Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Elder abuse happens way too often in residential long-term care settings. At RVA Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re 100% committed to helping abused and/or neglected nursing home residents across the state. Our legal team isn’t just here to protect your rights, but we’re here to do everything within our power to help you get the compensation you deserve.
That’s true whether you’ve been dealing with physical abuse, emotional mistreatment, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, or medical negligence. No matter the circumstances, we’re more than equipped to handle all kinds of nursing home abuse cases – Including yours.
If you’ve been neglected or mistreated by nursing home staff, you’re not alone. Continue reading to learn more about VA nursing home abuse, including what it is, signs to look out for, and steps to take if you or your loved one has suffered abuse in a senior living facility.
If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we are here to help. Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. Call us at (804) 915-1611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will get justice for you.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home abuse and neglect encompass a wide range of harmful actions, or lack thereof. These actions/inactions have a noticeably negative impact on the health, well-being, and even dignity of residents.
Here are a few of the most common forms of abuse/neglect in the nursing home setting:
Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers thoroughly investigate claims of abuse and neglect – Crossing every “t” and dotting every “i” in the process. This includes the examination of medical records, interviewing staff members and other residents, and scrutinizing the particular facility’s operational procedures. Our goal here is to fully unearth the truth, hold the responsible parties accountable, and build a solid personal injury claim.
If you suspect abuse or neglect in a nursing facility, don’t wait another second before reaching out for a free consultation. Your swift action can prevent further harm and, hopefully, bring much-needed change to the care facility – Thus, safeguarding the well-being of every current and future resident.
Identifying Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
You can’t stop instances of abuse in elder care facilities unless you know how to spot them. Listed below are a few tell-tale signs of abuse or neglect that’s most common against vulnerable residents in long-term care settings. If you’re unsure whether or not abuse/neglect is present, our nursing home abuse attorneys can help you collect and sift through the evidence to determine whether they’ve violated you or your loved one’s rights or not.
Physical Signs of Abuse or Neglect
Unexplained bruises, cuts, fractures, and signs of restraint use are typically the easiest types of abuse to spot. Taken a step further – poor hygiene, rapid weight loss, and the presence of bedsores are also potential indicators of neglect. Here’s an example: Suppose a resident has unattended bedsores. In that case, it’s an indicator that they’ve been left in the same position for too long – Which suggests neglect in basic care.
Emotional and Behavioral Changes
When a nursing home resident withdraws from social activities, exhibits sudden fearfulness, or highly unusual behavior – it could be a sign of nursing home abuse. In many cases, victims exhibit signs of agitation or confusion without an obvious cause. If a normally extroverted and outgoing individual becomes mysteriously withdrawn, it’s time to ask questions and investigate to ensure they aren’t being mistreated.
Indicators of Sexual Abuse
It can be incredibly challenging to uncover this type of heinous abuse. However, generally, it can be identified through bruises around sensitive areas, unexplained sexually transmitted diseases, or even torn undergarments. Further, in many cases, uncovering sexual abuse in nursing homes requires offering the senior a safe space and format to reveal their abusers and experiences.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
This is yet another form of nursing home abuse that can go under the radar for months or years. That being said, things like unexpected changes in financial situations (i.e., unusual bank account withdrawals, missing valuables, etc.) might be an indicator of financial abuse. For example, if a resident on a fixed monthly income suddenly can’t afford to pay for their personal items for unexplained reasons, it’s likely something that should be carefully investigated.
Medical Care Neglect
Suppose your loved one is constantly suffering from infections due to poor hygiene practices. In that case, it may be a case of medical neglect. Key indicators can include but aren’t limited to:
- Frequent infections (without explanation)
- Poor medical care management
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration
- Improper medication administration.
Depending on the circumstances, medical neglect could also be considered a form of medical malpractice.
Environmental Hazards as Neglect Indicators
Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions (soiled bedding, inadequate facility maintenance, and more) point towards a high likelihood for environmental neglect. For instance, if a resident lives in a room where the heat doesn’t work during the winter – it’s potentially (and most likely) a sign of a neglectful living environment.
These signs aren’t always easy to spot. That’s why the best nursing home abuse lawyers typically encourage family members to be vigilant of these signs and have open/non-judgmental conversations with residents. Early detection and intervention, backed by legal support, can protect your loved one and others from further harm.
If you suspect abuse or neglect, be sure to thoroughly document all of your observations and immediately seek experienced legal guidance for guidance on the best steps to take moving forward.
Legal Rights and Protections for Nursing Home Residents in Virginia
Ensuring the safety and dignity of elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is an absolute priority under Virginia law. However, the law doesn’t always reflect the seriousness of what’s actually going on in these facilities.
Our elder law attorneys understand the importance for legal protection under the law, but also know that it typically requires an experienced lawyer to get to the bottom of nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
Continue reading to learn more about protections afforded to senior care facility residents.
Overview of Resident Rights Under Virginia Law
Nursing home residents are entitled to certain rights. If these rights are denied or otherwise violated, the facility can be held accountable – That includes both criminally and financially. These rights and protections for nursing home residents include but aren’t limited to:
- Respect and Dignity
- Protection from Abuse
- Involvement in Care Plans
- Confidentiality of Personal and Medical Records
- Freedom of Communication
- Right to Voice Grievances
- Proper Living Conditions
- Freedom to Engage in Activities
- Informed Consent
- Right to Manage Finances
- Freedom to Leave
These rights are designed to prevent assisted living and nursing home abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, the rights of thousands of residents are still infringed upon every day. We’re dedicated to fighting for your rights while ensuring neglectful nursing homes are held accountable for their actions.
Give us a call today to discuss the details of your case.
The Process of Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Virginia
Filing a nursing home abuse claim in Virginia isn’t a cut-and-dry process. Generally, it requires a highly strategic approach to ensure the rights of the abused are fully protected and they are safe during the investigation process.
Our nursing home neglect lawyers are experienced in navigating the complexities of all types of personal injury cases – Including those involving elder abuse and neglect.
We stand arm and arm with the principles set by the World Health Organization when it comes to defending the dignity and rights of the elderly in Virginia. Continue reading to learn more about the steps to take when you suspect you or your loved one is being abused.
Steps to Take When Abuse is Suspected
- Identify and Document Warning Signs: If you’re suspecting abuse or neglect in a nursing home facility or assisted living facility, it’s incredibly vital to document all potential warning signs. This includes keeping highly detailed notes (along with photos and videos) of any physical abuse signs like broken bones or unexplained injuries, as well as noticeable health and safety hazards found within the facility.
- Medical Assessment: Ensure the victim receives immediate medical treatment form an independent physician, to address any injuries or health concerns you have. Be sure to request and secure copies of all medical records related to their injuries, treatment, and rehab.
- Legal Consultation: Contact a nursing home neglect attorney for a free case review as soon as possible. An attorney for neglect in a nursing home will provide the guidance you need on the legal process while helping determine whether you have a valid abuse or neglect claim.
- Gather Evidence: Continue collecting any form of evidence that could potentially support the elder abuse claims, including photos/videos, personal testimonies, and medical records.
- File a Claim: With the assistance of nursing home abuse attorneys, file a formal claim against the party or parties you deem responsible. This claim should give exact details of the abuse or neglect, including any instances of medication errors, lack of/inadequate medical care, or emotional mistreatment.
- Follow Legal Advice: It’s not enough to just contact experienced personal injury lawyers – You should follow their advice throughout the process. Doing so helps them seek maximum financial compensation for the neglect suffered.
Taking this 360 degree approach ensures that every aspect of the abuse or neglect is uncovered and addressed – From initial suspicions to filing a claim to going to court (if necessary). We’re absolutely committed to providing the best possible legal support to families dealing with the aftermath of nursing home abuse – Contact us today for your free case evaluation.
Types of Damages and Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
When it comes to nursing home abuse, many types of damages are potentially available to compensate victims and their families. Generally, those damages can fall into five categories. They include financial aid/compensation for:
- Medical Expenses: Cost of medical treatment for injuries that resulted from elder abuse in nursing homes. This can include reimbursement for hospital stays, surgeries, medications, ongoing therapy, and more.
- Pain and Suffering: The physical pain and psychological trauma suffered (i.e., depression, anxiety, PTSD, etc.) can be compensated for under Virginia elder abuse laws.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the victim no longer has the ability to enjoy daily activities and hobbies they used to like due to the abuse or neglect, your attorney can seek damages.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of highly egregious abuse, the court may even award punitive damages to make an example out of as well as punish the perpetrator(s).
- Wrongful Death: In the event the abuse or neglect leads to the wrongful death of a resident, the victim’s family has the right to seek damages for funeral expenses, loss of companionship, emotional anguish, and more.
Estimating the Value of a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Estimating the exact value of a nursing home abuse claim involves a bit more than just citing abuse and filing a claim. Generally, your nursing home lawyer will conduct a highly comprehensive assessment of various factors, which include but aren’t limited to:
- Severity and Nature of Abuse: Generally, the more severe the abuse and the longer it went on, the higher the claim – But, this isn’t always the case.
- Overall Impact on the Victim’s Life: The effect the abuse/neglect had on the victim’s health, quality of life, and ability to function independently can all be calculable damages.
- Costs of Medical Care & Rehabilitation: The total costs associated with the medical care needed to treat the injuries and support the recovery process — Both currently and in the future.
- Non-Economic Damages: Once nursing home negligence is uncovered, it’s typically best to get an independent evaluation of the emotional and psychological damages. These damages can include the victim’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
- Legal Help: Working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer ensures that all aspects of the claim are thoroughly evaluated to maximize potential compensation.
Continue reading to learn how to choose the best nursing home neglect attorneys for your specific set of circumstances.
How to Choose the Right Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Choosing the right nursing home abuse lawyer in Virginia is an absolutely crucial step towards achieving justice for victims of nursing home abuse – The next step is securing fair compensation. At RVA Personal Injury Lawyers, our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and expertise to effectively navigate nursing home abuse law. We’re here to make sure that every single aspect of your nursing home abuse lawsuit is handled with expertise and sensitivity.
Qualities of an Effective Attorney For Neglect in Nursing Home Cases
Since these types of cases are very complex, you’ll want to work with a nursing home abuse attorney who can go toe-to-toe with insurance companies and nursing home lawyers. That being said, nursing home abuse victims and their families should seek the following qualities in their lawyer:
- Knowledge of Elder Abuse Laws: Look for an attorney who has specific knowledge of elder abuse and nursing home neglect laws in Virginia. Their experience in handling similar cases gives them an incredibly unique perspective and approach.
- Compassion & Empathy: A nursing home abuse lawyer who understands the high emotional toll of abuse or neglect, especially circumstances involving unwanted sexual contact or other forms of physical abuse, can provide the compassionate support victims and their families so desperately need.
- Track Record of Success: An experienced attorney who has successfully handled nursing home abuse lawsuits or similar personal injury cases typically offers insights that a rookie lawyer simply can’t, due to a lack of hands-on experience.
At the end of the day, you want an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of nursing home abuse law and a desire to help you obtain maximum compensation for the injuries and pain you’ve suffered. Whether it’s nursing home staff members at long term care facilities or independent contractors who work in tandem with the facility – We’re here to help hold all responsible parties accountable for any instances of elder abuse.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to seek damages. Contact us today to speak about the details of your case with the best nursing home abuse lawyers in Virginia.
Nursing Home Abuse FAQs
How Can Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys Assist in Cases of Abuse or Neglect?
A nursing home attorney knows how to spot, gather evidence on, and seek damages for cases of abuse and neglect in care facilities. Not only do they understand the complexities of nursing home law, but they can also expertly navigate the legal system to help you and your loved ones seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
How Can I Support a Family Member Who Is a Victim of Nursing Home Negligence or Abuse?
Supporting a family member who is a victim of nursing home abuse isn’t always easy, but it’s certainly needed and, in most cases, very appreciated. Typically, support involves both emotional, physical, and legal assistance. However, when first learning of the abuse, you should be present – listen to their concerns, reassure them of their safety, and do your best to get them in a secured location as soon as possible.
At the same time, it’s in your best interest to work with a nursing home attorney to address the legal aspects of the case. Thus, ensuring that the abuser is held accountable and your family member receives the appropriate compensation for the physical injuries and emotional trauma(s) they’ve endured.
What Should I Know About Pursuing a Neglect Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home?
If you’re pursuing an abuse and neglect lawsuit against a nursing home, you or your nursing home abuse lawyer will need an in-depth understanding of elder abuse law as well as the types of evidence required for a successful nursing home abuse lawsuit or claim.
This includes (but isn’t limited to) proving the duty of care owed by the nursing home, the breach of this duty, and the harm that resulted from this action/inaction. A nursing home neglect lawyer will be absolutely instrumental in building a strong case, negotiating settlements, or if necessary, representing you in court.
How Do I Determine if Abuse Occurred in a Nursing Home?
Determining if abuse occurred in a nursing home involves more than a quick drive-by visit. In fact, you’ll need to actively look for the:
- Physical signs of abuse
- Changes in the resident’s behavior
- Any deviations in the facility’s standard of care
- Poor facilities
For the most part, regular visits, attentive communication with your loved one, and seeking the insight of a nursing home attorney can help uncover whether abuse has occurred and the next steps you should take.
While cases of nursing home neglect and abuse are heart wrenching, there’s a silver lining – You may be eligible to hold all abusers accountable and seek damages for their awful behavior. Contact us today to take the first step in your nursing home abuse claim.
“We Get Justice For Injured People In Court, and We Love What We Do”
We are not settlement lawyers. Sharif Gray has proven that he can and will get results in court, and the insurance companies know that. If you have suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, we can help.
Sharif Gray is committed to trying cases well. Because of that, he does not handle hundreds of cases at a time. He is selective in the cases he takes so he can get justice for the people he represents. In every case, he has three goals:
- Hold the responsible corporation or individual fully accountable.
- Make the community safer, so others are not also harmed.
- Compensation that recognizes the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.
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Why Choose RVA Personal Injury Lawyers?
There are many personal injury lawyers in Virginia, but we believe that we stand out for several reasons:
We have a deep understanding of the legal and insurance systems in Virginia and will use this knowledge to get justice on your behalf.
Sharif Gray has a proven track record of success in securing millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients. We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.
We understand that every case is unique and we take the time to listen to your story and understand your needs and goals. We will work with you to develop a customized legal strategy to get the justice you deserve.
No Fee Until We Win
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you get paid. You can rest assured that we are working hard to get you the best possible result.
If you’ve been injured in Virginia at no fault of your own, contact RVA Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.
The statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases in Virginia.
For most cases, you must file a lawsuit within that time frame. But there are exceptions. Give us a call at (804) 915-1611 to discuss your options.
In Virginia, the jury considers the following factors when deciding the amount of a verdict:
(1) Any bodily injuries sustained and their effect on health according to their degree and probable duration;
(2) Any physical pain and mental anguish suffered in the past and any that may be reasonably expected to suffer in the future;
(3) Any disfigurement or deformity and any associated humiliation or embarrassment suffered in the past and any that may be reasonably expected to suffer in the future;
(4) Any inconvenience caused in the past and any that probably will be caused in the future;
(5) Any medical expenses incurred in the past and any that may be reasonably expected to occur in the future;
(6) Any earnings lost because of being unable to work at their calling;
(7) Any loss of earnings and lessening of earning capacity, or either, that may reasonably be expected to sustain in the future; and
(8) Any property damage sustained.
Virginia Model Jury Instruction No. 9.000: General Personal Injury and Property Damage
There is no cap on damages in most personal injury cases. But there is a cap on damages in medical malpractice cases.
There is also a cap on punitive damages.
Your personal injury lawyer should pursue the full and fair value of what was taken from your health and quality of life.
Sharif Gray has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, and he is known for taking cases to trial.
We are not settlement lawyers. We are committed to trying cases well. Because of that, we do not handle hundreds of cases at a time. We are selective in the cases we take so we can get justice for the people we represent.
Nothing until we win your case.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless you get paid.
If we resolve your case before filing a lawsuit, we charge a fee of up to 33.33% of the recovery. After a lawsuit is filed, we may charge a fee of up to 40% of the recovery.