the responsible facility or staff. However, to obtain compensatory damages, you have to establish civil liability. Without enlisting the help of a lawyer, this can be a complicated process that can result in a denied claim.
Similar to other types of personal injury lawsuits, your legal counsel has to prove that the resident was in a care facility when the neglect or abuse happened. This will show that the case has damages and liability.
To establish liability, the lawyer must show that the facility or caregiver is responsible for providing a minimum standard of care. When the defendant breached their duty of care, it led to neglect or abuse that harmed the resident or put them at risk. Your nursing home negligence lawyer will also prove that the victim experienced suffering or pain due to harm or suffered from injuries, which is also called damages.
If your lawyer thinks you have a strong case, they can negotiate to secure a reasonable settlement payout or file a claim against the care facility on your behalf. If unsuccessful, they can file a lawsuit, ensuring that it follows state and federal guidelines and is inside Connecticut’s two-year statute of limitation.
What Types of Compensation Can I Expect From My Case?
If you had an elderly family member in a nursing home who was an abuse victim, you might be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Appropriate mental health care
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering
- Medical care to help treat any injuries
- Nursing home payment returns
- Stolen property replacement
In some instances, you could qualify for punitive damages and wrongful death. The courts will only award punitive damages if the negligence your elderly family member experienced at the facility is intentional or particularly heinous. If you’re entitled to these additional damages, your nursing home negligence attorney will include them in your compensation request with evidence to prove you’re entitled to them.
Connecticut Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys
If you or a loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect, or negligence, contact our Connecticut abuse and negligence law firm. Our dedicated and experienced team of nursing home abuse attorneys are happy to build your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for residents in Glastonbury, Simsbury and Hartford, CT.