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When choosing a nursing home in Virginia for your loved one, you likely did your level best to find the perfect facility for them. You may have done your homework, involved your family and friends, or consulted with your doctor to find a suitable nursing home. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse can still happen despite all those efforts.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rates of elder abuse are high in institutions like nursing homes. Roughly 2 out of 3 staff or 64.2% of the respondents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities claimed to have committed abuse in 2020. The report also highlighted an increase in the rates of elder abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By 2050, the global population of people aged 60 years and older will have doubled from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion. The WHO predicts that the rates of elder abuse will increase as the aging populations grow.
Elder abuse is entirely preventable. If you suspect an elder family member is experiencing abuse, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. A lawyer can uncover evidence of any wrongdoing and hold abusers accountable for their negligent actions or omissions.
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help You
Nursing homes are designed to provide high-quality and proper care to residents whose families can't care for their disabled or elderly loved ones on their own. However, nursing homes and assisted living residents may be at risk of neglect and/or abuse.
A nursing home abuse attorney in Virginia can conduct a comprehensive investigation and guide you through the legal process. A lawyer can help you get financial compensation for the harm your loved one has suffered by:
- Establishing the facts of your case
- Gathering information, including witness statements and medical records
- Navigating federal and Virginia state laws
- Filing nursing home abuse lawsuits
- Preparing for the discovery phase
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Prosecuting the case in court
If you or your loved one has been harmed by nursing home staff, you should consider seeking legal guidance from nursing home abuse attorneys. Ultimately, Virginia nursing home lawyers can
Identify Whether or Not You Have a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing home abuse in Virginia is any kind of abuse that an elderly or disabled person may suffer that isn't an accident. There are various forms of nursing home abuse, and each can have life-changing impacts on victims, including withdrawal, fear, and untimely death.
With the help of experienced nursing home abuse attorneys, you can identify the type of abuse your loved one experienced and hold liable parties responsible for their negligent actions.
Physical Abuse and Sexual Abuse
Physical nursing home abuse occurs when a resident suffers physical harm or injuries. It is the intentional use of force against an elderly or disabled person. Physical abuse may include hitting, kicking, shoving, slapping, force-feeding, or using restraints.
Sexual abuse involves forced or non-consensual sexual contact with a disabled or older adult in a nursing home. Forcing an elderly person to watch or witness sexual acts or pornography amounts to sexual abuse. This type of abuse may lead to bruised genitals, scratches, emotional trauma, bleeding, and sexually transmitted diseases or infections.
Emotional Abuse and Verbal Abuse
Emotional and verbal abuse are intentional acts that inflict fear, distress, or mental pain on a resident. Belittling elders, calling them names, mocking their disabilities, or threatening them are forms of emotional abuse. This type of abuse may lead to mental problems like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Signs of emotional, psychological, and verbal abuse include:
- Low self-esteem
- Mood swings
- Avoiding eye contact
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Emotional outbursts
Nursing Home Neglect
This type of abuse involves failing to meet a resident's basic needs. These needs may include water, food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and hygiene.
Neglect isn't an accidental oversight but rather an act of carelessness or lack of regard for the health and well-being of residents. For example, nursing facilities may house older adults in unsanitary conditions, risking health problems.
Illegal, improper, and unauthorized use of a nursing home resident's resources is financial abuse. Nursing home staff, family members, medical professionals, and strangers can commit financial abuse. Manipulating an older adult to get money from them is also a form of financial abuse.
Financial abuse can be extremely stressful for nursing home residents, as they can lose the savings needed for medical treatment and long-term care.
Assist With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit and Fight for a Favorable Settlement
A lawyer for nursing home abuse victims can help file a claim and fight for fair compensation. Working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer gives you a better shot at receiving a fair settlement. A lawyer can identify all liable parties, handle settlement discussions, file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Virginia, and appeal an unfavorable verdict.
Common Signs of Abuse in Elder Abuse Victims
Elder abuse is common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 643,000 older adults were treated for non-fatal assaults between 2002 and 2016, with over 19,000 homicides occurring.
Specific signs of elder abuse may vary depending on the type of abuse affecting the victim. Here are some red flags to look for:
- Unexplained injuries
- Limited mobility
- Unexplained transactions
- Depression or confusion
- Poor personal hygiene
To prevent elder abuse, family members and friends should keep a close watch on their loved ones. You should report any signs of elder abuse to the authorities.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney If Your Family Member is a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect abuse and believe your loved one is in danger, call local law enforcement immediately. Nursing home abuse may result in the wrongful death of someone you care about. If the danger is not immediate, report your suspicions to the Adult Protective Services Division in Virginia.
Additionally, it's crucial that you get legal help from a local nursing home abuse law firm in Virginia. A reputable law firm can protect your family's legal rights and help you get the justice you deserve.
At Commonwealth Law Group, we are committed to protecting your family and loved ones. We have top nursing home abuse lawyers ready to discuss your legal options and guide you through the entire process. Contact us today to discuss your family's situation.
If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.