Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer (2023)

Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer (1)Nursing home abuse and neglect are severe issues that can leave residents severely injured. The mistreatment can have a lasting impact on their health and wellbeing. Holding the nursing facility accountable for the abuse and neglect is crucial, as the injured party has rights.

At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our affiliate Virginia personal injury attorneys are dedicated to advocating for those injured due to abuse or neglect. We have represented many clients in nursing home abuse cases and know what it takes to get results.

Are you or a loved one the victim of nursing home mistreatment? Contact our Richmond nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 925-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team concerning your nursing home abuse claim remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nursing home abuse is any intentional act or omission that causes harm to a nursing home resident, including physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) data reveals that more than one in ten nursing home residents are abused yearly. Unfortunately, this abuse is often underreported, as many residents are unable to communicate what has happened to them or are afraid of retaliation.

Mistreatment can happen in any facility, including a nursing home, assisted living facility, rehabilitation center, group home, etc. The nursing home staff, visitors, residents, and others can be legally liable for any abuse or gross negligence.

Who Is Most at Risk?

The elderly, disabled, and cognitively impaired individuals are most at risk for nursing home neglect or abuse. The National Institute on Aging reports that those who are most vulnerable include:

  • Those unable to communicate what is happening to them, including those with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments
  • Patients with a physical disability or who rely on others for help with activities of daily living are also at an increased risk for abuse. These individuals may be unable to move away from an abusive situation or fight back if they are being attacked.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

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The devastation of abuse in a nursing home facility can take many forms, all of which can profoundly impact the victim. At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our Richmond nursing home abuse lawyers have represented many victims who have been hurt by:

  • Physical abuse – Any physical force could result in injury, pain, or impairment. Physical abuse can range from slapping and hitting to more severe forms of violence, such as sexual assault. Not all cases of physical abuse are easy to identify.
  • Sexual abuse – Any inappropriate non-consensual sexual contact or activity forced upon an individual is a deviant crime that could cause permanent physical or psychological damage. The most common forms of sexual abuse in nursing homes involve unwanted touching, rape, and sexual assault.
  • Psychological abuse – Psychological mistreatment causes significant damage to the victim's mental health and could inflict emotional pain or distress on a resident. This mistreatment can include verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, and manipulation.
  • Neglect – Nursing home staff members neglecting their patients' needs can significantly harm their well-being and worsen medical conditions, resulting in severe injuries, illness, and death.
  • Financial exploitation – Financially abusing a nursing home resident unlawfully usually involves taking advantage of the individual for financial gain. Exploitation in nursing homes can include stealing money or personal belongings, using a resident’s credit card without permission, or coercing them into signing over their property.
  • Elder abuse is a broad term that encompasses all the different types of mistreatment discussed above, leading to economic or non-economic abuse in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the individual’s home.

The signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse vary depending on the type of mistreatment. However, some general signs may indicate that a resident is being abused, such as:

  • Bruises, cuts, or other marks on the body
  • Unexplained wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Changes in mood or personality
  • Fearfulness around certain individuals
  • Sudden changes in financial status

Any family member or friend who sees signs of nursing home mistreatment must take immediate action to prevent further abuse or neglect.

Legal help from a Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer and community social services are available to help disabled and elderly individuals who have suffered abuse.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse, Mistreatment, and Neglect

There are various reasons why the common causes of nursing home mistreatment are not always so apparent. Often, many families do not want to believe that their disabled or elderly loved one is being abused and may not be willing to investigate or report any allegations.

Additionally, nursing home staff may be reluctant to report cases of abuse due to fear of retaliation or losing their job. The signs and symptoms of abuse are subtle and can be easily overlooked. The most common causes include:

  • Poorly trained staff members – Failing to adequately prepare the nursing staff increases potential mistakes leading to nursing home abuse and neglect. In many cases, untrained workers fail to handle complex and dangerous behaviors from residents.
  • Understaffing – One of the most common complaints from families is that their loved ones did not receive proper care due to inadequate staffing levels. Understaffed Virginia nursing homes are often forced to cut corners, which could result in dangerous conditions and a higher risk of mistreatment and neglect.
  • Unsafe living conditions – Many nursing homes are overcrowded and do not have enough beds for all residents, leading to dangerous conditions, such as slip and fall accidents. Additionally, if the nursing or elder care facility is not adequately cleaned, it could put residents at risk of developing infections or other health complications.
  • Lack of staff supervision – Unsupervised employees are more likely to neglect and mistreat an individual member and fail to follow established safety procedures and protocols, leading to poor care.
  • Staff member miscommunication – Failing to communicate among staff members and family members can result in dangerous situations for residents. For example, if a nurse is unaware that a resident has a food allergy, they could accidentally give them food that could trigger a reaction.
  • Resident aggression – Some residents with cognitive impairment or mental illness can lash out and become aggressive. If the nursing staff is not adequately trained to deal with these behaviors, it could result in severe injuries to the residents and staff members.
  • Alzheimer's disease or dementia – Significant cognitive impairment, dementia, and memory loss can lead to elopement (wandering away) from the facility, becoming lost, confused, and alone.

When Nursing Home Negligence Leads to Pressure Sores

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), pressure sores (bedsores, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) are preventable when the nursing staff followed established protocols.

Developing bedsores in a nursing facility is often a sign of negligent staff members failing to follow procedures on optimizing skin health. Nursing home patients most likely to develop bedsores include those who:

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  • Are unable to move on their own and remain in the same position longer than an hour
  • Have a medical condition that decreases blood flow
  • Have incontinence issues compromising their personal hygiene
  • Have an ineffective care plan that does not outline the patient’s needs and medical treatment
  • Are malnourished or dehydrated

Nursing home staff members are required to perform daily skin checks, provide adequate nutrition and hydration, reposition patients every two hours, and keep the area clean and dry.

Virginia nursing home residents should be regularly examined by a doctor or wound care specialist to ensure that the bedsores are adequately treated and healing correctly.

When a Lack of Resident Supervision Leads to Preventable Falls

Federal law requires nursing home staff to assess the resident's medical condition, including their fall risk, upon admission and every three months after that and evaluate their potential for slipping and falling in the facility.

The assessment results are then documented in the patient's medical records to develop an effective care plan to prevent falling. In many cases, the resident needs assistance when transferring from a bed to a wheelchair, wheelchair to a toilet, or at other times.

Some residents require assistance when using a walker and should never be left alone to ambulate without help. When residents are not adequately supervised, it puts them at an increased risk of suffering a fall.

Any fall in a nursing facility can severely injure the resident, leading to hospitalization, long-term disability, or even death.

Many nursing home abuse cases are built on the staff's negligence and ensuring the patient's safety at all times. Any family member wanting to protect their loved one can call a Richmond VA nursing home abuse lawyer at (800) 926-7565 for a free case review.

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Interceding between the nursing home staff and the neglected/abused resident will typically stop the mistreatment immediately. Fall the steps to ensure your loved one's safety.

(Video) Video shows alleged abuse of Alzheimer's resident at assisted-living facility

Attempt to speak with your loved one about what is happening. Any discussion could be difficult, as many residents are afraid or unable to communicate what is going on. However, it is crucial to listen to their side of the story.

File a formal complaint with the nursing home administrator, who may be unaware of what is happening. By law, the administrator must report the complaint promptly to state and federal agencies to initiate an investigation into what has occurred.

Contact local law enforcement to file a report. Getting the police involved to protect your loved one is usually beneficial and stops the mistreatment immediately.

Helpful Resources

Numerous resources are available including the Virginia Department of Health's Office of the Inspector General and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

The best way to ensure your loved one is not being abused or neglected is to visit them regularly and pay attention to changes in their appearance, behavior, and health. If you notice anything that seems off, don't hesitate to ask questions and take action if necessary.

When Severe Abuse or Mistreatment Leads to a Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one unexpectedly in a Virginia nursing home devastates their survivors. Qualifying individuals have a legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit, citing wrongful death against the nursing home and abusive perpetrators.

Holding the nursing home accountable to pursue compensation usually involves filing a civil lawsuit. Potential defendants could include nursing homes, health care providers, employees, facility visitors, family members, friends, and other residents.

A Richmond nursing home abuse attorney can file a personal injury claim on behalf of the family to hold the facility and others accountable. Call (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation.

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What Abused Richmond Nursing Home Residents Can Expect When Resolving a Personal Injury Claim

State law provides numerous legal options to hold the offending party accountable. Protecting legal rights by filing a claim or lawsuit not only provides a sense of justice for the victim and their family member but also helps to ensure that similar acts do not happen in the future.

Monetary damages recovered in an abused nursing home resident claim could cover:

  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
  • Loss of life enjoyment (noneconomic damages)
  • Medical bills (past and current)
  • The cost of future medical treatment
  • Funeral and burial expenses (if applicable)
  • Loss of consortium or companionship
  • Other economic damages, such as lost wages or earning capacity
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

The first step any family member should take to help their loved one is to contact an experienced Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer from our law offices.

Hiring a Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

Are you ready to take legal action on your loved one's suspected abuse or neglect in a Richmond nursing home? Do you want to hold the responsible parties legally accountable for total and fair compensation?

Our affiliate Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers have been holding Richmond nursing homes guilty of physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and emotional abuse legally accountable for decades. Any family member can contact us today at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free case review with an experienced attorney.

Our Richmond, VA personal injury attorneys accept every nursing home abuse claim and wrongful death lawsuit through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures you pay no upfront fees until your Richmond nursing home abuse lawyers recover compensation from the offending party through a negotiated settlement or jury award.



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