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Fighting for Victims of Elder Abuse & Neglect

Shocking though it may be, elderly individuals often suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of trusted caretakers and nursing home facilities. This abuse is made even worse by the fact that elderly adults are often dependent on their abusers for basic necessities. While federal and state laws aim to protect elderly nursing home residents from abuse, nursing home staff members frequently ignore or fail to follow these laws.

Because nursing home abuse and neglect cases are so legally and factually complex, it’s important that victims and their loved ones work closely with a skilled nursing home abuse attorney in Vienna. At Portner & Shure, P.A., we have been successfully representing clients throughout Virginia in serious nursing home abuse and neglect cases for more than 30 years. We are also currently accepting claims involving coronavirus/COVID-19 cases in nursing homes.

To learn more, including how we can help you with your claim, contact us online or call (410) 995-1515 to request a free and confidential consultation.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect take many forms. In many cases, these acts result in serious injuries or, in the most tragic of cases, death.

Neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to act or fails to institute reasonable measures designed to prevent injuries. Stated more clearly, neglect is essentially a form of indifference.

Common examples of nursing home neglect include:

  • Improper hygiene
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Medication errors
  • Failure to monitor patients
  • Falls and other preventable injuries
  • Bedsores
  • Failure to prevent or treat infections

Nursing home abuse differs from neglect, as it carries an element of intent. Virginia law guarantees nursing home residents certain rights, including the right to be free from physical or mental abuse.

Common types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical or chemical restraint
  • Mental and emotional abuse
  • Deprivation of food, water, and medicine
  • Financial exploitation

Causes of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Frequently, nursing home abuse and neglect is the result of staffing issues. While families entrust nursing home staff members to care for their elderly loved ones, nursing homes do not always hire qualified staff members of sufficient staff to meet the needs of their residents. Unqualified staff members or a poor staff-to-resident ratio is a common cause of nursing home abuse and neglect.

Additionally, nursing homes often fail to conduct proper background checks, which results in them hiring staff members with criminal histories. When this happens, nursing home facilities can be held liable for negligent hiring practices.

How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Nursing home abuse often goes underreported. Elderly adults are often unable to communicate the abuse they are suffering or unwilling to report the abuse due to fear of reprisals.

Accordingly, family members should take care to observe for signs of nursing home abuse and negligence, such as:

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises or cuts
  • Dramatic weight loss or signs of dehydration
  • Overmedication or under-medication
  • Behavioral changes, such as unexplained crying or anger
  • Hygiene issues, including soiled clothing or bedsheets
  • Bedsores/pressure ulcers
  • Falls and fall-related injuries, such as fractures
  • Unexplained changes in an elderly individual’s finances or estate planning documents

These are common warning signs of nursing home abuse and negligence; if you notice any of these or other signs of abuse, do not wait to report it right away.

Nursing Home Negligence & Coronavirus/COVID-19 in Virginia

Some studies have shown that elderly adults are at a high risk of death if they are infected with coronavirus/COVID-19. Sadly, some 60% of the deaths in Virginia due to COVID-19 have occurred in nursing homes. The high infection and death rates are, in many cases, reflective of the negligence that has previously been occurring in Virginia’s nursing homes. Indeed, prior to the outbreak, 77% of nursing homes in Virginia were struggling with infection issues. Stated simply, in many cases, elderly adults are becoming infected and dying due to staff neglect and indifference. Due to staffing shortages that are being exacerbated by the pandemic, the infection and death rates in Virginia nursing homes are likely to remain high.

Injuries & Damages in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as the families of elderly individuals who die as a result of such abuse, are entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses. Nursing home abuse victims and their families should not have to simply deal with the devastating, life-altering consequences of nursing home staff negligence or the abuse of individual caregivers. The Vienna nursing home abuse attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. can help you fight for justice.

Depending on the exact details of your case, you could be entitled to compensation for the following damages:

  • Emergency medical treatment
  • Ongoing medical treatment and care
  • Rehabilitation therapy
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income and future lost income
  • Disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Wrongful death damages

Litigation in Virginia Nursing Home Cases

Nursing home cases are legally and factually complex. These cases usually involve multiple defendants, making it difficult to prove liability, and insurance companies fiercely defend these cases. Additionally, in order to prove that negligence or abuse occurred, your legal team will likely need to enlist the testimony of an expert witness who can attest to the standard of care in nursing home facilities, as well as how the standard of care was breached.

The Vienna nursing home abuse attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been successfully representing nursing home abuse victims in Virginia courts for over 30 years. Over the years, we have obtained excellent results, as seen in the countless five-star reviews written by our prior clients.

Portner & Shure, P.A. receives no fee unless we obtain a settlement or judgment on your behalf. We are currently screening and taking Vienna nursing home coronavirus cases.

To schedule a free consultation regarding your Virginia nursing home case, call us at (410) 995-1515 or contact us online today.


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