Norfolk Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyers
Nursing home negligence is a serious issue all over the world. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that at least two in every three nursing home staff members admitted to nursing home abuse within a year.
If poor nursing home care caused injury to you or a loved one, you may have the right to take legal action. Suing a nursing home for negligence or neglect allows you to get financial support for medical bills and hold the facility accountable for its actions. Our Norfolk nursing home malpractice lawyers can help you understand the process for seeking compensation and justice.
Nursing Home Statistics
The decision for yourself or a loved one to reside in a care facility is no small undertaking, which adds to the damaging experience of nursing home malpractice. Here are some recent statistics demonstrating the prevalence and importance of nursing home care.
- As of 2023, there are approximately 1.4 million residents in U.S. nursing homes,
- There are about 26,514 licensed nursing homes across the United States,
- There are around 19,550 nursing home residents in Virginia,
- 70% of people who reach the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point in life,
- By 2050, up to 30 million people in the Americas will require long-term care services,
- Over 810,000 people are living in assisted living facilities in the United States,
- 4% of U.S. seniors live in nursing homes,
- 2% of U.S. seniors live in assisted living facilities,
- 52% of the U.S. assisted living population is over the age of 85, and
- 65% of people use in-home care services.
Nursing homes are not uncommon and are, in fact, necessary for many. These and other assisted living facilities can significantly impact a person’s well-being, which is the goal for many. But for some patients, the opposite is true.
Defining Nursing Home Malpractice and Negligence
Healthcare providers are held to a high standard of care when it comes to the well-being of their patients. Failure to meet that standard can have devastating impacts on those under their care, including nursing home residents. If a healthcare provider is responsible for harm to a resident, they may be liable for medical malpractice. To have a malpractice case, the healthcare provider must have acted outside of what a healthcare professional with similar education and experience would deem reasonable. For example, an on-staff physician may fail to check the patient’s medical record and prescribe a medication that the patient is allergic to, causing a severe reaction. This could be considered medical malpractice. Legally, Virginia healthcare providers must also report any signs of mistreatment in nursing homes. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.
Nursing home neglect is a broader term often used interchangeably with malpractice. Negligence encompasses a wider range of abuse that can occur, which may or may not be directly tied to the patient’s medical care or committed by a medical provider, though it often is. Medical neglect may include failure to prevent or address concerns such as bedsores, infections, or cognitive disorders. Other types of neglect may include failure to provide basic needs such as sufficient food and water, or a clean environment to live in. Negleice can also include a lack of attention or assistance with hygiene and social or emotional neglect. Depending on the circumstances of the negligence and the offending party, these issues may or may not fall under the umbrella of malpractice. Your Norfolk nursing home malpractice lawyers can help you understand the legal implications of your injury and the best path forward.
Virginia Nursing Home Resident Rights
Code of Virginia § 63.2-1808 clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of nursing home residents. Though not all violations of these rights directly lead to injury, many do. Here is a broad overview of some of the nursing home residents’ rights that may lead to physical, emotional, or financial injury if violated.
- Residents have the right to participate in planning any medical treatment or care, and they have the right to refuse medical treatment.
- Residents have the right to choose their own healthcare providers.
- Residents have the right to confidential records.
- Residents have the right to be free of mental, emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse or exploitation. This includes freedom from forced isolation, threats, and demeaning acts.
- Residents have the right to voice complaints about policies and services without fear of threats, discrimination, or retribution.
It is important that nursing home residents understand their rights to fair treatment and skilled healthcare providers, as well as their ability to speak up without fear of consequences.
How Can Norfolk Nursing Home Malpractice Lawyers Help?
It is important to understand the circumstances surrounding the injury to you or your loved one and how the malpractice occurred. Your nursing home malpractice lawyer in Norfolk may conduct an independent investigation into the facts of the case to ensure you are bringing a claim against the correct party or parties. During this investigation, they can also gather the necessary evidence to build a strong case.
Virginia has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which means that you only have two years from the date the malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit. Your attorney can help you determine the timeline and ensure that your claim is filed in a timely manner with enough documentation to prove its validity.
One important piece of information that clients often miss is determining the true value of their claim. Your Norfolk nursing home malpractice attorney can evaluate the extent of your injuries, associated expenses, and overall impact on your well-being to determine how much you are reasonably owed. Never accept less than what you are legally entitled to.
At The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC, our Norfolk nursing home negligence attorneys, Carlton Bennett and Emily Strak, have over 50 years of combined experience seeking justice and compensation for injured clients in Norfolk and surrounding areas. We offer a free case consultation and do not receive compensation for our services unless we win. Contact us to schedule an appointment.