Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a growing problem. With over 1.5 million elderly adults living in nursing homes throughout the United States, neglect or outright mistreatment of nursing home residents has become more prevalent because not all nursing homes are created equal.
Some nursing homes are established simply as a money-making tool for owners and they maximize profits by hiring unqualified and incompetent staff, operating in flimsy facilities, and failing to address the needs of their clients (i.e. your elderly loved ones).
Why Choose Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for a Virginia Beach Nursing Home Abuse Case?
- At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, our dedicated team handles only personal injury law cases, which has prepared us to handle complex nursing home abuse cases.
- Our personal injury attorneys in Virginia Beach have secured significant multimillion-dollar settlements on behalf of clients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia for decades.
- We handle each case with a client-focused approach, which means we will get to know the stories of survivors of nursing home abuse as we move forward with their claims.
How Will A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Help a Virginia Beach Lawsuit?
Nursing home abuse cases can become complex, often because they toe the line between personal injury claims and Virginia Beach medical malpractice cases. It takes a skilled attorney who understands Virginia law to handle these claims. A Virginia Beach nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer will:
- Gather any evidence needed to prove liability
- Ensure their client is fully evaluated by trusted medical professionals
- Negotiate with insurance carriers and nursing home facilities to recover fair compensation for their client
- Fully prepare to take the case to trial to ensure their client is treated with respect and dignity
Types of Nursing Home Abuse In Virginia Beach
Data from the National Council on Aging indicates that one out of every ten Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse. Unfortunately, studies also show that this data is likely not complete. It is estimated that only one out of every 24 cases of elder abuse actually gets reported to authorities in this country.
There are various types of elder abuse that can affect those inside a nursing home. This includes:
- Physical abuse – This deals with any type of incident of the use of unwarranted physical force on a nursing home resident. This can include punching, shoving, kicking, slapping, dropping, biting, and more. This can also include using more force than necessary when bathing or exercising a person.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse is abhorrent, particularly when it occurs to elderly residents in a nursing home. Any type of sexual contact between nursing home residents and staff members or volunteers is considered abuse.
- Financial abuse – Nursing home residents depend on staff members and the facility to properly care for their finances in many cases. However, because the nursing home and its staff members have critical access to personal information, this can lead to the misuse of a resident’s money.
- Emotional abuse – This can include any type of threats of abuse, harassment, intimidation, or verbal assaults against a nursing home resident.
- Insurance fraud – Nursing homes can use a resident to defraud insurance carriers or Medicare and Medicaid. This can include improper billing procedures, billing for equipment that never gets used by a resident or medications that are not given or used at all.
- Neglect – Neglect is a type of abuse that occurs anytime the nursing home fails to ensure that the basic needs of the resident are met. This can include not caring for a resident’s need for food, hydration, medication, medical care, hygiene, exercise, and more.
Many family members who suspect abuse is occurring simply bite their tongue because they don’t want to cause problems for their elderly loved one. Do not make this mistake. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused, speak to an attorney to discuss the situation. If there was a death, contact a wrongful death lawyer in Virginia Beach as soon as possible.
Most Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It can be incredibly challenging to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse, particularly if family members or friends do not visit frequently. Some of the signs of abuse are physical and can include the following:
- Regular infections
- Unusual or unexplained bruising or abrasions
- Changes in appetite
- Unexplained broken bones or fractures
- Sudden weight loss
- Lack of cleanliness
However, some signs of abuse are not physical, particularly in cases of emotional or psychological abuse. Any type of drastic mood change, withdrawn behavior, appetite changes, or outbursts from the nursing home resident could be a sign that abuse has occurred.
What to Do if a Family Member Is Being Abused or Neglected in a Nursing Home?
If it turns out your loved one is being abused or neglected, contact an attorney right away. A claim can be pursued in order to obtain damages and to ensure that the negligent and illegal practices at the facility are ceased. Documenting improper care at the nursing home is critical when bringing a claim. Nursing homes that accept federal money are subject to rules and regulations by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) and are enforced by the state in which the facility is located.
Compensation Available to Nursing Home Abuse Survivors
There may be various types of compensation available to nursing home abuse or neglect victims in Virginia Beach. An experienced attorney will be able to work with trusted medical and financial experts who can properly calculate the total expected losses in these situations. Nursing home abuse victims and their family members may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- The costs of relocating to a new facility
- Coverage of care at the current facility
- Compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse or neglect
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent facility
What Is The Time Limit for Filing a Virginia Beach Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
Victims of nursing home abuse, or their family members, need to be aware that there is a limited amount of time to file these claims. The personal injury statute of limitations in Virginia is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that nursing home victims have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit, or they will not be able to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
Can You Afford a nursing home Abuse Attorney?
The attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp handle Virginia Beach nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that victims of this abuse and their family members will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. Clients will only have to pay legal fees after we successfully recover the compensation they need through an insurance settlement or a jury verdict.
Contact a Virginia Beach Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Today
If you or somebody you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia Beach, reach out to the team at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for help as soon as possible. Our attorneys have the resources necessary to handle complex injury investigations, and we will do what it takes to help our clients recover the compensation they need. We have no problem standing up to aggressive insurance carriers or at-fault nursing homes. When you need a Virginia Beach nursing home abuse and neglect attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by filling out the contact form or calling us at (833) 997-1774.