The questions on this page were answered by our team of Virginia Beach & Norfolk personal injury attorneys. The questions are categorized by practice area such as car accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, etc. If you have specific questions about your situation, contact our firm to set up a free consultation with an actual attorney.
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How is neglect defined in a nursing home case?
Neglect or negligence exists when the nursing home fails to follow the ordinary requirements of it to provide essential health and safety services. For instance, if a patient is not fed regularly, bathed or changed regularly and injuries or sores result, that is negligence.
What are some typical signs of nursing home neglect or abuse?
The following events and/or conditions would qualify: sudden weight loss, bed sores, suddenly appearing injuries for which there are no answers; visibly unsanitary conditions; sudden death.
I have a feeling something is wrong at my family member's nursing home. What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse or neglect?
Given that your family member's health and safety is at risk, your suspicions should be investigated as soon as possible. Talk to the nursing staff and anyone else at the facility in the position to witness your family member's care.
Request copies of all records related to care, and ask for any other documentation that the nursing home can provide. If you are not convinced the nursing home is taking proper care of your family member, bring your concerns to the attention of the nursing home administrator.
To decide if you should bring a claim against a nursing home for abuse or neglect, it is necessary to determine if your family member suffered some type of injury as the result of poor care. You should seek the guidance of an attorney, like those working for Shapiro, Appleton & Washburnwho possess experience with nursing home cases. They can help decide whether or not your family member has a legitimate claim.
Once we are involved, we can review all available records and take formal, sworn statements of the nursing home staff and administration, as needed, to find out if the elements of a legal claim exist, given the circumstances.
If your family member has a claim, we will continue to investigate the facts specific to their care and establish, by reviewing the laws and the standards that apply to nursing homes, if your family member's care is substandard. After that, we will assess if the injury is directly related to the substandard care.
A family member died in a nursing home, and after talking with members of the staff, it sounds like they died due to nursing home neglect. Should I get a lawyer?
Yes, especially if you've spoken with the nursing home's staff and they indicate a level of neglect. If you win your case, insurance should cover the claim, as long as the nursing home is insured. If the nursing home is uninsured, they will either have to pay the damages itself or the award would be uncollectible if the facility did not have the finances to pay.
When you bring a claim against a nursing home, the insurer will be notified immediately. If there is no insurer, you will be dealing directly with the nursing home, if they can afford to respond to your claim.
In either situation, you should have the advice of an experienced attorney instead of trying to negotiate a claim on your own.
An attorney can determine what the insurance policy limits are and what the potential value of a claim is so you do not go in expecting more than is possible for a recovery or do not undervalue the case and agree to a low settlement. You also need to make sure you are fully aware of all your rights and the rights of your loved one.