PERSONAL INJURY

New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer

elderly person on couch being scolded

Often, families must entrust the care of their loved ones to facilities that claim to have the background and medical credentials needed to compassionately care for the elderly and/or disabled.

Unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide a safe and caring environment. Some facilities fail to deliver the quality of care family members expect and residents deserve. In some cases, the lack of care can be considered nursing home abuse or neglect.

At the law firm of Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we understand you may be in a difficult position. You want what’s best for your loved one but may not know where to turn when you suspect a nursing home of abuse or neglect. For decades we have worked to build a track record of trust and compassion with the clients we serve.

If you believe your family member is in an abusive or neglectful situation at a nursing home or other long-term residential facility, contact our New Jersey office immediately. We want to help your family prevent the needless suffering of a loved one and seek meaningful compensation and justice for their injuries.

How Our Law Firm Helps Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

elderly person in bed being abused in nursing home

The elderly and disabled are among the most vulnerable groups in our population. Unfortunately, they don’t always have a powerful voice and need help standing up for themselves and their rights, especially in cases where an individual suffers from physical or cognitive impairments.

At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we are committed to helping victims of nursing home abuse and their families fight back against mistreatment. Our skilled team can review your situation and thoroughly investigate claims of abuse and neglect. Our goal is to build a compelling claim that gives a resident the best chance at recovering compensation for the pain, suffering and costs associated with injuries caused by abuse. We also strive to send a message to facilities that abuse and neglect will not be tolerated.

From our clients

I would recommend Richard Isolde to my family and friends, and he was accommodating in handling our case. He was always available by text, phone calls, and email. Most significantly, he helped us get what we deserved. Richard Isolde is always there for his clients and does whatever he can to get the job done.

FD

Richard Isolde worked very hard on my case, making the impossible possible.
He was able to get the full amount up to the policy limit and then get punitive damages in addition. I understand that is a rare accomplishment. I am grateful for that and I congratulate him. Your firm was recommended to me by a friend and I will pay it forward by recommending him as well as PRA.

ML

I used Mr. (SQ) Lee for a personal injury matter and could not have been any more pleased with his services. He understood my injury and helped me every step of the way. He was courteous and kind and I always felt better after speaking with him. His assistant, Sherrill, was also wonderful and together they made a great team! I would absolutely recommend them, and the firm, to anyone.

BF

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?

At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we do not charge you any fees upfront to start work on your personal injury case. We will review your case for free, with no obligation to you. If we believe you have a claim for compensation, we will do all the legal legwork with no out-of-pocket cost to you. When we recover compensation for you, our fee then comes as a percentage of that. If we don’t win, you don’t pay us. It’s that simple.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

nursing home worker raising hand at elderly person

The World Health Organization estimates that at least 1 in 6 people age 60 and over will experience some form of abuse in a community setting. The state has a New Jersey Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights. The document outlines the rights of nursing home residents, like the right to be free from abuse and the right to respect. Nursing home abuse and neglect rob the elderly and disabled of their dignity, self-worth, and health.

What do nursing home abuse and neglect look like? Most people don’t understand that abuse can take many forms.

Generally, nursing home abuse is any intentional harm inflicted on a resident at the hands of a caregiver or person in a position of authority. However, abuse comes in different forms and is not always physical.

The types of abuse a resident may experience in a nursing home or long-term care facility include:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is typically one of the most recognizable forms of nursing home abuse. It is any violent act taken on a resident. Examples of physical abuse include hitting, kicking, biting, burning, shoving, and slapping.

Psychological Abuse

Psychological or emotional abuse is much more subtle but no less damaging. Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver inflicts mental harm on a resident using verbal or nonverbal threats. Talking down to a resident, humiliating them, shouting and being verbally aggressive, making threats, and using degrading language to chip away at a person’s mental health can be psychological abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is an underreported crime in nursing homes. This fact is partially due to sexual abusers targeting cognitively impaired individuals who cannot communicate about the abuse. Sexual abuse is any form of unwanted sexual contact or contact that occurs with a person unable to consent. Rape, fondling, touching, forced nudity, taking sexually explicit photos or videos, and forcing a resident to watch explicit material are all common examples of sexual abuse.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is another type of abuse that gets overlooked and underreported. Financial abuse occurs when a caregiver exploits a vulnerable individual for financial gain. Financial abuse can happen through theft of personal property or stealing a resident’s debit or credit card. Financial abuse can also occur if a caregiver forges checks or involves a resident in investment or pyramid schemes.

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Neglect is also a significant problem in nursing homes in New Jersey and across the country. Neglect is the systematic failure to meet a resident’s daily needs. Neglect is not a one-time occurrence. It is a pattern of routinely failing to care for a resident. Just like with abuse, neglect comes in multiple forms, including:

Medical Neglect

This is the neglect of a resident’s medical needs. Medical neglect includes failing to administer medications, improper wound care, failing to treat sores and infections, and failing to seek proper treatment for medical conditions.

Neglect of Basic Needs

This is the failure of a nursing home to provide a resident with life’s basics, such as food, water, climate control, and a safe environment.

Neglect of Personal Hygiene

This is the failure of a nursing home to provide a resident with clean clothes, clean bed linens, dental care, and bathing.

Signs Your Loved One Could Be Suffering Abuse or Neglect in a Nursing Home

elderly person falling in nursing home room

Nursing home abuse can be challenging to spot because the signs of abuse and neglect are varied. While physical abuse can leave tell-tale marks and bruises, the scars left by emotional abuse are more difficult to spot because they are internal.

Family members should be vigilant about watching out for their loved ones because residents often refuse to vocalize their struggles. Many residents are victimized by their abusers and forced to silence by threats or fear of retaliation. Other residents cannot vocalize their abuse because of physical or cognitive impairment. Dementia patients are particularly susceptible to nursing home abuse. Due to their impaired memory, abuse claims are often ignored or dismissed as imagined.

nursing home worker abusing elderly person

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, watch for these potential signs of a problem:

  • Unexplained marks, bruises, or burns appearing on their body
  • Frequent illnesses or infections
  • Multiple or unexplained falls
  • Frequent trips to the ER or medical clinic
  • Marks on the wrists or ankles indicating the use of restraints
  • Bedsores
  • Blood on bedsheets or in underwear
  • Sudden development of a sexually transmitted infection
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Withdrawing from family or friends
  • Withdrawing from favorite activities or pastimes
  • Refusing to cooperate with specific caregivers
  • Dirty appearance or lack of hygiene
  • Soiled clothing
  • Soiled bed linens left unchanged
  • Items missing from the resident’s room
  • Sudden change in a financial situation
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition

You can be your loved one’s most powerful advocate. If you notice any concerning changes in your family member’s appearance, financial situation, or demeanor, talk to our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers immediately.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Reporting nursing home abuse can seem daunting. How do you know where to turn for help and who can you trust? If you suspect your family member is being abused or neglected in a nursing home or long-term care setting, you can seek help. Your reporting options include:

Emergency Services

If your loved one is in immediate danger or a life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately for help.

Nursing Home Management

Reporting abuse to the nursing home management can be a good first step as it establishes a paper trail outlining the abuse. It also allows the nursing home the opportunity to address and correct the problem. Family members should file a complaint in writing with the nursing home and keep a copy for their records. The complaint needs to include factual and specific instances of abuse, including the names of those involved and the names of potential witnesses. Although it can be difficult, avoid peppering your statement with emotion. Stick to the facts.

A formal complaint should also include a resolution request. In other words, ask the nursing home what the plan is for investigating and addressing the situation. You will also need to supply your contact information and a deadline for the nursing home to reach out to you with their findings.

Although many nursing homes want to do right by their residents and keep them safe, others will be resistant to investigating claims of abuse and neglect. Nursing homes with a record of abuse or neglect risk losing their federal funding and may face steep fines. These consequences can be enough for facilities to cover up claims of abuse.

A long-term care ombudsman is a third-party advocate for the rights of the residents living in long-term care facilities like nursing homes. These individuals help residents and their families address complaints about caregivers, nursing home staff, and long-term care facilities. They give a strong voice to residents while providing emotional support and comfort.

If you are concerned about an elderly family member, you may also be able to turn to the New Jersey Adult Protective Service Providers. Each county of the state has a branch you can contact to report your concerns.

The Eldercare Locator is a service provided by the U.S. Administration on Aging. It is an online tool that helps connect families and nursing home residents with advocacy services in their area. They also provide individuals with a wealth of information on elder rights and abuse prevention.

If your loved one’s nursing home accepts Medicare, you may also be able to file a complaint directly with the federal government through the Medicare system. Medicare provides a Quality Improvement Organization program dedicated to improving the health and quality of elderly healthcare. Complaints addressing violations of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act and quality of care concerns can be submitted by mail or fax.

Common Types of Injuries in Nursing Homes

elderly person being abused by nursing home worker

Nursing home abuse and neglect injuries are varied. Some of the most common types of injuries that a resident may experience include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones, especially hips, wrists, and legs
  • Infections
  • Bedsores also called pressure ulcers
  • Ligature marks from restraints
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions
  • Burns
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Side effects from not taking medication
Who Could Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Determining who can be held liable for nursing home abuse and neglect can be challenging. Liability depends on the circumstances of the resident’s situation. In some cases, the individuals committing the abusive acts can be held responsible for the abuse or neglect of a resident. In many cases, the nursing home itself may be vicariously liable for employees’ wrongdoing.

 

If you are interested in learning more about nursing home abuse and neglect claims, contact our experienced New Jersey nursing home abuse attorneys. We can help uncover whether the abuse is occurring due to the actions of one negligent individual or whether the abuse results from systemic problems with hiring, training, or chronic understaffing on the part of the nursing home.

Potential Compensation in a Nursing Home Abuse Case

elderly person looking upset

At Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman, we know that money is the last thing on your mind when the health and safety of your loved one is in jeopardy. However, if your family member has suffered abuse or neglect while living in a nursing home, they may also be entitled to compensation for their injuries. A loved one may be able to recover money for losses such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life

The value of your loved one’s claim will depend on the circumstances of the case and the severity of their injuries. Talk to our experienced New Jersey nursing home abuse and neglect

attorneys about what amount would be fair and reasonable compensation to redress the abuse or neglect suffered.

New Jersey’s Statute of Limitations on Nursing Home Injury Cases

elderly person using walker

Personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the negligent act or within two years of discovering the individual’s injuries. If you suspect abuse, consult our attorneys immediately to discuss your legal options. We are ready to take swift action to avoid issues with the statute of limitations on nursing home abuse and neglect cases.

Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers Are Ready to Help

elderly person in wheelchair by window

Contact Pellettieri Rabstein & Altman to discuss your suspicions and let our experienced team help you protect your loved one from further pain and humiliation.

1-800-432-LAWS

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