As our nations population ages, nursing homes and assisted living facilities more frequently become a fact of life for our loved ones and ourselves. Yet, the regulation and oversight of such facilities falls short of what is needed.
Reports show that a “vast reservoir of undetected and unreported elder mistreatment in nursing homes may exist.”(1) Studies by the Federal Government show that nearly 1 in 3 US. Nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that had the potential to cause harm or that had caused actual harm. (2) An AARP report found that New Jersey ranks second worst in the number of nursing home residents with bed sores (3).
Time is Often of the Essence
With cases of abuse and neglect so frequent, we understand the importance of legal actions to address the wrongs that are done. suspected of being at risk of fast action. Many cases are triggered by changes in underlying health issues or increasing levels of diminished capacity, further adding to the need for an effective response to force these facilities to care for our loved ones. Too often, these facilities place profits first.
A Comprehensive Approach
Our approach is comprehensive, including investigation, expert consultation, and family counseling to address mistreatment in any type of facility; including assisted living facilities, board and care homes, and nursing homes. Our team will address all forms of all forms of elder abuse, including bed sores, falls, medication errors, elopement, infection, dehydration, malnutrition, assault, financial exploitation and emotional victimization.
The goal is always to obtain justice for our loved ones who often lack the capacity to make their own decisions.
We assist clients with everything from basic information on how to report abuse to help with contacting organizations that can help with the response to abuse. If legal action is necessary, we understand how to respond effectively utilizing our understanding of the laws in the States of New Jersey and New York.
CBS TV News Story Featuring Partner Tom Howard on Major New Precedent Set on Behalf of a Nursing Home Abuse Patient
that will help to Protect the Legal Rights of All Nursing Home Patients in New Jersey
Questions about Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
At Gartenberg Howard, we understand the sensitivity of nursing home abuse cases. Our lawyers are dedicated to the well-being of you and your loved ones. We will fight to get you the compensation you deserve so you can move forward with your lives and put this traumatic ordeal behind you.
If your loved one has been victimized by nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact the qualified attorneys at Gartenberg Howard today. We can help you move forward with this difficult claim and hold the guilty party responsible for your family’s suffering.
Q Do I have a case?
Every nursing home neglect or personal injury case is different. At Gartenberg Howard, we never forget that.
Working from the facts you give us, we will investigate, thoroughly research the applicable law, and advise you as to your legal rights. If you or your loved ones have a claim, we will help you determine the right course of action to obtain justice.
Q What is my case worth?
A Gartenberg Howard lawyer will be glad to talk to you directly and clearly about how and when to estimate the value of your case and what we can do to improve your recovery.
We will not agree to represent you unless we think we can add value to your case.
Three important ways we add value are:
- Providing an early assessment as to the strength of your claim and whether you are likely to benefit by hiring us.
- Maximizing the recovery in your case.
- Minimizing the amount you have to pay out of your settlement for health insurance reimbursement or for other losses associated with your case.
Q How will I pay for your legal advice?
We handle most nursing home neglect, employment, and malpractice claims on a contingent fee basis.
This means that we usually advance the costs and expenses of the case. We obtain payment only at the end, when the case is won or settled. You pay no fee upfront. You have no obligation to pay us unless and until you make a recovery.
Q Will I have to go to court?
Most nursing home neglect and personal injury cases are settled before trial, so most of our clients do not end up going to court. However, not every settlement offer is a good one, and not every case can be settled.
Gartenberg Howard is uniquely positioned to advise you about the settlement value of your case and, when appropriate, to negotiate a settlement. Because of our experience, past successes, and recognition as pre-eminent lawyers, we have the credibility and the ability to negotiate from strength and to fight for your rights.
We prepare every case as if it was going to court in order to get you the best possible settlement offer.
Q What are the types of nursing home abuse?
Neglect often occurs in the form of failure to provide basic care that leads to bed sores, falls, or infection, or in the failure to properly medicate, or the failure to provide sufficient basic needs such as food and water, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration.
Abuse can also be physical and financial, including hitting, verbally abusing, and stealing money or tampering with funds. Sadly, a number of cases involve sexual abuse, even rape, of elderly residents.
Q What kind of damages can I recover?
If you or a loved one has been injured because of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may able to collect compensation for:
- Loss of quality of life.
- Denial of dignity.
- Pain and suffering.
- Wrongful death.
- Physical impairment and/or disfigurement.
Q How can I tell if my loved one is being neglected or abused?
Visit often. During each visit, ask the staff what treatments your loved one is receiving. Ask how he or she is eating, drinking, moving about. Look for warning signs such as:
- Bruises or skin tears.
- Sunken or unfocused eyes.
- Unusual odors.
- Dirty bed sheets or clothing.
- Weight gain or loss.
- Sudden changes in mood and behavior.
- Not enough or hostile staff.
- Unexpected death.
Q What are some examples of nursing home negligence or abuse?
Nursing home abuse and neglect presents in many forms. Here are the most common:
- Failure to provide food or water or failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration
- Failure to assist with or maintain a resident’s personal hygiene
- Failure to provide safe, clean and decent living conditions
- Failure to provide sufficient medical care and assistance with medical devices
- Failure to prevent a resident from developing bed sores or failing to provide adequate treatment to promote healing
Q How can I find a safe and reputable nursing home?
Begin by considering a number of factors, such as location, visiting policies and patient-to-staff ratio. Also investigate the experience and training of staff, and what the employee prerequisites include. Research available options on the Medicare Compare website.
Visit the nursing home. Look at it from your loved one’s point of view. of your choice and assess the:
- Appearance of the facility and its residents
- Friendliness of the staff
- Sleeping accommodations
- Daily activities
- Dining facilities and menus
Remember – a “for profit” nursing home is in the business of making a profit, and it spends a lot of money on marketing. Try your best to see through the marketing to find the truth. Your loved one deserves it.
For additional help and a free consultation contact the Hackensack, New Jersey based Gartenberg Howard LLP at (201) 488-4644.
Articles on Nursing Home Abuse
To learn more about how the court system is addressing elders as victims and litigants we suggest exploring these resources: