Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

The decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is a difficult and emotional one. But when a family member requires 24-hour skilled nursing care, a nursing home may provide the only option.

You trust the staff to care for your loved one and protect them from harm. But when you discover evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect, you must notify authorities to ensure the safety of your family member and others in the facility.

You may also have grounds to seek compensation from the nursing home through a civil action. An experienced Richmond nursing home lawyer from Allen & Allen can help you seek justice on behalf of your loved one through the court system. Contact us today for your free consultation to discuss your case and your legal options for holding the nursing home accountable.

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Richmond Nursing Home Guide

Why Choose Allen & Allen for Your Nursing Home Abuse Case?

George E. Allen established a law practice in Virginia more than a century ago on the guiding principle of serving those in need with integrity, respect, compassion, and trust. He was later joined by his sons, who carried on that mission.

Today, Allen & Allen has grown into a compassionate team of lawyers and dedicated support staff who continue to operate under those same guiding values. We are committed to ensuring your rights are protected, you are treated fairly, and that you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Through the years, we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We can help you, too.

If your family member was harmed at the hands of a nursing home worker, we are deeply sorry for the pain you and your loved one have suffered. We will make your fight our fight, and ensure justice is served. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your options for financial recovery.

How Much Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Cost?

If you are dealing with holding a nursing home accountable for the abuse or neglect of a loved one, you don’t have time to deal with additional bills. That’s why, at Allen & Allen, we operate under a contingency fee arrangement. Our clients pay no upfront fees. Our fees are paid out of the compensation we recover from you. We also offer a free case consultation during which we can assess your claim and discuss your legal options. We can also explain how our contingency fee agreement works.

It’s important to note that when you hire us to handle your claim, we will fight for the maximum compensation. We understand the rights of injured victims and that you may be eligible for a wide range of damages. As skilled negotiators, we will fight the insurance company for full compensation on your behalf.

According to a study by the Insurance Research Council, people who hire lawyers to handle their personal injury claims recover about 40% more compensation than people who choose to handle their own claim, resulting in more money to help you and your loved one.

How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Unfortunately, Elder and nursing home abuse are more common than people may be aware of. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in 10 older adults living at home in the United States experience some form of abuse. According to recent studies, for those who live in institutional settings, such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities, the rate is even higher — one in six.

That number is likely much higher, as many cases go unreported due to the vulnerability of the residents, fear of retaliation, or the inability to communicate their experiences.

While exact statistics can be challenging to determine due to underreporting and variations in data collection, it is widely recognized that nursing home abuse is a significant concern. Efforts are ongoing to improve regulations, oversight, and reporting mechanisms to help prevent and address nursing home abuse.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can take various forms, so you need to recognize and address them.

The main types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical Abuse: This involves the intentional use of force that results in physical harm, pain, or injury to a nursing home resident. It can include hitting, slapping, pushing, restraining, or any other form of physical harm.
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse: Emotional abuse is the infliction of emotional distress, mental anguish, or psychological harm through actions such as verbal threats, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, or harassment. This form of abuse is hard to detect but still harmful.
  • Neglect: Neglect occurs when caregivers or staff fail to provide the necessary care and attention required for a resident’s well-being. This can include neglecting basic needs like food, hygiene, medical care, and emotional support.
  • Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse involves any non-consensual sexual contact or harassment of a nursing home resident.
  • Financial Exploitation: Financial abuse involves the unauthorized or improper use of a resident’s funds, property, or assets. This can include theft, coercion, fraud, or manipulation to gain access to the resident’s financial resources.
  • Medication Mismanagement: Improper administration of medications, including overmedication or under medication, can have serious consequences for residents. Staff should follow proper procedures and ensure residents receive the correct medications in the right dosage.
  • Inadequate Care: This can encompass a range of issues, such as poor hygiene, lack of assistance with mobility, insufficient nutrition, and failure to address medical conditions appropriately. Nursing home neglect can result in physical and emotional harm to the resident.

It’s important to be vigilant and watch for signs of these various forms of abuse when visiting or interacting with nursing home residents.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Recognizing the signs of nursing home abuse is essential for the well-being of your family members. It’s important to note that the signs can vary depending on the type of abuse (physical, emotional, neglect, sexual, financial, etc.).

Some common signs of nursing home abuse include:

  • Unexplained Injuries: Bruises, cuts, fractures, or other injuries that cannot be adequately explained or are inconsistent with the resident’s medical history.
  • Emotional and Behavioral Changes: Sudden changes in a resident’s behavior, such as withdrawal, depression, anxiety, agitation, or fear. They may talk less or appear emotionally distressed.
  • Changes in Hygiene and Personal Care: Neglect may manifest in poor personal hygiene, unwashed clothing, or unmet grooming needs. The resident may exhibit signs of malnutrition or dehydration.
  • Weight Loss and Malnutrition: Unexplained weight loss or signs of malnutrition can indicate neglect, inadequate food provision, or dietary issues.
  • Medication Mismanagement: If a resident’s condition worsens due to improperly administered medications or missing doses, it may be a sign of negligence.
  • Fear and Anxiety: A resident may express fear or anxiety around specific staff members, caregivers, or visitors, indicating a potential issue with abuse or neglect.
  • Unusual Financial Activity: Sudden changes in the resident’s financial situation, such as missing money, unauthorized withdrawals, or altered wills, may suggest financial exploitation.
  • Unsanitary Living Conditions: Neglect can result in dirty or unsanitary living conditions, including soiled bedding, trash buildup, or unclean living spaces.
  • Social Isolation: An abused resident may be isolated from other residents or visitors, possibly as a means of control by the abuser.
  • Unexplained Infections: Frequent or unexplained infections, bedsores (pressure ulcers), or poor wound care may signal neglect, as proper medical care and hygiene are lacking.
  • Sexual Abuse: Signs of sexual abuse can include unexplained pain, bleeding, or sexually transmitted infections, as well as changes in behavior, anxiety, or withdrawal.
  • Unexplained Injuries to Genital or Anal Areas: Bruising, bleeding, or other injuries to genital or anal areas can be indicators of sexual abuse.
  • Reluctance to Speak or Share Concerns: Residents may be hesitant to discuss their concerns or report abuse due to fear or intimidation from the abuser.

Nursing homes must make the safety and well-being of the residents their top priority. Timely intervention can prevent further harm.

What Should I Do if I Suspect My Family Member is a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse?

If you suspect that your family member is a victim of nursing home abuse in Virginia, take immediate action to ensure their safety and well-being.

Here are the steps you should take:

  • Ensure Immediate Safety: If you believe your family member is in immediate danger, contact 911 or local law enforcement to request assistance.
  • Document the Signs: Keep detailed records of any signs or evidence of abuse. This includes photographs of injuries, notes about changes in behavior, and any communication with the nursing home staff regarding your concerns.
  • Speak to Your Loved One: If possible, have a private conversation with your family member to ask about their experiences and any concerns they may have. Provide support and reassurance during this conversation.
  • Contact the Nursing Home Administrator: Reach out to the administrator or management of the nursing home to express your concerns. Provide them with the details and evidence you have gathered. Request that they take immediate action to address the situation.
  • Contact Adult Protective Services (APS): To report suspected adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation in Richmond, call the Richmond City Department of Social Services at 804-646-7000 or the 24-hour, toll-free APS hotline at 888-832-3858. In some cases, APS may conduct an investigation to ensure your family member’s safety.
  • Consult an Attorney: Consult an attorney who handles elder abuse or nursing home abuse cases. They can provide guidance on your legal options and help you take appropriate steps to protect your family member’s rights.
  • Consider Relocating: Depending on the severity of the abuse and the nursing home’s response, you may want to consider relocating your family member to a different care facility or bringing them home if possible. Discuss this option with their healthcare provider and your legal counsel.
  • Keep Records: Continue to maintain detailed records of all interactions with the nursing home, APS, law enforcement, and any other relevant parties. You need these records for legal action or advocacy.
  • Report to Licensing Agencies: You can also report the abuse to state licensing agencies. Complaints against a hospital, nursing facility, hospice or home care agency should be made to the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification. Complaints against an assisted living facility should be made to the state’s Department of Social Services.
  • Seek Emotional Support: Nursing home abuse can distress the victim and their family. Seek help from local support groups or counseling services to help you cope with the situation.

Can I Sue the Nursing Home if I Signed an Arbitration Agreement?

Can I Sue the Nursing Home if I Signed an Arbitration Agreement

An arbitration agreement is a legally binding contract entered into by two or more parties, wherein they agree to settle disputes outside of the traditional court system, typically through the process of arbitration.

Arbitration is a method of alternative dispute resolution where the involved parties present their case to a neutral third party, known as an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators, who subsequently render a final and binding decision on the dispute.

Some Virginia nursing homes required residents to sign binding arbitration clauses in their pre-admission contracts.

Unfortunately, many families didn’t know they forfeited their right to a trial by jury in case of a dispute, even when it involved allegations of nursing home abuse or neglect. Instead, the matter must go to arbitration, and the responsibility for holding the nursing home accountable would rest with the arbitrator, instead of a jury. In many instances, nursing homes may select an arbitrator with a bias toward the industry.

In 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced a new rule prohibiting nursing homes from forcing residents to sign binding arbitration agreements as a precondition for receiving care.

Nursing homes can opt to include these clauses. Still, in doing so, they must clearly explain the agreement so that the resident or their representative fully comprehends its implications. Furthermore, they must give residents a 30-day window to rescind the agreement after signing it.

At Allen & Allen, we understand that the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is difficult and emotional. However, it is best to opt out of binding arbitration clauses or consult an attorney before signing one to better understand your rights.

You should never feel forced by the nursing home to sign a binding arbitration agreement as a condition of admittance. Even if you did sign one, talk with one of our Richmond nursing home abuse attorneys to understand your legal options.

How Can a Lawyer with Allen & Allen Help with My Nursing Home Abuse Claim?

Nursing home abuse cases can be complex and emotionally charged, and an experienced attorney can provide you with the necessary guidance and legal expertise to protect your rights.

Here are some ways a lawyer from Allen & Allen can assist you with your nursing home abuse case:

  • Review the details of your case during an initial consultation, assess its strengths and provide advice on whether you have a viable claim.
  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations of abuse or neglect, including gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reviewing medical records and facility documentation.
  • Identify who is responsible for the abuse or neglect, whether it’s the nursing home facility, specific staff members, or both, and determine if the facility has a history of similar issues.
  • Develop a legal strategy to pursue compensation and justice on your behalf, which may involve filing a lawsuit, negotiating with the nursing home or their insurance company, or pursuing alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation.
  • Document the physical, emotional, and financial damages resulting from the abuse or neglect, including medical bills, therapy costs, pain and suffering, and other relevant expenses.
  • Employ expert witnesses, if needed, such as medical professionals or specialists in elder care, to provide their expert opinion regarding the abuse or neglect.
  • Represent you in court and present your case to a judge and jury if your case goes to trial.
  • Advocate on your behalf and ensure you and your family member’s rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Contact the Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Allen & Allen Today

Nursing Home Abuse Attorney, Derrick Walker

Derrick Walker, Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Richmond

We trust long-term care facilities to care for and protect our loved ones and ensure their staff treat residents with dignity and respect. But far too often, vulnerable elders become victims of abuse and neglect at the hands of nursing home staff. If your family member was harmed in a Richmond nursing home, we are deeply sorry. Your loved one deserves justice. Let us make your fight our fight.

Contact the Richmond personal injury attorneys at Allen & Allen today at (866) 552-5683 to discuss your case during a free and confidential consultation. Let us fight for justice on your loved one’s behalf.

Our Richmond office

Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen

1809 Staples Mill Road
Richmond, VA 23230