You worked hard to find a suitable nursing home for your loved one. When you entrust a care center with the wellbeing of your family member, you expect staff members to do their best to protect the interests of the elderly individual. Unfortunately, millions of elderly Americans are subjected to abuse and neglect every year.
If a loved one was mistreated or neglected while under the care of a nursing home, you might be able to pursue damages on behalf of the injured party. Contact a Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer immediately for help moving forward.
Nursing home abuse can be difficult for family and friends to detect. Sometimes, the offending party tries to hide signs of abuse from family members who visit the facility. In other cases, residents themselves try to conceal the abuse because of shame.
Unexplained wounds can be signs that abuse is taking place. Sometimes, the wounds can be invisible. In the case of mental abuse, for example, residents may be isolated, restrained, or neglected.
Another common example of nursing home abuse is identity theft. As residents age, they may become more susceptible to theft if they leave pocketbooks in plain view.
In any of the above scenarios, the personal injury and property loss can be great. A nursing home attorney in Richmond may be able to help the family investigate instances of abuse and pursue compensation in court.
According to the Virginia Code, abuse in the context of a nursing home means deliberate action or lack of action that causes injury to the resident. Several laws in the Virginia Code seek to protect nursing home patients and their families.
The required conditions of nursing homes are carefully codified in Virginia Code § 32.1-127. This law sets universal expectations for the expertise of staff at medical care facilities. All staff members must be trained in patient care and required reporting of incidents.
Additionally, the law requires that a medical doctor be available in person or remotely at all times. Physicians might not be on staff, but they must be easily accessible for patient needs by telephone.
Virginia Code § 18.2-369 prohibits the abuse or neglect of incapacitated adults. When healthcare workers or aides physically or mentally abuse patients, or fail to disclose instances of abuse, they do so in violation of this statute.
A Richmond nursing facility attorney may be able to invoke these laws to illustrate the abuse and possible negligence on the part of facility reporting procedures.
Several laws outline the staff members and procedures needed to prevent and report the abuse of residents. According to Virginia Code § 18.2-369, the care center is responsible for the “life safety” of all residents. When an elderly individual is abused or neglected, the offender may not be the only person liable. A nursing home attorney in Richmond may be able to investigate if other staff members violated their legal responsibility to prevent or report the mistreatment.
Virginia Code § 32.1-127-10 requires that all nursing home staff receive training for state-mandated reporting of abuse and neglect. When neglect happens, and individuals who are aware of the mistreatment do nothing, those individuals violate this statute.
In response to growing numbers of abuse cases, Virginia Code § 32.1-127-17 requires nursing homes to purchase at least $1,000,000 in liability insurance to cover negligence or abuse. Victims of abuse may be entitled to financial rewards, but they will likely need to assistance of a lawyer to help them through the process.
When abuse occurs in nursing homes, the patient suffers primary and secondary losses. Primary losses can include humiliation and shame, pain, and financial problems. Secondary losses, however, can be equally harmful. Patients may lose trust in the facility altogether. They may need to find a new place to live and pay movers to assist in the move.
Certainly, when these issues arise, the elderly individual should hold the facility and the offender accountable. A Richmond nursing home abuse lawyer could pursue fair compensation on a victim’s behalf. Call today for a consultation.