Experienced Richmond Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Helping families and victims of abuse and neglect throughout Virginia
Families who place their loved one in one of these facilities trust that the caretakers within the facility will provide the proper standard of care to their loved one. Sadly, this is not always the case. If your loved one is a resident of a nursing home in Virginia, contact Phelan Petty for help. Our attorneys in Richmond can assist you in seeking justice for your loved one.
What are the types of nursing home abuse?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that elder abuse is an intentionally committed act that causes or produces risk of harm to an individual 60 years of age or older. The CDC categorizes five types of elder abuse. They include:
- Sexual assault or abuse. Includes unsolicited sexual interaction of any nature by staff or residents.
- Emotional or psychological abuse. Consists of verbal or non-verbal behavior that inflicts pain, distress, or an uncomfortable feeling upon the elder victim. It can include preventing the elder from having access to family or friends, or damaging or destroying the elder’s property in order to inflict distress or pain.
- Physical abuse. Can include kicking, hitting, slapping or other forms of contact that inflict pain or illness.
- Financial exploitation or abuse. Occurs when someone improperly controls, uses, or threatens to control or use the elderly person’s finances.
- Neglect. Occurs when the basic needs of the elderly person are denied, such as water, food, medical care, or shelter. This is the most common type of nursing home abuse.
What are some common nursing home abuse injuries?
- Bruises from acts of violence
- Bruising caused by restraint systems
- Broken and fractured bones
- Bleeding (internal and/or external)
What are some common injuries resulting from neglect?
- Pressure ulcers or bedsores
- Respiratory infections from clogged feeding or breathing tubes
- Injuries from falls inside the facility or related to wandering and/or elopement
- Environmental hazards and toxic exposure
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration
- Skin conditions related to improper cleaning and hygiene
Both abuse and neglect can lead to the wrongful death of your loved one.
What are the warning signs of nursing home neglect and abuse?
Some warning signs that a nursing home resident may be receiving neglectful or abusive treatment include:
- Inexplicable injuries, such as cuts, bruises, broken bones
- Marked decrease in mobility, which may indicate lack of exercise and time out of bed, resulting in decreased muscle tone and health, and bed sores
- Declining personal hygiene
- Change in attitude and/or personality, including signs of lethargy, social withdrawal, or anger
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Internal organ damage, strokes, and/or heart attacks from medication errors
Can Virginia nursing homes be held liable for residents’ injuries?
If your loved one sustained harm because of abusive or negligent actions – including negligent hiring practices, unsafe policies, poor training or management of staff, and so forth – the nursing home can be held liable. Under the law, you can seek damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Disability of the resident
- Disfigurement of the resident
- Funeral and burial costs if the injuries result in the resident’s death
In some cases, punitive damages may be available. Contact one of our personal injury attorneys to learn more.
Nursing home residents’ Bill of Rights
Also known as the “Nursing Home Bill of Rights,” these rights are protected by federal law. They include:
- Right to a Dignified Existence
- Right to Self-Determination
- Right to be Fully Informed
- Right to Raise Grievances
- Right of Access
- Rights Regarding Financial Affairs
- Right to Privacy
- Rights During Discharge/Transfer
You can access the full list of rights here.
If you suspect your loved ones are being abuse or neglected, you can also contact Virginia’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Ombudsmen serve as advocates for “older persons receiving long term care services, whether the care is provided in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or through community-based services to assist persons still living at home.”
The State office:
8004 Franklin Farms Drive
Senior Connections - The Capital Area Agency on Aging, Inc.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Local Office
24 East Cary Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-3796
Check here to find Ombudsmen serving families throughout Virginia.
Phelan Petty has successfully represented nursing home residents in claims stemming from abuse and/or neglect, as well as personal representatives who have filed wrongful death suits on behalf of the resident’s estate. We are available to consult; contact us in Richmond for more information.