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“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
A nursing home should respect the rights of its residents and treat them with care, kindness and compassion. Sadly, far too many nursing homes in Virginia fail to meet this basic standard.
In fact, since 2014, government inspectors have penalized roughly one in four nursing homes in the state for violations of state and federal regulations, Capital News Service reports. At Marks & Harrison, we recognize the seriousness of this problem – and we are committed to fighting it.
For more than 100 years, our firm has protected the rights of the disabled and injured throughout Virginia. We know the devastating harm that nursing home abuse and neglect causes. We are dedicated to using our firm’s extensive resources to helping victims and their families to pursue the justice and compensation they deserve. If you believe that your loved one suffered harm due to misconduct or negligence in a nursing home, contact us today through one of our 10 offices located throughout Virginia.
We can provide a free consultation and go to work for you right away. Talk to our Virginia personal injury Attorneys at Marks & Harrison today.
What Are the Rights of Virginia Nursing Home Residents?
When your loved one moves into a nursing home or other long-term care facility in Virginia, your loved one does not give up his or her rights. In fact, they have rights that state law (Va. Code § 32.1-138) and federal law (Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987) specifically spell out and protect. Those rights fall into two basic categories:
Quality of care – A nursing home must provide necessary care and services that will allow residents to “attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being.”
Quality of life – Nursing homes must also provide care for residents in an environment that promotes the maintenance or enhancement of each resident’s quality of life.
Specifically, nursing homes in our state must ensure that residents are free from mental and physical abuse, and they can never neglect to meet a resident’s individual needs. If a nursing home fails to live up to its duties, and a resident suffers harm because of that failure, residents and their families have every right to take legal action. When you contact Marks & Harrison, we will explain the rights of you and your loved one in more detail and explain all legal options that are available to you.
What Are Signs of Abuse and Neglect in Virginia Nursing Homes?
You should try to be as vigilant as possible about the care and treatment that your loved one receives in a Virginia nursing home. If you visit your loved one, you should pay attention to the state of the facility’s maintenance and staffing levels. You should also look for signs of potential abuse or neglect. Those signs include:
Physical Abuse – Bruises, cuts or other marks in the same areas of the body or with similar shapes or patterns. For instance, marks around the wrists and ankles may indicate that the nursing home has used physical restraints on your loved one.
Emotional Abuse – An abrupt change in your loved one’s behavior may reveal that he or she suffers from this form of abuse. The sudden onset of anxiety, depression or withdrawal is a major red flag.
Sexual Abuse – Bruising in the breast, buttocks or genital areas, genital infections or sexually transmitted disease may indicate that your loved one has suffered sexual abuse by a staff member or fellow resident.
Neglect – Bed sores, weight loss due to malnutrition, dry and flaky skin due to dehydration, dirty bedding, unwashed clothes and fall-related injuries all serve as signs that the facility is failing to provide the care that your loved one deserves.
You should also pay attention to your loved one’s finances and belongings. Have any odd withdrawals from your loved one’s accounts occurred? Have any clothes, jewelry or electronics gone missing from the room? If so, your loved one may be suffering financial abuse.
What Should You Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect of Your Elderly Loved One?
Many victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Virginia fail to report it. They may be afraid of retaliation, or they may suffer from a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease which renders them incapable of taking action. For this reason, you should be ready to act if you suspect that your loved one has suffered harm from mistreatment. Steps you can take include:
Call the police if it is an emergency. If you have any reason to believe that your loved one is the victim of a crime or faces imminent danger, you should call 911 without delay. You should be prepared to give your loved one’s name, the location of the nursing home and a general description of what happened. You should also give the name of the individual whom you suspect of wrongdoing.
Report it to the proper authorities. If the situation is not an emergency, you should report the suspected abuse or neglect by contacting your local Department of Social Services or Virginia Adult Protective Services through its hotline at (888) 832-3858. You can also reach out to the Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program at (804) 565-1600 and/or file a complaint with the Department of Health Professions at (800) 533-1560.
Get help from an attorney. If you have any confusion about what to do next and need guidance, you should contact Marks & Harrison without delay. We will help you to deal with the nursing home, report the suspected mistreatment to the proper authorities and take many other steps to immediately protect your loved one.
How Can Our Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers Help You?
If you report your loved one’s suspected abuse or neglect, authorities may investigate the matter and take action against the nursing home. This investigation could lead to penalties against the facility’s owner and operator such as fines, suspension of the facility’s license or – if the situation is severe – immediate closure.
However, in order to address the specific physical, emotional and/or financial harm that your loved one has suffered, you will need help from an experienced personal injury attorney.
At Marks & Harrison, we will work with the authorities that investigate your loved one’s case. We will also immediately conduct our own independent investigation and consult with experts on nursing home care. Based on the evidence we collect, we can pursue several options on your behalf.
Our goal will be to hold the individual staff members, medical professionals and/or entity that owns and operates the nursing home accountable for the injuries your loved one has suffered. We will also pursue compensation that may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages (if your loved one died from the abuse or neglect).
We realize that no amount of compensation can undo the harm that results from nursing home abuse and neglect. However, a civil action can help your family to get the answers and justice you deserve and help you to move past the traumatic experience that you have needlessly suffered.
Our Virginia Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys Are Here for You
As one of the oldest and largest personal injury law firms in Virginia, Marks & Harrison has the skill, experience and resources that it takes to stand up to nursing homes that abuse or neglect residents.
We are ready to go to work for you today, and we will charge no fees unless we recover compensation for you. To learn more, contact us today through any one of our 10 offices located throughout the state and schedule a free consultation.