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West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

At the Manchin Injury Law Group in Fairmont, our West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers seek justice for victims of nursing home negligence and elder abuse. We work hard to obtain maximum compensation in such cases — and to shine the light on abusive treatment.

To learn more, call us at (304) 367-1862 for a free consultation with our West Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys or contact us online.

Content:

Advocates For Victims Of Nursing Home Abuse And Negligence

You entrusted your vulnerable loved one to a nursing home or assisted living facility with the expectation it would provide attentive care. But instead, he or she was subjected to abuse and negligent practices. Your loved one deserves justice for the wrongs he or she suffered. Our West Virginia personal injury attorneys represent living victims and families of those who have been fatally injured by nursing home negligence, involving:

  • Bedsores (decubitus ulcers)
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Falls
  • Medication errors
  • Abusive staff members
  • Wandering

Laws Surrounding Elder Abuse in West Virginia

Abuse, neglect, and financial abuse are all criminal offenses under West Virginia law. Those who participate in these acts may face fines, jail time, or both. Punishment depends on the gravity of the offense and the defendant’s prior criminal history.

If you’re the family member of an elder who experienced abuse, know that you can also pursue a civil claim against a defendant or his or her employer. Doing so can compensate for any damages you and your loved one incurred. To help maximize the value of your claim, our West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers can help. Examples of damages in a nursing home negligence or elder abuse case may include:

  • Compensation for medical bills, ongoing therapy, and the costs of future care
  • Reimbursement for expenses paid for living at a facility that provided negligent care
  • Compensation for non-economic losses such as pain, suffering, mental anguish, and intentional infliction of emotional distress

One of the most important aspects of pursuing a nursing home negligence case is finding the party liable for the incident. In many cases, the employer of the person who committed the abuse will be responsible for any damages that result. Had the employer been adequately supervising the employee, the abuse could have been prevented.

If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, you may be able to file a claim on their behalf and gain reimbursement for the full extent of the damages your loved one suffered. Contact the Manchin Injury Law Group today to schedule a free review of your legal options and learn what a West Virginia nursing home abuse attorney can do for your family.

FAQs About Nursing Home Abuse

Q: What qualifies as nursing home abuse?

A: Physical, sexual, or psychological abuse at the hands of his or her caregivers qualifies as nursing home abuse. Other factors like neglect, poor sanitation practices, or insufficient staff training may also cause harm to residents and qualify as criminal negligence in some cases.

Q: What is the difference between nursing home abuse and elder abuse?

A: While “nursing home abuse” pertains to incidents that take place in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, “elder abuse” is a broader term that encompasses any abuse of an elderly individual. Many states have specific laws in place to protect elders from exploitation and various types of abuse by enforcing harsher penalties on offenders who target the elderly. It’s possible for an in-home caregiver or even a family member to commit elder abuse.

Q: What if a nursing home employee steals from a resident?

A: Financial exploitation and theft are unfortunately common, and the people willing to commit these crimes often target the elderly because they see them as easy, relatively helpless targets. A nursing home employee who steals valuables or cash from a resident or who uses the resident’s private information for personal gain commits financial abuse.

Q: How do I know if my loved one has suffered abuse?

A: If you cannot visit your elderly loved one regularly, have a family member check in on him or her as often as possible. When you do speak to or visit your relative, take note of his or her demeanor. If your loved one seemed full of energy and enthusiastic the last time you spoke but seems detached, aloof, or distracted during a visit, this could be a sign of nursing home abuse. You should investigate any sudden changes in your loved one’s behavior. Keep close tabs on his or her medical reports from staff as well as the state of their living situation. Soiled bedsheets, dirty clothes, and a lack of healthy food and clean drinking water could also indicate neglect or abuse.

Q: Can I file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse?

A: The short answer is yes, your loved one may wish to take legal action for the abuse suffered at the hands of a nursing home staff member or other caregiver. This can be a lengthy process, but it’s possible to recover compensation for the damages your loved one sustained, including his or her pain and suffering.

If you are considering taking legal action for an incident of nursing home abuse, speak with a West Virginia nursing home abuse attorney with a solid track record of successful nursing home abuse cases about the types of compensation your family could expect.

What You Can Do to Prevent Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Elder abuse is an unfortunately common phenomenon. According to the National Council on Aging:

Family members can help identify the warning signs of elder abuse and prevent it from happening in the first place. Here’s what you can do to help prevent elder abuse in nursing homes.

Know the Warning Signs of Nursing Home Negligence

Elder abuse generally has several warning signs. The nature of these symptoms may differ depending on the type of abuse your loved one experiences. Some of the most common types of warning signs of elder abuse include:

  • Emotional abuse: Social isolation or withdrawal from activities, sudden changes in behavior or alertness, depression or “feeling blue,” more arguments than usual.
  • Physical abuse, neglect, or maltreatment: pressure sores or ulcers (bedsores), unexplained bruises or injuries, unreported falls, broken bones, burns, or abrasions.
  • Verbal abuse: threats, belittled demeanor, appearing scared around certain caregivers or situations.
  • Financial abuse: sudden, unexplained changes in balances, unexplained amendments to wills or deeds.
  • Neglect: poor hygiene, malnutrition, weight loss, or unattended medical needs.

If you notice these warning signs or something just feels “off” about your loved one’s current care situation, take immediate action:

  • Remove your loved one from the dangerous situation immediately to assure his or her safety.
  • Report your suspicions to the nearest authorities, including the adult protective services agency closest to you. This agency can begin an investigation into your allegations and provide further assistance in finding a safe home for your loved one.
  • Schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your legal options. Elder abuse carries both criminal and civil charges. A West Virginia nursing home abuse attorney can help hold the nursing home accountable for its negligence.

You Must Stand Up For Your Loved One

Once you identify nursing home abuse, your first priority should be to remove your loved one from the dangerous situation. Contact the police if you deem it necessary or if your loved one suffered severe abuse. After your loved one is in a safe environment, speak with a reliable and experienced West Virginia elder abuse attorney.  Together, you can discuss your options for legal recourse. Your attorney may help you locate nearby assistance programs or advocacy groups that can assist you in various ways. Help from this groups could include arranging in-home medical care or temporary housing.

One of the best ways to recover from nursing home abuse is to hold the responsible parties accountable. A lawsuit for nursing home abuse will likely run in tandem with criminal prosecution from the state. Your attorney will advise you as to your best options for recovery. It’s likely the offender’s criminal sentencing will involve restitution or other civil liability for you and your loved ones’ damages. If guilty, the defendant is liable for your loved one’s property damages, medical expenses, and any other damages resulting from the abuse. Evidence used in the criminal case may come into play during your civil case as well.

Contact a West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

When a nursing home violates the trust you placed in it, you must take action. Your loved one is not in a position to do so. If you see him or her living in dirty conditions or suspect that your loved one has suffered abuse or negligence, contact the West Virginia personal injury lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group.

When representing your loved one, we will conduct a thorough investigation. We will document the abuse and negligent treatment he or she had to endure. We will seek maximum compensation for you. By doing so, you can help improve the living conditions of other nursing home residents and ease their suffering.

Your loved one deserves justice. The Manchin Injury Law Group will stand up for you. To schedule a free case evaluation with our West Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys, call us at (304) 367-1862 or complete an inquiry form.