New Jersey Bed Sore Case Valuation & Lawsuits
- Statute of Limitations
- Form of Elder Abuse Lawsuits
- What Needs to Be Proved
- Common Defenses Used
- New Jersey Statistics
- New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
- Case Values
Residents across New Jersey want to know about the entire makeup of their elder abuse, bed sore, neglect, or other cases. They are not satisfied by a simple answer of what their compensation will look like. Commonly, we field questions about they have to say and prove in order to be successful at trial or through settlement. Thus, in the following sections, we address typical issues that these kinds of cases face and what you will need to know for your New Jersey elder abuse lawsuit.Statute of Limitations
First, you need to look at the relevant statute of limitations in New Jersey. These laws prohibit cases that are not brought after a certain time from when the injury occurred or when the victim reasonably realized that they were injured. Here is the time window for New Jersey:
2 years according to N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2a:14-2 et seq
“Every action at law for an injury to the person caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of any person within this State shall be commenced within two years next after the cause of any such action shall have accrued; except that an action by or on behalf of a minor that has accrued for medical malpractice for injuries sustained at birth shall be commenced prior to the minor’s 13th birthday.”
*Note that negligence and medical malpractice cases get the same amount of time.
Commonly, the size and scope of your jury award or settlement amount is shaped by the form of lawsuit that you put in your complaint and argue in your trial. While the specific facts of elderly abuse and bed sore cases normally differ from incident to incident, the case forms usually break down in a fairly regular fashion. Here are the kinds of suits that you will typically see with these cases:
Negligence: New Jersey negligence lawsuits try to make the case that the defendant individual’s or entity’s conduct was wrongful and less than what was to be expected from a reasonable actor in the same situation. Furthermore, this caused injury and damages to the plaintiff.
Medical Malpractice: New Jersey medical malpractice cases resemble general negligence actions. They accuse health care providers of failing to treat patients reasonably and claim that that breach injured the patient.
Wrongful Death: It is not uncommon for citizens of New Jersey to die from consequences related to bed sores and elderly abuse. If their loved ones believe that this was caused by the unreasonable conduct of another, then they could possibly bring a case to recover for the grave damage and injury that it caused them.
The winners and losers of elder abuse, bed sore, and similar cases are not determined by who yells the loudest, has the most injuries, or hires the gaudiest lawyers. Instead, success boils down to who can most accurately argue over the elements of the particular case. Here are the fundamental elements of standard elder abuse cases:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a specific, legal duty.
- The defendant breached that duty.
- The breach caused the plaintiff injury.
- The injury resulted in damages.
Medical Malpractice Cases:
- The defendant healthcare provider owed the plaintiff a duty that can be established according to local, medical customs.
- The defendant breached that medical duty.
- The breach was the legal and factual cause of he plaintiff’s injury.
- The injuries led to actual damages to the plaintiff.
Wrongful Death Cases:
- Someone died.
- The death was the result of someone else’s negligence or intentional misconduct.
- The death led to actual injuries and damages to the decedent’s family or spouse.
Our clients like to be informed. They want to know about what is going in every part of their case. What this normally means is a thorough understanding of the case that the defense is going to build and present to the jury as well. Here are some common themes that defense lawyers raise in elder abuse and bed sore cases:
Pre-Existing Injuries: Defense lawyers love to point to the victim’s past as responsible for his or her injuries to take the attention off of their clients’ behavior.
Lack of Misconduct: Defendants try to play nonplussed and proffer that their behavior was absolutely in line with the law.
Amount of Damages: Defendants normally first look to doubt what plaintiffs say they are owed, if they admit that they should be given anything at all.
Plaintiff’s Conduct: Defendants obsessively claim that the plaintiff was negligent as well and that that should defeat any possibility of recovery.
In New Jersey, you have to go beyond yelling about an injury to proving your damages. Commonly, victims across this state suffer from elderly abuse, bed sores, and other similar injuries. However, this does not a make a case in and of itself. You have to pair this with a description of how you were damaged. Normally, with these kinds of cases, there are predictable types of damages that include the following:
All the medical bills, prescription bills, rehabilitative bills, and other costs associated with your recovery.
All lost income or wages that you sustained because of the incident.
Any property damage that you incurred because of the incident.
Any decreased quality of life that you can prove (i.e. if you can no longer do things you used to or enjoy things to the extent that you used to before the incident).
Any expenses, lost support, lost companionship or other losses associated with the death of a loved one because of the incident.
Generally, the category of damages in New Jersey elder abuse cases fall into economic, non-economic, or wrongful death brackets and the above examples illustrate this. To get a firm understanding of what compensation would be available for your cause of action, contact one of our experienced and qualified attorneys.Victims’ Checklist
Here is a list of things to take note of or gather for cases related to elder abuse, bed sores, and similar lawsuits:
Any evidence of bills for medical treatment that the incident caused you as well as any incidental expenses.
Any evidence of lost income or wages as well as property damage because of the incident.
A list of all medical providers seen as well as any instructions or notes that they gave you or made that you can gather.
A list of all nursing homes, clinics, hospitals, or other facilities that you stayed at as well as the dates that you stayed at them.
Any evidence of your condition before the incident.
Any evidence of your condition after the incident.
Any evidence of misconduct by the person who caused the incident.
Any evidence of abuse/neglect including bruises, wounds, sores, dehydration, malnutrition, weight fluctuations, medication gaps, etc.
Any evidence of financial manipulation: modifications to estate documents such as wills, transfer of title of assets and bank accounts, disappearance of monies, etc.
For bed sores, evidence of broken skin, pigment discoloration, crater-like abscesses, and even exposed bones/muscles/tendons.
For elder physical abuse, evidence of unexplained injuries, signs of restraint, broken property, inability to visit the victim, etc.
Nursing Home Law Center LLC has been a strong advocate for plaintiffs throughout New Jersey. Victims of elderly abuse, bed sores, financial abuse, and more have looked to us to deliver and we performed when they needed it most. Interestingly, however, we consistently find that one of their strongest concerns is case management. They want to know not only what they can achieve in court but how they must do so. What we first tell them is that they do not have to worry about one thing-we handle the entire lawsuit wall to wall. Yet, in the interim of the case, you can be assured of the following promises:
Experience: We will make sure that only our most qualified and experienced attorneys manage your case through its entirety.
Resources: We will invest all resources necessary to ensure that your compensation is maximized and we will never ask you for a dime until we bring you an acceptable jury award or settlement amount.
Access: At all times throughout the case, we will make attorneys available to you so that your questions are answered and you are informed of what exactly is happening.
No Conflicts: We will promise not to represent nursing homes, hospitals, doctors, medical facilities, insurance companies, or any other related party because we believe in representing their victims and not their friends.
Therefore, if you let us represent you, you can be confident that nothing will be left to chance and that our team of experienced attorneys will work nonstop for your victory. Our office is proud to prosecute New Jersey bed sore cases across the state, including the following major cities: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton and Edison. Regardless of the location where your incident occurred, contact our firm today for a free case review.Elder Abuse Contact Information
To report suspected elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation in New Jersey:
- Individuals wishing to report suspected elder mistreatment occurring in the home should visit: http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/doas/safe/adultpsp.html
- 1-877-582-6995 (For suspected elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities, in state line).
- 609-943-4023 (For suspected elder mistreatment in long-term care facilities, out of state line).
Contact us today if you have been the victim of elder abuse or bed sores.New Jersey Statistics
Elder abuse and bed sores are staggeringly common in New Jersey. Unfortunately, many victims and those who know them do not know what to do next after such an incident has taken place. Therefore, in the accompanying sections, we broadly lay out the parameters of litigation surrounding this misconduct. It outlines the various stages, goals, and procedures at each relevant period. However, what most concerns clients is normally what they will eventually receive in a jury award or settlement agreement. Early and often, they ask us, “What can i receive in a New Jersey elder abuse case?” This is the whole point to the litigation process and should show anyone whether or not the time and effort is worth it. Thus, we assembled prominent statistics for elder abuse and similar cases. They highlight what others have obtained with these kinds of injuries. It is important to understand though that every cases wins or loses on its own merits. You should consult with one of of our highly qualified and experienced New Jersey elder abuse attorneys to better picture the form and result that your lawsuit might resemble.Plaintiffs’ Recovery in Elder Abuse Cases:
Here is the breakdown of what plaintiffs in New Jersey obtained for elder abuse cases:
Plaintiffs’ Recovery in Nursing Home Cases:
Here is the breakdown of what plaintiffs in New Jersey obtained for nursing home abuse cases:
Plaintiffs’ Recovery in Bed Sore Cases:
Here is the breakdown of what plaintiffs in New Jersey obtained for bed sore cases:
New Jersey Takeaways:
Compared to the national average, New Jersey elder abuse plaintiffs recovered about $50,000 more in compensation.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey nursing home abuse plaintiffs recovered about $150,000 more in compensation.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey bed sore plaintiffs recovered about $130,000 more in compensation.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey elder abuse plaintiffs recovered nothing 8% less than others.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey nursing home plaintiffs recovered nothing 10% less than others.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey bed sore plaintiffs recovered nothing 7% less than others.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey elder abuse plaintiffs recovered more than $1,000,000 1% more than others.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey nursing home plaintiffs recovered more than $1,000,000 4% more than others.
Compared to the national average, New Jersey bed sore plaintiffs recovered more than $1,000,000 5% more than others.
NAME: MIANO V. EMIGRANT MORTG. CO.
TYPE/INJURY: FINANCIAL ABUSE
The victim in this case was an elderly woman named Rose Miano who lived solely on Social Security. After seeing an advertisement related to loan repayment, she inquired with the company as to how she could restructure her finances so that her credit card debt could be reduced. The company instructed her that she could if she put her property in her son’s name. However, this had the effect of actually increasing her mortgage and credit payments beyond what she could afford. She sued the financial company for misrepresentation-alleging they had knowledge of her inability to pay-and received $25,000 in compensation.
NAME: PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT
This confidential case included a number of instances of neglect at a New Jersey hospital. The resident was an 88-year-old woman. Across her nearly two-year stay at the facility, she was subjected to numerous blocks of complete neglect. Due to this mistreatment, she suffered numerous falls and other incidents, had to lie in her urine, and suffer other emotional and physical traumas. She sued the facility under various state and federal theories of liability. The defendant nursing home initially resisted any offer to compromise, but once presented with multiple examples of neglect, they agreed to settle for $990,000.
NAME: JAMES VS. BERGEN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
The plaintiff in this case was an elderly woman living at a nursing home. She was transferred to the facility after a spending a significant amount of time at a hospital for treatment related to a fall. While living there, she hit her head multiple times on the bedrails where she slept. Later investigation revealed that deficiencies in her setup were noted but not fixed and her treating aide did not have proper licensing to take care of her. The woman also alleged other acts of abuse and neglect when she eventually sued the nursing home but the latter did not need to hear them. They wanted a quick settlement and the woman received $600,000.
NAME: DWYER VS. HARBOR VIEW HEALTH CARE CENTER
TYPE/INJURY: ABUSE; NEGLECT; DEATH
This litigation was prompted at the behest of a daughter after her mother died of abuse and neglect in a nursing care facility. Apparently, the decedent experienced malnutrition, severe weight loss, dehydration, and other signs of mistreatment prior to her death. Her daughter sued the nursing home and claimed that they entirely failed to provide the minimum guarantees they were supposed to under the law including assigning enough capable staff to her care. The defendant facility shot back with mostly procedural arguments such as statute of limitations, latches, and third party negligence. Maybe because they did not squarely address the issue of their responsibility, the jury returned a hefty verdict of $13,213,400 for the plaintiff.
NAME: LARSON VS. NEW JERSEY VETERANS HOME
TYPE/INJURY: NEGLECT; DEATH
The victim at the center of this matter was an 85-year-old male nursing home resident. In the documents filed in the subsequent lawsuit, his representatives claimed that upon his entry to the nursing facility, staff was instructed that he was at risk for choking because he had difficulty swallowing. Despite these warnings, there was no particular attention paid to him or any additional staff assigned to oversee him while he ate. During one meal, he began to choke and died a few minutes later. His lawyers claimed that he suffered great and pain and suffering during this ordeal and sued the nursing home for damages. The defendant facility argued that he did not die from choking on food and that rejected the notion that he felt any great pain through the order. However, its case was severely weakened when a nurse’s notes maintained that staff thought he died from choking on food. In a pre-trial agreement, both sides settled for $1,400,000.
NAME: HOLT VS. WAYSIDE RESIDENCE
In what is increasingly common in the field of elder law, this case involved a matter of financial abuse. The victim, Anket Holt, was a resident of the Wayside Retirement Center. Two owners of that establishment took control of Holt’s property during her stay there ostensibly for the purposes of providing care for her and paying for her various expenses. However, after Holt died, investigation proved that they embezzled money and property from her. A court found that they did this in the amount of $170,000 and were ordered to pay that as restitution.
NAME: PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT
TYPE/INJURY: FALL; NEGLECT; DEATH
This case was precipitated by a string of accidents and neglect. The victim was an elderly nursing home resident who paid of thousands of dollars a month only to be neglected for long stretches of time. On one occasion he fell while going to the bathroom and broke his hip. He died not long after this accident and his estate tried to show that this incident and the general neglect surrounding it were to blame. The defendant nursing home repudiated the assumption that it repeatedly neglected the decedent and disconnected the association between the resident’s fall and the resident’s death. These differences of opinion, however, did not preclude them from finding common ground and settling the matter. The case was disposed with a $225,000 confidential settlement agreement.
NAME: PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT
TYPE/INJURY: NEGLECT; FALL
A female of a nursing home slipped and fell on the deck of the facility while having a cigarette and broke various bones in her body. She sued the home and maintained that it failed to adequately monitor her (She was at risk for falls), clean its premise, and transfer her to a hospital for x-rays (it took them three days). Denying all of these charges, the defendant facility stated that it was with her when it happened and that the deck was cleared off appropriately. Both sides settled prior to trial for $200,000.
New Jersey Bed Sore Cases
NAME: PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
This unfortunate matter could have been entirely avoided had the staff of New Jersey hospital listened to the instructions of the resident’s doctors. A woman in her late eighties was admitted to the facility following symptoms of breathing shortness and other issues. Upon her admittance, doctors directed staff to regularly check her for bed sores and to rotate her body to deter their growth. They did not do this and, consequently, the woman did develop sores across her body. She died six weeks later and the representatives of her estate claimed that she suffered an extraordinary amount of pain and suffering because of these bed sores. They argued that the defendant hospital knew that the woman was prone to bed sores but took no action to prevent them. They sought damages for the woman’s injuries. The hospital preferred to settle rather than drag the issue through court and offered the woman’s family $250,000; they accepted.
NAME: DELMORE VS. LUTHERAN CARE
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
This case escalated quickly. An 84-year-old woman was transferred to a nursing home and died not more than four months later, 102 days to be exact. Apparently, she developed stage IV bed sores that became infected and killed her. Also, in the lawsuit that followed, her lawyers contended she also experienced significant dehydration and malnutrition while living there. The defendant nursing home denied this and tried to argue that all of these conditions existed prior her entry into their facility. This case settled prior to trial for $415,000.
NAME: PTASZYNSKI VS. ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEMS
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES; DEATH
This case had a rather novel legal argument. It began after a woman in her late eighties died of complications due to renal failure and bed sores. The family of the decedent sued the defendant facility for wrongful death and argued that it failed to meet the standards that federal and state laws imposed upon nursing homes. In response to this, the defendant countered that it did not view itself as a nursing home and that, in any event, it felt it had provided sufficient care to the woman. On these two issues, the jury came down on the plaintiff’s side. They decided that it should be viewed as a nursing home and that the care it provided was sub-standard. Accordingly, they awarded the family $550,000 for the following damages:
- Medical: $50,000
- Pain and Suffering: $250,000
- Loss of Services: $250,000
- Total: $550,000
NAME: PLAINTIFF VS. DEFENDANT
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
Here, a woman close to ninety years old was the victim of negligent care at the nursing home where she lived. She had not been there long-just a few weeks-before she started to develop bed sores. Unfortunately, staff did not notice them or take any action to prevent them from deteriorating. Therefore, they progressed rapidly and eventually forced the home to transfer her to a hospital for more advanced treatment. Physicians at the medical facility had to perform a series of debridement procedures to correct the sores but the damage was done. The events took a serious mental and physical toll on her. She sued the nursing home to recover for these injuries and the damage they caused. While both parties engaged in various depositions and other pre-trial procedures, they eventually decided to settle for $500,000 before the case actually commenced.
NAME: BROOKS VS. NEW COMMUNITY CORPORATION
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
In an all-too-common story, an elderly woman of 72 years entered a nursing home following treatment related to a stroke and, instead of receiving the care she deserved, developed bed sores. The woman argued that she should have only been at the facility for a short time before leaving but instead had to deal with this injury. She showed no signs of sores before being admitted but they were soon found on her heel. They developed so quickly and badly that they became necrotic and she had to undergo an amputation. She sued the nursing home for negligence and claimed that it failed to create and implement a plan to prevent bed sores from emerging. The defendant put out the paltry defense that the woman’s should be carefully scrutinize but, seeing the writing on the wall, agreed to settle with the plaintiff for $450,000 in a pre-trial settlement agreement.
NAME: SANTOS VS. HUDSON VIEW CARE
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES; DEATH
The victim in this story was failed in many ways. Following her admission to a nursing home, she quickly began to lose a lot of weight-nearly 25 pounds-as well as develop bed sores all across her body. The latter required her transfer to a hospital for advanced care and attention. Sadly, this episode entirely changed her life. Where she used to be an active and independent person, now she was hobbled and dependent on those around her. For these injuries, and the dramatic way in which they changed her life, she sued the nursing home for negligence. She argued that it completely disregarded her and failed to live up to the standards that it and the law set. In a pre-trial settlement agreement she received $1,000,000.
NAME: PACITTO VS. KAUFMAN
TYPE/INJURY: BED SORES
The person at the heart of this controversy was relatively young compared to most instances of bed sores, he was only 62. He sustained bed sores while recovering from hip surgery. Shockingly, it only took three days for him to get them as they arose and spread rapidly. As a result, he had to undergo further surgeries and endure long-lasting pain that would fundamentally alter his life and restrict his activities. He sued the hospital for malpractice to recover the damages that he incurred because of the bed sores. His suit claimed that at no time during his stay was he rotated to prevent them from developing even though he should have been rotated every thirty minutes. The defendant facility could not offer much in the way of a defense, and the man received $1,770,000 in a pre-trial settlement.