West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

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Throughout the United States, nursing home abuse has become an issue of national concern. The National Center on Elderly Abuse shows that only 15 percent of all cases involving physical abuse are reported every year. There were over 5,900,000 actual cases of elderly abuse in 2010, so it is disheartening to consider the numerous cases of physical abuse, neglect or exploitation that went unreported in that year. If you feel that your loved one may be in an abusive situation, you should speak up and not allow his or her case to go unreported.

A University of California-San Francisco research study tracked nursing home abuse patterns of West Virginia nursing homes for 2008, and the results are startling. The research study indicated that over 40 percent of nursing homes were unable to maintain a safe environment. Over 54 percent of nursing homes had serious issues with food sanitation, as well as maintaining a high quality of care and developing comprehensive care plans. Family members should also be concerned about whether a loved one is developing bedsores, as statistics also show that patients in over 19 percent of West Virginia nursing homes were at risk for developing bedsores. If your loved one has already developed bedsores as a result of inadequate care or attention, then a nursing home lawyer may be able to assist you with your case.

West Virginia Nursing Home Laws

There are strict West Virginia nursing home laws in place to protect elderly people in nursing homes. The Adult Protective Services Act is the governing source of authority for nursing homes in the state. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 is a federal law that also clearly states the many rights that nursing home residents have. Under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, elderly people have the right to receive the medical care that they require, to be treated with respect and dignity, to be free from physical or chemical restraints and to be free from abuse, exploitation or neglect.

When family members suspect that a loved one is the victim of abuse, then they may file reports of abuse with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, Adult Protective Services or the Bureau of Senior Services.

In West Virginia, there is only a limited period of time in which family members may file a negligence or wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one. For a negligence claim, family members only have a period of two years to file a claim within discovery of the injury. The noneconomic damages for a medical malpractice claim are limited to $250,000 for each occurrence. There is a cap of $500,000 for all of the injuries that loved ones have suffered.

A wrongful death claim may be filed within two years of the date of death of an individual. The noneconomic damages for medical malpractice are limited to $250,000 for each occurrence of negligence that impacted a loved one. There is a cap of $500,000 for injuries that involved serious deformities, the loss of use of a limb or other permanent physical injuries.

The Signs of Abuse and Victimization in Nursing Homes

There are certain signs that can alert family members that a loved one is being subjected to abuse and victimization in a nursing home. The following are signs of abuse and victimization:

  • Inability to speak around others, especially nursing home workers
  • Depression, anxiety and sleeplessness
  • Physical abrasions, scratches and bruises
  • Desires to be isolated from family members and friends
  • Denial of abuse or victimization
  • Torn or stained clothing
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Signs of restraint, such as red markings on the wrist
  • Nursing home workers refuse to allow the victim to be alone with family members

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Call Our West Virginia Nursing Home Lawyers for Immediate Help

When a loved one is being subjected to this type of abuse, it is important to call nursing home lawyers for help. West Virginia elder abuse lawyers can help you to deal with nursing home abuse and end the abuse or neglect of a loved one. Our lawyers are waiting to help families throughout West Virginia in areas such as:

Talk to our West Virginia elder abuse lawyers to schedule an initial consultation today.

Nursing Home Negligence

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

  • 2 years with Discovery Rule. (W. Va. Code. §55-2-12)
  • Medical malpractice – 2 years with Discovery Rule, but no later than 10 years after the date of injury.  Minors under age ten have 2 years from injury or until age twelve, whichever is longer. (W. Va. Code. §55-7B-4)

DAMAGES CAP

  • Noneconomic damages for medical malpractice are limited to 250,000 per occurrence, regardless of the number of defendants.  The cap is $500,000 for injuries involving permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb or loss of a bodily organ system; or permanent physical or mental functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for himself or herself and perform life sustaining activities.  On January 1, 2004, both compensatory damage limitations will be adjusted to account for inflation. (W. Va. Code. §55-7B-8)

Wrongful Death

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

DAMAGES CAP

  • Noneconomic damages for medical malpractice are limited to 250,000 per occurrence, regardless of the number of defendants.  The cap is $500,000 for injuries involving permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb or loss of a bodily organ system; or permanent physical or mental functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for himself or herself and perform life sustaining activities.  On January 1, 2004, both compensatory damage limitations will be adjusted to account for inflation. (W. Va. Code. §55-7B-8)

Nursing Home Care State Law

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