Has your loved one been abused or neglected at a nursing home and suffered serious or fatal injuries as a result? If so, we encourage you to discuss the details of the incident(s) with a licensed nursing home negligence attorney to help determine if you may be able to hold the nursing home liable for their actions.
At Geoff McDonald and Associates, we have been advocating for Virginia injury victims for over 20 years and have recovered more than $400 million on their behalf. CEO and President Attorney Geoff McDonald has successfully tried cases resulting in more than 200 written opinions and is a member of prestigious, National Trial Lawyers Association – Top 100 list.
We offer a free, initial consultation and accept nursing home abuse cases on a contingency basis, which means that there are no upfront fees for our services. We only get paid when we obtain a recovery on your behalf.
Free Consultation. Ph: 866-369-9051
How a Lawyer Can Help
Knowing who you can trust when trying to protect a loved one can be a very difficult task for most people. In the event that your loved one has been seriously injured or abused in an elder-care facility, it can be very important to have an experienced attorney by your side to help ensure that the rights of your loved one are being protected.
At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we have many years of experience dealing with insurance companies and other representatives from nursing home facilities, and understand the nursing home laws and regulations that are applicable to residents in Virginia. We can help to explain the options that are available in easy-to-understand terms, while also handling all of the communication on your behalf.
We charge no upfront fees if we take on your case and we only get paid when we obtain a recovery.
Do I Have a Case?
There are many factors to consider when trying to determine whether you may have grounds for a case, such as the type of facility where your loved one was staying:
- Skilled Nursing Home – These places usually have professional nurses on staff 24 hours a day, seven days per week. These are the facilities people commonly think of when they think of nursing homes.
- Intermediate Care Facilities – Typically, there are no more than 15 residents at these facilities and skilled nursing care is provided but not 24 hours per day.
- Residential Care Homes – The limit for residents is usually 20, but these residents often receive personal care every hour of the day. However, nursing care and medical care are usually not provided at the facility.
- Adult Boarding Homes – These are usually located in a residential area. Families, individuals or businesses usually run them.
These facilities must make sure residents’ basic needs are met, including the need for food, water, shelter, medical care and personal hygiene. There are also numerous state and federal rights granted to residents that facilities must uphold.
If your loved one’s rights were violated due to negligence and he or she suffered injuries, you may have a case. There are many examples of negligence that often lead to nursing home abuse or neglect, such as the failure to:
- Properly monitor residents
- Hire enough staff members
- Properly train staff members
- Identify injuries or other medical issues
- Provide sufficient security
- Hire qualified caregivers
If you think your loved one’s injuries resulted from negligence, call our Richmond nursing home abuse attorneys today.
Free consultation. No upfront fees. Ph: 866-369-9051
Liability for Nursing Home Abuse
The abuser (nurse, nurse assistant, staff members, nutritionists, or other caregiver) is not the only one who may be held liable for nursing home abuse or neglect. Administrators and owners of a nursing home could also be liable when residents suffer abuse or neglect. For example, administrators could be held liable for understaffing or hiring unqualified staff members.
Vendors, medical equipment providers, contractors and trespassers could also be held liable for abuse.
If you have questions about nursing home abuse claims, call to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse Victims
At Geoff McDonald and Associates, our attorneys are committed to pursuing maximum compensation for our clients. We know it cannot change what happened, but we have seen how compensation can help victims and their families pay for medical treatment and cope with emotional distress.
If you have a case, we are prepared to carefully review your loved one’s injuries to determine the types of damages you may be able to pursue and the value of those damages.
In a nursing home abuse claim, some of the damages we may be able to pursue compensation for include, but are not limited to past, current and future medical treatment, lost enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering.
Call a Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer to schedule your free consultation. 866-369-9051
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
Your loved one has numerous rights as a nursing home resident under laws passed at the federal and state level. These laws are designed to protect the dignity and autonomy of each resident, along with their physical, emotional and social well-being.
Under federal and state law, residents have the right to:
- Be treated with dignity, respect and consideration
- Be free of abuse, neglect or exploitation
- Exercise their rights without being coerced, interfered with or discriminated against
- Maintain their quality of life
- Choose the activities they participate in
- Choose their health care providers
- Refuse to receive treatment
- Manage their own finances
- Be fully informed of their rights and rules and expectations for conduct
- Plan his or her treatment
- Live free from mental, emotional, physical, sexual, economic abuse or exploitation
There are many more rights granted to residents under federal and state law. In Virginia, the rights and responsibilities for residents must be printed in 14-point type and posted in a conspicuous and public place in every assisted living facility. These rights must also be reviewed with the resident and his or her legal representative or responsible individual on an annual basis.
Unfortunately, these rights are often violated, and residents suffer physical, financial or emotional injuries. Our Richmond nursing home abuse lawyers may be able to help victims and their families pursue compensation.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is usually divided into three different categories, physical, financial and emotional.
Physical abuse is any sort of physical attack against a resident, which may include kicking, punching, slapping, shoving, pinching, biting, pushing or restraining a resident in such a way that he or she suffers injury.
Emotional abuse is often verbal in nature. For example, maybe a nurse or staff member yells at a resident, makes threats, or bullies or makes fun of him or her. Residents could also be isolated socially as a form of punishment. Ignoring a resident can also be emotional abuse, if it is done intentionally.
Sexual abuse refers to non-consensual sexual activity between a resident and someone else. Examples may include rape, molestation, photographing a resident in a compromising position, or coercing or forcing a resident to be photographed in a sexual way.
Neglect is different from abuse because it involves a resident suffering because staff members are not paying attention or providing the care the resident needs. This can lead to malnourishment, dehydration, bedsores, medication errors, falls, poor hygiene and other problems.
Call today if you suspect your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect. 866-369-9051
Signs of Abuse or Neglect at a Nursing Home
It is important to be aware of the signs of abuse or neglect, because too often the facility may not report what is happening, or your loved one may be scared into silence by his or her abuser.
If you notice unexplained or unusual changes in your loved one, it is a good idea to document and date the details. After getting medical treatment for your loved one to properly diagnose and treat his or her injuries, it is also important to investigate further to find out if there is other evidence of abuse or neglect, such as:
- Broken bones from falls
- Head injuries
- Pressure sores
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Unexplained weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Suicide attempts
- Injuries to the genitals
- Fear around certain staff members or caregivers
Nursing home residents may be afraid to say anything about what they are experiencing. It is often up to family members to notice signs of abuse and put a stop to it.
Geoff McDonald and Associates. We are here to help.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Virginia
Licensed health care practitioners have a duty to immediately report abuse, neglect or exploitation of the elderly to Virginia’s Department of Social Services. Mandatory reporters include:
- Mental health services providers
- Those certified by registered health regulatory boards
- Emergency medical service providers
- Guardians or conservators of adults
- Those gainfully employed by or under contract with a public or private entity or any other facility working with adults, whether in a direct care capacity or in an administrative or supportive position
- Law enforcement officers
- Anyone who provides full care or occasional/intermittent care to adults for compensation, including personal care staff
However, nursing home staff members and administrators often attempt to cover up abuse, so you should not rely on them to properly report abuse or neglect. If your loved one is in danger, you can call the police to get your loved one out of harm’s way.
In addition to reporting the situation to the facility, you should report what happened to Virginia Adult Protective Services so they can investigate.
Under state law, when adult protective services requests information, records or reports from staff members as part of its investigation, they are required to comply.
Call Our Richmond Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Nursing home abuse or neglect can be devastating to the physical and emotional health of elderly individuals, even resulting in death, particularly after a fall or untreated bedsore.
Many of these injuries could have been prevented, which means victims and their families may have grounds for legal action. The purpose of filing a lawsuit is to not only hold the abusers liable, but also to help protect others from similar abuse and recover compensation for damages.
These are difficult cases to manage on your own, which is why many victims seek help from a licensed attorney. The Richmond nursing home abuse lawyers at Geoff McDonald and Associates offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss whether you may have the basis for a nursing home abuse claim.
Our office is about a 15-minute drive from the Adult Protective Services Division of Virginia’s Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services.
If you have a case and hire our firm, we do not get paid unless you do. There is no risk to you, and we are ready to help set up your consultation today.