What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

In general, there are four options for reporting nursing home abuse or complaints.

While you need to act fast to protect your loved ones, the law is on your side. If possible, talk to the patient and create a written record of their concerns. Keep in mind that often patients are reluctant to share stories of abuse out of fear that there will be retribution by the nursing home. Unless you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, your should try and work with the nursing home facility.

Keep in mind that often patients are reluctant to share stories of abuse out of fear that there will be retribution by the nursing home.

In general, there are three options for reporting nursing home abuse.

Option 1: Contact The Nursing Home

Take immediate action by reporting any signs of abuse to the nursing home administrators. By law, they are obligated to address your complaints. If you are concerned that reporting a problem will lead to retribution or additional abuse or patient bullying, then escalate the complaint by calling or contacting the New Jersey State Ombudsman.

Option 2: Contact The New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman

The New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly is part of a national resident-focused advocacy program that seeks to protect the health, safety, welfare, and civil and human rights of older individuals in institutions.  Staff and volunteers work with individual residents to help them address challenges they face or complaints that need resolution.

If you (or someone you know) lives in a long-term care facility and has a problem or concern, the office will investigate, resolve and refer complaints to the appropriate agency. By law, callers may remain anonymous, and our case files are closed to the public.

Contact information:

By Phone: 1 (877) 582-6995

Email:  ombudsman@advocate.state.nj.us

Write:

The Office of the Ombudsman
P.O. Box 852
Trenton, NJ  08625-0852

Option 3: Contact A New Jersey Based Nursing Home Malpractice Attorney

After using option 1 and 2 above, if the allegations are founded, adult protective services will provide services to the older person to try to remedy the problems and prevent their recurrence; however, there may be situations where the victim or the victim’s family do not feel satisfied or justly compensated for the injury or indignity suffered at the hands of the nursing home. In such cases, the resident or resident’s family member should speak to an attorney about bringing a civil action for damages against the nursing home. Also, the circumstances may warrant a criminal prosecution.

If it can be demonstrated that a nursing home or its employees have acted negligently, they may be held liable for nay resulting damages. Damages available include:

  • Payment for medical bills
  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for disfigurement and disability

In some cases, punitive damages are available which deters the nursing home or any defendants from harming others by engaging in similar conduct. Grounds for filing a nursing home dispute legal claim include:

  • Negligent hiring
  • Medication or care errors
  • Understaffing
  • Inadequate training
  • Abuse by third parties that operate in the residence (or even by other residents)
  • Breach of statutory rights (residents are entitled to privacy, dignity, and autonomy)

Consult with a member of our legal team to learn more at (201) 488-4644 or request an appointment by filling out the form on this page.