legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Was your loved one injured, abused, mistreated, or did they die unexpectedly from neglect while residing at a nursing facility in Virginia?
Let our personal injury law firm review your case for financial compensation to ensure your family receives the monetary recovery they deserve.
Every year, nationwide statistics reveal that nursing home abuse continues to be a significant problem in society. The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that almost six million nursing home injury cases of elderly abuse occur every year.
Over 67 percent of victims of elderly abuse tend to be females. Even more disturbing, the Center reports that over 91 percent of nursing homes do not have adequate staffing to ensure that the needs of elderly people are met.
In Virginia, the statistics for nursing homes are just as disheartening. Over 40 percent of Virginia nursing homes were discovered to have severe issues maintaining a safe environment and food sanitation in 2008. Over 50 percent of nursing homes failed to maintain adequate professional standards that year.
Medicare routinely updates their data on the 287 nursing homes rated in Virginia based on identified violations and deficiencies found at the facilities through inspections and investigations. According to the federal agency, currently, 102 (35%) of Virginia nursing homes provide substandard care based on national averages.
Nursing Homes Pattern of Abuse
Family members need to speak up about suspicions of abuse involving the Virginia nursing home staff or other patients. Patterns of abuse are usually common in nursing home facilities attempting to prey upon residents' financial assets. It is essential to stop abuse from occurring and remove your loved one from the situation.
Speak now to a long-term care and nursing home abuse lawyer to receive the help that you, or a family member, need to make a difference in the life of a loved one.
Nursing Home Laws in Virginia
In Virginia, nursing home abuse and neglect are prohibited under the Adult Protective Services Act. The Adult Protective Services Act also establishes the procedural system for dealing with nursing home neglect or abuse reports in Virginia. It handles complaints reported for adults 60 years of age and older and complaints that involve abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
APS provides a wide range of services that may be available to remove an elderly person from an abusive situation and end any further mistreatment.
Some of the services that may be available include alternative shelter, transportation, nutrition services, legal intervention, adult daycare, or even foster services.
Those who suspect that a nursing home resident is the victim of abuse can get in touch with a department of social services to file an abuse report. The department maintains a toll-free hotline that can be accessed at 888-832-3858.
In Virginia, family members only have a limited period to file a negligence or wrongful death claim. They should be aware that the statute of limitations only runs for two years, which means that individuals must file a case within this time frame.
The statute of limitations begins to run from when an injury is discovered, or the individual's death occurs. Virginia laws maintain a $1.5 million cap on damages for acts that occur after August 1, 1999. Punitive damages are capped at $350,000.Several departments can handle reports of abuse or neglect in Virginia. These are the Virginia Department of Health, Adult Protective Services, Department of Health, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman. Nursing home negligence attorneys in Virginia can help you file a report of abuse or neglect with any one of these departments.
Understand Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are various forms of neglect that can occur in a nursing home. The first types of neglect that may come to mind may be those that directly impact a loved one, such as depriving him or her of food, water, and medication.
However, there are other more subtle forms of neglect that family members should also be aware of involving a lack of quality care, such as:
- Failure to maintain clean premises
- Failure to engage residents with others
- Isolation of residents for extended periods
- Unwashed bed sheets
- Medication errors
- Medical malpractice
- Unwashed clothing
- Unsanitary or improperly prepared food
These forms of negligence can be just as harmful to nursing home residents' lives as other forms of physical abuse. It is crucial for family members to take action against care facilities when they realize that neglect is occurring in a nursing home. Contact your law firm today.
Nursing home litigation might involve compensatory and punitive damages for financial compensation, including hospital costs, medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
Any family member who lost loved ones from abuse and neglect could file wrongful death cases seeking justice and compensation paid by the facilities insurance companies.
Protecting Your Loved One from Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Institute on Aging the first stage and preventing elder abuse is to recognize how your loved one is being harmed.
While physical assault is typically apparent with bruising, broken bones, or other trauma, your loved one could be mistreated through financial, mental, and emotional means.
Practical steps to protect your loved ones is to play an active role in their daily living. Some of the best ways to prevent mistreatment includes:
- Engage with residents – Whenever possible, visit the nursing home and spent time with your loved one. Watch them interact with the nursing staff and other residents and ask questions about their daily routines. Pay close attention to your loved one’s body language to see if they are shying away from nurses or others that might be causing them harm.
- Be a part of your loved one support system – Spending your time at the nursing home assisting caretakers to ensure your loved one’s needs are being met can prevent any violent or threatening situation from occurring.
- Encourage mental, social, and physical activities – While you will have no control over reversing your loved one’s mental or physical decline, you can participate in helping them remain active. Interaction with others can help your loved one remains socially active and mentally aware while participating in activities in a safe environment.
- Guard your loved one’s finances – Pay close attention to your loved one’s financial accounts and daily balances. Safeguard their Social Security number and credit card information from anyone other than those in charge.
State law should protect your loved one from mistreatment and substandard care. At the first sign of abuse, contact the nursing home administrator and local law enforcement.
Discuss your loved one’s poor mental or physical health and prove that they were sexually, physically, mentally, or emotionally harmed.
Talk to Virginia Nursing Home Lawyers Today for Help
Talk to nursing home abuse lawyers to receive the help you need to end the abuse and neglect. Nursing home negligence attorneys in Virginia are available to assist you in the process of collecting damages.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. A Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer from our law firm is available to talk to local residents in areas such as:
Call our nursing home abuse lawyers to schedule an initial consultation and understand your loved one’s rights.
Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Injury FAQs
Many nursing home abuse and neglect cases are straightforward, where the victim or family member can file a compensation claim.
However, any case involving medication errors, negligence, bed sores, abuse, or negligence likely requires a nursing home abuse attorney from a reputable law firm to resolve the claim successfully.
Attempting to handle a Virginia personal injury case without legal advice or experience could complicate the process. Any mishandling of
Contact us today to discuss your Virginia nursing home abuse or neglect case. Let our years of experience help you hold the long-term care center, assisted living facility, or nursing home staff accountable.
Typically, personal injury cases involving nursing home abuse are resolved by either a negotiated settlement with compensation paid by the at-fault party's insurance company or a jury trial verdict.
The length of time required to negotiate an out of court settlement depends on the responsible party's insurance company's willingness to make a reasonable offer. If the case is straightforward and the injuries are minor, the case could be resolved in as little as a few weeks.
In these cases, the insurance company likely already made the victim a settlement offer. However, the offer was likely not based on the maximum policy limits. Any agreement to accept the offer and a signed liability release could and the negotiations and resolve the case amicably.
However, the victim should never accept the first settlement offer without legal representation. Often, the claims adjuster makes an offer too low to cover the victim's losses and damages in full. A nursing home abuse attorney can take legal action, gather evidence, ensure you have a conclusive medical diagnosis of your damages, and value your case accordingly.
Unfortunately, physical, mental, and sexual assault in nursing facilities is a common occurrence that affects aging residents or those with severe cognitive or physical disabilities.
Abuse runs rampant in some nursing facilities based on nursing staff skills or the care facility management's proficiency. Common reasons why nursing home abuse still happens include:
- Staff shortages where there is not sufficient nurses and nurse's aides to meet every resident's needs
- Lack of training and experience where staff members make mistakes that harmed or killed the resident
- Underpaid nurses and nursing aides by nursing homes that choose to place profits ahead of resident safety and well-being
- Caregiver problems, including substandard hiring practices and failure to properly screen the personnel that might have a history of abuse or neglect at other facilities
- Resident risk factors, including comorbidities, facility-acquired bed sores, or other health factors that could jeopardize their well-being
Many nursing homes are run by stressed, burnt out, or underpaid staff, leading to financial problems. Nurses and nurses' aides working while frustrated on the job could look for an outlet for their exasperation, taking it out on the resident that serves as an easy target.
According to the National Center On Elder Abuse, the six major types of Elder abuse in nursing facilities include:
- Physical abuse, including bruising, pinching, hitting, punching, or other intentional harm that leads to impairment, physical pain, or bodily injury
- Sexual abuse, including any non-consensual sexual activity that might not involve physical contact
- Emotional assault where the victim fails inflicted by distress, pain, anguish, humiliation, threats, or harassment through verbal and nonverbal acts
- Financial exploitation where the nursing staff, employees, visitors, and other residents improperly or illegally use the victim's assets, property, or funds, including credit cards and bank accounts
- Abandonment where the nursing home staff deserts the elderly victim and fails to provide standards of care
- Negligence caused by refusing or failing to fulfill any of the resident’s medical or health needs
Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers
In many situations, placing a loved one in a Virginia nursing home is the last option available for the family.
Turning over their care and well-being to a medical team requires an exceptional level of trust in the nurses, nurse’s aides, and doctors who will be providing treatment to ensure their health.
Many families have a high level of expectation that nursing homes and assisted living facilities will do everything they can to maintain the loved one’s quality of life free from abuse while at the home.
Upon admittance to the nursing home, the family never expected to be notified that their loved one has suffered facility-acquired bedsore.
Bedsores (pressure sores; pressure ulcers; decubitus ulcers) are unfortunately a common occurrence for nursing home patients who are limited in their mobility.
Most bedsore injury and wrongful death cases could have been prevented had the nursing care facility followed established health protocols.
All information you share with your nursing home abuse attorney from our law firm remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.