When we have our elderly loved ones entered into a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, we expect that they will be treated properly and with care and compassion. But this is not always the case, sadly.
There are far too many cases of nursing home neglect and abuse in Virginia that can lead to serious personal injury or even death. There also are cases of medical malpractice where a healthcare provider makes a medical mistake and causes death or serious injury.
Some types of neglect and abuse may involve not giving the person food, water, and medication, but there are other types of neglect and abuse to be aware of:
- Failure to keep premises clean
- Failure to have resident engage with other people
- Neglect or negligence leading to a fall
- Unwashed clothing
- Sexual abuse in nursing home
- Unwashed bedsheets
- Unsanitary or dangerous food
Any of these types of neglect and abuse, including other types of physical abuse, can lead to injury and death that could be subject to a Virginia personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
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Nursing Home Laws in Virginia
Nursing home abuse and neglect are common sources of personal injuries and deaths in Virginia nursing homes. These are crimes prohibited by the Adult Protective Services Act. Nurses and the medical staff in these facilities must adhere to other Virginia medical malpractice laws and other laws that relate to nursing homes. The APS law sets up a system to deal with reports of nursing home abuse and neglect in this state.
The Act handles complaints that are reported to the state for adults who are 60 and older. The complaints typically involve abuse, neglect, and exploitation. APS offers many types of services that can be available to get an elderly person out of an abusive situation and to avoid further mistreatment. Anyone who suspects an elderly person has been the victim of abuse should contact the Department of Social Services to file an abuse report – 888-832-3858.
Special Note About Arbitration
People who decide to put their loved one in a nursing home should know some nursing homes like to put an arbitration clause in the contract when the person enters the facility. It requires arbitration of any dispute, including medical malpractice. This would apply unless the family member sends an opt-out letter to the nursing home within 30 days. But few people are aware of this fact and end up losing their right to file a lawsuit due to medical malpractice.
Statute of Limitations to File Claim
In Virginia, the statute of limitations to file a negligence or wrongful death claim for a nursing home injury or death is only two years. The statute runs from the date that the injury was discovered or the death of the person occurs. Virginia law has a $1.5 million cap for any acts that happened after Aug. 1, 1999.
To learn more about your legal rights in the case of a nursing home medical malpractice or abuse case, contact Shapiro & Appleton to have a complimentary case review. You should speak to an attorney in Virginia right away if you suspect your loved one has been abused, neglected or suffered from medical malpractice. We can help you to put a possible financial value on your nursing home injury case.