Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Westfield, New Jersey
No one will ever expect a loved one to be a victim of neglect and abuse in a nursing home. Sadly, neglect and abuse occur regularly in nursing homes throughout New Jersey in many different ways.
Since nursing home residents are extremely vulnerable, friends and family rely heavily on the facility to make sure that their loved one is properly cared for and receives that dignity and care he or she is entitled to, and even further, paying for. Regrettably, nursing homes and other similar facilities do not always provide the care that they should. Nursing home negligence is common in New Jersey and it can include the failure to protect residents from serious health and safety hazards. When negligence occurs, it can result in injuries such as bedsores, broken bones, dehydration, and even death.
Fight for the Rights of Your Loved One, Speak to an Experienced Attorney Who Can Help
If you or a loved one has experienced neglect or abuse while in a nursing care facility, it may be beneficial to speak to a skilled lawyer who can help. A lawyer who has extensive experience in nursing home abuse can fight to help you and your loved one recover all that is deserved.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at the Harrell, Smith & Williams, LLC firm have experience in these types of cases and will thoroughly and dutifully assess each individual claim. The firm will prepare each case and help victims secure the restitution they deserve to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other related costs. When it comes to nursing home abuse, the attorneys at the Harrell, Smith & Williams, LLC firm are committed to bringing justice to the victims and their family members.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse in New Jersey Facilities
When nursing home abuse or neglect occurs, the family members of the victim will not always witness the careless actions or in-actions. Generally, abuse will be recognized by common signs that may include the following:
- Unexplained injuries
- Falls with injuries
- Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus
- Sudden weight loss
- Dehydration, which can be seen through the victim’s severe cracked lips
- Unsanitary conditions
- Lack of quality staff
- Insufficient staffing
- Overmedicating or under-medicating the patient
- A sudden change in the patient’s prognosis
- A sudden change in the patient’s behavior
- Staff delaying family visits to the patient
- Staff refusing visits
- Signs of sexual abuse, such as sexually transmitted infections or venereal infections
- A sudden transfer to a hospital for an infection, malnutrition, or wound care
- An immediate or unexplained death
Other Types of Abuse That Can Occur in Negligent Facilities
Unfortunately, there are far too many nursing homes that put profit before the proper care of their patients. In other instances, ruthless medical caregivers are hired for the wellbeing of the hospital patients. When a person is cared for in a negligent nursing home, devastating injuries or even wrongful death can occur.
- Emotional and Psychological Abuse - This type of abuse is verbal and will attempt to emotionally manipulate the patient in effort of controlling his or her behavior by diminishing his or her dignity, sense of self worth, and identity. Psychological abuse can include intimidation, humiliation, and aggression. Emotional abuse can be evident through the following signs:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Appearing to be frightened, hopeless, or disturbed
- Change in sleeping patterns or eating
- Depression or social withdrawal
- Financial Abuse - Financial abuse is the unlawful or unsolicited use of another person’s property, monetary funds, and other assets. Financial abuse in a nursing home can be carried out by an employee of the nursing home or the nursing home company. Signs of financial abuse can include the following:
- Bank checks that are frequently written to a financial professional or medical caregiver
- Changes made to a will that seem out of place
- Changes to other types of financial forms
- Monetary transfers that are unexplained
- Unexplained asset transfers
- Names added to financial accounts
Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in New Jersey
Currently, there are various state and federal laws that determine and safeguard the rights of vulnerable and dependent Americans being cared for in nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the State of New Jersey. Unfortunately, even with strict laws in place, abuse continues to occur among these establishments. In spite of this, nursing home residents and their family members need to understand that they have rights that protect their rights and interests, and this includes the right to pursue legal action against the negligent facility.
Nursing home laws in the New Jersey state empower nursing home residents with certain rights and also demand all nursing homes to maintain a high caliber of medical health care and treatment. The New Jersey Department of Health and various other agencies maintain an oversight of medical facilities and nursing homes in the state. These public and private organizations audit nursing home facilities and also investigate claims, which include allegations of neglect and abuse.
Speak to a Qualified Lawyer Who Has Proficient Experience in Nursing Home Abuse Claims
The elderly and incapacitated are some of the most vulnerable groups of people. As a society, we owe a duty to the vulnerable to ensure that they are safe and protected. At Harrell, Smith & Williams, LLC we work hard to protect the rights of the most vulnerable. When a nursing home establishment or a nursing home employee has acted in a negligent manner and this has lead to the injury of a patient, we work diligently to defend the rights of the patient.
Some of the most tragic stories we hear in our practice are those where nursing home abuse is involved. We have seen people’s loved ones: grandmothers, grandfathers, parents, siblings and even children; ravaged by thirst, and hunger because of nursing home abuse.
We have also seen patients with massive bedsores that result from the basic failure to follow the rules provided for in the New Jersey Nursing Home Statute. Some of the most common nursing home abuse cases we have seen involve elderly patients being dropped and elderly patients left to waste in bed in spite of calling for help. Some Nursing Home workers have abused patients physically, emotionally, and, yes, even sexually. Of course, some workers have also stolen from their patients as well. In every single case, our office has made it a focus to protect the rights and interests of those who are most vulnerable.
If you or a loved one has faced any problem in a nursing home or long term care facility, contact the lawyers at Harrell, Smith & Williams, LLC today. We have many years of dedicated experience representing vulnerable nursing home patients who have been victimized by their nursing home facility or an employee of the facility.
Nursing home abuse should never be tolerated. The State of New Jersey provides substantial protections under the New Jersey Nursing Home Residents Bill of Rights. Victims of nursing home abuse have the right to file a claim for reparations. Additionally, under many circumstances, it may be possible to shift the burden of attorney’s fees to the negligent nursing home. If you or someone you love has been injured or has suffered abuse while under the care of a nursing home, please, call us today. Under New Jersey law, claims filed against nursing homes should be done promptly. When a claim is filed past the allowable time frame, the claim will likely be dismissed, which will prevent the ability to recuperate damages. Let us help you and your loved ones protect your rights. Contact the firm today by calling (908) 264-7228.
Our lawyers will also represent you in civil litigation cases such as Work Compensation, Medical Malpractice and much more.