Information on Virginia Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawsuit Case Values
As the nation’s baby boomer population ages, nursing home populations are soaring. Unfortunately, along with this increase comes a marked increase in nursing home abuse as well. Reports to Virginia’s Adult Professional Services rose by 15.6% in 2017, and it is thought that many times this amount go unreported.Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Found in Virginia Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse and neglect exist in many forms, such as:
- Physical Abuse
Any kind of physical assault such as hitting, slapping, or choking constitutes assault and battery, punishable by criminal prosecution as well as resulting in civil liability for the victim’s damages.
- Sexual Abuse
This applies to any sexual battery, rape, or unwelcome sexual advances on a nursing home resident. This may also apply to forcing a resident to view pornographic images or indecent exposure. In Virginia, a man was recently fired from his job at Lexington Court, where the man was charged with raping a resident.
- Falling Injuries
Nursing home staff must assess each patient’s fall risk and take appropriate measures to prevent falls.
- Medication Errors
Caregivers who administer medications must follow prescription directions exactly and prevent dosage or timing errors.
Patients who require extensive bed rest or wheelchairs need to be repositioned on a frequent basis to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers.
- Wrongful Death
If a nursing home resident died unexpectedly, his or her surviving family should investigate as soon as possible to determine the cause of death.
Virginia state law only enforces mandatory reporting for licensed facilities and individuals acting in a professional capacity who witness or suspect elder abuse and/or neglect. However, anyone has the power to file such a report with Adult Protective Services and act to prevent the further abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Sudden diagnosis with a sexually transmitted infection. This is the most telltale sign of sexual abuse.
- Unexplained bruises and bone fractures. Nursing homes must track all resident medical events related to illness or injury.
- Repeat similar injuries. If your loved one suffered several falls in a short period or other patterns of similar injuries these could be indications of ongoing abuse or neglect.
- Dirty living conditions like soiled clothes and linens or dirty rooms encourage the spread of disease.
- Sudden changes in behavior. Your loved one may appear withdrawn or depressed if he or she is suffering from regular abuse or neglect.
- Sudden death from unknown causes. If your loved one unexpectedly died after appearing in relatively good health during your last visit, investigate the cause immediately.
It’s important for families to stay vigilant of their loved one’s condition, as well as research the facility for a history of citations of abuse. Recently in Virginia, dozens of nursing homes were given citations and fined for a variety of abuses and violations.How Much Is My Virginia Nursing Home Negligence Case Worth?
The value of any nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit hinges on many factors. Economic damages are generally easy to discern, and they include lost income from time spent caring for an elderly loved one recovering from abuse or neglect and the cost of necessary medical expenses following abuse.
A successful lawsuit may also yield compensation for the victim’s and family’s pain and suffering. Other factors that influence the value of a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit include:
- The age of the victim and his or her overall health.
- The involvement of the family in the victim’s daily life.
- The conduct of the nursing home, such as failure to uphold reasonable and appropriate hiring practices.
- The severity of the abuse or neglect. Incidents arising from intentional torts generally lead to more compensation than those arising from negligence.
A few examples of different possible case values for different types of nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits include:
- Bedsore Settlements
- Fall Settlements
- Inadequate Care Settlements
- Medical Error Settlements
- Nursing Home Abuse Settlements
If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a Virginia nursing home, contact us today to discuss your available options for legal recourse under Virginia law. We can help you determine your available damages and the odds of succeeding with your lawsuit.