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The mild climate and proximity to the ocean make Virginia Beach a desirable place to retire and grow old. In some cases, aging adults and their loved ones utilize nursing homes to provide necessities like shelter, meals, healthcare, and socialization. When you trust a nursing home facility with your loved one’s care, you expect the staff to treat them respectfully, satisfy their needs, and notify you of any problems. Unfortunately, these expectations are not always satisfied. Nursing home malpractice can result in psychological and physical injuries to your loved one. An elder abuse attorney in VA Beach can help your family recover compensation for your loved one.

When Should I Hire a VA Beach Elder Abuse Attorney?

Virginia law outlines the legal rights of nursing home residents, including the right to:

  • Voice grievances and recommend policy changes free from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination, or reprisal;
  • Manage their own financial affairs or access records of financial transactions made on their behalf at least once a month;
  • Remain free of mental and physical abuse;
  • Be treated with consideration, respect, and full recognition of their dignity and individuality;
  • Retain and use their personal clothing and possessions, and
  • Participate in social, religious, and community groups at their discretion.

Proof of a nursing home facility or employee violating a resident’s statutory rights is evidence of nursing home malpractice. Recovering compensation for elder abuse requires more than proof that the nursing home violated your loved one’s rights. An elder abuse attorney in Virginia Beach can help prove the other elements of the malpractice claim.

Signs of Elder Abuse

The signs of elder abuse are not always obvious. Abusive staff members typically avoid blatant injuries to prevent unwanted attention on themselves or their victims. However, loved ones can stay vigilant by watching for certain warning signs, such as:

  • Severe mood swings,
  • Drastic weight loss,
  • Dehydration,
  • Pressure ulcers,
  • Damaged property,
  • Injuries in unexplained areas,
  • Increased anxiety,
  • Frequent and unexplained injuries,
  • Fear or defensiveness towards nursing home staff,
  • Lack of hygiene,
  • Lack of cleanliness, or
  • Soiled bed sheets or clothing.

Any of these things can mean that neglect is taking place. Ensure you consult with a Virginia Beach elder abuse attorney immediately if you suspect nursing home malpractice.

Elements of Nursing Home Malpractice

To prove nursing home malpractice, you must show that the nursing home’s negligence caused harm to you or your loved one, resulting in damages. Negligence requires proof of the following:

  • The defendant and plaintiff had a doctor-patient relationship;
  • The doctor-patient relationship imposed a duty of care on the defendant to comply with the generally accepted standard of care for similarly trained nursing home staff;
  • The nursing home staff member breached their duty by deviating from the generally accepted standard of care;
  • The plaintiff suffered injuries due to the deviation and
  • The plaintiff suffered losses from their injuries.

Proof that a staff member violated the plaintiff’s rights and testimony about the plaintiff’s injuries can help prove the elements of negligence. An experienced attorney can obtain surveillance footage and case files from prior elder abuse accusations against the same facility. 

Reporting Elder Abuse

If you suspect ongoing elder abuse, you should contact the police right away. The police will start a criminal investigation into your allegations. The police report can help prove the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries in a subsequent civil lawsuit.

Federal, state, and local governments fund the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program to receive, investigate, and resolve complaints made by or on behalf of nursing home residents.

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program consists of the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and nineteen local offices throughout the state.

Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney in VA Beach at The Law Offices of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC

If you or a loved one suffered injuries from nursing home malpractice, you may qualify to file a lawsuit to recover your losses. Our team will do anything to hold the defendant accountable for their negligence.

We utilize our 47 years of experience to build a strong case and fight aggressively for our clients’ recovery. Our office prides itself on providing compassionate, reliable legal advice and offering clients practical solutions for their concerns. 

Contact The Law Offices of Carlton F. Bennett, PLLC, today to schedule a free initial consultation with a Virginia Beach elder abuse attorney.

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