legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Nursing homes have a duty to provide professional care to every patient in their facility and to treat every resident with respect and dignity. Sadly, New Jersey follows the national trend in falling short of that standard.
Despite the existence of state and federal laws establishing minimum standards for nursing care, nursing homes in New Jersey don’t always adhere to the rules created to protect patients. The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that of the 366 nursing homes operating in the state, 86 (23 percent) provided their residents substandard care that was below the national average. Up to 40 percent had unsafe conditions that put residents at risk for accidents, and more than 20 percent were found deficient in food sanitation.
It is clear that a statewide problem exists in the quality of care provided by New Jersey nursing homes. You must take action if you witness your loved one being abused or suspect abuse in a New Jersey nursing home. Call a New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to receive assistance in investigating your concerns of abuse or neglect today.
The public generally assumes that nursing home facilities provide the continuous care that adult children are unable to provide their aging parents due to work commitments, financial challenges, or other family obligations. It seems incomprehensible that caregivers at a nursing home could ever engage in abuse or neglect of an elderly resident. Tragically, there is a serious hidden abuse problem that has existed in many nursing care facilities throughout New Jersey and the rest of the U.S. for years. Attorney Deborah Gough practices law in New Jersey and has experience with many types of nursing home negligence matter. Attorney Gough's office is located at: 411 Hackensack Avenue, Hackensack, NJ 07601.
Nursing Home Lawyers Throughout New Jersey Are Here To Help You
A New Jersey nursing home injury lawyer can help you demand your loved one’s rights. We are here to support you in your time of need. Our attorneys are ready to assist families throughout New Jersey in locations such as:
We can help you end the abuse and get your loved one into a safe environment. You can call us at any time to discuss your concerns and get started in filing a legal claim against a nursing facility. A New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect attorney will stand by you every step of the way so your loved one can receive the compensation that he or she deserves.
Statutes of Limitations and Damages Caps in New Jersey Negligence Cases
In New Jersey, there is a limited time period in which you can bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a nursing home. The statute of limitations runs for a period of 2 years, beginning from the date the cause of action was discovered, or from the date of death in the case of wrongful death. (N.J. Stat. Ann. §2A:14-2; §2A:31-3)
Punitive damages for personal injury are limited to five times compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater. No punitive damages are allowed in wrongful death cases. (N.J. Stat. Ann. §2A:15-5.14(b))
National Nursing Home Trends
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, more than three million Americans reside in nursing homes, with nearly a million more in some sort of residential care facility. Nearly one in three of these homes fails to meet federal standards for safety and quality of care.
While the exact incidence of nursing home abuse and neglect remains unknown, experts believe it to be quite pervasive. NCEA and the Centers for Disease Control have concluded that due to challenges involved in gathering accurate data and deficiencies with state reporting, the vast majority of abuse likely goes unreported.
If your loved one was injured, mistreated, abused, or died unexpectedly from neglect while residing in a New Jersey nursing facility, we urge you to contact the New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center today for a free case review so we can get your family the compensation you deserve.Federal Laws Governing Nursing Home Care
The U.S. Congress has enacted several laws designed to protect vulnerable elderly patients, which apply to all long-term care facilities in the United States:
- The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 established basic standards of care to promote the physical and mental well-being of elderly persons residing in nursing homes throughout the country, as well as outlined specific fundamental rights. The law requires nursing homes to accommodate the medical, physical, psychological, and social needs of residents.
- The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program created a network of advocates for nursing home residents in each state who investigate and attempt to resolve specific complaints involving abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident.
While the number of nursing homes across the country is growing in response to the booming elderly population, they are still struggling to keep pace with the rising need for nursing home beds. They are challenged in keeping their facilities staffed with a limited number of skilled nurses and nurse’s aides available for hire who are trained in caring for the elderly. Because of the number of retired people who reside in New Jersey, many of the state’s nursing homes are filled to capacity and are often left with no other choice than to hire inexperienced or untrained staff to provide care to patients, putting safety at risk.
However, nursing homes still have a duty to keep residents safe from abuse and neglect, and if they shirk that responsibility they should be held accountable.
Following are some of the most common and preventable consequences of negligence in nursing homes, which can all lead to potentially life-threatening injury:
- Pressure sores. If a mobility-challenged individual cannot readjust their body position at least one time every two hours, they can easily develop a pressure sore (also referred to as bed sores or pressure ulcers) as prolonged weighted pressure against a mattress, pad, or cushion constricts blood flow to a specific bodily area. When left untreated, a bed sore can quickly become infected, causing serious and life-threatening consequences.
- Falls are perhaps the most common and costly nursing home accidents. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death among patients over the age of 65 nationwide, and patients in nursing homes are at the greatest risk.
- Medication errors result in some of the most easily preventable injuries in nursing homes across the nation. While they are not always life-threatening, some patients can suffer catastrophic harm simply because those responsible for their care failed to do their due diligence.
- Deliberate abuse. As horrible as it is to think about, elderly nursing home residents are uniquely susceptible to physical abuse. They are dependent, vulnerable, and incapable of defending themselves. Helpless nursing home patients are often victimized by fellow residents, outside visitors, and most egregiously, the very caregivers who are paid to look out for their welfare.
Nursing home patients are at risk for developing bed sores when the medical staff fails to regularly turn or reposition the patient’s body. Advanced stage pressure sores are usually the result of negligence by untrained or unskilled nurses and nurses’ aides. New Jersey law allows victims of neglect to recover damages for any medical or other costs associated with the wound, pain caused by the wound, and wrongful death when a patient dies from complications related to the wound.
Follow this link for more information about monetary damages paid in New Jersey nursing home bed sore lawsuits.
Elderly patients are at extra risk of suffering serious injury in falls as a result of the aging process and associated medical conditions affecting bone density, motor function, or balance. Nursing facilities must take reasonable care so the existing risk of falls is not aggravated by negligence and a disregard for safety. A leading and preventable cause of falls in nursing homes is when patients are dropped by staff while being transferred between beds and wheelchairs or into and out of toilet/bath facilities. Transfers can easily result in a patient getting dropped or falling when untrained or careless staff fail to follow proper safety protocols.
Nursing home falls can cause tragic and costly injuries including broken bones, brain damage, and other internal injuries. Nursing homes are liable for fall-related injuries if the fall resulted from inadequate supervision, safety hazards, dropped patients or other negligence.
Sample New Jersey nursing home fall damages can be found here.
There is a chain of individuals involved in the process by which a medication is prescribed, filled, and administered to a patient, from the prescribing physician to the pharmacist to the caregiver. If there is an error in any part of the chain, disaster can result. Unless the patient is unable to participate in their care due to neurological or other disabilities, they should be able to understand why certain medications have been prescribed to them and how they are to be dispensed.
Some drugs have the potential to cause serious injury if not administered properly. Our New Jersey nursing home injury lawyers always examine the medication chain when investigating a case involving medication errors to determine which parties along the way neglected their responsibility.
If nursing home staff suspect a resident or other staff member of misconduct toward a patient, they are required to investigate the incident and separate the offender from the victim. Nursing facilities should also have adequate security measures in place to prevent outside visitors from entering the home and assaulting residents.
Many victims of nursing home abuse remain silent out of shame or fear, so it is important that you recognize the signs of abuse and know when to act in order to protect your loved one. The nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC will step up for them to see their rights are protected and they receive the recovery they deserve.
Read about some New Jersey nursing home abuse settlements here.
The New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC are committed to holding negligent medical facilities accountable for inferior care. We can connect you to an attorney with experience with New Jersey lawsuits against nursing homes and hospitals involving bed sores, falls, and abusive treatment. Put our expertise to work for you. Contact NHLC for a free review of your case today.Pursuing a Wrongful Death Action for New Jersey Nursing Home Negligence
Tragically, death sometimes results from an infected bed sore, fall, medical error, or other preventable consequence of negligent nursing home care. In many cases, the deceased patient suffers great pain and discomfort before their demise.
No patient in a medical facility should ever die from a preventable injury. When negligence is involved, the surviving family members are entitled to take legal action including filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility responsible for their loved one’s death.
Nursing Home Law Center LLC can connect you with a lawyer who will seek justice for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse in New Jersey. Lawyers in the NHLC network take cases on contingency, meaning fees are paid only when your lawyer secure a positive financial outcome in your wrongful death lawsuit for a loved one who died of nursing home negligence. Contact us today to discuss your case with a skilled New Jersey nursing home attorney.Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
The warning signs of abuse and neglect are not always immediately apparent. It is important for family members to be able to recognize both the obvious and more subtle signs of neglect or abuse of a loved one, so they can file a report with the state authorities and get the aged person needed medical attention and help. Some of the following are red flags that a vulnerable adult may have become the victim of abuse or neglect:
- Bruising, scratches, broken bones or other wounds
- Unexplained weight loss
- Changes in behavior such as anxiety or depression, or angry outbursts
- Lethargic behavior or unexplained fatigue
- Silence or indications of discomfort around staff or other residents
- Unclean surroundings and unchanged or soiled bedding or clothing
- Poor hygiene
- Spoiled or rotten food
If you notice any of these potential warning signs, you should reach out to a New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today. Your lawyer can help you in filing a report and gather evidence to strengthen your claims.Nursing Home Lawyers Throughout New Jersey Are Here To Help You
A New Jersey nursing home injury lawyer can help you demand your loved one’s rights. We are here to support you in your time of need. We can connect you to an attorney who is ready to assist families throughout New Jersey in locations such as:
We can help you end the abuse and get your loved one into a safe environment. You can contact us at any time to discuss your concerns and we will connect you to a lawyer who can get started in filing a legal claim against a nursing facility. A New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect attorney will stand by you every step of the way so your loved one can receive the compensation that he or she deserves.Statutes of Limitations and Damages Caps in New Jersey Negligence Cases
In New Jersey, there is a limited time period in which you can bring a personal injury or wrongful death claim against a nursing home. The statute of limitations runs for a period of 2 years, beginning from the date the cause of action was discovered, or from the date of death in the case of wrongful death. (N.J. Stat. Ann. §2A:14-2; §2A:31-3)Damages Cap
Punitive damages for personal injury are limited to five times compensatory damages or $350,000, whichever is greater. No punitive damages are allowed in wrongful death cases. (N.J. Stat. Ann. §2A:15-5.14(b))New Jersey State Resources