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Nursing home neglect lawyer serving Wisconsin

Holding residential facilities accountable for injury & wrongful death

Taking care of our loved ones as they age represents an important yet daunting task that requires careful planning, consideration and information. We want to help provide a safe and secure space for the people we love most as they require more specialized care in their lives. Unfortunately, selecting a care provider for the elderly is often dependent on many limiting factors including finances, health and geographical location. Many people believe the best way to prevent elder abuse is keep loved ones close to home. However, as people age and require more attentive care, staying at home is not always a plausible or safe option.

You put your loved one’s life and well-being in a nursing home’s hands. The facility seemed like a place you can trust and feel comfortable leaving your mom, dad, or grandparent. Unfortunately, your loved one was mistreated and neglected during their stay; you are absolutely horrified.

Nursing home abuse should never be overlooked. Injury lawyer Steve Caya fights for elderly rights, and gets them the compensation they deserve. With 30 years of experience in law, he operates with an understanding for his clients’ suffering and need for a proper settlement.

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Filing a nursing home negligence lawsuit

Lawsuits against nursing homes can involve abuse, neglect, negligence or wrongful death. In any of these instances, the person who files the lawsuit must prove the nursing home or an employee committed a harmful act, and that this act was the direct cause of harm to the victim.

Typically when a successful outcome is reached, the nursing home’s liability insurance pays financial compensation to the victim. Working with a personal injury attorney who understands how insurers (and their legal teams) operate can give your claim a much higher chance of achieving truly fair compensation.

If you believe you have grounds for a nursing home neglect case, start with a free consultation at our Janesville law office (or we'll come to you, anywhere in Wisconsin). You'll learn what's considered negligence in a nursing home, how to prove it, and your best legal options for pursuing compensation.

Steve Caya is an award-winning personal injury attorney with a proven record of going the distance to win much-needed compensation for his clients. Explore personal injury case examples to see results and settlement amounts he's won for injured victims across the state.

Jenevive Leora Galvani

August 14, 2019

Steve and his whole team fought very hard for me when I was wronged by my insurance company. Everyone was kind, caring, and friendly, and truly cared for my situation. Then we had a terrible tragedy happen in my family were so caring and reached out to check on my family and sent a very personable heartfelt card. It meant a great deal to me. Everyone is so nice and they legitimately care. All of them were absolutely wonderful. God bless you all.

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Nursing home neglect attorney in Wisconsin
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Nursing homes must comply with state & federal laws for long term care facilities. If you believe your loved one's injury stems from a breach of care standards, consult an attorney.

Nursing home abuse, neglect & negligence – what’s the difference?

There are many different types of behavior, accidents and failures that can be grounds for a personal injury claim against a nursing home or other care facility.

Abuse

Nursing home abuse (or elder abuse) is when a caregiver intentionally causes harm to a patient. Examples can include denying basic needs such as food, water or medical care. Physical, sexual and financial abuse are also in this category.

Neglect

Nursing home neglect is unintentional harm caused by a failure to provide adequate care. Examples include poor hygiene, calls for assistance going unanswered, failing to follow an individual’s care plan, or otherwise failing to meet the needs of a patient or resident.

Negligence

Nursing homes and other facilities have a responsibility to provide a safe environment. Breaching this duty of care constitutes negligence.

Examples of nursing home negligence include:

  • Negligent hiring practices leading to the abuse or neglect of a patient
  • Failure to properly train or supervise staff responsible for patient care
  • Insufficient supervision of a patient or resident, leading to a fall or other accident causing injury

Failure to take appropriate and/or ethical measures that can be reasonably expected in a specific circumstances qualifies as negligence. There are many other specific types of elder abuse, neglect or negligence which can lead to a nursing home lawsuit being filed.

Understanding legal liability in nursing home neglect cases

Nursing home abuse or neglect can take many possible forms. If you or your loved one believe you have grounds to make a legal claim, your next best step is speaking to an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney about the situation.

Our law firm holds negligent caretakers accountable and fights for fair compensation for victims and their families. 

Even the slightest act of abuse or negligence can have a terrible impact on vulnerable individuals. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

Signs of nursing home abuse you shouldn’t neglect

You don’t necessarily have to see the abuse to know it’s happening. Subtle or obvious signs both serve as clear evidence of neglect - don’t ignore them.

Signs of elder mistreatment or abuse include:

  • Poor hygiene/appearance
  • Depression
  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition/dehydration
  • Soiled linens & clothes
  • Undiagnosed sickness/disease
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Lack of social friendliness
  • Withdrawn behavior

Tragically, victims in these cases are often unwilling or unable to speak up for themselves. Your loved one might deny it; but it’s up to you to take action.

Nursing home slip and fall claims

If a resident falls in a nursing home, the facility isn’t automatically at fault for the fall and any resulting injuries. Nursing homes do have a legal obligation to create and follow an individualized care plan, taking into account each patient’s overall strength, vision, balance, and mobility; medications, and other factors that can contribute to falls.

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When a nursing home fails in its duty to take reasonable care to prevent a fall, injured victims have the right to seek compensation.

They also have an obligation to keep residents “reasonably safe” from falls, including providing equipment like grab bars, walkers, bed rails and more.

When there is evidence of negligence, or proof that a staff member failed to take reasonable care to prevent a fall, there may be cause for a personal injury claim. Examples of negligent behavior can include things like:

  • Operating understaffed, hiring unqualified staff, or failing to provide adequate training
  • Failure to maintain a reasonably safe environment, leading to hazards such as wet floors, poor lighting or damaged flooring
  • Failure to use proper care when moving a resident from their bed to a wheelchair, or another transfer

If a nursing home resident is injured in a fall, there may be cause for a personal injury lawsuit. A nursing home slip and fall case may proceed much like other slip and fall claims, or it could involve malpractice. Protect your loved one’s best interest and consult an experienced attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and recommended next steps.

Nursing home wrongful death

Some nursing home deaths are not preventable. Other nursing home deaths are unnatural, stemming from improper patient care or abuse. Without a third-party investigation, many unnatural nursing home deaths go unreported because so many residents suffer serious and/or chronic illnesses.

When a nursing home and its employees are at fault for the death of a patient, the family of the deceased has the right to seek compensation through a lawsuit. Not only does a settlement or jury award cover expenses like medical and funeral costs, it holds the facility responsible for its actions and help increase awareness of this issue.

If you’ve lost a loved one under the care of a nursing home and believe the facility and its personnel are at fault for the death, you may be able to seek justice through a wrongful death lawsuit. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation to learn more. We operate on a no-win, no-fee basis and represent victims and their families throughout Wisconsin.

3 Reasons why contacting an attorney is crucial

You spotted the signs of nursing home abuse. Don’t wait until it’s too late—call Steve Caya immediately.

Why?

  1. Your loved one’s health is at risk
  2. You might be their only hope
  3. Bringing justice to the nursing home facility saves other lives

Our law firm fights for and protects elderly rights. In some cases, they aren’t capable of speaking up and defending themselves. Attorney Steve Caya is their trusted voice and ensures they receive the compensation they deserve. 

Your loved one is counting on YOU. Contact Steve Caya right away to file a personal injury claim. His fair and honest practice in law proves worthy of his nationally-recognized reputation as a civil trial specialist, and he has a compassion for his injured clients. With his no win, no fee policy, he helps victims with the financial aspects of filing a personal injury lawsuit so you can focus on the well-being of your loved one.

Steve Caya handles many types of personal injury claims including:

Elder abuse laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin statues define and provide penalties (§940.285(2)) for several types of both civil and criminal elder abuse including physical, emotional and sexual abuse; treatment without consent, and unreasonable confinement or restraint.

State law on elder abuse and neglect applies not only to nursing home facilities but many others, including:

  • Adult day care centers
  • Community-based residential facilities
  • Home health agencies
  • Hospice
  • Inpatient health care centers
  • State treatment facilities

An employee of any such facility is prohibited by law from intentionally or recklessly abusing or neglecting a patient or resident in their care.

When a facility or one of its staff breaches its legal obligation to protect an elder adult at risk and the individual suffers harm as a result, there are grounds for a lawsuit.

The law defines an “elder adult at risk” as any person age 60 or older who has experienced, is currently experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or financial exploitation. (§46.90(1)(br).

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Signs of elder abuse aren't always obvious. If you suspect abuse or neglect, follow through.

Wisconsin elder abuse statistics

Excluding self-neglect, the most common reasons Wisconsin county help lines receive calls reporting elder abuse are (in order):

  • Financial Exploitation
  • Neglect by Other(s)
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Unreasonable Confinement/Restraint
  • Treatment without Consent

The majority of the reported instances of abuse or neglect were not life-threatening. Of those that were, nearly 17% of the victims died, and 40% of those deaths were directly related to the incident reported.

The most common age group at risk are older adults 70-79 years old (around a third of all reported cases), with adults in their 60s and 80s almost equal, and only around 10% of all reports involved an individual in their 90s.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Health Services Annual Elder Abuse and Neglect Report (2018)

According to the National Center of Elder Abuse (NCEA), the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect is hard to pinpoint because many instances of abuse are neither discovered nor reported. Caregivers, who interact with patients the most daily, are often the ones inflicting neglect which makes detecting elder abuse difficult.  Since the prevalence of elder abuse has not been widely determined, the NCEA encourages anyone who has a loved one living in assisted living to pay attention for any signs of nursing home abuse.

Elder abuse is a growing problem not only in Wisconsin, but across the nation. If you’ve witnessed or have reason to believe you or a loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect at the hands of a trusted care provider such as a nursing home or assisted living facility, you’re not alone. Take the first step today and contact our law office to learn whether a lawsuit is the best means of holding them accountable and receiving fair compensation.

Proving elder abuse

The direct cause of an injury isn’t always obvious, nor is determining liability. If you or a loved one has suffered harm in a nursing home, the best thing you can do is discuss the situation with an experienced attorney.

Elder abuse cases are unique in that the victim’s mental capacity and ability to consent may be compromised on a permanent or intermittent basis. An older adult’s competency to testify in court and whether a caregiver exercised undue influence are other factors best determined with the help of a lawyer.

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FAQs

What is the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse?

In most cases you or your loved one have three years to file a claim against a nursing home for abuse or negligence. Time is measured from the date injury was first discovered, or from when it reasonably should have been discovered.

In rare circumstances the time period may be shorter or longer. It’s very important to consult a nursing home neglect lawyer as soon as you can in these situations. Not only is there a time limit, but uncovering evidence becomes harder as time goes on.

How long does it take to settle a nursing home lawsuit?

We'll try to resolve your case with the nursing home’s insurance company before filing a lawsuit. If it’s in the best interest of you or your loved one to file a lawsuit, we’ll do it. Depending on the specifics of the lawsuit, resolution could take months or even years.

There is no formula determining how long it will take for your case to settle. It depends on the details of your claim, the insurance companies involved, coverages of all parties in the accident, and other unique circumstances. Beware of a lawyer who promises to settle your case quickly. To get the settlement your circumstances deserve, you need a lawyer willing to build a strong case and fight for truly fair compensation.

Can you sue a nursing home for sepsis?

Sometimes an infection and resulting complication (such as sepsis) can’t be avoided. Nursing homes and other facilities providing elder care have a responsibility to prevent known vulnerabilities such as infection. When a nursing home or employee is negligent and causes harm such as sepsis, the victim has a right to file a claim for compensation. Sometimes health conditions are attributed to the aging process, you should consult an attorney to learn what your next steps are.

This also applies to other acquired health problems like bed sores, scabies, C. diff infection and many more. If you suspect abusive or negligent behavior may be behind your loved one’s suffering, it’s worth speaking to a lawyer about your options.

Is it hard to sue a nursing home?

Every case is unique. While certain family members may have the right to file a lawsuit against a nursing home without an attorney, proceeding without experienced legal help can not only be very challenging, it’s very possible a misstep can ruin your chances of receiving compensation.

During the process you’ll need to investigate and collect evidence of liability, file your case with the appropriate court(s), interpret nursing home neglect laws at the local, state and federal level, and defend your claim against the nursing home’s legal team.

Working with a lawyer not only makes the legal legwork much easier for you, it often greatly increases the odds of success and the amount of compensation received.

Steve Caya offers free initial consultations and works on a no-win, no-fee basis.

Wisconsin attorney protecting the rights of nursing home residents

If you believe your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact Janesville attorney Steve Caya to help guide you through the appropriate legal steps. Hecan help make sure your loved one receives appropriate legal compensation if they are a victim of abuse. Every person deserves the opportunity to age in a safe and comfortable living situation.

Contact personal injury lawyer Steve Caya and pursue rightful compensation for nursing home neglect.