Each year, countless families throughout Charleston and its suburbs, including Dunbar, Rand, Marmet, Nitro, and Hometown, make the hard choice to place their special needs or elderly loved one in an assisted living facility in hopes they will be more attentive to them than they can be by themselves. Unfortunately, not all facilities are created equally and their staff isn’t of the same caliber, so the treatment residents receive is inferior to what they need and deserve. This is often where a Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm, Forbes Law Offices, gets introduced into the mix.
Concerned relatives of patients or residents reach out to us to advise them on what to do in abusive situations like this. We’re here to provide sound guidance and advice when there’s concern or fear for their well-being or that of someone close to them, and we’re willing to support you or your family member as you navigate your own perilous situation. There’s no obligation to work with us just because we perform a case review, and there’s no cost assessed for this meeting, so call or email for an initial consultation today.
Abuse that occurs in nursing homes can take on many forms, including:
Abusive actions don’t necessarily have to include touch or mental turmoil, though. Financial exploitation, such as identity theft, check forgery, or non-consensual usage of a person’s debit card, also falls into this category.
Any instances in which a resident’s basic needs aren’t addressed may constitute neglect, for example:
Of course, there are many other kinds of abuse or neglect that occur in nursing homes, but the ones listed above are the most common types. Our legal team at Forbes Law Offices can help if you or a loved one has experienced ill-treatment of almost any kind in an assisted living facility anywhere in Charleston or elsewhere throughout West Virginia. So, please call or email us to discuss what you’ve endured, as addressing allegations quickly is key in preserving necessary evidence to prove your case.
There are tell-tale signs of abuse or neglect, some of which we highlighted above. Concerns that should raise the alarm include:
While there may be a plausible explanation for some of these medical situations or shifts in behaviors, there isn’t any valid excuse for others. If you believe you or a loved one are being abused or neglected in your residential living facility, don’t ignore it. Instead, be sure to consult with a Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer so that they can assess the validity of your concerns right away. Time is of the essence to preserve safety and evidence.
Government statistics regarding nursing home abuse in Charleston, WV can be hard to come by. And it’s particularly challenging to find data capturing the plight of all residents in assisted living facilities like these because the age range of residents can vary. Even most national statistics tend to focus their attention on the elderly population living in these facilities and not the whole population. That all being said, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) contends that the following is true:
The NCOA resource cited above outlines how nearly 60% of abuse and neglect of elders is inflicted upon victims by family members. It further states that at least 66% percent of those abusers are spouses or adult children.
A resident’s own family members aside, the following people are also commonly named as defendants in nursing home abuse civil cases:
It’s also not uncommon for others’ family members, fellow residents, and even uninvited parties who may gain access to an unsecured facility to also inflict ill-treatment upon those living in these facilities, ultimately resulting in them facing civil legal ramifications for doing so.
Your initial inclination may be to report concerns you have to your relative’s immediate caregiver, the manager on duty, or the facility’s executive team. However, that’s not always the best choice. Why? It may endanger your family member’s safety or life even more, and it may lead them to destroy any potential evidence proving their wrongdoing. So, what should you do instead? Consider calling one or more of the following:
As for the latter option, our lawyers offer free consultations to prospective clients who have faced suspected mistreatment in their nursing care facility and want to learn more about their rights, including their legal options.
You or your abused loved one can’t just say that they were subjected to ill-treatment and have such allegations taken at face value. Instead, there are four elements to prove a case such as this, including:
So, you might be wondering how you prove the above-referenced elements. You do so by producing the following evidence:
In short, virtually any evidence that may substantiate claims of abuse or neglect may play a valuable role in helping prove the negligence necessary to file a lawsuit. The one exception is surveillance video footage obtained within a resident’s room, as filming is still illegal in personal quarters such as this. However, as with many rules, exceptions may apply, which is why you should consult with one of our attorneys about the viability of your claim.
Any harm that someone else, like a caregiver, inflicts on a nursing home resident, no matter their age, may constitute abuse or neglect, both of which are potentially compensable acts. A resident of an assisted living facility who is mistreated and suffers injuries or an illness as a result may qualify to receive compensation for the following losses by filing a lawsuit:
And, if your loved one, unfortunately, lost their life after being abused or neglected, West Virginia law may entitle you to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover compensation for their end-of-life medical care, funeral and burial costs, and future lost earnings.
As with most civil cases, it’s not necessary to have a lawyer represent or help you when filing a claim or lawsuit against someone who harmed you or a close family member at an assisted living facility, but it’s advisable to do so. Why?
First, when you’re represented, you can rely on your legal team to handle all conversations with facilities and their liability insurance adjusters. That’s crucially important because anything you say or do can affect the outcome in your case, such as any settlement offer they make.
Second, it has to do with legal counsel knowing:
It can be comforting to know that if the long-term care facility’s insurer, for example, seems reticent to make an offer to settle the case pre-trial, our firm’s attorneys are committed to seeing the case through to the end, even if it means presenting the case at trial in front of a judge and jury in a Kanawha County courtroom.
We can’t get to work on building your case until after we have an initial discussion about the nuances surrounding it. So, reach out to schedule a free case review with a Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer today.
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