Charleston, West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Charleston, WV Nursing Homes Ratings GraphCharleston, the capital of West Virginia, is a stunning riverfront city with a relatively small population. There are 18 nursing homes in this culture and history-rich city, where many disabled and elderly residents of Charleston live to receive the care they need.

Sadly, nursing home abuse is a persistent problem across the US, even in small cities like Charleston. Many nursing home residents suffer abuse and neglect from caregivers, visitors, and other residents. And while there are many state and federal regulations revolving around nursing homes, many cases of abuse and neglect go unresolved.

Did you or a loved one suffer abuse, neglect, or mistreatment in a Charleston nursing home? Our affiliate West Virginia personal injury lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center have extensive experience handling personal injury cases against negligent nursing homes.

Call our Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation with one of our nursing home abuse lawyers. All confidential or sensitive information you share will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes physical, psychological, or financial harm to a resident. It can result from negligence, carelessness, or malicious intent of nursing home workers, visitors, or other residents.

Elder Abuse

The law defines elder abuse as a single or repeated act that causes or increases the risk of harm to a patient aged 65 or above in a relationship with an expectation of trust (e.g., a caregiver-patient relationship).

The Rights of Nursing Home Residents

State and federal laws help protect the legal rights of nursing home residents. These laws include:

Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act defines what services nursing homes and other residential care facilities must provide residents and establishes standards for these services. This law aims to protect the legal rights of nursing home patients, including:

  • Freedom from abuse, neglect, or mistreatment
  • Freedom from physical restraints
  • Privacy
  • Accommodation of physical, psychological, medical, and social needs
  • Participation in resident and family groups
  • Be treated with dignity
  • Exercise self-determination
  • Communicate freely
  • Participate in one’s care plan review and be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or status change in the facility
  • Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
West Virginia Law

Chapter 16, Article 5C of the West Virginia Code promotes the development and utilization of resources to provide efficient medical care to nursing home residents. It outlines the minimum standards for West Virginia nursing homes, including policies on record-keeping, medical services, resident rights, and the minimum number of workers.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse occurs in many ways, including:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves deliberately using force against a resident, causing injury, pain, or impairment. It includes but is not limited to actions such as slapping, striking, kicking, burning, pinching, and restraining a resident without medical reasons.

Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Broken bones
  • Unexplained injuries (e.g., cuts, burns, bruises)
  • Restraint or grip marks
  • Fearfulness
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse, also known as mental or emotional abuse, involves verbal and non-verbal acts that cause psychological harm to a resident. These acts may include verbal abuse, humiliation, intimidation, gaslighting, and geographical or social isolation.

Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse

  • Personality or behavioral changes
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Fearfulness
  • Being extremely withdrawn
  • Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
Sexual Abuse

Sexual assault or abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact with a resident, including those who cannot give valid consent (e.g., a mentally disabled person). It can take many forms, including verbal sexual harassment, unwanted touching, explicit photography, sodomy, coerced nudity, and rape.

Signs of Sexual Abuse

  • Reluctance or refusal to be touched
  • Unexplained bruises around the breasts or genitals
  • Genital infections
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Sudden changes in personality or behavior
  • Refusal to be alone with specific individuals
Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of a resident’s personal property, including money and assets. It can take many forms, including manipulating bank accounts, stealing personal belongings, and unauthorized transactions on credit cards.

Signs of Financial Exploitation

  • Sudden bank account changes
  • Unexplained transactions on debit or credit cards
  • Missing belongings
  • Forged signatures on financial documents
  • Inconsistencies in financial records of the facility
  • Sudden changes in financial habits

Neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to provide a resident’s basic needs, including proper nutrition, medication, clothing, medical care, and a safe environment, creating or increasing the risk of harm to a patient.

Signs of Neglect

  • Poor hygiene
  • Bed sores
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Untreated medical conditions (e.g., recurring urinary tract infections)
  • Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
  • Inadequate clothing for the weather
  • Lack of medical aids (e.g., eyeglasses, walkers, hearing aids)
  • Medication errors
Effects of Nursing Home Negligence

Victims of nursing home neglect and abuse may suffer the following consequences:

  • Severe injuries
  • Untreated medical conditions
  • Psychological trauma
  • Disability
  • Loss of personal property
  • Monetary losses
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Reduced family or social ties
  • Wrongful death
Common Nursing Home Injuries

Abuse and lack of proper care often lead to significant injuries, such as:

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Infections
  • Head trauma or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones, especially hip fractures
  • Bruises and cuts
  • Soft tissue injuries (e.g., sprains, strains)
Who Is Most at Risk?

While anyone can become a victim of nursing home neglect and abuse, some individuals are more at risk than others, including:

  • Patients with physical or mental disabilities
  • Patients with additional care needs
  • Patients with access to an abundance of wealth
  • Dementia patients
  • Women and children
  • Bedridden patients
Causes of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

Abuse and neglect happen for many different reasons, including:

  • Underqualified and Improperly Trained Staff: Nursing facility employees that lack proper qualifications and training may be more likely to commit medical negligence and engage in abusive or neglectful behavior.
  • Understaffing: Staff shortages often lead to high-stress environments and overburdened workers, causing standards of care to drop and emotions to run high.
  • Poor Management: Nursing homes with poor management may create employees with a lack of accountability and inappropriate behavior towards residents. If the leadership performs poorly, constituents may also deliver a poor performance.
  • Underreporting: Nursing homes are legally required to report the abuse or neglect of disabled or elderly individuals. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported, providing no resolution against abusive or neglectful behavior.
How to Report Nursing Home Negligence in Charleston, West Virginia

Report known or suspected abuse of a disabled or elderly person to the Charleston Police. But if you think your loved one or another resident is in immediate danger, call 911 as soon as possible.

You can also file a complaint to the following agencies in West Virginia:

Charleston nursing homes found guilty of non-compliance with state or federal regulations could lose government funding, certifications, and licenses.

Additionally, individuals responsible for abusing or neglecting residents may face criminal charges from the police—punishments for nursing home abuse range from fines up to $10,000 or imprisonment, or both.

After you report the negligence of a Charleston WV nursing home and remove your loved one from the premises, contact a Charleston West Virginia lawyer.

Filing a Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Claim

The abuse or neglect of a nursing home patient is not only immoral--it is also illegal. Thus, a nursing home or long-term care facility that fails to uphold patient safety standards, resulting in patient harm, could face significant legal repercussions.

Did your disabled or elderly loved one suffer substandard treatment, violence, or neglect in a Charleston, WV, nursing home? If so, the best course of action is to seek justice by filing a personal injury claim.

The Role of Charleston WV Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Proper legal counsel is crucial for any claim, especially nursing home negligence. Your Charleston nursing home abuse attorney will help you:

  • Establish the liability of at-fault parties
  • File your claim within the statute of limitations
  • Collect evidence to support your claim
  • Handle all claim-related paperwork
  • Negotiate settlement values
  • File your lawsuit in civil court, if necessary
Liable Parties

Possible perpetrators of maltreatment against your loved one may include:

  • Staff members
  • Visitors
  • Other residents

Regardless of who is directly responsible for the abuse or neglect, the negligent Charleston nursing home or assisted living facility will also be liable for failing to protect residents from avoidable harm.


You need substantial evidence proving nursing home negligence to take legal action against at-fault parties. Your lawyer will help you gather proof to build your claim, such as:

  • Photos of your loved one’s injuries
  • Medical records, including psychological evaluations
  • Incident and police reports
  • Witness accounts from family members, staff members, visitors, or other patients
  • Expert testimony

Your Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer will discuss the evidence you will need to collect during your free case review.


By filing a personal injury claim against responsible parties, your family could recover financial compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:

  • Medical Bills: Compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, surgery, emergency transportation, etc.
  • Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your family member becomes disabled from their injuries. These damages may include loss of quality of life, disability services, and medical equipment.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, mental trauma, emotional distress, etc.
  • Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for your loved one’s reduced quality of life, which may manifest in loss of enjoyment in daily activities, reduced independence, and reduced societal ties.
  • Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies due to abuse or neglect. These damages typically include funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, and grief.
  • Punitive Damages: Monetary awards on top of compensatory damages, aiming to punish negligent nursing homes for their actions and deter harmful behavior in the future.

Your Charleston nursing home abuse attorney will estimate the settlement value your family deserves during your free case consultation.


Most nursing home abuse victims recover damages without going to court. In many personal injury cases, the negligent facility’s insurance company will offer the claimant an initial value. At this point, the claimant has two options: accept the offer or negotiate for a better one with the help of their lawyer.

Accepting the payment will make you unable to sue for additional damages. Have your nursing home abuse lawyer negotiate the settlement value on your behalf to ensure you receive fair compensation.

Other Legal Options

What if negotiations are unsuccessful? Or what if the nursing home denies liability for the abuse and neglect? If this happens, your attorney could file a civil lawsuit.

A judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides and determine a verdict. Your nursing home negligence lawyer will guide you through the legal process should this happen to your case.

Your lawyer could also help you explore other options, such as mediation or arbitration, if you want to avoid litigation.

The Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits in West Virginia is two years (West Virginia Code 55-2-101). The clock starts running on the date of the underlying incident or its discovery. Courts usually don’t grant extensions unless your case has exceptional circumstances.

Take action immediately as soon as you discover the injustices made against your loved one. The court may refuse to hear your case or dismiss it if you miss the two-year deadline.

Our Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers will help file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations and guide you through the process of obtaining an extension, should there be any exceptional circumstances in your case.

How to Protect Your Loved One From Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

The following are some valuable tips on how to protect your loved one’s health and well-being in their Charleston nursing home:

  • Visit your loved one frequently and encourage other family members to do the same
  • Learn the difference between the signs of maltreatment and dementia or mental illness
  • Watch for less noticeable injuries in your loved one, such as pressure ulcers that clothes may hide
  • Observe for changes in your loved one’s behavior and personality
  • Ensure that your loved one has a way to contact you in emergencies
  • Get to know your loved one’s primary caregivers in the nursing home
  • Ask your loved one and other patients about their experiences
  • Observe how staff members treat residents; watch for strange or potentially abusive behavior
  • Check if your loved one’s room is safe and sanitary
  • See if your loved one’s nursing home has previous sanctions for abuse, neglect, or medical malpractice (this information is usually available to the public)
Act Immediately

Many families do not report suspected abuse due to a lack of evidence and unfounded trust in the nursing home. Unfortunately, this lack of action puts vulnerable individuals in even more danger.

Contact the authorities as soon as you suspect abuse. Avoid giving nursing facilities the benefit of the doubt to protect your loved one from further harm. Once you have proof that the facility breached its legal duty to your loved one, seek justice with the help of a Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer.

Hire The Best Lawyers in Charleston to Resolve Your Case

Nursing home abuse causes significant harm to countless residents and families all over the US. Thousands of vulnerable patients suffer injuries, disabilities, trauma, and massive financial losses due to negligent nursing homes' actions (or inaction). And sadly, many of these victims do not receive justice.

Don’t let you or your loved one be another unresolved case. Take legal action with the help of an experienced Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer.

At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our nursing home abuse lawyers have extensive experience prosecuting facilities guilty of elder abuse, medical malpractice, and many other forms of maltreatment against vulnerable individuals. Our lawyers are devoted to seeking justice for victims of such unnecessary pain and suffering, helping thousands of families obtain fair financial compensation for their losses.

Call our experienced Charleston WV nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.

Our nursing home negligence attorneys handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning our services are free unless we win your case.


Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric