Has your loved one suffered harm or death due to insufficient medical care in a New Jersey nursing home? If so, Nagel Rice LLP is here to protect their rights and yours. We will file a claim on your behalf and fight vigorously to recover substantial damages.
Our nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys have extensive knowledge of medical malpractice law, excellent legal skills, and decades of experience. We also have a long history of successful outcomes, having won over $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options. We will not charge you anything until we win your case.
Why A Nursing Home May Provide Insufficient Medical Care
Not only has the percentage of older Americans increased with each passing year, but seniors are living to increasingly advanced ages. This means that the number of patients needing residential nursing care is increasing. Because nursing homes are understaffed, this results
in less attention paid to each individual patient.
The COVID pandemic only worsened the situation. The nursing assistants, who provide most of the care in nursing homes, now faced increased workloads and elevated risk of illness in addition to having extremely taxing jobs and being paid very little.
Nonetheless, no matter what the circumstances, nursing homes are medical facilities, and as such owe a duty of care to their patients. They are legally obligated to provide every patient with adequate medical care. For example, suppose your family member suffered an injury or worsening of a medical problem due to insufficient medical care. In that case, Nagel Rice attorneys are ready to protect their rights and recover compensation for their losses.
The Specifics of Insufficient Medical Care in Nursing Homes
Enter any nursing home, especially those in urban areas, and you will find most patients unattended. This is because, according to nursing home regulations, individual patients interact with nurses only on a “need to be seen” basis and are visited by doctors only once every 30 days for their first 3 months in the facility and then every 60 days, unless they require immediate attention.
Patient care, as mentioned earlier, is mostly provided by certified nursing assistants (CNAs) who have minimal training and are underpaid and overworked. Many nursing homes maintain a ratio of 1 CNA to 20 patients, and these nursing assistants have a great many duties to perform besides caring for residents. While patients wait for a drink of water, a bathroom transport, or a change of soiled linens, CNAs are busy not only tending to 19 other incapacitated patients but completing other duties, such as stocking supplies and documenting services rendered.
Why Receiving Sufficient Medical Care in a Nursing Home Is Nearly Impossible
Bear in mind that CNAs must provide the following services and you begin to understand the monumental scope of their jobs:
- Feeding and hydrating patients
- Checking patients’ vital signs
- Documenting patients’ food and liquid intake
- Turning, bathing, and grooming patients
- Transporting patients to the bathroom or diapering them
- Transporting patients who require help to the dining room
- Routinely changing bed linens
- Answering patient calls (e.g. about injury, pain, thirst)
- Checking for each patient’s safety (e.g. in regard to fall or elopement risks)
- Replacing nonsterile bandages
- Administering medications (in some instances)
While some patients are more functional than others, most have mobility issues, many have a cognitive impairment, and some are blind, hearing- or balance-impaired. Caring for one such patient may seem like a full-time job. Caring for 20 leaves many patients’ needs unmet or delayed to a dangerous degree.
Fortunately, many nursing home patients go remain in relatively good health through nursing home medical care and continue to live out their natural lifespan. Tragically, some do not. At Nagel Rice, we are committed to the idea that nursing homes must be held accountable when harm comes to patients because of insufficient medical care, both for the sake of the injured party and for the well-being of other residents.
When “Mistakes” Become Medical Neglect
While neglecting to turn a patient who cannot turn herself may be a slip-up if it happens once; it may result in a painful and infected bedsore if it happens many times. Lack of routine care or failure to respond to patient needs or requests can quickly become medical neglect. After all, nursing home patients are frail and have pre-existing conditions. If an unmonitored patient falls, the consequences can be catastrophic.
Restricted Nursing Home Access to Nurses, Doctors, and Specialists
Although a high fever or suspected broken bone will result in a nursing home patient’s transport to a local hospital, requests for a dentist, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, or dermatologist may not be arranged for weeks or months. If a tooth abscess develops or a melanoma remains untreated, there may be long-term serious or even fatal injuries for which the nursing home can be held responsible.
Signs of Medical Neglect
If you suspect your loved one is receiving insufficient medical care, check for these signs of nursing home neglect:
- Sudden weight loss
- Bedsores or rashes
- Injuries from falls
- Mood or behavioral changes
- Poor personal hygiene or poor grooming
- Bad odors, dirty floors, unclean sheets
- No evidence of aides interacting with patients
If you do not receive an appropriate response to your questions or concerns from nursing home administrators, contact our nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys promptly.
We Will Fight Hard for Your Right to Compensation
As soon as you become our clients, we will begin working to recover the damages you deserve for medical costs, physical pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and, in worst-case scenarios, funeral expenses and loss of emotional support.
We will investigate your case by listening carefully to your story, examining all medical records, and consulting with experts who may provide supportive testimony. Most importantly, we will take over all legal and logistical matters so that you and your family can recuperate from the trauma.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Attorneys Today
Our legal team is dedicated to providing you with moral support as well as outstanding legal representation. Contact us now so you don’t have to handle this painful episode alone.