Nursing Home Abuse
Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Putting your loved one in a nursing home is never easy. After all, these are the people who raised you. They cared for you your whole life. Now the tables have turned, and they need even more care than you can provide on your own.
Often, the most loving thing you can do is entrust them to a skilled nursing or assisted living facility that will meet their needs. But what happens if the nursing home doesn’t treasure that person as much as you do?
We know how difficult trusting someone else with your parent, grandparent, or loved one can be. And when a nursing home abuses that trust or brings harm to someone you cherish, we know the feeling of infuriating injustice first hand.
“Campbell & Smith helped me during one of the toughest times in my life. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness and compassion. Without their legal expertise, I’m not sure what I would have done.” – Jeff
There is no excuse for nursing home abuse or negligence. It’s never justifiable, never okay. But sadly, it happens all the time — even here in West Virginia.
If you suspect that your relative is being mistreated, our office can help you take steps to investigate and ensure your loved one is receiving the proper standard of care. Or, if you’ve already come across evidence of negligence or abuse, we can help you put an end to it and seek justice right away.
It’s hard to believe that nursing home abuse happens at all. The idea that nurses, doctors, or staff members would carelessly (or even intentionally) cause your loved one to suffer is unthinkable. In fact, the victims themselves are often reluctant to admit that abuse is happening, either out of fear, embarrassment, forgetfulness, or mental health issues.
But the numbers don’t lie: this country has an enormous nursing home abuse problem.
In 2017, a U.S. Congressional report found that the elderly are abused in 1 out of 3 nursing homes in the United States. And in many of those cases, the abuse is serious enough “to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.”
Nursing home negligence can take many forms. Accordingly, there’s a great deal of confusion in the general public about whether and when a nursing home can be held liable for neglect or malpractice. Every case is different, but in general, West Virginia nursing home residents have a robust set of rights — far more comprehensive and protective than most people realize. Unfortunately, these rights often go unenforced and unrecognized until a law firm steps in.
The Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers at Campbell & Smith are dedicated to fighting for your family’s safety, health, and wellbeing. When we take on your case, our goal is always to immediately get your loved one into the healthcare setting he or she needs… and to aggressively hold these negligent nursing homes accountable.
If your loved one has suffered in a nursing home, you and your family may be entitled to substantial financial relief, among other legal remedies.
All across West Virginia, senior living facilities are making huge profits off families like yours, even while roughly 1/3 of them are actively abusing senior citizens.
This must end. Let us fight for you and the people you love. Justice can be just one step away: call Campbell & Smith today.
Bedsores are the most common nursing home injury, and they usually indicate neglect. Staff members may try to assure you that bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) are ordinary; on the contrary, they are almost always caused by patients being allowed to stay in one position for too long.
Bedsores are painful, and they can quickly become quite serious — as they are vulnerable to life-threatening bacterial infections. Nursing homes are required to take reasonable precautions against bedsores.
If your relative is suffering from pressure ulcers in a West Virginia nursing home, something’s not right. Let us know.
As shocking as it seems, physical abuse and cruelty are not uncommon in nursing homes.
Nurses, orderlies, and other staff members sometimes abuse residents out of frustration or as a result of their own personal anger issues. In some cases, the abuse is related to extortion, theft, drug abuse, or even sexual abuse.
No elderly person deserves to suffer abuse — but many of them stay silent for fear of humiliation or retribution. Keep a careful eye on your loved one’s physical condition. If you suspect abuse, take action. We can help.
Emotional abuse is even more common and can be just as damaging. Common examples of emotional abuse in nursing homes includes:
- Name calling
- Shouting at residents
- Threatening to withhold treatment, visitation, nourishment, or privileges
- Social isolation
- Refusing to change bed pans or provide other treatment services
- Sexual harassment
- Emotional manipulation
Look for changes in residents’ demeanor. Do they suddenly seem timid, intimidated, silent, or scared? Does their personality change when particular staff members come around? Remember: abusers sometimes bully their victims to the point that they fear telling anyone else.
Nursing home residents have an enforceable right to dignity. Our firm takes emotional abuse of elderly West Virginians very seriously. Campbell & Smith are ready to take action.
Anyone can be injured in a fall, but senior citizens are especially vulnerable. Their skin tends to be thinner, and their bones are more fragile. A broken hip, for example, can be life-threatening. Slipping, tripping, and falling are the most common causes of hip injuries in the elderly.
Nursing homes know about these dangers, and they have a duty to help their residents avoid them. If your loved one has suffered a serious fall — or especially a series of falls — the nursing home may be to blame.
Dehydration and Malnutrition
People living in nursing homes are there because they can’t adequately care for themselves. Dehydration and malnutrition can both develop surprisingly quickly, and they are extremely dangerous for seniors.
You can’t be there every minute to make sure your relatives get the food, water, nutrients, and refreshment they need. That’s what the staff is for. So if they aren’t doing their job, it’s time to hold them accountable.
Seniors, especially those with dementia, may not realize if their needs aren’t being met, so look for signs of dehydration and/or malnutrition. Your loved ones have a right to comfort and quality of life.
Lost or Wandering Patients
When dementia patients wander away (or when ailing seniors run away), their lives are in danger. Finding a lost senior can be extremely difficult. That’s why nursing homes must take reasonable steps to prevent these situations from occurring. There are a number of security measures these facilities are expected to employ. If your relative has wandered away or become injured while lost, nursing home negligence might have played a role.
People come and go from nursing homes all day long. This gives rise to security concerns, including theft, assault, sexual assault, violence, and even kidnapping. Victims of crime in nursing homes may have legal remedies available in the civil system against the nursing home, in addition to whatever criminal penalties the perpetrators might face.
Medical Negligence and Malpractice
Like doctors, nurses have a legal duty to treat their patients with care. Medical malpractice in the nursing home often involves medication errors or emergency treatment. This might include:
- Giving too much or little of the medication (e.g., overdose)
- Injuries caused by administering needles / medication
- Giving the wrong drug to the wrong patient
- Failing to prevent harmful counter interactions with other medications
- Administering medicines at the wrong time
- Failure to diagnose / treat side effects or other medical events
- Failure to seek emergency medical attention in critical situations
Learn more about our legal representation for medical malpractice victims in Charleston, WV.
FAQ: I Think We Have a Claim, But I’m Not Sure. What Should I Do?
Contact us right away. Our firm is experienced in investigating medical malpractice, personal injury, and abuse claims. Talk to us about your suspicions and concerns. From there, we can help you understand your options and how we might be able to help. We can even help you execute the necessary paperwork to access records when needed. Legal time limits apply, though, so please don’t delay.
FAQ: I Can’t Afford to Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney. Can You Still Help?
Yes. We take most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay us anything up front. We will advance any costs associated with litigation. You only have to pay us if we succeed with your claim. Even then, our total fee will only be a percentage of your recovery. Call us to learn more about the details.
FAQ: Does My Loved One Need to Worry About Retaliation?
If we take your case, you can count on us to protect your loved one. West Virginia nursing home law provides extensive protection to nursing home residents, including protection against retaliation. We won’t stand idly by while negligent or abusive personnel attempt to protect themselves by intimidating your relative.
Free Case Review with Our West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Campbell & Smith is a full-service law firm with a vast range of experience, both inside and outside the courtroom. We believe in aggressive and effective advocacy, and we are focused on getting just outcomes for our clients and the people they love.
Your loved one deserves the best available legal representation. Put fighters on their side. Hire the WV nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Campbell & Smith.