Nursing home facilities are places that many people trust to care for their elderly loved ones when they can no longer live alone and need assistance with daily activities. Yet all too often, these facilities face accusations of neglect, exploitation, and other harm against their residents. Understaffing, poor training, or malicious intent can lead your loved one to suffer neglect and even outright abuse in a nursing home.
If your loved one experienced abuse of any kind while in the care of nursing home staff, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. Let an Englewood nursing home abuse lawyer from Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. review your case and determine how we can help.
New Jersey Nursing Home Complaints
New Jersey nursing homes are under the supervision of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO), but even oversight from this government entity cannot always prevent the mistreatment of nursing home residents. According to an annual fiscal report from 2018, LTCO initiated 3,316 new investigations into nursing home complaints.
The majority of these cases involved violations of resident’s rights, which includes various types of abuse as well as issues with privacy, access to information, and language barriers. Resident care was the second largest category for nursing home complaints, pertaining to issues of unattended symptoms, use of restraints, and issues with hygiene.
Types of Abuse in Nursing Homes
It is important to understand the most common types of elderly abuse that may occur in a nursing home. In some cases, your loved one may be able to self-report such abuse so that you can take steps to address the mistreatment together. Many times, however, the residents of these facilities have a condition that inhibits their ability to self-report, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Awareness can help you limit the risks to your family member, while letting you know what red flags to look out for that may indicate such abuse. Based on various studies cited by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), the most frequent types of abuse seen at nursing home facilities include:
- Financial exploitation
- Emotional and psychological abuse
- Physical mistreatment
- Sexual abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing any type of elder abuse from the nursing home staff, you do not have to handle this situation alone. It can be overwhelming to take action against a nursing home facility, but the team at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. is prepared to handle such cases.
Contact us at (201) 585-9111 and find out how an Englewood nursing home abuse lawyer can help.
Verdicts and Settlements
To a nursing home resident who developed a Stage IV ulcer requiring surgery where the nursing home alleged the resident was non-compliant with recommendations to reduce pressure from excessive wheelchair use.
What to Do When You Suspect Elder Abuse in a Nursing Home
When you have suspicions about the care your loved one is receiving at a nursing home, or your loved one tells you about abuse that is occurring, there are several steps you can take. If the issue is with a particular staff member, you may want to report the abuse to the nursing home administration or the police. For issues with the nursing home as a whole, you may even want to remove your loved one from the facility entirely.
The next step you can take is to file a complaint with a government agency for a thorough investigation. While the LTCO is the main agency responsible for nursing home facilities, you can also report the abuse to the New Jersey Department of Health. These agencies may open investigations into long-term care (LTC) facilities in order to determine if there has been a violation of the law.
In order to seek damages for your loved one’s pain and suffering, however, you will need to file a personal injury claim. While you may be able to do this yourself, a nursing home abuse attorney may be able to offer extra guidance and support to help you fight for compensation on behalf of your loved one.
New Jersey Laws Regarding Nursing Home Abuse
The State of New Jersey has certain laws in place to protect nursing home residents, such as NJ Rev Stat § 52:27D-409. This law requires long-term care employees, physicians, social workers, and other caretakers to report any instances of abuse, exploitation, or related crimes against residents within 24 hours.
For incidents involving serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, this time limit is 2 hours. Failure to do so will result in fines up to $500 for the individual, and up to $2,500 for the facility.
Beyond criminal fines, evidence from a situation like this may support a civil case against the nursing home and its staff. A nursing home abuse attorney can help you use information from these proceedings to prove negligence and liability in your personal injury case. If you are able to connect acts of negligence to your loved one’s injuries, you can secure compensation for these damages.
It is also important to note that personal injury lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations. In New Jersey, NJ Rev Stat § 2A:14-2 gives victims two years to file a lawsuit for damages.
Contact the Office of an Englewood Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help Today
When you place your loved one in a nursing home or another long-term care facility, you expect them to receive the utmost care. This is especially true if your loved one requires additional care because of a physical or mental condition. If you have reason to believe that negligence or abuse is occurring, you have the right to hold the facility and its staff responsible for any harm they cause.
Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi P.C. to find out how to proceed with a nursing home abuse case. Our law firm can help you collect evidence of elder abuse or neglect to support your claim, and fight for compensation on your family’s behalf. Call us for a free consultation at (201) 585-9111.