Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers in New Jersey
When we entrust nursing homes with the care of our elderly loved ones, we do it under the plain assumption that they will be well attended to. It is inconceivable that they would suffer mistreatment, malnutrition, physical abuse, sexual predation, or be simply neglected. Sadly, some nursing homes fail to serve their patients with the care and dignity they deserve. Cases of nursing home abuse and neglect can be painful to uncover, but it is important to take action when you suspect that your loved one may be being mistreated in their elder care facility.
For more than two decades, the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm has protected the legal rights of individuals and families throughout the entire state of New Jersey. Our New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers have always worked hard for clients and treated them like family. We promise that same level of commitment to you as well.
Signs of Abuse or Neglect
As we grow old, in many cases we also grow more vulnerable. We may become gradually less able to fight for ourselves and more susceptible to abuse by others. Our law firm is dedicated to standing up for the rights of elderly people, and to making sure that negligence or abuse by people who are entrusted with their care does not go unchallenged.
If you are concerned about the wellbeing and safety of an elderly family member, look for the following signs:
- Your loved one seems too quiet, depressed, or afraid
- Inadequate nutrition, including malnutrition or dehydration
- Inadequate staffing, meaning untrained staff or too few staff members
- Medication mistakes (wrong type, too little, too much)
- Overmedication (often mistaken for dementia or used to subdue difficult patients)
- Unexplained falls or broken bones
- Bedsores, also called decubitus ulcers
- Failure to provide adequate care
- Failure to diagnose an illness or new medical condition
These signs of nursing home abuse should be a serious cause for concern. Your loved one may be reluctant to share their mistreatment for fear of retribution from the staff, so it is critical to do everything you can to help them through such a frightening situation.
Under the terms of the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), included in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, nursing homes must comply with the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (42 CFR Part 483) in order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs. In general, this means nursing homes must provide a standard of care that involves maintaining adequate staffing levels, properly evaluating and assessing a patient’s medical needs, and providing treatment for hearing- or sight-impaired patients.
If a nursing home fails to adhere to the requirements of the NHRA, it can be held financially liable for any injuries that occur as a result, including bedsores. At our firm, we expose the negligence of nursing homes that result in bed sores and other serious nursing home negligence complications.
What are bed sores?
In general, bedsores (also referred to as “decubitus ulcers”) happen when pressure on an area of skin prevents a sufficient amount of blood from getting to the area in question. Typically, this occurs when a patient lies in a certain position over a prolonged period of time. If nursing home staff fail to move patients or reposition them, their weight exerts pressure over portions of their body, resulting in decreased blood flow. When left unaddressed, pressure around thin layers of skin—such as those surrounding bone joints—can begin to redden and turn into sores.
The following signs and symptoms are associated with the development of bedsores:
- Due to a lack of proper blood flow, a red, irritated area develops around an area of skin.
- When left untreated, the area begins to blister and craters form.
- If ignored, deeper layers of skin are affected, resulting in open, oozing and bleeding wounds.
- When a bedsore penetrates all layers of skin, bone and muscle are exposed, leading to life-threatening complications.
This kind of injury takes time to develop, meaning that patients who develop bedsores have been left neglected for extended periods of time. These patients are often bedridden, meaning they require attention and may need help repositioning their bodies, as they cannot do it themselves.
Bedsores are a sign of neglect and a strong indication that regulations are being violated. As a result, the nursing home in question can be held financially liable under the doctrine of negligence. Bedsores and other forms of nursing home neglect should be taken seriously and are always unjustifiable. If your loved one has suffered mistreatment in their nursing home, you can hold the facility accountable for the injuries they have had to endure.
Call Our New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, Attorney Todd Leonard offers all potential new clients a free, no-pressure initial consultation. At the first meeting, we can learn the facts of your situation and describe some preliminary legal options. These consultations are free of charge because we handle all injury cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay no attorneys’ fees unless we are successful at achieving a settlement or jury verdict on your behalf.
If you suspect that a family member is being mistreated or abused by a nursing care provider, take immediate legal action. Document the effects of the mistreatment the best you can, and then contact a law firm that knows how to manage lawsuits charging abuse or neglect by a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or a home care provider. Call today.