Learning that an elderly loved one has been injured in a nursing home can be a heart-wrenching experience, especially if the injury was the result of intentional abuse. While there’s nothing that can be done to undo the past, you may have grounds to bring forth a claim against the nursing home for negligence or abuse. If you are thinking about filing a nursing home abuse claim in Massachusetts, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Gather Evidence
One of the most important things to do early on is to gather evidence that negligence/abuse occurred. Types of evidence that might support your claim include photographs of your elderly loved one’s injuries, photos of the facility that highlight dangerous conditions, records indicating a poor staff-to-patient ratio, the testimony of an expert, witness statements, etc. An attorney can help you to gather evidence.
2. Make Your Concerns Known in Writing
Before you file a civil action against a nursing home, it’s strongly recommended that you make your concerns about abuse or negligence known to the nursing home facility. You should also consider filing a complaint with your local long-term care ombudsman Filing an official complaint can serve as another source of evidence in your claim and may prompt an investigation.
3. Develop Your Claim
When a nursing home resident is injured in a nursing home, a claim for damages may be viable if the plaintiff in the case can prove that the nursing home owed the resident a duty of care, the duty of care was breached, and the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of the nursing home resident’s injuries. If you are filing a claim, it will be essential that you can prove each of these elements and prove that actual damages were suffered. A breach of the duty of care can refer to any actions or inactions taken by the nursing home/nursing home staff that were outside of the reasonable standard of care the nursing home resident was entitled to. For example, failing to properly monitor a resident, making a medication error, failing to maintain the property in a safe condition, or actively abusing a resident are all breaches of the standard of care.
4. Hire an Attorney
If you want your case to be as strong as possible and you want to increase your chances of a positive case outcome, you should hire an experienced Massachusetts nursing home negligence/abuse attorney. The earlier you bring your concerns to an attorney, the earlier your attorney can begin investigating your case, gathering evidence to support your claim, calculating damages, and organizing your claim documents. Your attorney will be responsible for overseeing your case from start to finish, including representing you in settlement negotiations, mediation, or arbitration.
Call Tetzel Law Today
At the office of Tetzel Law, our Massachusetts nursing home negligence/abuse lawyers understand what you’re going through after learning of a loved one’s injuries due to nursing home negligence. When you contact our law firm, we’ll work hard to get your family the settlement you deserve. Reach out to us online or by phone at (617) 742-1700 to request your free consultation.