New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Is your loved one being abused by nursing staff?

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New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

People aged 65 and older are the fastest-growing age group in New Mexico. It is projected that by the year 2030, more than 30% of New Mexico’s population will be 60 or older.

These statistics show how important it is to address the widespread issue of nursing home abuse in our country and state. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is an alarmingly common problem with over 40% of residents reporting some form of abuse, whether physical, mental, emotional, or sexual. Victims of nursing home abuse often cannot speak up for themselves or are afraid to do so. The victims are our parents, grandparents, and other beloved elderly relatives. Without help, they are forced to suffer physical injury, trauma, and even death.

Many families agonize over the decision to place an elderly relative in a nursing home in the first place. Families question whether their relatives will be well-cared for, happy and fulfilled in a nursing home setting.

The sad reality is that while families ultimately have their loved one’s best interests in mind, they are often inadvertently putting them in harm’s way. Families put the ultimate trust in nursing homes, and it is inexcusable that this trust is sometimes violated.

If you or someone you love has experienced nursing home abuse, we want to help you. Nursing home abuse is unacceptable, and you deserve justice. Our team of experienced lawyers has a demonstrated track record of fighting for victims of nursing home abuse. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to recover the maximum fair compensation to which you are entitled. We know that no amount of money will change what happened, but we want to help you begin the process of rebuilding your life.

Use Form or Call 1.800.391.0227

Free Consultation. Pay Only If You Win.

If you or a loved one has a related case, please fill out the form below to schedule a call.

Schedule your free consultation now

John Black Partner, Attorney at Law
Black Law Group PLLC
Santa Fe, SM
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Nursing Home Laws and Regulations

Despite numerous laws designed to protect the rights of nursing home residents, including the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, the Elder Justice Act, and the Older Americans Act, nursing home abuse is still a widespread problem. Federal laws offer various protections including:

  • Ensuring that nursing homes provide sufficient supervision of employees and staff.
  • Requiring nursing home staff to report any instances of suspected abuse or neglect.
  • Establishing a national employee background check database.

In addition, New Mexico requires that nursing homes maintain adequate staffing levels, including having a full-time director and a nurse on duty at all times. New Mexico also places limits on the use of restraints, whether physical or chemical, on nursing home residents. Additionally, medication must be administered only under the explicit orders of a doctor.

Types of Nursing Homes

Many types of facilities exist to care for the elderly. All can be places where abuse and neglect occur. Under federal law, four categories of elderly care institutions exist:

  • Adult boarding services
  • Residential care facilities
  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Skilled nursing facilities

Our legal team is experienced in litigation against all four types of elderly care facilities and understand the different rules, regulations and standards for care established by each.

Understand the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Everyone should be aware of indications that a nursing home resident may be suffering abuse or neglect. Below are some of the most common signs to look out for:

  • General changes in personality and behavior including onset of depression, anxiety, or withdrawal
  • Tension or anger between your elderly relative and a caregiver
  • Unexplained bodily injuries including broken bones and bruises
  • Bedsores
  • Soiled clothing
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unexplained STD’s or other infections

Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse comes in different forms including physical, emotional/mental, neglect, and sexual.

  • Physical – Any use of force against a resident may be considered physical abuse. Physical abuse is dangerous and can lead to serious bodily injury including fractures & broken bones, cuts, bruises, trauma, and even death.
  • Emotional/Mental – Emotional & mental abuse is serious, traumatizing, and unacceptable. This type of abuse may occur in situations where an employee or caregiver exerts power over an elderly resident as a way of making them feel fearful, intimidated, and isolated. Bullying and taunting are common examples of emotional and mental abuse in a nursing home setting. These instances do not leave physical scars but are devastating to victims. Victims of emotional and mental abuse commonly experience depression, withdrawal, and severe anxiety.
  • Sexual – Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual act. Many nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to acts of sexual abuse due to medical conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, and cognitive decline. Frequently, victims in these cases are unable to report which can lead to continued abuse.
  • Neglect –Any failure to provide adequate care constitutes neglect. When residents experience nursing home neglect, they are left vulnerable to bedsores, falls, malnutrition, and dehydration, all of which can lead to serious illness, injury, and death.

The Reasons Behind Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is never acceptable. Unfortunately, many factors contribute to the abuse and neglect that regularly occurs at elder care facilities. For example, nursing home residents are often dependent on the help of others for everyday activities which makes them particularly vulnerable to abuse.

Further exacerbating these issues are the lack of resources and proper management within nursing homes, which leaves residents even more susceptible to abuse. Some common issues that can contribute to abuse include:

  • Understaffing

    Nursing homes cannot operate properly when they do not have enough employees to care for and supervise residents. Many nursing homes intentionally hire fewer employees than necessary to save money. Others may be unable to find qualified professionals. Understaffing forces employees to prioritize certain tasks at the expense of others. Residents in understaffed facilities are vulnerable to falls, bedsores, malnutrition, and medical errors. Furthermore, understaffing can create feelings of hostility and lead to disgruntled employees. Tired, stressed, overworked, and angry employees are more likely to either intentionally or unintentionally harm the residents in their care.
  • Lack of training

    Lack of training is another common issue within nursing homes. Many nursing home employees are underqualified and do not receive the training they need for job success. Other training issues that are all too common within nursing homes are the lack of ongoing professional development efforts and inadequate training regarding resident rights.
New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What should I do if I suspect that my loved one is being abused in an elderly care facility?
If you are certain that your loved one (or any nursing home resident) has been abused and are concerned about an imminent threat to their safety, call the police immediately. If you are not sure about the abuse and your loved one is unwilling or unable to speak up, you should bring your concerns to nursing home management. If they are unable to satisfactorily explain any signs of abuse, you should contact your local law enforcement agency and consult a lawyer. It is also a good idea to keep detailed notes throughout this process and take pictures of any injuries for documentation purposes.
How long do I have to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for a nursing home abuse case is three years. A qualified lawyer can help ensure that you do not miss any important filing deadlines.
What rights do nursing home residents have?
Nursing home residents have rights that are protected by federal law, including the right to be treated respectfully, the right to reasonable privacy, and the right to make decisions for themselves.
What type of evidence is used in nursing home abuse cases?
Various types of evidence can be used to prove causation and strengthen nursing home cases. Commonly, we use a combination of eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, medical reports, and security footage to support cases.
How do I know if incidents within a nursing home qualify as neglect?
Neglect within nursing homes can be intentional or a result of carelessness, overworked employees, and understaffed facilities. Generally, neglect exists if a facility has failed to provide its residents with essential services including medical care, clothing, food, water, shelter, adequate supervision, and safe living conditions.
How can Lawyer One help?
You have been through enough. Allow our experienced legal team to fight for your rights and get you what you rightfully deserve. If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse in a nursing home setting, we want to help you seek justice, recover damages, and move forward.

Recovering Damages

You deserve compensation for what you have been through. While we wish that we could go back in time and erase the abuse, we cannot. What we can do is fight for what you deserve in hopes that the compensation recovered, and the justice served will help you move forward with your life.

In nursing home abuse cases, damages can be tangible, intangible, or punitive. Examples of tangible damages that we have recovered on behalf of nursing home abuse victims include:

  • Hospitalization bills
  • Doctor’s visit bills
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy

We believe that your suffering matters. As such, we will also fight to recover compensation related to intangible damages including:

  • Physical suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress

Our Process

Our thorough process will give you the peace of mind to focus on rebuilding your life while we focus on obtaining justice and recovering damages on your behalf.

Your case process will begin with a free consultation designed to help us understand the details of your unique situation and to help you gain confidence in our team. We will remain open and honest with you so that you understand next steps.

Next, we will perform a detailed investigation and file the lawsuit. This is when we gather evidence to build the strongest case possible.

Then, we will proceed to the discovery stage which involves sharing our findings with the legal team for the defense. This stage also involves issuing any necessary subpoenas, gathering additional documents, and conducting witness testimonies & cross-examinations.

The next step is to prepare for trial and potentially come to a settlement agreement. We will do our best to avoid putting you through the be lengthy, difficult, time-consuming, and expensive trial process if possible while still recovering the compensation you deserve.

If we are unable to come to a settlement agreement, the case will proceed to the trial phase. During the trial, we will utilize all relevant evidence to fight for your best interests. A judge or jury will then come to a verdict in the case. Our commitment to you is to put together the strongest case possible and recover the maximum compensation possible.

John Black

Partner, Black Law Group

About John Black

John is a trial lawyer whose practice focuses on helping those that have been harmed by individuals and corporations. His practice includes nationwide representation of those gravely injured whether by toxic substances, pharmaceuticals, medical devices or the negligence of others. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyer for each of the past six years, and is experienced in catastrophic single-event cases and complex, multi-district litigation.

Law Firm Information
Firm: Black Law Group PLLC
Address: 505 Cerrillos Road
Suite A209
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: 1.800.391.0227
Black Law Group Office
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