Nursing Home Injury Lawyer NJ

Nursing Home Injury Lawyer NJ

Neglect is at an all-time high- Protect your loved ones today

A nursing home injury lawyer in NJ at Davis & Brusca, LLC understands the impact of elder abuse. You’ve discovered that your elderly loved one is being neglected in a nursing home.  Your emotions are swirling.  You are feeling confused, angry.  You are concerned and wonder about what steps you should take.  We are nursing home abuse & neglect specialists.  These cases ARE what we do.  We truly understand how you feel, and we are deeply committed to helping you find a legal solution. Please call our office to schedule a complimentary case review.

Meet Davis & Brusca, LLC

The lawyers at our nursing home firm have been helping the victims of neglect and abuse pursue change for decades.  By pushing for financial accountability, our team’s efforts have helped to inspire New Jersey long-term care providers to stop focusing on their own profits and, instead, put  the health and well-being of their residents back into the #1 position.  

Our firm is knowledgeable and zealous by nature. We don’t get intimidated by threats and demands made by the legal teams of large assisted care companies and we don’t back down.  We have earned our reputation as a law firm residents can trust, and our top lawyers will fight tooth and nail against corporate greed and other abusive and neglectful behaviors.

Benefits to Choosing Us to Represent You:

 

  • We are experts in the state and federal laws governing the long-term care industry
  • We thoroughly investigate every case and get to the truth of what happened
  • We are willing to investigate any meritorious case, even if the state agencies have not taken action
  • We have the resources necessary to get to the truth and prove what happened, and will insure any necessary experts are retained
  • We are committed to helping you and your family obtain justice.

If you believe neglect is taking place, now is the time to talk with the NJ nursing home lawyers at Davis & Brusca.

I Signed An Arbitration Agreement, Now What?

Today it is very common for a nursing home to require that new residents or their representatives sign an arbitration agreement prior to moving into the facility. While no two arbitration agreements are the same, they often say that when, and if, a dispute occurs the resident agrees to waive their right to file a civil action in court and instead to settle the dispute through private arbitration.   All too often, these agreements have been “slipped in” to the admission papers and are signed without being read & understood.  We have seen agreements which suggest that arbitration is “cheaper”, “quicker” or “more effective” than filing a court action.  

And, when faced with such representations, elderly persons or their families may believe it and think it beneficial to sign the arbitration agreement.  However, as a team member can attest, these statements are generally untrue.  In a court action, you may have to pay filing fees, but you don’t have to pay the judge or jury an hourly rate to listen to and decide your case.  Not so with arbitration.  In a court action, the court will push the case forward and take action to ensure it doesn’t “drag on” endlessly.  Not necessarily so with arbitration.  These are but a few of the actual “downsides” to arbitration, but they are very real to people who are seeking justice.

If you signed an arbitration agreement, either for yourself or on behalf of a family member being admitted to a nursing home, there may be ways to void the agreement, whether in-whole or in-part.  The NJ nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca are experienced with arbitration agreements.  We can review the agreement and the circumstances of its signing to see if it can be struck down and, if it cannot, we may still be able to help.  The circumstances of each case are unique.  Contact our legal team today.

Signs that Indicate Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

If you notice any of the following signs, your loved one may be in a situation that could be harmful.

  • Malnutrition/ dehydration
  • Unwarranted or overused restraint
  • Restraint marks
  • Chemical restraint
  • Unhygienic living areas
  • Broken bones or sprains
  • Medication overdoses
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Medication mismanagement

While many of these signs are noticeable, some may not be and some are capable of being hidden, misunderstood or otherwise explained away. Regardless of what you may or may not know, consulting with us from Davis & Brusca, LLC, as soon as possible may prove to be the best decision you could possibly make.

Some Nursing Home Law Basics

You probably know that nursing homes exist to provide elderly people with a safe place to live which can meet their specific, and often advanced, medical needs.  However, it is unlikely that you know the ins and outs of the laws governing nursing homes. Even if you have a loved one currently residing in a nursing home, you still may be unsure of what the law is and of the particularities of the regulations which these facilities must comply with.

Are they governed by federal law? Are they only regulated by state law (New Jersey or otherwise)? And if the laws are the same, how could the quality of care vary from one nursing home to another?   The first two questions are generally easy to answer.  Nursing homes are generally governed by both state and federal law.  States are permitted to increase the level of regulation, but not to lower it from what is required under federal law.  But laws cannot account for everything and the fact is that these various laws and regulations only set the floor; that is, the minimum level of care.  

Many nursing home residents require much more in order for their needs to be met and their living circumstances to be safe.   The latter question (how can the quality of care vary when the law is the same) is best answered by the culture of the nursing home and its ownership group.  It is possible to deliver quality care in this setting and still turn a profit.  Unfortunately, a large number of nursing homes place a greater emphasis on profit than delivering quality care.  Cutting safety corners in their quest for profits inevitably results in harm. And, tragically, this is a situation which our team of nursing home injury lawyers see on a regular basis.

Below, you will find more information regarding the types of laws that a nursing home must follow and the different standards that the government and state require them to meet.

If you have any questions regarding a loved one currently residing in a nursing home or would like to speak with an attorney about making a claim, one of the compassionate nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca can help you. Please reach out to us now.

The Nursing Home Reform Act

The Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) sets the federal quality standards for nursing homes. Nursing homes are obligated to meet these standards if they receive Medicare or Medicaid. The act establishes minimum care standards for nursing homes and defines certain legal rights of nursing home residents.  Some of the requirements that nursing homes must follow under the NHRA include:

  • Allocating resources to ensure residents have adequate supervision for a safe living environment;
  • Hiring and retaining sufficient staff to meet the needs of the facility’s residents;
  • Creating care plans which are individualized and meet the needs of each resident.  A care plan is the “blueprint” for the care which is to be delivered, and covers everything from their nutrition, to their medication lists, physical and occupational therapy and even their personal hygiene & toileting plans;
  • Ensuring the residents’ medical records are accurate and complete
  • Ensuring the staff includes persons who who are medically trained to take care of certain needs

If you believe your loved one was injured because of substandard conditions in their nursing home, a nursing home injury lawyer may be able to help.  Contact Davis & Brusca, LLC today for a free, no obligation consultation.

What Are Resident’s Rights?

Nursing home residents have certain rights guaranteed to them by federal law (through the NHRA) and, in some circumstances, by state law.  New Jersey happens to have one of the most extensive resident rights laws in the country.  Both the NHRA and, where applicable, state law, outline the different rights that residents in a nursing home have.  

First and foremost, residents of nursing homes in NJ have the right to a safe and decent living environment.  This is an expansive right, which covers everything from the caliber of care delivered to them, to how the facility is staffed, to the cleanliness of the facility.  Residents also have the right to respect, to go through their lives without being subjected to abuse and neglect, to the preservation of their privacy, to voice their opinions without fear of reprisal, and to participate in various group activities. If you believe that your loved one’s rights have been ignored, a dedicated law firm, such as Davis & Brusca, can help bring them justice.

What About State Laws?

Nursing homes also abide by state laws. These laws do not overrule federal laws, but rather are intended to compliment them. For example, some states may set a minimum acceptable ratio for the number of nurses on a shift to the number of residents in the building.  Whatever the issue, it is important to note that these laws are designed to set a minimum standard and satisfy that “minimum” may or may not be enough for a given resident.

What If I Think a Nursing Home Violated My Loved One’s Rights?

If your loved one is currently in a nursing home and you believe that the facility has in some way violated their federal or state rights, a nursing home injury lawyer from Davis & Brusca, LLC can help.  Trust us to give you a voice and to help you exercise your rights and to speak up on behalf of yourself or your loved ones.

Things can get complicated when a family member makes a claim on behalf of a nursing home resident, but speaking with an attorney can be incredibly helpful and help you make an informed decision as to when and how to proceed.  For more information on nursing home laws and how to make a claim in New Jersey, call Davis & Brusca now for a free no-obligation consultation.   Our team of dedicated professionals is here to help you.

3 Types of Nursing Home Abuse

When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you trust that the center will provide the proper care and safety measures that your friend or family member needs. Unfortunately, many senior citizens become victims of nursing home abuse because they are unable to fight back or communicate the problem to people outside of the center. Here are three types of nursing home abuse you need to be aware of so that you can recognize the signs if your loved one is in trouble and can call a nursing home injury lawyer in NJ if necessary.

1. Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the most obvious type of abuse. You may notice that your loved one has more unexplained bruises than usual. He or she may also need to make frequent trips to the doctor or hospital for accidents. While the effects of physical abuse are often visible, sometimes they aren’t, and you’ll need to speak with your loved one to determine if any type of abuse is happening. If your friend or family member over makes comments about being restrained without consent or approached in a sexual manner, you need to seek legal counsel.

2. Neglect

You trust the staff at the nursing home to provide high-quality care for your loved one, but this sometimes isn’t the case. Neglect is considered a form of abuse even no one has laid a hand on your friend or family member. Make sure your loved one has all of his or her basic needs met; the room should be clean and tidied daily, nutritious meals should be provided three times and day, and any physical needs that your loved one has such as bathing and dressing should be taken care of. 

3. Medication Mismanagement

Many people rely on medication to help them manage chronic conditions. Older people sometimes have trouble managing their medication and need help from the staff at the nursing home. If the staff is withholding medication or providing the wrong type or dosage, you are dealing with medication mismanagement and must seek out a lawyer.

If a loved one is being abused in any way at a nursing home, it is best to contact a nursing home injury lawyer in NJ immediately to discuss legal action. Keep an eye out for these three types of abuse so you can be confident that your loved one is safe and happy in a nursing home. 

Five Tips To Avoid Nursing Home Abuse

Carefully Select the Nursing Home

The first step in preventing nursing home injuries is picking the right nursing home for your loved one. Some criteria to consider include:

  • State regulatory agency’s reports on the nursing home and their compliance history 
  • Court records to determine if the nursing home has been sued
  • Information from the state Adult Protective Services, Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing, Long Term Care Ombudsman or Division of Aging and Community Services
  • On-site tours of the facilities at different times of day and different days of the week
  • Interview administrators and staff
  • Ask about family opinion surveys, resident satisfaction surveys, staffing levels and family council minutes

Check In Often

The more often you visit your loved one in a nursing home, the more you’ll be able to monitor their condition. This reduces social isolation and can have an impact on whether caregivers will try to abuse, neglect or exploit your loved one.

Learn the Signs of Abuse 

There are many signs of elder abuse you may notice.  Your nursing home injury lawyer in NJ, may have a detailed list of what to look for, but here are just a few of the signals:

  • Appears disheveled
  • Stops participating in activities she enjoys
  • Loses weight for no apparent reason
  • Becomes unusually agitated or violent
  • Has unexplained bruises or cuts
  • Develops bedsores
  • Has physical signs of being restrained
  • Has unsanitary or unsafe living conditions

If you see any of these signs, or anything else concerns you, call Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers to speak with an attorney about your loved one’s condition.

Use Safety Devices 

There are many devices that can help keep your loved one safe. Crutches, canes or walkers may be used to prevent falls. Shoehorns can help put on shoes. Buttoning aid hooks can assist in getting a shirt or pants buttoned. Long reach devices can facilitate better personal hygiene. Nursing homes should have bed rails that can assist in getting out of bed. They should also have shower chairs and safety bars in the bathroom.

Discover Resources To  Help and Use Them

The Administration for Community Living’s National Center of Elder Abuse has many resources listed by state for you to take advantage of if you suspect elder abuse. Your nursing home injury lawyer in NJ, from Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers may have other resources for you to take advantage of. In New Jersey, for example, you can call 877-582-6995 if you suspect your loved one is being abused. 

Reasons for Nursing Home Injuries

When you place your loved one into a nursing home, you expect them to receive the care that they need and deserve. Chances are, the decision to place your loved one into a nursing home was not an easy one.  Often, families start off with a sense of peace that comes with the expectation that their loved one is in a facility which is equipped to provide them with the care they need.  There is an incredible level of trust which is extended to these facilities, which is driven by need and recognition of the fact that the admitted family member could not be provided proper care at home.  

So, when the facility abuses that trust and harms or abuses the loved one, families are understandably angry and often incredibly guilt-ridden. You can trust us to help get you past that initial guilt and find out what happened to your loved one, and why.

The nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC, have seen nursing home abuse occur for a number of key reasons, including:

Reason #1: Poor Management Resulting in Low-Quality Care

Nursing home care can be incredibly expensive. It is normal to look for an “affordable” option, however when choosing a nursing home, it is important that you look beyond the bottom line and conduct careful research. The Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services (“CMS”) and at least some states (including NJ) maintain web resources which give consumers information they can use to compare prospective nursing homes.  Information on staffing levels, comparisons to other nursing homes, and the results from state surveys can be obtained.  

Facilities with poor ratings on these comparison metrics are more likely (statistically) to struggle to meet a resident’s needs; especially if that resident’s acuity level is high.  Do your homework before agreeing to admit your loved one.  A good place to start is by checking to see if the prospective nursing homes have any state “violations” and, if so, for what reasons.  And, if your loved one has already succumbed to injuries as a result of poor care, contact the trusted nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca.

Reason #2: Understaffed and Overworked

Even the best of facilities experience staffing issues from time-to-time, but for some facilities, “short staffing” is a part of their business model. Because nursing homes require nursing staff to be present around the clock, there may be a number of people who are required to work long hours or double-shifts.  Struggling facilities often see the cost of their nursing staff as an easy budget item for “cost cutting” to boost profits.  

Unfortunately, cutting staff below safe levels puts the residents in jeopardy and leaves those staff members overworked and overwhelmed.  Overworking staff can lead to stress and burnout, which increases the odds that negligent care will occur.  In short, it’s a vicious cycle which, all too frequently, produces horrific results.  Unfortunately, our team has seen many, many cases which have staffing issues as the core problem.

Reason #3: Lack of Training

Nursing homes deliver medical care to residents.  As such, it’s vital that their nursing staff are properly trained, and that they also have a solid understanding of the policies & procedures of the nursing home. This is essential to ensure that all residents receive the care that they deserve.  Facilities with poorly trained staff members are a recipe for disaster.  Unfortunately, poor training is another recurrent theme that the lawyers at Davis & Brusca encounter all too frequently.

No matter the reason, it will be important that you take action with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer in the wake of an incident or injury in a nursing home. We can help to prove that the nursing home was at fault for the abuse your loved one experienced. Call us today for the help you need!

Safely Removing Senior Relative From Nursing Home

Upon realizing that abuse may be happening to your senior loved one, it will be important to respond in a way that prevents further mistreatment from happening. Keeping your relative in the same facility can hinder their ability to physically and emotionally recover from the abuse. Even if the person inflicting the harm has been fired from the facility permanently, your loved one may be triggered by the environment in which the abuse occurred. We can help see to it that your loved one is safely removed from the facility and located elsewhere. 

Nursing home abuse is a terribly traumatic experience, for both the senior person and his or her family. With immediate and thoughtful action, recovery can be achieved and a victim can overcome the trauma of abuse. Your relative deserves to live peacefully for their remaining years, without the threat of harm. As your lawyer may suggest, providing counseling from a reputable therapist can make all the difference in your loved one’s recovery. Other steps that may need to be taken when safely removing them from an abusive nursing home include:

  • Contacting police and filing an official report
  • Calling for an ambulance if medical attention is needed
  • Ensuring your loved one is not left alone where abuse could continue
  • Collaborating with family to gather evidence and move resident out
  • Filing a lawsuit against the individual and/or facility for the abuse

Collecting evidence will be a leading factor in the outcome of your case. Take photographs of your relative’s physical injury, such as bruises, cuts, etc. Ask for copies of medical care documents. If the living space was also dirty and unkempt, take pictures of this too. The more evidence you have that supports claims about abuse, the better your chances are of obtaining a sense of justice in the situation. 

Our Help

Knowing that your loved one has succumbed to nursing home abuse can be incredibly upsetting. The last thing you wanted was for someone you care for to experience physical injuries and emotional suffering as a result being poorly taken care of.  Trust the nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC to:

  • Give clear direction to your case
  • Help you to understand the steps to the legal process
  • Work tirelessly to build your case
  • Negotiate a fair settlement
  • Protect the rights of your loved one

Our team of dedicated and experienced lawyers are ready to help you find answers. The New Jersey nursing home injury lawyers from Davis & Brusca, LLC are here to help guide you through this emotional and complicated process, so call us today to let us investigate and prosecute your case.

Common Injuries Suffered in Nursing Homes

If your loved one has to move into a nursing home, you expect him or her to be taken care of. Unfortunately, there are situations where our loved ones could suffer serious injuries in a nursing home. If your loved one has gotten hurt, do not hesitate to reach out to a nursing home injury lawyer in NJ, such as an attorney from Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers, who can help you. What are a few examples of common injuries people might suffer in a nursing home? 

Wrist Injuries

Falls are a common issue in nursing homes. Because elderly individuals already have a difficult time balancing, it is not unusual for them to slip and fall. When we fall, we extend our arms to protect ourselves. Ultimately, this means that people may suffer a wrist fracture when they fall as well. It is important for nursing homes to have protective measures that reduce the risk of someone falling.

Head Injuries 

It is also possible for your loved one to suffer a head injury in a nursing home. For example, your loved one might be struck by a falling object. Some of the most common examples of head injuries include concussions, cerebral contusion, and skull fractures. Some head injuries can lead to permanent complications. After seeking medical care, make sure you reach out to a nursing home injury lawyer in NJ who can review your case. 

Hip Injuries

Your loved one may also suffer a hip injury in a nursing home accident. For example, if your loved one falls, he or she may land on his or her side. This can lead to a fracture of the hip, which can lead to serious complications. For example, a hip fracture may sever the blood supply to the fever, leading to devastating complications. Therefore, you need to make sure your loved one received medical care as quickly as possible following a fall accident. 

Contact a Nursing Home Lawyer

These are just a few of the many injuries that your loved one may suffer in a nursing home. It is important for you to reach out to a nursing home injury lawyer in NJ, such as an attorney from Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers, who can review your case and make sure that the rights of your loved ones are protected. Nobody should get hurt in a nursing home, and this includes your loved one.

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    What seemed to me to be a complicated case finally came to a close with a successful outcome. Mark Davis was diligent, perseverant and focused on my case and he was certainly compassionate and patient with me where and when needed. He is very intelligent and highly knowledgeable of all of the legal facts and nuances that emerged throughout the lengthy case period. While the circumstances that forced me to initiate the legal process I would not wish upon anyone, Mark was my legal partner all the way and I thank him for his attention and commitment.
    Mark Davis quickly sets himself apart from the rest. He puts his knowledge and experience to work from day one to prove you have made the right choice in trusting him and his staff. Mark is attentive to your needs and is driven to get you results. Mark Davis is the attorney you want in your corner!
    Mark is very dedicated to his clients.. There's never been a time I needed him and he wasn't available for me to help me understand my case. I would recommend Mark Davis to anyone looking for an attorney.
    Mark is very professional. He takes the time to listen to my questions and answers each one. I feel confident and informed after speaking with him. I have no doubt that he is there to help to me. I recommend Davis & Brusca to everyone!
    I was seriously injured in a car accident. Mark Davis represented me to the fullest. Besides delivering results I was hoping for Mark did so much more. Mark checked in with me time and time again to see how I was feeling, how I was doing, how my family was, did I need anything, etc. Mark Davis cares about his clients. Most importantly Mark Davis fought for me.  He fought hard for me through long nights, over the weekends.  He fought endlessly til I got what I deserved which, by the way, didn’t take long at all. Mark Davis, from my family and I, thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication towards us.
    They will do their best. I've had the pleasure of working with the Davis' and I can only say good things. I have no doubt that if you need their services, they will do their best, show compassion, and look out for your best interests.
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    Everyone I Spoke with was Very Professional. I worked with Mike and Nicole on a nursing home negligence case. Mike was very honest and upfront about what to expect. Everyone I spoke with was very professional and they always kept me informed on the status of the case. They responded to my emails quickly and made me feel like they truly cared. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for an excellent nursing home negligence attorney.

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