Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Charleston, WV
At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we believe no one should suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of trusted caregivers. Since 2000, our firm has been fighting on behalf of injured victims and the surviving loved ones of those who die due to others’ negligent and wrongful conduct. Our West Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys provide skilled representation to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect and their families, and we are ready to fight for you.
- Handling West Virginia Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases
- Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
- How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in West Virginia
- How Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen & Who Is Liable?
- How Our Firm Can Help
- Request a Free, Confidential Consultation Today
- Types of Transfers
- Possible Injuries
Handling West Virginia Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases
When you make the difficult choice to place a loved one in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, you trust that the doctors and staff will provide nothing short of the highest level of treatment, assistance, and care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Although it is one of the most horrifying things for most to imagine, nursing home abuse and neglect is shockingly common in the United States. According to one study from the National Center on Elder Abuse, as many as one in three U.S. nursing homes have been cited for abuse. Even more alarming, of 2,000 nursing home residents interviewed, 95% reported being abused or neglected in some way.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. While physical abuse is one of the most commonly known—and typically easiest to detect—forms of abuse, nursing home residents are also susceptible to emotional and mental abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and general neglect. Often, elderly individuals require medical attention and care and may suffer from substandard treatment, medication errors, and other serious forms of medical malpractice. All of these forms of abuse and neglect can have devastating and even fatal consequences.
That being said, it can be difficult to detect when a loved one is suffering from abuse, neglect, or poor treatment in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Often, elderly individuals are unable or unwilling to speak up for themselves, so it is crucial that you know the signs of abuse so you can take immediate action.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Wandering and elopement
- Dehydration and/or malnutrition
- Unexplained changes in mood or behavior
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Unwillingness to speak in certain staff members’ presence
- Unexplained death
- Unusual withdrawals from bank accounts or bounced checks
- Poor facility maintenance
- Sepsis and untreated illnesses/infections
- Falls and other preventable accidents
- Appearing withdrawn, agitated, or distressed
- Significant and rapid changes in weight
- Injuries to or near sexual organs, including female breasts
- Soiled or dirty clothing, sheets, linens, etc.
- Unexplained injuries, such as bruises or broken bones
- Unusual changes to financial documents, such as a will
If you feel that something is “off,” follow your instincts. You can report suspected abuse or neglect to the nursing home’s administrator or contact the authorities. If you believe your loved one is in imminent danger, call 911.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in West Virginia
First and foremost, if you believe your elderly loved one or any other person at the nursing home facility is in immediate and serious danger, call 911 right away. For all other instances, you can report suspected nursing home abuse and/or neglect to various appropriate authorities.
You can report elder abuse, neglect, and mistreatment via the state’s 24-hour hotline: (800) 352-6513. You can find more information about reporting elder abuse on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Adult Protective Services’ website here: Adult protective services
You can also report suspected nursing home abuse and neglect to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman by calling (800) 834-0598 or visiting the West Virginia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Directory.
For more information on reporting suspected nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as resources regarding elder abuse and mistreatment, visit the following sites:
How Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen & Who Is Liable?
Too often, understaffing, overcrowded nursing homes and general staff negligence lead to serious physical and emotional harm. Regardless of the cause, nursing home abuse and neglect should never occur, and those responsible for perpetuating this conduct should be held accountable.
Depending on the specific details of the situation, any of the following parties could be liable for nursing home abuse and/or neglect:
- A nursing home staff member
- The nursing home administration
- The entity responsible for maintaining the premises
- An on-site doctor or nurse
- A fellow resident
- Another third party
In most cases, the nursing home itself is liable for all injuries, illnesses, and deaths caused by abuse and neglect. However, our team can conduct a thorough investigation to determine exactly which factors played a role in the incident, as well as who is liable. We work with a team of forensic, liability, and damages experts to evaluate the full extent of our clients’ losses, as well as the nature of their injuries and the value of compensation they are owed.
At Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we believe it is essential to pursue justice in these cases and seek compensation for the injured victim. Our West Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys not only strive to help our individual clients obtain justice for the suffering they have endured but also work to help prevent similar acts of abuse and neglect from harming someone else.
How Our Firm Can Help
The attorneys at Warner Law Offices, PLLC take nursing home injury and malpractice cases seriously. We know the impact a successful result can have on both our clients and others. To allow us to focus on providing strong and personable representation, we are selective about the cases we handle. We would rather take a few important cases and make a real difference in our clients’ lives.
Our firm handles nursing home abuse cases involving:
- Improper use of restraints
- Sexual and physical abuse
- Failure to bathe nursing home residents, resulting in infections
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Wrongful death
- Injuries resulting from falls
- Medication errors, including incorrect prescriptions and wrong medication dosages
We offer free initial consultations to all new and prospective clients, and we do not collect any attorney fees unless/until we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Request a Free, Confidential Consultation Today
When a loved one is in a nursing home, assisted living center or other long-term care facility, we expect that he or she will be treated with respect. We hope that our loved one is receiving the personal care that we cannot provide ourselves. When this does not happen, our firm fights tirelessly to hold doctors, nurses, aids, and other nursing home staff accountable for their actions.
We are ready to fight for you and the justice you and your loved one deserves.
Each year, one in four people over 65 fall at least once, and many of these victims sustain serious injuries, like broken bones and head injuries. Certain physical issues, such as Vitamin D deficiency, limited vision, medication side-effects, and a hazardous walking surface, multiply the risks exponentially.
Nursing homes have a duty of care to prevent their patients from being injured, especially when it comes to everyday activities like moving from a bed to a wheelchair. So, many nursing homes follow legal protocols when performing such operations. A failure to follow established guidelines is clear evidence of fault in negligence cases.
Types of Transfers
Many residents are in long-term care facilities, at least in part, due to mobility impairment. Therefore, staff members must do whatever possible to prevent falls during procedures like:
- Bed to Wheelchair: Inspecting the surroundings, like the physical condition of the wheelchair and the rugs on the floor, is one of the most important, and most overlooked, steps in these transfers.
- Wheelchair to Bath: Many falls occur in bathrooms, so staff must be especially diligent during such transfers.
- Hoyer Lift Falls: To lessen the physical strain on staff and residents, many nursing homes use hydraulic lifts to move patients, at least in some situations. If they are not used properly or working properly, these devices can cause serious injury.
- Chair to Chair: Many residents break their hips when they stand because they use their legs for additional leverage, and many staff members are not as cognizant of this danger as they should be.
In many cases, normal medical protocol requires that two or more staff members assist a resident during these and other transfers.
Many nursing home fall victims are already in a somewhat frail physical condition before the incident. To make matters worse, they are often in elevated positions and sometimes unable to break their falls. This combination usually results in serious injuries like:
- Broken Bones: These wounds often require extensive and painful surgical correction and long-term physical therapy.
- Brain Injury: Often, the jostling alone (like a raw egg sloshing against an eggshell) is sufficient to cause permanent injury, including personality changes, loss of function, and even death.
- Internal Bleeding: Emergency responders are often preoccupied with outside trauma injuries to the point that they neglect internal injuries.
In addition to compensation for medical bills, victims and their families normally receive compensation for their pain and suffering.
If you believe your loved one was injured due to being dropped in a nursing home, please contact one of our experienced attorneys today.
Bobby has received many accolades throughout the years from both his peers in the legal community, as well as the media. The National Trial Lawyers association named Bobby a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and he has been selected as a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent. Additionally, he has been named a Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings, which also named Warner Law Offices to its Best Law Firms of America.
We represent clients across West Virginia and surrounding areas, providing compassionate client service and relentless advocacy in and out of the courtroom.