VIRGINIA NURSING HOME ABUSE LAWYER
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At Senior Justice Law Firm, nursing home abuse and neglect cases are all that we do. Our narrowly tailored nursing home negligence law firm can help your family achieve justice after a preventable tragedy occurs in a Virginia nursing home.
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Northern Virginia: (202) 899-3111
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Virginia Nursing Home Negligence
The mild weather, host of attractions, and advantageous location near the East Coast make Virginia an appealing place for older citizens to settle down in their later years. This means that the state is full of hundreds of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to choose from.
Unfortunately, despite the large population of people over the age of 65 in Virginia, the odds of your loved one or family member experiencing sub-par care at a nursing home in the state is rather high. Neglect and abuse at nursing homes is more common than you may at first believe, and a trend toward overfilling facilities and understaffing can lead to suffering, abuse, and even death in Virginia nursing homes.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in any location in Virginia, reach out to Senior Justice Law Firm at (757) 530-4255.
We are Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers who focus specifically on cases of elder neglect in long-term care facilities. We want to help families seek justice against abusive and neglectful nursing homes in Virginia.
Abuse and Neglect in Virginia Nursing Homes is Unacceptable
How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Virginia Facilities
As much as you might like to believe that it is not true, nursing homes are prime locations for your elderly relative to experience preventable pain and suffering. Rather than healing and rehabilitating our elderly, many facilities cause more harm than good.
Unfortunately, most locations are operated on a for-profit basis, so it is in the best interest of shareholders and the organization at large to fill as many beds as possible—and to prioritize this over adequate care. When this attitude results in residents not receiving the support and supervision they need, it is called nursing home negligence.
Conversely, sometimes abuse is not negligent but rather intentional—like if a frustrated nurse hits a resident or purposefully withholds food, water, or medication as punishment for a behavior. Regardless of whether abuse is intentional or merely negligent, the nursing home can (and should) be held responsible.
But how do you spot nursing home abuse? In Virginia, the most common telltale signs of neglect are:
Falls in Virginia Nursing Homes
Falls– When a nursing home has not done its due diligence to prevent residents from falling, it is considered to be negligent. Falls are, after all, one of the most common types of injuries that patients will experience at a long-term care facility. While falls may be accidental, nursing homes also have a responsibility to ensure that fall-prone residents are protected.
For example, if a resident is known to have mobility issues or poor balance but is left unsupervised to wander freely, the nursing home is negligent. A fall can result in serious injury—like broken bones and subdural hematomas (brain bleeds)—or other unexplained injuries that you may not recognize at first.
Virginia Bed Sore Lawsuits
Bedsores– Another one of the most common signs of nursing home abuse is bedsores. These ulcer-like injuries on the skin begin to develop when part of the body is under immense pressure for a long period of time. Most often, this happens when someone with mobility issues is lying down all day and staff do not help them to roll over or reposition, so they stay lying in the same spot.
Bed sores can happen on any part of the body, but the areas with the thinnest skin—like the shoulders, tailbone, and elbows—are especially vulnerable. There is no explanation for bed sores aside from abuse and neglect, which makes them one of the most classic signs. Preventing bedsores is as simple as moving someone every few hours.
Once a bedsore has started to form, it can continue to grow until it reaches all the way to the bone. This leaves the resident in extraordinary pain and can make them vulnerable to dangerous and even fatal illnesses like infections, sepsis, and MRSA.
Virginia Nursing Home Weight Loss Claims
Malnutrition/dehydration– Many residents in a nursing home or other long-term care facility may have trouble eating or drinking, whether due to an illness or an issue of mobility. This is why they need the assistance of a staff member when eating or drinking. However, with understaffing running more rampant than ever, it is not uncommon for residents to be forgotten during meals, to be rushed, or to be served the same food as everyone else (even if they have a specific dietary restriction).
Nursing Home Choking Cases
Any of these neglectful behaviors can promote dehydration and malnutrition, because residents are not receiving the sustenance they need in order to stay healthy. And because nurses rarely have the time to dedicate to each individual resident, they may simply serve food and water and then move on to others. This presents the risk of choking or aspiration pneumonia. If food is aspirated (it “goes down the wrong pipe”), it can cause a lung infection, which is dangerous in anyone but especially in the older population.
Statewide Representation for Families Impacted by Nursing Home Abuse in Virginia
Our law firm proudly represents victims and families across Virginia, including:
- Virginia Beach
- Newport News
Damages Available Under Virginia Law in Cases Against Negligent Nursing Homes
If you would like to pursue action against a Virginia nursing home for abuse or neglect, you may be wondering what sort of punishment might occur. The most common restitution is for monetary damages, where the family receives money based on how much a jury believes the injury was worth. It is true that monetary damages and receiving financial compensation will never undo the suffering that your loved one had to endure at a nursing home.
However, because most nursing homes are run on a for-profit basis, the most effective way to penalize them for abusive treatment is by hitting them hard with monetary damages. This digs directly into their pocketbooks, and it is the most effective incentive to get them to change their behaviors for the benefit of residents going forward.
A nursing home abuse lawsuit in Virginia may vary from person to person, but in general, you can pursue legal action against a long-term care facility for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (when someone is deprived of the family benefits of having a loved one, such as affection and relations)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Distress, both mental and emotional
- Medical bills
- Loss of earnings
- Funeral costs (if a wrongful death has occurred)
These abuses may paint the nursing home as “negligent.” However, if the neglect was severe enough that you can prove that it qualifies as “gross negligence,” the punishment for the nursing home will be even more severe. The facility may receive heavy fines from the government and could even lose their license, causing them to be shut down permanently or placed in a rehabilitation program pending enhanced performance.
Poor Resident Care Plagues Virginia’s Long Term Care Industry
Virginia Nursing Homes Don’t Pass Muster for Elder Neglect
Virginia is one of the preferred places to retire; its mild but varied weather caters to fans of all seasons, and as a densely populated state, there is plenty to do for those interested in getting out of the house. From Great Falls Park in McLean to Colonial Williamsburg and even Washington, D.C. right next door, seniors in Virginia have a wide variety of sights to enjoy. That means that nursing homes in Virginia are often very full, since people flock to the state to retire.
However, in yearly inspections mandated by the government, Virginia nursing homes often fail in critical areas, like staffing, hydration, malnutrition, and the proper administration of medications. Even if your loved one is staying in a facility that has good reviews or that passed its yearly inspection without being fined, your family member is not exempt from nursing home abuse and elder neglect.
Virginia is home to nearly 300 nursing homes, and unfortunately, as many as half have received the lowest possible rating, with some directly cited for neglect and abuse of residents at their facilities. In general, the best facilities—which are still not abuse-proof—are those that are administered by nonprofit organizations and locations with 50 beds or fewer; this promotes an appropriate staff to resident ratio.
It is important, then, that you keep an eye out for your loved one when you go to visit. If you believe that your family member may be experiencing elder abuse in a Virginia nursing home, reach out to a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer who can guide you through Virginia’s laws about elder care. We can help you seek damages and change the behavior of the nursing home to protect residents in the future.
Nursing Homes in Virginia
|There are nearly 300 nursing homes across the state of Virginia, and nearly half have scored in the lowest possible rankings on their health inspection reviews. Some of these include (but are not limited to):
Virginia Nursing Home News
Nationwide, Virginia has made headlines for long term care and its many nursing homes are often in the news— unfortunately, not for the right reasons.
The Virginia State Corporation Commission noted that elder abuse remains an issue in the state, saying that “In a long-term care setting, the indicators may include call bells not be responded to in a timely manner, lack of access to medical care and supplies, behavioral changes without interventions, under or over medicating, frequent falls, unexplained injuries, or withdrawn or changes in behavior.” They also noted that the social isolation that comes with living in a nursing home creates “a perfect storm for seniors to fall victim to financial exploitation,” which can come from staff or even other residents.
Additionally, a recent lawsuit was filed against the previous owners of a nursing home in Henrico County, Virginia for negligence and severe understaffing that allegedly led to a sexual assault in the facility. The 72-year-old resident with dementia was purported to have been assaulted by a male nurse, and that complicit parties knew about the assault but failed to report it in a timely manner, causing evidence to be lost. The fine, which has been set at $10 million, is directed at the owners of the facility at the time of the incident.
Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Free Case Consultation
If you suspect that your loved one suffered an injury from nursing home neglect or abuse in Virginia, you may be at a loss about what steps to take. Even if you have already talked to the staff at the long-term care facility, it is best to reach out to a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you make a plan about what to do next. At Senior Justice Law Firm, our only focus is on nursing home litigation.
We have the resources and experience to assist you in bringing a case against an abusive nursing home in Virginia.
Get in touch by using our chat feature or submitting your information below. You can also contact us via phone at (757) 530-4255.