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Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Elder abuse is a devastating and heartbreaking epidemic in the United States. In West Virginia, victims of abuse or neglect have the right to sue people who engage in harmful behavior. Family members and loved ones of those abused can also file cases on behalf of their family members. Doing so ensures the victim can afford the costs of recovery. Filing a lawsuit also helps other residents stay safe. A Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer can make this happen.

If you or your loved one has suffered abuse at a nursing facility in Charleston or elsewhere in West Virginia, call DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, today. Our nursing home attorneys can assist you with collecting a settlement that will compensate you for any injuries, medical bills, and mental anguish you and your family have suffered. In addition, we can make sure your elderly loved one is relocated to a safer environment. Safety is our priority.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home abuse, often referred to as elder abuse, takes many forms. Our law firm handles all types of nursing home neglect and abuse claims throughout West Virginia.

Some of the different situations our nursing home abuse lawyers handle include:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the most common form of abuse that occurs in nursing homes. Staffers may wrongfully beat, slap, or shake patients when frustrated. Restraining a patient unnecessarily using either chemical or physical restraints can also be considered physical abuse.

Nursing home residents are often very frail, so violence, like physical abuse, can easily lead to serious injuries or even death. If you notice warning signs, like unexplained injuries such as bruises, cuts, or broken bones and suspect nursing home abuse, get them medical treatment first. Then reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney in our office to find out what steps you should take next to remove them from immediate danger.

Financial Abuse

This type of financial exploitation may involve a nursing home staff member taking advantage of a patient’s lack of awareness or vulnerability and stealing funds through several different methods.

In addition to stealing actual money, a nursing home worker or someone else with access to the resident may financially exploit them by gaining access to their personal data, such as a Social Security Number. The perpetrator’s attempts at financial exploitation may not initially be apparent. This type of financial abuse can result in a resident losing significant funds. By the time it’s discovered, tracking down what happened and who’s responsible may be difficult; however, a criminal prosecutor may have the necessary skill set to identify parties responsible for health care fraud and other types of impropriety.

Sexual Abuse

Some staffers may take advantage of patients being physically fragile, mentally unwell, visually impaired, hard of hearing, or any other deficits they may have to inflict sexual abuse upon the vulnerable person.

Any non-consensual sexual contact falls into the category of sexual abuse. Even a situation in which a nursing home staff member or other authorized vendors or personnel subjects a resident to watching other people’s sexual acts against their will also constitutes sexual abuse as it could be traumatizing to some, resulting in emotional distress.

Medication Abuse

Some nursing home staffers are known to overmedicate or sedate patients to make them easier to manage. Doing this is not only considered illegal, but it’s also a form of elder abuse for which you may be able to file a nursing home abuse case to hold your loved one’s caregiver or the facility responsible for what happened.

Withholding a patient’s medication or providing them with the wrong medication or less than what has been prescribed by their physician is also a form of abuse if it happens due to negligence or for some other malicious purpose.


Neglect is a form of abuse that occurs when nursing home staff members fail to properly care for a loved one or to even watch or interact with them as needed to ensure they maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Some of the more notable signs of nursing home neglect center around poor resident hygiene. Charleston area nursing homes must ensure patients have clean bodies, bedding, and clothes, such as undergarments. If you notice that your loved one’s bedding or clothing is soiled or torn and tattered, this may be a sign of pervasive personal hygiene neglect.

In terms of abuse and neglect, another sign of the latter is if residents have bed sores. Pressure or bed sores tend to emerge when a patient with mobility issues is left to sit or lay in the same position for too long. Residents with limited mobility must be moved regularly to avoid the development of these injuries that can quickly become infected if not addressed.

Emotional Abuse, Psychological Abuse, or Mental Abuse

Each of the terms above refers to a similar concept. Emotional abuse in Charleston nursing home facilities is all too common. Your loved one, the nursing home patient, isn’t the only person nursing care facilities are responsible for. Certified nursing assistants and others responsible for caring for your loved one may be overwhelmed with their workload, resent what their job entails, or merely be having a bad day and lash out at a nursing home resident as a result.

When staff members talk down to, racially profile, or insult nursing home residents to make them feel inferior, this is considered verbal abuse. Threats or intimidating behavior causing fear is also verbal or emotional abuse because this treatment leaves behind a lasting impression on a resident’s life, resulting in adverse behavioral changes, such as withdrawal from interacting with others.

Emotional abuse, physical abuse, or any other type of abuse and neglect is never acceptable. If you’ve noticed unexpected injuries, behavioral changes in your loved one, or other warning signs and suspect abuse, don’t delay getting them help. It could be a life-or-death situation the longer you wait.

Here at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, our nursing home abuse lawyers have a strong track record because we hold abusers accountable for their actions. Meeting with a personal injury lawyer from our Charleston law firm for a free consultation to discuss nursing home abuse cases is absolutely free.

The Reality of Nursing Home Abuse in the United States

The unfortunate truth is that most cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported in our country. It’s no secret that our nation’s nursing homes are overcrowded and understaffed. This lets staff members get away with being neglectful to “cut corners” and have an easier shift or to get away with abuse without anyone noticing.

Part of the issue is that it’s difficult for government agencies and state regulators to know when nursing facility staff members are abusing residents. Signs of abuse can often be mistaken for signs of falling accidents typically seen in elderly patients. There’s also the fact that many nursing home residents are left rather defenseless and may feel pressured to stay quiet regarding incidents that occur.

Since most assisted living facilities in West Virginia are understaffed, staff members may even try their best to properly care for residents but may find it impossible to deliver the standards of care that are necessary. In this situation, the nursing home itself may be held at fault for not hiring enough staff members or overloading its employees with too many patients.

Other common causes of nursing home abuse include poor staff training and negligent hiring procedures. Nursing home staff members need to be trained in how to properly handle elderly residents without causing harm. They also need to be trained in how to deal with various physical and mental limitations and how to best communicate with residents.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 1 in 6 seniors 60 years and older who reside in communal residential situations are abused or neglected annually. Incidents where nursing homes are cited for violations that had the potential to lead to harm or injury of residents are all too common. Our nation’s elderly population deserves better. A nursing home abuse attorney at our Charleston law firm, DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, can advocate for you and your elderly loved one.

Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Do you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a West Virginia nursing home facility? If so, you need to look for signs of this behavior.

When you visit your loved one, watch to see if they display any of these telltale signs of abuse and neglect, as compiled by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). These warning signs of nursing home abuse include:

  • Bed sores
  • Unexplained broken bones
  • Dehydration
  • Increased timidity or a reluctance to talk or answer questions regarding care
  • Nervousness when staff members enter the room
  • Unexplained bruises, welts, restraint marks, or lacerations
  • Poor hygiene or an unclean environment
  • Increased depression or other signs of uncharacteristic behaviors
  • A sudden or progressively worsening deterioration of your loved one’s medical condition
  • Fear of staff members and doctors at the nursing home
  • Sudden weight loss (malnutrition)

Many of the above signs are evidence of negligence in general. Any sign of negligence is one you should be concerned with. If your loved one isn’t getting the care they require, this could be a sign of abuse, neglect, or severe understaffing. All three could seriously endanger the health and safety of your family member living in one of West Virginia’s many nursing home facilities.

Steps To Take if You Suspect Abuse or Neglect at a Charleston Nursing Home

When you suspect that nursing home residents are being subjected to abuse or neglect, it’s understandable that you’d want to do almost anything within your power to call attention to the wrongs they’re facing, get them medical attention to assess their well-being, and into a facility that offers the quality care they deserve.

You want to be cautious as you handle this delicate situation involving suspected Charleston nursing home abuse, though. Being deliberate in your actions will preserve your right to ultimately take legal action to minimize the chances of someone else having to endure the same and to preserve your right to secure a settlement for what your relative has endured.

Steps a nursing home abuse attorney may advise you to take, depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, include:

Step #1: Arrange for a Medical Assessment

Taking your loved one personally or arranging for transportation to have them medically assessed may be ideal. Removing them from the potentially toxic environment may make them feel more comfortable in sharing what they’ve endured.

Alternatively, if you raise any potential suspicions with their health care providers, they may be able to ask certain questions regarding their potential ill-treatment. Physicians are mandated reporters, so if they have any concerns about how residents are treated at nursing homes, they must report such issues to the appropriate authorities.

Step #2: Speak With Your Loved One About Co-Managing Their Finances

If you suspect your loved one is being subjected to financial exploitation by a caregiver, then taking them out of the environment where the theft or fraud is occurring can be best. It may give them an opportunity to feel comfortable discussing these matters and even set up a financial power of attorney and other precautionary measures at the bank to restrict access to the accounts they have.

Regarding the two steps above, it’s important that you don’t raise red flags in situations like these with nursing home staff. If asked why you’re taking your loved one somewhere yourself, you may want to let them know that you’re wanting to become more involved in their health care or give them a breath of fresh air outside the facility.

However, doing so in a way that doesn’t set off Charleston nursing facilities’ alarm bells is key. This is why nursing home abuse lawyers will often recommend that families don’t notify the West Virginia facility where their relative resides without first verifying the best way to get out of the potentially dangerous environment and under the care of responsible caregivers.

Step #3: Consulting With an Attorney

West Virginia nursing homes have a tendency to try to cover up their negligence when reports come in because they know that their oversight can get them shut down and leave them facing lawsuits from nursing home abuse victims. This is why a Charleston personal injury law firm like ours will often warn prospective clients during their initial free consultation not to report incidents to the facility.

Instead, we recommend to many of our clients that they secure any medical records for their loved one. We’ll often review them and have outside medical experts do so to assess where their health stands if the situation involves physical or mental abuse and neglect. If it centers around financial exploitation, we may bring in a forensic accountant to assess the extent of impropriety and losses amassed.

While this investigation takes place, our attorneys let you know to get your resident loved one to safety without them enduring any further harm.

Hire a West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer You Trust

Ultimately, holding negligent nursing homes and staff members accountable comes down to proving liability. We can discuss if your case meets the elements of liability required to pursue a nursing home abuse claim in West Virginia during your free consultation.

If you were injured or if your loved one was harmed by a nursing home staff member or a medical professional at a West Virginia long term care facility, recovery is possible. With the help of our team of Charleston nursing home abuse lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, you can receive peace of mind and ensure no one else is harmed in the same way. Filing a lawsuit against the facility or individual forces institutions to stop abuse against nursing home residents from occurring.

Our personal injury law firm works together as a team and uses our 150 years of combined experience to secure a satisfactory settlement or verdict in our clients’ cases against rogue West Virginia nursing homes. We won’t stop until we’ve done all we can to obtain compensation for you. Call today to schedule a no-risk free consultation. Time is ticking to take legal action.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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