As the population ages, more people will need long-term care assistance. While independent living is usually the preference for seniors whenever possible, many people must move into assisted living facilities or nursing homes to receive proper personal and medical care.
With many nursing homes to choose from, families often carefully select where their loved ones will live. Families trust that their parents or other relatives will receive the care and attention they deserve in their new homes. Unfortunately, this is not always what happens.
Not only should nursing homes face state-imposed penalties for violating safety standards, but they should also be civilly liable for any injuries or losses they cause.
Our New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers at Reinartz Law Firm know that many nursing home residents are helpless against abuse and severe harm. We fight for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves and help you keep your loved one safe moving forward.
If you believe your family member suffered injuries from nursing home abuse, do not wait to consult with our legal team today. Consultations are free, and we can address your concerns.
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We Fight for Nursing Home Abuse Victims
At Reinartz Law Firm, we know that nursing home residents can unnecessarily suffer injuries, illnesses, or even death due to facility negligence and misconduct. Our firm represented claimants who were part of a class action case against the State of New Jersey regarding state-run nursing homes.
We recently helped obtain $16 million in wrongful death settlements for the families of former residents of veterans nursing homes in Menlo Park and Paramus. Their loved ones died of COVID-19 while in the facilities, and the lawsuits alleged the state was grossly negligent in its management of the nursing homes at the start of the pandemic. The facilities did not require masks and gloves for staff members and allowed infected residents to interact with others in the homes.
While the era of pandemic-related issues in nursing homes is hopefully over, our legal team knows that many types of nursing home abuse persist and continue to cause injuries. As long as nursing home residents suffer preventable injuries in New Jersey, Reinartz Law Firm will be ready to hold facilities accountable.
The Reinartz Law Firm has shown that they will work relentlessly for you and your loved ones. We are available 24/7 by phone or online chat with a real, live person, so you never have to fight alone. We are also conveniently located just a minute away from the Bergen County Justice Center and less than two miles from I-80, and as always, we provide a free, no-obligation case review. We’re here to help you.
Long-Term Care Options in New Jersey
Nursing home abuse is a growing problem in the U.S., and people regularly report incidents of abuse and serious injuries to residents.
New Jersey has one of the oldest populations of any state in the U.S. In the past decade, the number of adults in New Jersey over 60 rose nearly 25 percent. Researchers expect the number of seniors in our state to increase by one million in the next six years, which is greater than the national rate.
New Jersey provides a wide range of senior care options, including assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, nursing homes, adult daycare centers, hospice care facilities, and respite care options. These facilities offer various levels of assistance and care based on individual needs and preferences.
Assisted living facilities are available throughout the state, with more than 400 facilities providing seniors with attentive caregivers, healthcare, and access to local activities and social opportunities. The cost of assisted living varies depending on the location, ranging from $2,008 to $9,300 a month.
Memory care facilities cater to seniors with dementia, offering specialized care and services to enhance their quality of life. New Jersey has 363 memory care facilities, with an average cost of $94,482 a year.
Nursing homes provide skilled nursing care to seniors who require 24-hour medical attention. New Jersey has 778 senior living providers, including nursing homes, to assist their growing senior population.
Adult daycare centers offer seniors a place to socialize and receive assistance with day-to-day tasks. New Jersey has 47 adult daycare centers, with an average cost of $22,360 a year.
Hospice care facilities provide professional care during the final months of a senior’s life, with 82 facilities throughout the state. Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance can cover hospice care costs.
Finally, respite care options provide temporary care for seniors who need more advanced care than what a family member can provide or when the primary caregiver needs time off. The average cost of respite care in New Jersey is $109,500 a year, with a range of costs from $6,917 to $17,444 a month.
No matter what type of facility your loved one needs or what level of care they receive, there is always the possibility of nursing home abuse and injuries. Always pay close attention to your loved one and look for signs of possible mistreatment.
Victims Underreport Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue affecting seniors in New Jersey but is often underreported. The responsibility can fall on loved ones to identify signs of abuse.
There are many reasons why nursing home abuse goes unreported. Seniors may be afraid to speak out about abuse or neglect because they fear retaliation from staff members or other residents. They may also feel ashamed or embarrassed about the abuse, or they may not want to burden their families with their problems.
Nursing home staff members may also fail to report abuse or neglect because they fear losing their jobs or facing legal repercussions. In some cases, nursing homes may try to cover up incidents of abuse or neglect to avoid negative publicity or legal action.
Seniors, their families, and nursing home staff members should always be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. This can help you recognize when you need to keep your loved one safe and take legal action against a facility.
If you suspect someone you love is experiencing nursing home abuse, report it immediately. Our attorneys can help you report your concerns to the proper entities, including the nursing home administration, Adult Protective Services, or local law enforcement.
By reporting nursing home abuse, we can help to protect seniors and hold nursing homes accountable for their harmful conduct. Nothing will change if families stay silent and avoid taking legal action for nursing home abuse.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home residents can experience many types of harm due to the misconduct and abuse of staff members. Many facilities have inadequate staff, and those they hire might not receive proper training on how to care for residents. None of this is an excuse for residents to suffer serious physical, emotional, or financial harm.
Our firm handles claims involving different types of nursing home abuse, including those below.
Physical abuse involves the use of force or violence to cause harm or injury to a senior. This type of abuse can take many forms, including hitting, pushing, slapping, and restraining.
Physical abuse in nursing homes is a serious issue that can have long-lasting physical and emotional consequences for seniors.
It can lead to:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Psychological trauma such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If your loved one has multiple injuries in different stages of healing or regularly has injuries that nursing home staff cannot adequately explain, it can be a sign of physical abuse.
Emotional abuse is another harmful form of abuse that involves inflicting emotional pain or distress on a senior through verbal abuse, intimidation, isolation, and humiliation. Emotional abuse can have serious consequences for seniors, including depression, anxiety, and a loss of self-esteem. It can also lead to physical symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, and weight loss.
It can be difficult to detect emotional abuse in nursing homes, as it often occurs behind closed doors and may not leave visible physical signs. However, there are some signs that family members and caregivers can look out for, including sudden changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal from activities and social interactions, and a reluctance to speak openly about their experiences in the nursing home.
Even though you cannot see physical wounds from this type of abuse, it is still extremely harmful and can destroy your loved one’s quality of life. We take emotional abuse as seriously as other forms that leave physical scars.
Many people might not consider sexual abuse a major problem, but it is a growing concern in New Jersey nursing homes. Sexual abuse can involve any sexual activity with a senior without their consent. This can include sexual touching, rape, exposing a senior’s private parts when unnecessary, or forcing a senior to watch or participate in sexual acts.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is a serious issue that can have long-lasting physical and emotional consequences for seniors. It can lead to injuries such as bruising, bleeding, and infections, as well as psychological trauma. Some signs of this type of misconduct include unexplained genital injuries or bleeding, sexually-transmitted infections, withdrawal, or other sudden changes in their personality or disposition.
This form of abuse can cause physical and emotional harm to victims, and we seek justice on behalf of injured residents.
Financial abuse covers the theft, fraud, or misuse of a senior’s money or property. This can include stealing cash or valuables, forging signatures, and coercing a senior into signing over their assets or changing their will. Financial abuse can have serious consequences for seniors, including a loss of their life savings and financial independence. It can also lead to psychological trauma and losing trust in others.
Seniors may not realize they are being taken advantage of or may be too afraid to speak out against their abuser. Family members should watch for sudden changes in a senior’s financial situation, unexplained withdrawals or transfers, or staff members who refuse to allow others to visit or communicate with the senior.
Liability for Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide a safe and comfortable environment for their residents. When nursing home staff members abuse residents, they should be liable for their actions. Liability can extend not only to the individual staff member responsible for the abuse but also to the nursing home as an entity.
The types of liability for nursing home abuse can include criminal, regulatory, and civil liability. Criminal liability can result in criminal charges and penalties, such as fines or imprisonment, for the staff member who committed the abuse. Regulatory liability can result in fines or sanctions against the nursing home by government agencies for violating regulations and standards of care.
Our attorneys work to hold nursing homes civilly liable for your loved one’s injuries and losses. These nursing home abuse claims seek compensation for the harm to the resident.
The compensation we seek can include:
- Medical expenses
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Possible punitive damages to punish the nursing home for its wrongdoing.
Liability for nursing home abuse can be complex, so you always want the assistance of an experienced attorney. Our legal team can help you understand your rights and options for seeking justice and compensation. We can help ensure your loved one is safe from future abuse, including assisting with relocation and reporting violence to the authorities when necessary.
By holding nursing homes and their staff accountable for their actions, we not only seek justice for one instance of abuse, but we all work toward ensuring that all seniors receive the care and respect they deserve.
Nursing Home Abuse FAQs
1. What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
- Bedsores and Pressure Ulcers – These injuries to the skin and underlying tissue may look like bruises or welts. They usually result from improper care at nursing home facilities. Without immediate medical care, these injuries can become deep infections that require emergency care and even surgery.
- Medication Errors – Elderly individuals usually take medication and are at a greater risk for these errors. Some signs of medication errors are confusion, rapid heartbeat, agitation, and fever. Know the signs and protect your loved one from an extreme medical emergency, including death.
- Physical Abuse – Unfortunately, physical and sexual abuse in nursing homes are common. The damage caused goes far beyond physical injuries. Signs of physical abuse are bruises, burns, cuts, and welts on the skin, dehydration, malnutrition, broken bones, and facial or dental injuries.
- Sexual Abuse – The signs of sexual abuse are just as disturbing. Look for bruising around the genitals, bleeding from the genitals, genital infections or STDs, difficulty sitting or walking, torn and bloodied undergarments, extreme agitation, panic attacks, and suicide attempts. Call law enforcement immediately if you suspect physical or sexual abuse.
- Malnourishment – Nursing home facilities must provide nutritious food and water. Signs of malnourishment include rapid weight loss, dehydration, lack of hygiene, depression, and anxiety.
- Death – Nursing homes must provide life-saving efforts to every resident, and they must inform the patient’s family as soon as possible about a resident’s death or near-death experience. You should hold them responsible for the safety and well-being of their residents, and a reliable New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer will make sure they do.
2. How Much is My Nursing Home Abuse Case Worth?
Nursing home abuse case settlements vary from case to case.
The amount your case may be worth is based on:
- Have you passed the statute of limitations?
- Was it abuse or neglect?
- Is your jurisdiction the Hackensack, NJ area?
- Was it a wrongful death settlement?
- Settlement amounts for similar cases
If you suspect a nursing home is abusing your loved one, report the nursing home abuse by filing a complaint with the State of New Jersey Department of Human Services, Adult Protective Services (APS). Also, contact our trusted nursing home abuse attorneys. We can report the abuse to APS and fight for the compensation you and your loved one deserve.
3. Where Does Nursing Home Abuse Occur in New Jersey?
Nursing home abuse can take place anywhere, in any city, state, country, or home, but knowing the prevalence in a specific area can help protect your loved ones from elder abuse.
A study by ProPublica , a non-profit, independent investigative journalism publication, made startling discoveries about nursing home abuse in New Jersey. Their three-year-long study found that out of the 353 nursing homes inspected, significant deficiencies led to $7.66 million in penalties.
Here is a breakdown of the nursing homes in Hackensack and surrounding areas.
|City||Nursing Home||Address||TotalDeficiencies||Fine Amount|
|Hackensack||Hackensack Meridian Health Nursing & Rehab||415 Jack MartinBlvd.||20||$15,655|
|Maywood||Atlas Rehabilitation AndHealthcare At Maywood||100 W. MagnoliaAve.||20||$2,941|
|Teaneck||Teaneck Nursing Center||1104 TeaneckRd.||20||$15,658|
|Hackensack||Hackensack Meridian Health Prospect Heights Care C||336 ProspectAve.||8||No fines|
|Teaneck||Care One at Teaneck||544 Teaneck Rd.||11||No fines|
|Hackensack||Care One at Wellington||301 Union St.||8||$658|
|Paramus||Bergen New BridgeMedical Center||230 E Ridgewood Ave.||7||$157,959|
The total deficiencies in the chart above often include serious deficiencies that caused the government to flag the facility. Know which facilities in your area were fined and trust the experienced lawyers of the Reinartz Law Firm to protect you and your family.
4. How to Fight with the Insurance Companies
It may seem reasonable to speak with the insurance companies or nursing home officials about you or your loved one’s injuries, pain, and suffering, especially when they dangle a check for your medical bills, funeral costs, or day-to-day living expenses right in front of your face.
They’re not in business to help you. Don’t sign that check or contract until you contact a reliable, experienced New Jersey attorney who will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Reinartz Law Firm as your nursing home abuse lawyer because:
- They won’t settle for the insurance companies’ pennies; they’ll fight to get what your claim is worth
- They won’t trick you into giving a recorded statement like insurance companies—that may be used against you to decrease or deny your claim
- They will work hard to ensure you get compensated for all of your damages (economic damages like medical bills and non-economic damages like humiliation and loss of enjoyment of life)
5. What Should You Do After You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in New Jersey?
After you or an elder loved one has received medical treatment, immediately file a police report. Make sure the responding officer has the date and time of the suspected injury or abuse, pictures of the victim’s injuries, and if the abuse/neglect was ongoing or a one-time event. You should have a good estimate of the length and severity of each occurrence.Next, contact a trusted and seasoned New Jersey Law Firm to handle your claim. Provide them with much of the same information provided to law enforcement: medical bills, pictures, receipts, police reports, and any statements from witnesses. Attorneys with extensive and proven experience in nursing home abuse will ensure you are properly compensated for your troubles.
6. How to Report Abuse in Nursing Homes?
If you suspect abuse of a loved one in a New Jersey nursing home, follow these steps (or call us and we can do them for you):
Never Wait to Speak With Our New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
We represent injured clients across New Jersey, regularly taking on cases in the entire Bergen County area, including Hackensack, Teaneck, Fort Lee, Fair Lawn, Garfield, Englewood, Bergenfield, Paramus, Mahwah, Ridgewood, Lodi, Cliffside Park, Lyndhurst, Palisades Park, Elmwood Park, and Rutherford.
We will always evaluate your options and answer your questions free of charge, and you have no obligation to move forward with our legal team. We are here to help, so please never hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm in New Jersey at (201) 289-8614 about your case as soon as possible. Our New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyers can protect your loved one’s physical, mental, and financial well-being.
Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to experienced New Jersey nursing home abuse attorneys that won’t stop until the nursing home takes responsibility for the pain they caused you and your loved ones. We are only a call, click, or short drive away, and we will never charge you until we provide results. We’re here to answer your questions and provide a free, no-obligation consultation so we can assist you in your claim and get you the compensation you and your loved ones deserved.
"Richard Reinartz represented my husband and I in a personal injury case. He was very professional and did an excellent job. Richard made it very easy to communicate with him via email, phone, texts. His assistants are extremely helpful yet Richard even answers the phone himself when he could! .He is obviously well respected by the insurance companies and other attorneys. We feel very fortunate to have had him on our side."
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"Richard Reinartz has been my lawyer since 2014 and has helped me out with a couple of workers compensation cases, a car accident and a family members personal injury. In my personal opinion he is a great lawyer, keeps you informed of how your case is going and which direction is going, he is aggressive with his abilities to get you the best possible outcome in the end, he is compassionate to your injury or the situation your are in to help you out. I would recommend my lawyer to anybody and I have."