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Nursing Home Lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ

Nursing Home Lawyer Cherry Hill, NJ

As a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, we understand that most people do not like to think about the possibility that they may someday be unable to care for themselves and require the assistance of a nursing home. However, the truth is that with growing life expectancies, many of us will eventually need the assistance of a facility that can provide round-the-clock care. Some nursing homes are excellent environments and provide caring, professional staff who properly tend to resident needs. Unfortunately, not all provide this level of care. Statistics show rising instances of nursing home abuse and neglect and, as a result, many families find themselves needing the legal assistance of a NJ nursing home lawyer clients trust.

Study on Aging and Nursing Homes

The quality of nursing home care is an issue EVERYONE should be concerned about. A recent study conducted by researchers from the RAND Center for the Study of Aging concluded that more than 50 percent of senior citizens will need care from either an assisted living facility or a nursing home at least once during their life. The majority of the stays at nursing homes will be short and usually financially manageable. However, approximately five percent of adults will likely spend more than 1,500 days in nursing homes.

These estimates are higher than what the federal government had previously estimated the need for. Studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded that only 35 percent of seniors will need nursing home care during their lifetime. The RAND study was extensive and used data collected over an 18-year period and was funded by the National Institute on Aging and the U.S. Social Security Administration.

As Cherry Hill, New Jersey nursing home lawyers, Davis & Brusca know that many nursing homes are critically understaffed and use underqualified staff. The projection of increased need on an already overburdened nursing home system likely means that there will be an increase in the incidents of abuse and neglect to nursing home residents in the future. Nursing homes are responsible for making sure that their residents are safe. They are obligated to provide the care their residents need. Nursing homes need to take steps to shore up their staffing levels. When staff is stretched too thin, critical mistakes are made and residents are harmed. The longer understaffing issues persist, the more likely problems with quality of care will arise.

The current rates of abuse and neglect are already horrifying. A report prepared by the United States Congress revealed that approximately one-third of the nursing homes in this country have been cited for violations that put nursing home residents at high risk of harm. Even more alarming is the result of one survey of nursing home residents where 45 percent of the participants said they had been victims of abuse while staying in a nursing home. Ninety-five percent said they had witnessed another resident neglected by a member of the staff.

Reasons for Hiring a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When nursing home abuse happens, it’s always a travesty. As a relative of a victim, you want justice. Often, the solution is launching a lawsuit. You can file one without legal representation, technically speaking. Nevertheless, you should find an attorney who specializes in the field. Put yourself in the best position possible for winning by choosing one of the legal eagles at Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers to helm your suit, or search elsewhere for a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ. What follows are some advantages you’ll get from hiring someone who has a thorough understanding of nursing home troubles.

Evidence Gathering Is Difficult

You’ll need unimpeachable proof to convince a judge and jury that what you say happened did occur. Those who work at the institute you’re suing have a natural incentive to block you from accessing records that show wrongdoing. A nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, with experience collecting documentation has a better chance of success at this task than you.

Making a Mistake Is Likely

Unless you’re a lawyer, the odds of committing a technical legal error are high. Even if you do practice, you probably do not understand the particulars of nursing home abuse. You want a seasoned expert who can assure you aren’t making critical blunders. Without a qualified advisor by your side, you could miss important deadlines or fail to take stock of every aspect relating to your loved one’s injuries. Hiring an attorney at Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers helps assure not a single variable gets overlooked.

Every Claim Is Different

It’s tempting to believe you’ve learned all you need to know about nursing home abuse and how it intersects with the law after you’ve read a few articles online. While the general information you discover may be helpful, there are details specific to your case. An experienced nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, can tailor your legal argument around the circumstances of your situation. By doing this, you’ll have far better odds of triumphing at trial.

Part of the solution to ending nursing home abuse is appropriate ramifications provided by the legal system. When someone is brave enough to bring one of these cases forward, it behooves the plaintiff to hire someone who truly comprehends nursing home conflicts. Without the skill of a savvy lawyer by your side, restoring fairness and receiving compensation becomes much trickier. Hire someone who can provide leadership on and off the legal battlefield.

Listen to Attorney Michael Brusca Discuss the Differences in Long-Term Care and Healthcare Facilities as Featured on Professionals Podcasting:

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    “Davis & Brusca did an extremely through job on our case. I found their compassion and understanding during difficult times to be in measurable. I highly recommend this firm.”
    Mimi S
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    Tips for Evaluating Nursing Homes

    Finding a trusted nursing home with positive ratings can be confusing if you do not know where to start or know what criteria to use. If your loved one is moving to a nursing home, there are several things you should do during your search.

    A good place to start would be by conducting an online search of reputable nursing home facilities. You can find descriptive reviews of certified nursing homes through government websites such as Medicare.gov. They have a feature that allows you to compare multiple nursing homes near you or a specific location. They include information such as a five star rating system, resident care quality, available beds, and other resources. Along with nursing homes, you can find detailed information on home health centers, doctors, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and more.

    Before you choose a nursing home, it is recommended that you visit the site multiple time so you can evaluate whether the conditions are consistent. Talk to the management, nurses, and other staff to get an idea of the kind of services the center offers. It is important that you get as much information as you can, so don’t be hesitant to ask specific questions. Ask about any services or amenities that the nursing home offers, such as free transportation to appointments, physical therapy, or recreational activities. Take note of the cleanliness of the rooms (not just the public areas) and how the residents interact with the staff. Are the staff kind and pleasant in their interactions with residents? Do the residents have a positive view of the facility? You want to get an accurate sense of the atmosphere and quality of the center to make sure that it’s the right environment for your loved one.

    What Is Nursing Home Neglect?

    Nursing home neglect is the failure of a staff member to uphold the standard of care in a facility. It can occur due to a lack of staff training, use of underqualified personnel as well as understaffing. Negligence can be harder for loved ones to spot than abuse, but it can be just as damaging.

    In cases of neglect, staff may fail to:

    •       Comply with safety standards when helping patients with mobility issues
    •       Help residents when they ask for assistance
    •       Provide a safe, clean facility
    •       Provide adequate food, water, clothing, or shelter
    •       Provide medical care or oral/dental care
    •       Provide prescribed wound care for injuries like bedsores

    4 Important Myths About Nursing Home Neglect

    1. Neglect Is Easy To See

    Many people believe that their loved ones will show physical signs if they are being neglected, such as bruises, cuts, or broken bones. However, the team at Davis & Brusca, LLC, knows neglect can be difficult to see. Some types of neglect, like failure to correctly give medications or lack of consistent housekeeping, have no obvious warning signs. Additionally, victims may be experiencing emotional abuse or financial manipulation that can remain hidden for long periods. Working with a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, can help you put together the evidence you need to support your case, even if you don’t see any physical signs of neglect.

    2. Neglect Victims Will Tell Someone

    It is a sad reality that many victims of nursing home neglect are unable to tell their families about their situation. They may feel embarrassed that they’re unable to handle it themselves or the perpetrator may be threatening them with increasingly dangerous behaviors if they tell. Additionally, it’s common for older adults to be treated as unreliable, especially if they have any level of cognitive impairment. Don’t count on your loved one to tell you about the neglect directly. Reach out to a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, immediately if you have any inkling that neglect could be occurring.

    3. Neglect Stems From Caregiver Stress

    Nursing home employees have an undoubtedly stressful job. However, no level of stress justifies neglecting vulnerable older adults, and most caregivers do not abuse their patients. When stress is made out to be the cause of the neglect, it shifts attention away from the perpetrator and instead moves the blame to the victim for being too difficult to care for.

    In reality, caregivers who perpetrate neglect may have a significant bias towards older adults, particularly those with cognitive issues. Davis & Brusca, LLC, does not want your loved ones to be brushed aside as difficult when they are experiencing neglect.

    4. Neglect Victims Are Always Protected

    It can be hard to imagine neglect perpetrators getting away with it. However, because victims rarely tell anyone about the neglect and are often brushed off if they do, it can be hard to take legal action against the perpetrator. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected, be sure to work with a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, right away. A legal professional can help you navigate the complex legal systems involved in nursing home neglect cases.

    6 Ways to Prove Your Nursing Home Neglect Allegations Are True

    Whether it was a one-time event or chronic episodes of abuse, you have the right to hold those parties accountable for their egregious acts.

    You can prove your allegations legitimacy by:

    1. Watching and Noting the Signs of Abuse

    We are at a critical time in our country where senior citizens rely heavily on long-term care. Loved ones must be proactive throughout their loved one’s stay. Knowing the signs of abuse or neglect is critical. Some indicators your loved one may be the victim of abuse or neglect include:

    • Unexplained changes in mood – When your loved one is showing mood changes it could be the result of the nursing home causing them stress, neglect, or even abuse. Always listen to your loved one and give them time to inform you of what goes on at the facility.
    • Bruises, lacerations, cuts, or broken bones – These types of injuries could be from a number of different scenarios. As people age their balance tends to worsen over time leading to falls or injuries. It could also be that staff improperly moved your loved one or caused them an injury.
    • Frequent injuries without explanation from the staff – If staff are unable to explain why your loved one received an injury or if they seem reluctant to give details, then it may be that staff caused the injury or is covering it up. Consult with your loved one and be sure to get their side of the story if they are able to tell you.
    • Malnutrition – Malnutrition occurs when the resident is not being provided with adequate nutrition. This may arise from a failure to feed or assist with feeding, or from your loved one not liking the food they are being given. Malnutrition is a very serious issue in the elderly which can create even more serious problems over time, and should be immediately addressed.
    • Lack of medicine or overdose of medicines – Nursing homes typically administer medicines to residents and are supposed to keep track of what they have received. If they are not giving the resident the required amount of medicine or have given them too much, serious health concerns may arise.
    • Missing items or money – If items or money are missing from the resident’s room or financial accounts, your loved one may be the victim of a crime. Always consult with your loved one to make sure that the items really are missing and that it is not just a misunderstanding.
    • Use of restraints – Physical or chemical restraints are rarely indicated and if improperly or excessively used, constitute abuse. If your loved one is heavily medicated, ask questions. Find out why.
    • Withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed – The conditions of the nursing home could be leading to your loved one losing interest in the things they once loved. It may also be the case that the staff or management has led them to these feelings.
    • Appearing nervous or uneasy around caretakers – When a resident feels nervous or uneasy around caretakers it could show that the resident is afraid of these caretakers for some reason or could be because of prior abuse from staff.
    1. Obtain Their Nursing Home and Medical Records

    Depending on the law of your state and your relationship to the resident, you may be entitled to a copy of your loved one’s nursing home records allowing you to look for inconsistencies, including unnecessary treatments, use of medications, or a lack of explanation for injuries.

    Medical records could indicate periods of abuse or neglect, including treatments for injuries, hospitalizations for dehydration and malnutrition, medical treatments for bed sores, and other health complications associated with substandard care. When these issues have occurred to your loved one, it is best to always listen to them and give them the care that they need. They may also need some time to heal from these traumas.

    1. Photographs

    Photographs are powerful pieces of evidence. These can include pictures of the resident’s living situation – such as soiled bedding or unsafe premises. Pictures of injuries or the condition you found your loved one can also prove your claims.

    1. Ombudsman Complaints

    Local ombudsman programs will have a detailed record of any complaints filed against the nursing home and their outcome. Frequent allegations of abuse or neglect may help prove a history of substandard care at that facility.

    1. Witness Statements

    A nursing home may abuse or neglect patients carelessly and leave behind witnesses. Witnesses might include other residents, family members visiting residents, or employees of the facility.

    1. Hiring a Lawyer

    Proving negligent or abusive care from a nursing home is complex.

    A lawyer can help you break through roadblocks and obtain the evidence you need to prove your case.

    Who Can Be an Eyewitness? 

    Anyone who directly witnessed circumstances relevant to your claim can be an important witness. Potential witnesses include:

    • A nursing home resident. When enlisting the help of another resident, you want to make sure they are a reliable witness. A resident who often complains of seeing things that are not there or who is suffering from dementia may not be your best bet. However, if the resident is mentally healthy, they may be good to put on your list of witnesses. 
    • Visitors to the nursing home. Nursing homes often allow family members and friends to visit their loved ones. It is possible that a visitor saw your loved one being abused or neglected or that your loved one’s own family member saw this happening. 
    • Nursing home staff. If one of the caregivers or staff members at the nursing home saw what happened, you could speak with them about providing testimony for your loved one’s case. If they are willing, that will be POWERFUL evidence. 

    Enlisting the Help of Expert Witnesses 

    In addition to an eyewitness providing their testimony for your loved one, your lawyer will also seek the help of one or more experts. Examples include:

    • A doctor. Doctors are necessary to prove the scope of harm suffered by your loved one. 
    • A nurse. Nurses are generally required to address how the nursing staff failed to provide the level of care your loved one required and deserved to receive. 

    How To Choose a Nursing Home

    Many people prefer to take care of their loved ones at home; however, there may be some situations where a loved one needs to go to a nursing home. Maybe you live too far away, or perhaps the individual has medical complications that deserve the attention of a professional. At the same time, it is important to make sure you choose the right nursing home. Remember that you can always reach out to a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, such as a lawyer from Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers, for extra guidance. What do you need to consider when looking for a nursing home?

    The Need for Independence vs. Assistance

    First, you need to consider what level of Independence or assistance your loved one requires. For example, there are some situations where your loved one might just want a community of people similar to him or her. There might be other situations where the individual might have chronic medical conditions that require the assistance of a skilled professional. Make sure the nursing home has the appropriate level of independence or assistance required. If you have any concerns about the nursing home, you may want to reach out to a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ. 

    The Skills of the Staff

    You also need to think about the skills of the staff. In particular, how many staff members are available to care for every resident, or what is the ratio of staff to residents? Ideally, you want this ratio to be as high as possible. That way, you have more staff members available to attend to the needs of those who reside there.

    You do not want your loved one to be waiting for help, and you certainly do not want this special person waiting too long for any medications that he or she requires. Make sure you consider the number, skills and traits of staff members. 

    The Prior Record of the Nursing Home

    Finally, check the prior record of the nursing home. In particular, has the nursing home had any claims of abuse brought against them? If so, you need to figure out the circumstances and consider sending your loved one to a different facility.

    If you have any concerns that your loved one may have suffered abuse at a nursing home, then you need to contact a nursing home lawyer in Cherry Hill, NJ, such as a member of Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers.

    Let Our Firm Help

    Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious issue that occurs too often in the U.S. It is crucial to take action if you notice potential signs of abuse or neglect. Nursing home lawyers understand that filing a claim can be stressful, but it is important that your loved one obtains justice if they have suffered harm, neglect or abuse.

    Thankfully, there are resources available to you. If your elderly loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, your family has the right to seek financial justice against those responsible for their pain and suffering. No one should have to endure abuse or the impact of such trauma and suffering, and pursuing a legal claim may offer the best way to stop abuse and neglect.

    An experienced lawyer is there to help you file a claim. Call Davis & Brusca, LLC to schedule a free and confidential consultation with Davis & Brusca, LLC, a nursing home lawyer Cherry Hill, NJ trusts, today.

    Schedule a consultation with one of the dedicated lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC