legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Newark Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Newark is the most populous city in New Jersey, home to over 300,000 residents. In 2021, 11% of Newark’s population were senior citizens, while 12% were living with a disability under the age of 65.
Many of Newark’s disabled and elderly residents live in nursing homes, where facilities, equipment, and professional services meet their unique needs. Unfortunately, not all nursing home residents receive the level of care they deserve. Sometimes, patients even suffer from intentional abuse.
Have you or a loved one suffered abuse or neglect from a nursing home? If so, the affiliate New Jersey personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC can help you seek the financial compensation you deserve.
Call our Newark nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) for a free consultation. Our affiliate Newark nursing home abuse attorneys handle cases of victims in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care institutions.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes physical, psychological, or financial harm to a resident. It can result from negligence, carelessness, or malicious intent of employees, visitors, or other residents.What is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of action that causes harm to an older person aged 60 and above. It can occur in any relationship with an expectation of trust, such as in a caregiver relationship.
Since over 90% of nursing home residents are senior citizens, elder abuse is the most common type of abuse in nursing homes.How Often Does Nursing Home Mistreatment Occur?
Rates of elder abuse are high in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. According to a 2022 study by the World Health Organization, 2 in 3 staff (64%) admitted to committing abuse in the past year. Unfortunately, there is not enough data reported by victims and their proxies.
Elder abuse cases are expected to rise in the US as the country experiences a rapidly aging population.
Nursing home abuse also involves younger disabled patients. However, no relevant studies report the abuse rates among these individuals.Federal Government Regulations
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act defines what services nursing homes and other residential care facilities must provide residents and establishes standards for these services. This law aims to protect the legal rights of nursing home patients, including:
- Freedom from abuse, neglect, or mistreatment
- Freedom from physical restraints
- Accommodation of physical, psychological, medical, and social needs
- Participation in resident and family groups
- Be treated with dignity
- Exercise self-determination
- Communicate freely
- Participate in one’s care plan review and be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or status change in the facility
- Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
Learning about the different types of nursing facility abuse can make it easier for families to spot it before it worsens. The following are the most common types of abuse in nursing homes and their signs:
Physical abuse involves the deliberate use of force against a patient, causing physical pain, injury, or impairment. It includes but is not limited to actions like slapping, striking, kicking, burning, and pinching.
Using forceful restraint without medical reasons may also be considered physical abuse.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Broken bones
- Unexplained physical injuries (e.g., cuts, burns, bruises)
- Broken eyeglasses
- Restraint or grip marks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Mental or Emotional Abuse
Psychological abuse, also known as mental or emotional abuse, involves verbal and non-verbal acts that cause psychological harm to a resident. These acts may include verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, gaslighting, and geographical or social isolation.
Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Poor mental health
- Being extremely withdrawn
- Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
- Bouts of anger
- Difficulty sleeping
Sexual assault or abuse is any non-consensual sexual act done to another person, including individuals who cannot give valid consent. It can take many forms, including verbal sexual harassment, unwanted touching, sodomy, coerced nudity, and rape.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Reluctance or refusal to be touched
- Unexplained bruises around the breasts or genitals
- Genital infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Refusal to be alone with specific individuals
Financial abuse is the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of a resident’s personal property, including money and assets. Financial abuse occurs in different ways, such as forging checks, stealing valuables, and using credit cards without authorization.
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
- Unexplained transactions on credit cards
- Missing belongings
- Forged signatures on financial documents
- Inconsistencies in financial records of the facility
- Sudden changes in financial habits
Neglect occurs when nursing home staff fails to provide a patient’s basic needs, including food, medication, clothing, personal hygiene, and medical care, creating or increasing the risk of harm to a patient. Intentional (active) and unintentional (passive) neglect are considered abuse.
Signs of Neglect
- Poor hygiene
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Inadequate clothing for the weather
- Poor mental health
- Lack of medical aids (e.g., eyeglasses, walkers, hearing aids)
- Medication errors
The signs of elder abuse may mimic those of early-stage dementia, such as mood and personality changes, sleep problems, and social withdrawal. Many family members mistake elder abuse for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Consult a specialist outside your elderly loved one’s nursing facility if you are unsure whether they are exhibiting signs of abuse or dementia.
Many residents also exhibit signs that mimic mental illness, such as depression, aggression, sudden weight loss, and poor hygiene due to self-neglect.Which Nursing Home Residents are Most at Risk of Abuse?
Many residents have a certain level of risk of abuse and neglect. However, some patients are more vulnerable than others, including:
- Patients with physical or mental disabilities
- Patients with special needs
- Patients with access to an abundance of wealth
- Dementia patients
- Women and children
- Patients in understaffed nursing facilities
Many nursing home residents suffer from severe and long-term consequences of abuse and neglect, such as:
- Fractures, head trauma, and other serious injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Emotional distress
- Financial losses
- Loss of personal property
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced family or social ties
- Increased risk of illnesses
- Untimely death
Abuse and neglect in nursing home facilities often arise from multiple factors, such as:
- Underqualified Staff: Employees need a particular background and skill set to care for disabled and elderly patients. Thus, a nursing facility that hires underqualified employees puts its residents at risk of abuse and neglect.
- Lack of Training: Without proper training, employees are more likely to make mistakes, engage in inappropriate behavior, or neglect patients’ needs.
- Understaffing: Some nursing homes hire fewer staff members to cut costs. However, an inadequate workforce often leads to high-stress environments, increasing the risk of abuse. Furthermore, not having enough people to care for all patients may lead to active or passive neglect.
- Poor Management: Lack of accountability, supervision, and organization can promote abusive or neglectful behavior among staff members. Poor management may also lead to disgruntled employees who may retaliate by abusing residents.
Report known or suspected abuse in a Newark nursing home to the local police. Call 911 if you think your loved one or another patient is in immediate danger.
You can also report the abuse of elderly or disabled patients to the following agencies:
- New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO)
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA)
Negligent Newark nursing homes may lose their licenses or certifications if state or local agencies find them guilty of widespread abuse. Similarly, individual perpetrators of abuse may face criminal charges from the local police.
After filing a complaint to proper authorities, contact a Newark nursing home abuse lawyer for legal assistance.Filing a Newark Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Nursing home facilities owe all residents freedom from abuse, neglect, and mistreatment. If your or your loved one’s nursing home fails to meet this legal obligation, you can hold them accountable by filing a personal injury claim with the help of a Newark nursing home abuse lawyer.
A personal injury claim could help you recover compensation for your injuries, emotional distress, monetary losses, and other economic and non-economic damages.
The Role of Your Newark Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Handling a claim without legal help is often complex. Hiring a qualified Newark nursing home abuse lawyer is necessary to obtain fair financial compensation for your claim.
Your Newark nursing home abuse lawyer can help you:
- Establish the liability of at-fault parties
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Handle all claim-related paperwork
- Negotiate settlement values
- File your case in civil court, if necessary
Abuse, neglect, and mistreatment in nursing homes may involve any of the following parties:
- Staff members
- Other residents
Nursing home administrators could be liable for abuse, neglect, or mistreatment in their facilities, even if only a single employee or resident is responsible.
A free consultation with a Newark nursing home abuse lawyer will help determine who should be responsible for your or your loved one’s damages.
Your Newark nursing home abuse lawyer will assist you in gathering evidence to support your claim, such as:
- Photos of your loved one’s injuries
- Medical records
- Psychological evaluations
- Incident reports
- Police reports
- Financial records, in case of financial abuse
- Witness accounts from employees, visitors, or other residents
- Expert testimony
Filing a personal injury claim against responsible parties could help you recover the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for the cost of treating your loved one’s physical injuries and mental trauma, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, surgery, emergency transportation, etc.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your family member becomes disabled from the abuse or neglect. These damages may include loss of quality of life and mobility aids.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for non-economic damages resulting from the abuse, including physical pain, emotional distress, and psychological trauma.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for your loved one’s reduced quality of life after the abuse or neglect, which may manifest in loss of enjoyment in daily activities, decreased independence, reduced societal ties, etc.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies as a result of abuse or neglect. These damages typically include funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, grief, etc.
- Punitive Damages: Monetary awards on top of compensatory damages, aiming to punish negligent nursing homes for their actions or inaction.
After filing a personal injury claim against a Newark nursing home, the facility’s insurance company may approach you with a settlement offer. You can accept this offer outright, but doing so will make you unable to pursue additional damages.
A skilled Newark nursing home abuse lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement for your claim. However, if negotiations are unsuccessful or the facility denies its liability in the incident, your nursing home abuse lawyer could file a civil lawsuit.
If your case goes to civil court, a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide if the defendant should pay you in compensation.
Many victims of negligent nursing homes settle out of court to avoid extensive trials and hefty legal fees. If your case needs to go to court, your Newark nursing home abuse lawyer will guide you accordingly.
The Statute of Limitations
New Jersey residents have two years from the date of the underlying incident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Otherwise, the suit will be barred. If you file a lawsuit outside the statute of limitations, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss.
Your Newark nursing home abuse lawyer will determine the best time to file a case during your free consultation.Hire an Experienced Newark Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer For Your Personal Injury Claim
Victims of abuse or neglect suffer severe injuries, psychological trauma, and significant financial losses from negligent nursing homes' actions (or inaction). Nursing Home Law Center, LLC can help you seek justice if you or a loved one are a victim of this kind of unacceptable treatment.
Our affiliate Newark nursing home abuse lawyers help countless victims of nursing home abuse recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages. We can help your family obtain justice for such unnecessary suffering through litigation or an out-of-court settlement.
Call us at (800) 926-7565 for a free case review with one of our Newark nursing home abuse lawyers. All sensitive information you disclose with our legal team will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.
Our lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency basis, requiring no payment unless we obtain compensation for you.