New Jersey Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Can Fight Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse attorney, Lance Brown of Lance Brown & Associates is dedicated to representing victims of New Jersey nursing home negligence by acting swiftly to end any neglect or abuse and helping victims receive compensation for the damages caused to them.
New Jersey’s Office of the Ombudsman
What it can and can’t do to stop nursing home negligence in New Jersey
The agency primarily responsible for receiving and investigating complaints of New Jersey nursing home negligence is the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly (OOIE). This single agency covers all 387 nursing homes and 519 board and care, assisted living, and other adult care facilities in the state, and the 30,000 residents living in those facilities.
OOIE receives over 5,000 complaints in a given year and verifies well over 2,000 of them. This agency, headed by a former nursing home administrator, has a team of 11 investigators tasked with responding to those thousands of complaints. Investigation of complaints for nursing home negligence is not the only function of OOIE, and much of its efforts are directed toward improving the quality of long-term care overall.
OOIE also utilizes volunteer advocates who visit a facility for three to four hours a week to visit with residents, keep them company, and help them resolve minor complaints such as problems with fellow residents or personality conflicts with staff, but allegations of serious abuse and neglect are left to the 11-member investigative team. Volunteer advocates receive 32 hours of training, including how to respond to and deal with complaints of nursing home negligence. Presently, a little over half of the nursing homes in New Jersey have a volunteer advocate visiting the facility.
Although OOIE is the agency responsible for receiving and investigating complaints of New Jersey nursing home negligence, it does not actually have any enforcement powers. Once a complaint is investigated and verified as having some merit, it is then turned over to some other board or licensing agency, such as the Board of Nursing for complaints against nurses or the Department of Health for complaints against the nursing home itself. It is then up to that agency to complete its own internal process before taking action against a staff member or nursing home for negligence.
How having an attorney can help stop New Jersey nursing home negligence
Having an attorney on your side can often put a stop to nursing home negligence more quickly and more effectively than navigating through the bureaucratic process of multiple government administrative agencies. The legislature recognized this fact when it created a private cause of action for victims of New Jersey nursing home negligence. This law allows you to sue a nursing home or staff member on your own and collect compensation for the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other actual damages you suffered, as well as punitive damages against the defendant where appropriate. To further encourage victims of nursing home negligence to take action, the law allows successful plaintiffs to recover the costs of their case, including court fees and attorney’s fees, from the defendant.
Trust Your New Jersey Nursing Home Negligence Case to an Attorney Who Works for You
Your attorney works for you and you alone. Your lawyer does not have to worry about politics, budgets, limited staffing or any considerations other than what is in the best interests of you or your loved one. Attorney Lance Brown devotes his time, attention and resources to handling your case and making sure nursing home residents get the care they deserve. If you or a loved one is experiencing nursing home negligence in New Jersey or eastern Pennsylvania, contact Lance Brown & Associates for immediate assistance.