Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Harrisonburg, VA

elder woman injured by nursing home abuse

A family that has had to move a loved one to a nursing home in the Harrisonburg, VA, area should be able to rely on that facility to provide their family member appropriate medical care, respect and courtesy. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is a widespread and underreported problem.

An extensive, detailed report from the Staunton (VA) News Leader in January 2019 called statistics regarding elder abuse in Northwestern Virginia “staggering” and “steadily on the rise” year after year. The report examines reports of elder abuse and neglect originating in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, sponsored placements, day programs, adult day care, victims’ homes and Western State Hospital.

The Kendall Law Firm has dedicated 100 percent of its legal practice to personal injury cases, and the injured people we help includes nursing home residents harmed by abuse and neglect in Harrisonburg and surrounding Virginia counties. If you think a loved one of yours has been injured because of nursing home abuse or neglect, we can provide resources to help you right away and a free legal consultation about recovering monetary losses your loved one or you have suffered.

Our Kendall personal injury lawyer has more than 25 years of injury law experience, and our firm has helped thousands of people across Virginia recover compensation for their losses. Our founding attorney, David B. Kendall, is a former the U.S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate General and has been awarded membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum®. You can read our client testimonials to find out more about the quality of service we provide.

If you suspect an elderly person or any adult who is unable to look after themselves in the Harrisonburg, Charlottesville or Winchester areas has been injured by abuse or neglect in a nursing home or elsewhere, please contact us today.

How Our Harrisonburg Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help

A senior citizen’s or nursing home resident’s complaint of neglect or abuse should never be ignored. If a nursing home resident appears to be in immediate danger of harm or has immediate medical needs, either remove them from the home and get help, or phone 911 for emergency assistance.

In a nonemergency situation – a complaint from a nursing home resident with no signs of abuse or neglect – report it to nurse home management and press for an explanation in writing.

You should also contact Kendall Law Firm in Harrisonburg. Our nursing home abuse attorney has a thorough understanding of the rights of nursing home patients in Virginia and the responsibilities of staffs and owners of long-term care facilities.

We can move quickly to help you assure yourself that your loved one is safe and receiving proper care, and then investigate the possibility that abuse or neglect has occurred. If a nursing home resident has been injured or suffered other losses at the hands of nursing home staff or other residents, they or their family may be able to recover compensation through a personal injury claim. A claim may result in a payment for the costs of:

  • Medical expenses and medical care necessitated by the abuse or neglect
  • Custodial care, including the cost of relocating and assistance while moving
  • Rehabilitation and/or counseling needed for physical or emotional recovery
  • Personal property damage or loss
  • Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
  • Funeral and burial costs in wrongful death.

Perhaps more importantly, a claim against a nursing home for abuse or neglect of a single resident puts a spotlight on a problem that may be continuing to harm other residents. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes may be caused by a single staff member, lack of staff training, understaffing, systemic problems with policies and procedures, faulty equipment or facilities, managerial deficiencies that create a hostile climate, or other issues. Your claim could stop other residents from being harmed and may help correct ongoing problems at the nursing home.

As your legal advocates investigating a nursing home abuse claim for you, we would:

  • Intervene immediately, if necessary, to remove your loved one from a dangerous situation
  • Serve as your liaison to police and/or other officials investigating the alleged abuse or neglect of your loved one
  • Conduct an independent investigation to gather and examine evidence of abuse or neglect
  • Consult with medical experts as necessary about your loved one’s injuries, including those experienced in geriatrics and long-term care
  • Prepare an accounting of the cost of medical care, change in residence, property damage, asset depletion, pain, suffering and other “damages” you and your loved one should be compensated for.

We pursue nursing home abuse and neglect claims on behalf of clients on a contingency-fee-basis. We do not charge for an initial consultation, and there is no charge for further work unless we obtain compensation for you. We can start right away. If there is a problem with the treatment of a nursing home resident you care for in the Harrisonburg area, contact us today.

Common Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging (AOA) recognizes specific types of elder abuse, any of which may occur in nursing homes:

  • Physical abuse: The deliberate use of force to harm or discipline, including hitting, slapping, pinching and the use of physical and/or chemical restraints.
  • Emotional abuse: Verbal and non-verbal infliction of emotional distress, such as verbally humiliating, taunting, intimidating or “gaslighting” a resident, ignoring or isolating an elder, or destroying personal property.
  • Sexual abuse: Any non-consensual sexual act, including forcing a resident to see or hear about sexual acts or undress in the presence of nonmedical personnel, kissing, fondling or touching of the breasts or genitals, and forced intercourse (rape). A person with dementia or any inability to communicate or understand cannot legally consent to any form of sexual activity.
  • Financial exploitation: Any unauthorized access to the resident’s financial assets or personal property for financial gain, including stealing, misusing or concealing checks, credit cards, funds, property or other assets and improperly persuading a resident to change a will or beneficiary designations in insurance coverage or other financial accounts.
  • Neglect: failing to provide or purposely withholding food, clothing, protection from the elements, hygiene assistance, health care (including medication) or protection from harm.

Common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include

  • Sudden change in a resident’s eating or sleeping habits, alertness, responsiveness or general activity level
  • General unexplained decline in emotional, cognitive and/or physical health
  • Signs of fear or agitation in the presence of specific individuals at the home
  • Sudden closeness or attachment to an individual not previously prominent in the resident’s life
  • Withdrawal from activities previously enjoyed
  • Bruises, cuts, burns, fractures and pressure marks or abrasions around the wrists and ankles or across the chest
  • Malnutrition, dehydration, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss, unexplained injury, infection, bedsores, unmet medical needs (signs of neglect)
  • Bruises around the genital area or breasts, unexplained sexually transmitted disease
  • Torn, soiled, or bloody clothing or bedding
  • Broken or missing personal items, such as photos, eyeglasses, hearing aids, radio, TV, etc.
  • Sudden changes in the nursing home resident’s financial situation
  • Wandering from nursing home premises.

How to Report Elder Abuse in Virginia

If you have reason to believe an elderly or infirm person has suffered abuse or neglect in a Harrisonburg nursing home or anywhere in Virginia, you should take immediate steps to protect them. This includes:

  • Getting emergency care. If there is an imminent or current threat of harm against anyone who cannot act to protect his or herself, contact local police by dialing 911.
  • Notifying the nursing home. A formal complaint to the nursing home should be made in writing or according to any stated complaint or inquiry process. You should receive a timely reply in writing. If the nursing home’s response does not fully answer your questions and concerns in writing, you should take further action. 
  • Notifying state authorities. To ensure the Virginia Department of Social Services has a record of your concerns and complaints, call the 24-hour, toll-free Adult Protective Services hotline at: (888) 832-3858 or your local department of social services. APS investigates reports of abuse, neglect and exploitation of adults 60 years old or older and incapacitated adults age 18 or older. Local APS social workers can arrange a variety of services to stop any mistreatment found or to prevent further mistreatment.

Contact Our Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in Harrisonburg, VA

Don’t hesitate to act if you suspect a nursing home resident or another elderly Virginia resident is being abused or neglected. In the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County area of the Shenandoah Valley, contact the Kendall Law Firm for a prompt response to your situation. Our nursing home abuse lawyer understands the steps to take to ensure a nursing home resident is safe and to recover compensation if they have suffered injury from abuse or neglect.

Our Harrisonburg nursing home abuse lawyer can work to hold individuals or institutions that harmed your loved one fully accountable. We can pursue compensation for your losses through aggressive negotiations or a lawsuit argued in court if necessary. We can also serve as a liaison between you and state or local agencies investigating your case to ensure your rights are protected and you are informed of findings and next steps.

When the Kendall Law Firm assists you in a nursing home abuse or elder neglect case, you will not pay us any fees until we recover compensation for you. Don’t delay. We can answer your questions and address your concerns. Contact us now.

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