Millions of older Americans live in nursing homes, and with our rapidly aging population, the number of people in residential care facilities will increase. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a genuine problem.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), almost half of 2,000 nursing home residents interviewed experienced abuse, and 95% reported neglect of themselves or another resident.
In New Jersey, the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program investigated 3,316 reports of abuse or neglect in 2018 and closed out another 2,903 complaints made to the program.
It can devastate someone to learn that their parent, spouse, or other loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of the facility charged with their care. Abuse and neglect are both illegal and morally wrong.
If your loved one suffered harm because of nursing home abuse and neglect, you could hold those responsible for their injuries accountable for their wrongdoing. A Newark nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with a team member.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Elder abuse can lead to psychological harm and serious physical injuries, even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), abuse can take several forms.
This category includes any physical harm or force intentionally inflicted on the resident by nursing home staff. The abuse could consist of hitting, pushing, slapping, excessively rough handling, burning, kicking, or any other type of violence.
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
These are verbal and non-verbal behaviors that cause fear, distress, anguish, or anxiety. Examples of this type of abuse might include threats, harassment, and social isolation.
Any unwanted or forced sexual contact, this type of abuse includes improper touching, sexual harassment, or coercion to perform sexual acts.
This type of nursing home abuse occurs when a staff member steals a resident’s money, belongings, property, or other assets. Examples include stealing a resident’s valuables (e.g., jewelry) or Social Security benefits.
Neglect happens when nursing home staff fails to meet a resident’s basic needs for clothing, shelter, hygiene, or medical care. Sometimes, neglect is unintentional, though no less harmful. Unintentional neglect can happen because of overworked or poorly trained staff.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Many nursing home residents need care because they suffer from chronic physical conditions or decreased cognitive functioning. Because of their health problems, many residents depend on others for their care and may be unable to protect themselves against abuse and neglect. They may be unable to report abuse or afraid that telling someone will lead to retaliation.
Recognizing the signs of abuse and neglect is one of the best ways you can protect your loved one. The following might all serve as warnings of problems with their care:
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, burns, or scars
- Lack of assistance with mobility
- Excessive falls and accidents
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Poor hygiene (e.g., lack of dental care or dirty hair and clothing)
- Weight loss
- Lack of assistance with using the toilet
- Failure to change soiled diapers
Changes in your loved one’s behavior may also signal abuse. Watch for signs of depression, trauma (like rocking back and forth), lack of interest in activities they used to enjoy, difficulty sleeping, or violent or aggressive behavior.
If you suspect your loved one suffers from abuse or neglect, you should report it to the nursing home’s administration. Make sure you make a written, detailed, and dated account. You may also want to submit the report to local law enforcement, adult protective services, or an agency that advocates for the elderly.
In New Jersey, you can file a complaint online with the Department of Health, which regulates nursing home facilities, or call (800) 792-9770. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you believe your loved one may have suffered because of abuse and neglect, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help you investigate your claims and seek compensation. Contact our team for more information.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Newark, call (800) 794-0444
What You Can Recover
A Newark nursing home abuse lawyer can help you seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses: This includes awards for doctor’s visits, hospital stays, medications, surgeries, physical therapy, ongoing treatments, and any other medical costs incurred because of your loved one’s injury.
- Pain and suffering: Your loved one could receive compensation for their physical pain, mental anguish, stress, anxiety, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Personal property: If a staff member stole or damaged your loved one’s property, a nursing home abuse lawyer could help you recover monetary damages.
- Wrongful death: If your loved one died because of injuries caused by abuse or neglect, you might be able to seek compensation on their behalf, as well as awards for your pain and suffering.
Newark Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
When you put your loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to be treated with kindness, dignity, and respect. It is horrible to learn that they were subjected to abuse by those you entrusted with their care.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has fought nursing home abuse and neglect since 1985. We believe no one should be allowed to harm some of the most vulnerable members of our society, and we are here to help you seek justice for your loved one.
Our Newark nursing home abuse lawyers can help you through every step of your case, from filing your claims to gathering evidence and representing you in court. Our firm works on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing out-of-pocket and nothing upfront. We only receive a fee if we achieve a settlement for you. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm risk-free to discuss your case with a member of our team.