Filing a Lawsuit Against a Charlottesville Nursing Home? Our Virginia Attorneys Can Help.
Our Charlottesville nursing home abuse attorney is here to help your family following a disaster in a Virginia facility. Call us now for a completely free case consultation, to learn more about your legal rights after a pressure ulcer, fall, broken bone or wrongful death. At Senior Justice Law Firm, nursing home abuse and neglect cases are our firm focus. We proudly represent families impacted by facility neglect in Charlottesville and Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties.
Call us today to see why we are different: (757) 530-4255
Charlottesville Nursing Home Negligence
As retirement looms, most folks will consider how they would like to proceed with the next step in their lives. For many, that involves choosing which area to retire in based on the climate, housing opportunities, and fun activities in the area. That is why Charlottesville and Virginia as a whole are popular retirement destinations for many folks as they reach age 65. As a result, the area has seen tremendous growth in its elderly population, prompting the need for more nursing homes than ever.
However, despite the growing demand for nursing homes to care for the folks choosing to retire in Charlottesville, most facilities remain unable to provide an adequate standard of care and often barely pass their government mandated inspections. Nursing home neglect, unfortunately, is pervasive in Charlottesville facilities. For this reason, it is important to remain vigilant for the signs of elder abuse and neglect, even if your loved one lives at a facility that is rated well.
Substandard Nursing Homes in Charlottesville
The historical town of Charlottesville is replete with natural wonders and stunning architecture from our nation’s past, making it an appealing retirement destination for a wide variety of folks. It boasts temperate weather for the entire year, with winters typically more mild than other areas of the country experience.
For folks drawn by the historical significance of the area, few activities can beat a relaxed visit to Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland, and the Historic Downtown Mall. For those more interested in natural sights, it is easy to enjoy a pleasant stroll through the town’s wide variety of landscapes, including Carter Mountain Orchard and the Saunders-Monticello Trail. Folks looking to rest at home have a number of nursing homes to choose from as well.
In fact, the area around Charlottesville is home to 30 long term care facilities, all spread at varying distances from the city center for maximum accessibility to the areas you are most interested in. Unfortunately, the majority of these nursing homes are not able to score well on their government mandated inspections, and many achieve the lowest possible rating of Much Below Average.
Abusive and Negligent Facilities in Central VA and the Piedmont
Charlottesville, like many areas in Virginia and across the country, largely struggles to maintain an adequate standard of care for residents in the city’s nursing homes. Critical areas like the administration of medication and the ratio of staff to residents are lacking, and this can lead to poor health outcomes for the folks who live in these facilities.
One of the primary reasons for this substandard treatment is understaffing, which arises when nursing homes are administered by for-profit organizations that seek to fill as many beds as possible. This creates a situation where as many as 30 residents are assigned to a single member of staff, creating an unreasonable burden and cutting the quality of care, since one person cannot adequately attend to 30 people. The best outcomes are achieved when staff are in charge of no more than four residents.
Injuries that Warrant a Call to a Charlottesville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you believe that your loved one may be experiencing mistreatment at a nursing home, you may feel lost about what to do next. Be sure to document what you see, and seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Bedsores – When considering evidence for neglect and abuse in nursing homes, few cases are more clear-cut than bed sores. These ulcer-like injuries are never caused by anything other than abuse, so you if you see bedsores on your loved one, it is critical that you reach out for legal counsel immediately. Bedsores occur when a person puts pressure on concentrated areas of the body (such as the tailbone, elbows, or shoulders) for a prolonged period of time without moving. These sores are simple to prevent; staff need only help residents shift their body weight every few hours. Bed sores cause extreme pain and will continue to progress all the way to the bone if left untreated. Naturally, such large, open wounds will expose vulnerable older folks to a number of serious potential complications, such as MRSA, sepsis, and potentially fatal infections.
- Falls– If you see any unexplained injuries on your family member, he or she may be experiencing unreported or preventable falls. While it is true that anyone can trip accidentally and not all falls can be prevented, nursing homes have a responsibility to mitigate fall risk. This can mean supervising at risk patients, hands-on assistance to the bathroom, removing trip hazards, cleaning wet or slippery surfaces, or using beds with railings so that residents do not accidentally roll out or slip off the edge. A number of possible injuries can result from falls, such as broken bones and brain bleeds. In older folks, these injuries can be fatal.
- Malnutrition/dehydration– When it comes to some of the riskiest activities that an older person can do in a nursing home, eating and drinking likely don’t come to mind as your first thoughts. However, choking and vomiting up food or fluids into the lungs (aspiration pneumonia) are two dangerous and startlingly common possibilities during mealtimes. Staff typically do not have time to supervise each resident, which can leave them vulnerable to the dangers of eating and drinking. And because folks often eat alone, those with mobility issues who struggle to lift a spoon or grasp a mug may not eat or drink at all. If your loved one requires special dietary considerations, either because of a medicinal interaction or because of allergies or sensitivities, overworked kitchens may not have the time or ability to provide these meals. Over time, all of these considerations can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and even starvation, which can be fatal.
- Physical and sexual abuse by a staff member, or a fellow resident – Most people do not realize that both physical and sexual abuse are possibilities in nursing homes. Even staff who have gone through the process of a background check are not immune from scrutiny, as overworked nurses may lash out at uncooperative or forgetful residents in a moment of anger. Additionally, mentally ill residents that are left unchecked can assault vulnerable victims. Staff are also not the only concern when it comes to a violation of physical space in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Your loved one’s neighbors may not have a complete grasp on the proper ways to engage with those living near them, which could lead to inappropriate conduct. A nursing home is required to perform due diligence in mitigating this behavior, and failure to do so leads to liability.
Why You Should Pursue a Charlottesville Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
Even if money damages are of no motivation for you, you really should consider pursuing a claim if you suspect nursing home negligence. Unfortunately, in Virginia, government oversight and civil penalties for skilled nursing facilities are lax. These facilities get away with murder. A civil claim is the only means to hold them accountable.
If you have reached the point where you are being encouraged to begin the process of filing a lawsuit for elder abuse or neglect against a nursing home in Charlottesville, you may feel that the entire endeavor has no point. No amount of monetary compensation will ever undo what happened to your loved one or family member. However, it is important to remember that the legal actions you take can have far-reaching and lasting consequences for the other residents at the facility in question.
Lawsuits will have an impact on for-profit nursing facilities in the area that they care about most: their bottom line. In an effort to avoid future payouts for further nursing home abuse lawsuits, many facilities will make changes to the way they administer their care, and this can drastically improve outcomes for the other residents who rely on that facility in their older years.
Simply put, a nursing home injury or death claim may profoundly change the way a corporation runs a nursing home. With litigation comes changes in policies and procedures and a tangible uptick in resident safety.
In addition to the public policy implications, a successful Charlottesville nursing home negligence case will bring financial compensation to the victim and/or their family members.
Charlottesville Nursing Homes
|There are 30 nursing homes in Charlottesville and the surrounding metro area, and the majority have continued to score poorly on their government mandated inspections. Some have even been cited and fined for confirmed cases of abuse. Locations like these include (but are not limited to):
Charlottesville Nursing Home News
The state of Virginia continues to struggle in its attempts to offer an average and acceptable standard of care to the thousands of residents who call the state’s nursing facilities home. NBC reports that one nursing home remove a resident from the facility against his will and abandoned him on the lawn of his sister’s house; he remained there for several hours without food, water, or the medications that he was prescribed.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services runs a program called the Special Focus Facility initiative, which seeks to bring poor-quality facilities into compliance using special oversight. Unfortunately, even this program is unable to keep up with the low quality of nursing homes in the state; one facility with 102 substantiated complaints has still failed to qualify for the SFF. This means that even nursing homes in Charlottesville and other areas that need remedial assistance may not be receiving it.
While the state continues its efforts to improve the living situations of long term care residents in general, specific locations also have a role to play. It is critical that loved ones serve as advocates on behalf of their family members in nursing home care and remain vigilant to the signs of abuse.
Free Consultation for Charlottesville Nursing Home Abuse
As you consider the prospect of filing an abuse or negligence lawsuit against a nursing home for the pain and suffering, injury, or even death of your loved one, you may feel like the entire process is an uphill battle. Senior Justice Law Firm would be glad to assist you during this difficult time. We understand that you have more to worry about than just the legal side of things, and we can work with you to see your claim through to its conclusion as quickly and simply as possible.
The focus of our firm is elder abuse law, so we are uniquely qualified to deal with nursing home neglect cases. We can rely on our experience and the tools we have built over the years to successful hold nursing homes and other long term care facilities responsible for their unacceptable levels of care. Senior Justice Law Firm would be happy to speak with you free of charge during a consultation so that we can gather more information about your specific situation and offer a strategy for moving forward. We want to be your Virginia nursing home abuse law firm.
You can contact us by using our chat feature, or by submitting your information below. We are also available for a free Charlottesville nursing home abuse lawyer consultation by calling (757) 530-4255.