Burlington County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you have a family or close friend staying in a nursing home, you are faced with challenges on a daily basis – from keeping in touch to ensuring that the nursing home resident has everything they need to be comfortable.
Nursing home abuse is particularly troublesome because you entrust the safety and well-being to a party that you believe will follow through on their promises.
If you have been abused by a nursing home, contact a Burlington County nursing home abuse lawyer to safeguard your loved one’s rights and assist them in their pursuit of justice. A qualified personal injury attorney can advocate for you.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It is not always easy to spot signs of nursing home abuse because victims are harassed into keeping quiet, the abuse goes unnoticed, or the victim denies the abuse.
These challenges are compounded by the fact that elderly people belong to a class of persons that are uniquely susceptible to vulnerabilities as a result of their growing age (and sometimes diminishing capacity).
According to the National Council on Aging, approximately one in ten Americans over age sixty experienced some type of elder abuse in their lifetime. Individuals who suspect that a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, look for these signs:
- Withdrawal (from hobbies, phone calls, contact with friends)
- Unexplained depression
- New bank accounts, checks, or other financial instruments (possibly on their credit report)
- Malnourishment, extreme variances in weight
- Indications of neglect (such as bedsores, poor hygiene, unfulfilled prescription medication)
- Bruises, cuts, burns, lacerations, or scars
- Chronic lying
- Shifty eye contact
If an individual notices any of these things signs, they should consult a Burlington County nursing home abuse lawyer. The attorney can further investigate the situation and can help individuals pursue a case.
Proving Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home abuse is a form of negligence. Negligence requires that the plaintiff prove their case through the four following elements duty, breach, causation, and damages.
- Duty means that the nursing home owed a duty to the victim (usually a contractual obligation). Nursing homes should follow these guidelines:
- Employ adequate number of nursing staff members
- Maintain accurate and updated medical/clinical records
- Administer medication regularly, as needed and prescribed
- Assist with activities of normal daily living, such as grooming, eating, bathing, and other personal hygiene considerations
- Respect each resident
There is also breach which occurs if the nursing home’s conduct fell below the standard required to keep the victim safe (negligent hiring, improper supervision, or outright physical/financial/sexual/emotional abuse).
Causation is when the victim’s harm was proximately caused by the defendant’s failure to conform their conduct to the standard required by law. Lastly, there are damages, which refers to when the victim suffered harm, either emotional, physical, financial, or by some other means. A Burlington County nursing home abuse attorney can help individuals attempt to prove these elements and establish liability.
Speaking With a Burlington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Filing a lawsuit not only allows an injured individual to pursue justice, but it also makes a public record of the incident that caused the harm (depending upon the agreement of the parties). This could encourage other individuals to come forward and voice their complaints against the nursing home or specific employees.
Under New Jersey state law §2A:14-2(a), an individual only has two years to file a lawsuit as a result of nursing home negligence. Failure to abide by this rule of law could result in a claim being denied for failure to comply with the statute of limitations.
If you have questions about your case or whether you are concerned about timely filing a lawsuit, do not hesitate to call a Burlington County nursing home abuse lawyer now for more information.