Nursing Home Negligence
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Even though an individual is confined to a nursing home, they still deserve proper care and treatment. As a result of nursing home care negligence, a wide variety of painful, debilitating and life-threatening injuries can be suffered. Unfortunately, the quality of care rendered in many nursing homes across the country is considered a national disgrace by many. Nursing home negligence injuries in Richmond are suffered with surprising frequency resulting in loss of dignity, self-respect and quality of life for our loved ones. Our Richmond nursing home negligence lawyers investigate lawsuits for injuries suffered as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect nationwide. Nursing home lawsuits obtain compensation for the injuries suffered and operate as an important safeguard in our society. They protect the rights of nursing home residents and make sure that proper standards are followed in the industry. If you would like to contact us about injuries that a loved one has suffered in a nursing home, you can call us at 1-800-451-6393 or provide information online for us to contact you.
Types of Virginia Nursing Home Lawsuits:
- Bedsores (AKA pressure sores or decubitus ulcers)
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Abuse and assault
- Restraint injuries and strangulation
- Falls and fractures
- Wandering and leaving facility
- Wrongful death
Other Potential Nursing Home Negligence Claims May Include:
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Prescription errors
- Medical mistakes
Free Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit Evaluation
If a friend or loved one has suffered an injury as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, request a free consultation and legal claim evaluation to determine if they may have a claim. We can review the injury’s circumstances to determine if your loved one and your family may be entitled to compensation. Every claim may be subject to a statute of limitation deadline, so it is important that you review any potential claim with a qualified Richmond nursing home negligence lawyer as soon as possible.
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WHAT IS MY CASE WORTH?
Frequently Asked Questions
If you or a loved one is dealing with the dangerous issue of nursing home negligence, you can reach out to a nursing home negligence lawyer in various ways.
Most attorneys who handle nursing home negligence have websites that note their physical addresses, telephone numbers, and contact email addresses, and many offer online forms you can submit from the comfort of your home.
Remember that not all attorneys are the same. Before reaching out to one, you want to make sure they specifically have experience handling nursing home negligence cases.
You should also make sure that the nursing home negligence lawyer you choose has a successful track record verified by client reviews and testimonials, which typically can be found online. Friends, family, and colleagues may also have recommendations for qualified nursing home abuse lawyers.
Your first substantial contact with a nursing home negligence lawyer will likely be over a free consultation. Although these often take place in the attorney’s office, online consultations are usually available if an office visit is not possible or practicable.
For those who suspect or have experienced nursing home negligence, a nursing home negligence lawyer can help them get justice in the form of compensation for the losses caused by the negligence.
The law is clear that nursing homes and their staff owe a professional duty of care to their residents. When they violate this duty of care and losses result, residents or their families can schedule a free consultation with a nursing home negligence lawyer to determine what to do next.
It is during this initial meeting that a nursing home negligence attorney will review the facts of the case and recommend a course of action. If they take your case, they will immediately get to work on various tasks that are important for your claim.
Some of these tasks include:
Gathering evidence for your claim
Drafting and filing all legal paperwork for the case
Meeting and negotiating with insurance adjusters for an appropriate settlement
Performing depositions and interviews
A nursing home negligence lawyer will also hire investigators and experts when necessary for your claim. In the case that both sides cannot reach a settlement, the attorney will represent their client in a courtroom.
The ultimate cost of a nursing home lawyer depends on the results of the claim. Most attorneys in this area charge what is known as a contingency fee, which is a conditional form of pricing. Once their client receives their compensation, the attorney takes a percentage, which is determined before they take the case.
Generally speaking, contingency-fee attorneys handling housing home negligence cases charge around 33% for their services. However, if the case goes to trial, some nursing home abuse lawyers will increase the percentage charged.
In addition to attorney’s fees, there are various other claim-related costs that must be paid, including:
Court costs, such as filing costs
Clerical expenses, such as copying and faxing
Travel, legal research, and other general expenses
Expert and investigator costs
The typical attorney-client contract in nursing home negligence cases sees the attorney paying all of the claim costs out of pocket and then recouping them when the case is resolved. It is an advantageous arrangement for clients who may be of limited resources while their claim is being processed.
Victims or their representatives can sue a nursing home when the nursing home and its staff have engaged in negligent behavior that caused an injury. It is important to note that negligent behavior without an injury does not meet the requirements for a lawsuit. There must be harm or losses for the claim to be valid.
Additionally, the injuries and losses must have been caused by the nursing home. In some cases, nursing home negligence may exist when a resident is injured. However, the nursing home abuse lawyer must prove that there was a connection between the negligence and the injury.
A victim may also sue a nursing home if they are within the time requirements for nursing home negligence cases. In Virginia, Maryland, and many surrounding states, the time limit for filing a lawsuit based on nursing home negligence is two or three years.
Once the time limit has elapsed, most claims are no longer eligible. As such, it is important to take immediate legal action when negligence occurs.
Fortunately, it is often difficult to hide evidence of nursing home negligence, especially when the victim receives regular visits from loved ones. It is time to take at least investigative action, which begins by notifying the nursing home of the negligence if you notice any common signs such as:
Deteriorating personal hygiene
Poorly maintained nursing home facilities
Nutrition problems, such as unexplained weight loss and dehydration
New, unexplained psychological or emotional issues
Uncharacteristic use of alcohol or drugs
Unexplained introverted tendencies when previously extroverted
Sometimes, nursing home neglect is quite subtle and doesn’t produce injuries until it has gone on for a while. Other forms, however, begin to cause harm immediately. For example, bedsores develop quite quickly when patients aren’t moved frequently enough.
When the neglect is obvious and injuries have occurred, take action. Your loved one’s health and well-being depend on it. If you encounter an emergency situation, notify the medical staff of the nursing home or call first responders immediately to prevent further injury.
No matter how it manifests itself, nursing home neglect always leaves some telltale signs. If you visit a loved one in a nursing home, you can spot the neglect by observing some of these signs and taking action.
Nursing home negligence is not something that society should ever let slide. If you suspect nursing home negligence, then taking quick action will help protect your vulnerable loved one as well as preserve their claim for damages in a claim for nursing home negligence.
One of the first places to report nursing home abuse is with the facility itself. Once the nursing home has notice of the suspected negligence, it is under a duty to act and stop the negligence.
Unfortunately, some of these businesses fail to take the appropriate steps to end the harmful behavior. For this reason, it is important to report your case of negligence to the relevant local and state agencies that investigate these types of cases.
Some of these governmental agencies include:
Adult Protective Services
Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
The Office of Licensure and Certification, Long-Term Care Division
Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The Attorney General’s Office
If the negligence is so severe that serious bodily injury or death results, file a police report.
Only certain people can sue a nursing home for negligence. The victims are one of them. They have the full right to pursue a claim for compensation for their injuries.
Apart from the victim, the nursing home resident’s power of attorney may also file a lawsuit on their behalf. A power of attorney is common when nursing home residents begin to reach a stage where their mental faculties are degrading or are likely to degrade in the near future.
If the nursing home neglect turns out to be fatal, the victim can obviously no longer file a lawsuit on their own behalf for the abuse. In some jurisdictions, the courts allow for certain surviving family members to sue for wrongful death damages, such as the spouse and children.
In other states, the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate is the only one who can bring a wrongful death claim but will do so on behalf of the surviving family members and heirs. The proceeds of the claim will then be disbursed among the heirs and survivors with oversight from the court.
As mentioned, nursing home negligence refers to care given at a nursing home that falls below acceptable standards. Hence, a nursing home attorney must identify actions that they believe were negligent using evidence. Although helpful, the testimony of the victim alone is usually not enough to support a claim of nursing home negligence.
Various types of evidence may be available to prove negligence, such as the injuries themselves. For example, bedsores, especially when not common with a patient, can be strong evidence of negligence.
Additionally, the reports a victim or their family member file with the nursing home and government agencies will contain a narrative that demonstrates possible negligence.
Witness testimony and depositions are also important pieces of evidence that an attorney may gather to prove nursing home negligence. Staff members and other residents may have damning accounts of negligence.
Also powerful is video evidence. In this day and age of cameras, it is more common than not for nursing homes to have video surveillance of the facility and grounds.
No two cases are alike, which makes it impossible to determine the value of a nursing home negligence case without reviewing the facts first. As such, the answer is that it depends on the harm and losses you or your loved one have suffered due to the nursing home's negligence.
In a nursing home negligence claim for compensation, there are two main types of damages victims can claim: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to the financial losses victims experience because of the negligence and resulting injury. They typically include the cost of treating the injuries, any loss of income, and travel expenses related to medical care. In the case of wrongful death, economic damages may also include burial, funeral, and other posthumous costs.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, deal with intangible harms that resulted from the negligence. They include losses such as:
Pain and suffering
Loss of companionship and the enjoyment of life
Although non-economic in nature, these intangible losses impact a victim’s life just as much as financial ones.
Various parties may be held liable in a lawsuit for nursing home negligence. In many cases, one or more staff members are to blame for the negligence.
Their duties typically include providing adequate nutrition for residents, caring for certain residents’ basic needs, and keeping the nursing home clean. Failure in any one of these duties can lead to injuries.
Besides the nursing home staff members, management may also be held liable when they fail to supervise staff members correctly. Negligence may also come from onsite medical staff, from doctors to nurses. Other medical staff may play a role in negligent behavior as well, such as a visiting doctor or caregiver.
Ultimately, the nursing home itself as an entity is typically responsible for acts of negligence committed by employees. Under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, employers are ultimately responsible for the negligent acts of their employees.
However, if the negligent person was an independent contractor, such as an outside doctor or nurse, then the doctrine of respondeat superior does not apply.