Pennsauken Township Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Deciding to place a loved one into a nursing home is one of the hardest decisions that people face. A qualified nursing home is ideal, especially when your loved ones are in need of extensive care. Unfortunately, many assisted living facilities do not apply the standard of care that they should.
Every year, residents of nursing homes are injured in the facilities that are supposed to care for them. Some of those injuries result from deliberate elder abuse, while others are caused by negligence.
If your loved one has been harmed while in a nursing home, you may be entitled to pursue legal compensation with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. Please contact a Pennsauken Township nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to see if your family may be able to recover compensation for the injuries your loved one sustained.
Deliberate Abuse of a Nursing Home Resident
When family members believe that their loved one has been deliberately harmed in a nursing home, they need to look for the following:
- Bruises, cuts, and welts
- Broken bones
- Signs of unnecessary or excessive restraint
- Changes in personality or behavior
These conditions sometimes indicate that abuse has occurred. If family members suspect that a nursing home has harmed their loved ones, reaching out to a Pennsauken Township attorney could lead to financial recovery for affected parties.
Injuries Caused by Negligence
Because nursing home residents are often physically fragile, they are particularly susceptible to accidents. Some accidents are unavoidable, but others are caused by negligence. The majority of nursing home injuries resulting from negligence are caused by:
- Slips and falls, especially unwitnessed falls
- Wandering off
The staff, owners, and operators of a nursing home owe a duty of care to each resident. If they breach that duty of care and subsequently cause harm to residents, then that facility could be found negligent.
For example, because residents are particularly susceptible to falls, a reasonable nursing home would have plans in effect to minimize fall risks, such as by having an adequate number of trained staff available to watch residents, avoiding slippery floors and bad lighting, and making sure that random objects are not haphazardly placed in the halls. In the event of a fall, a Pennsauken Township elderly care attorney could help determine if the nursing home had a reasonable fall avoidance plan and see if that plan was properly or negligently executed.
Recoverable Compensation and Timelines to File a Claim
Victims of a nursing home mishap must generally file a claim within two years, according to New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:14-2. Victims could recover compensatory damages with no limits for all of their actual expenses, including medical and legal costs.
They could also recover non-economic damages for their pain and suffering with no statutory cap. In some instances, they could even recover punitive damages if the nursing home is found to have acted with “actual malice” or with “wanton or willful disregard,” but that amount is capped at $350,000, or five times the amount of compensatory damages, according to NJ Rev Stat §2A:15-5.12.
NJ Rev Stat §2A:15-5.1 states that the victim must be less than 51 percent responsible for the accident and that the recoverable damages would be reduced by the percentage of the victim’s fault. That means that if the victim was found to be 30 percent at fault, then his or her compensation would be reduced accordingly.
How a Pennsauken Township Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Could Help
Because older adults are so vulnerable to falls and other injuries, nursing home abuse and neglect could be particularly hard to prove. Thankfully, an experienced local attorney could objectively review all of the evidence, ask the right questions, and determine how best to proceed. Call a Pennsauken Township nursing home abuse lawyer today to see if you have a viable claim for compensation.