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. The NJ nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC can help. 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 the nursing home injury lawyer New Jersey 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
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 NJ nursing home injury lawyer 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 insure 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 if 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.
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 a NJ nursing home injury lawyer 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 easy to answer. Nursing homes are 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 in NJ 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 New Jersey 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:
If you believe your loved one was injured because of substandard conditions in their nursing home, a NJ 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 expansive 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 nursing home injury lawyer in NJ, 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 satisfying 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 NJ 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.
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. Our team of NJ nursing home injury lawyers understand. you can trust us to help get you past that initial guilt and find out what happened to your loved one, and why.
The team of NJ 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 NJ 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, its a vicious cycle which, all too frequently, produces horrific results. Unfortunately, our NJ nursing home injury lawyers see 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 NJ 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!
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 NJ nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC to:
The nursing home injury lawyers at Davis & Brusca are here to help guide you through this emotional and complicated process. Our team of dedicated and experienced lawyers are ready to help you find answers. Call us today to learn more, and let us investigate and prosecute your case.