The legal team at Davis & Brusca is proud to be the nursing home liability lawyers Trenton, NJ residents trust. We understand that nursing homes are necessary and serve an important role in delivering the healthcare elderly residents need. Families rely on these facilities, as many families are simply unable to meet their loved ones needs on their own. Families should be able to trust nursing homes to provide their loved ones with excellent care. And many nursing homes do provide a safe and positive environment for their patients. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The nursing home liability lawyers NJ trusts from Davis and Brusca offer the following insights into situations NJ families should be looking for when dealing with these institutions.
Nursing homes, like any business, deserve to turn a profit for their owners. But not at the expense of safety or quality care. Unfortunately, negligence in these facilities often a byproduct of cost-cutting efforts. Sometimes, cost-cutting efforts, as well as negligent hiring and poor training, even causes the abuse of patients. Sadly, the patients themselves may be reluctant or unable to report incidents of abuse and neglect out of fear or embarrassment, or sheer inability to communicate. As such, families of patients must remain vigilant.
If a nursing home has injured a patient, whether intentionally or as a result of negligence, it can be held liable for damages. To prove negligence, a victim or their family must demonstrate that: (1) the nursing home breached a duty of care; (2) the patient’s injury was caused by that breach; and (3) the injury was caused by the nursing home or someone employed there. The experienced nursing home liability lawyers Trenton, NJ relies on can locate the right medical experts to testify about proper treatment or practice in a given situation and explain how the nursing home failed to live up to these standards. In some rare situations, the abuse or neglect is so obvious that it is “common knowledge” and may be clear to a judge or jury without the need for expert testimony. However, most cases, such as those involving medication errors or medical malpractice, require testimony from one or more knowledgeable experts.
Some of the more common situations in nursing home abuse cases include the following:
1.Breach of Statutory or Regulatory Rights. In many states, including New Jersey, there are statutes or regulations that can help to establish the minimum standard of care a nursing home must provide. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, such as the legal team at Davis & Brusca, LLC, can help determine whether the nursing home responsible for a resident’s injuries breached one of these rules.
2. Inadequate Training. Nursing home staff should be thoroughly and adequately trained. Not only should they be evaluated at the start of their employment, but training should be regular and ongoing to keep employees up to date on all the latest safety regulations.
3. Medication Errors. A medication error is a mistake that occurs while preparing or administering medicine. In most nursing homes, medication is administered when a staff member or nurse completes a “med pass,” the dispensing of medication to a patient as ordered by the physician. Common mistakes include crushing or cutting pills that should not be cut, inadequate fluids or food with medication, failure to properly mix medications, improper administration of medications to be used with enteral nutritional formulas (ENFs), improper use of inhalers, and allowing patients to swallow sublingual tablets.
4. Negligent Hiring. Shockingly, some nursing homes employ at least one individual with a prior history of criminal conviction. Sometimes, nursing homes cut corners when hiring in order to reduce costs. Negligent hiring can lead to patient abuse, theft of patient’s property, sexual abuse and other tragic, preventable harms.
5. Third-Party Responsibility. Over 4 million elderly people are victimized by psychological or physical abuse or neglect every year. In some cases, nursing home staff members, outside contractors, food vendors, or manufacturers of medical equipment and supplies may be held liable instead of or in addition to the nursing home.
6. Under staffing. Many nursing homes are severely understaffed, which can result in neglect and other problems, such as medication errors, bedsores, abnormal patient weight loss, or intentional abuse due to an overworked employee losing their cool.
When you take your loved one to a nursing home, you expect they will be cared for. Unfortunately, however, not all nursing home residents are well looked after. In fact, some of them suffer serious neglect. Since most nursing home residents won’t admit to suffering neglect, it’s up to you to take action if you notice signs of neglect. Here are a few to look out for: