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West Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

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At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, we have the highest respect for the elderly. We believe they should be treated with kindness, care and compassion, and we are committed to protecting their rights and the rights of their loved ones.

For this reason, our law firm devotes a significant part of our practice to seeking justice for families impacted by nursing home abuse and neglect.

How Can We Help?

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If you believe that your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home in Charleston or elsewhere in West Virginia, please contact our firm and meet with a member of our highly distinguished legal team. We will:

  • Review your case in a free consultation
  • Explain all of the legal options available to you
  • Help you to take immediate action to protect your loved one.

With more than 35 years of combined legal experience and a record of delivering positive results for our clients, the lawyers of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, will know how to hold the nursing home accountable and pursue compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses, pain, suffering and other harm.

Signs of Abuse and Neglect in West Virginia Nursing Homes

Our West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers list the signs your loved one is being mistreated by a loved one.
As the relative of a nursing home resident, you can protect your loved one as well as protect the health and safety of others in the facility. When you visit your loved one, you should pay attention to any signs of abuse or neglect. Those signs include the following:

Physical AbuseThe intentional infliction of physical harm, including kicking, slapping, pushing, pinching or excessive use of chemical or physical restraints.

  • Bruises and/or cuts in similar shapes or patterns
  • Marks or rope burns on wrists and ankles
  • Flinching away from contact
  • Over-medication indicated by drowsiness or inability to communicate
  • Pain caused by lack of medication or theft of pain medication
  • Listlessness or unresponsiveness

Emotional Abuse – Screaming, yelling, using abusive language and profanity and subjecting a resident to humiliation, threats, insults or isolation.

  • Constant crying with depression or anxiety
  • Refusing to communicate
  • Odd behavior, including withdrawal
  • Sleep problems (too much or too little sleep)

Sexual AbuseForcing a resident to engage in a nonconsensual sexual act or to witness a sexual act or view pornography.

  • Bruising on the breasts, buttocks or genital areas
  • Anal or vaginal bleeding
  • Genital infections or sexually transmitted disease
  • Changes in mood and behavior

NeglectThe failure to provide an acceptable level of personal care and medical care to a resident or provide a safe, hazard-free living environment.

  • Bed sores and infections
  • Fall-related Injuries
  • Wandering or elopement from the facility
  • Lack of hygiene or proper care
  • Sudden weight loss due to malnutrition
  • Dry, flaky skin due to dehydration
  • Dirty bedding or clothing

Financial Exploitation – The taking of a nursing home resident’s financial assets or personal property, including gaining access to bank accounts, stealing valuable items or arranging changes to the resident’s will.

  • Unusual account withdrawals
  • Increased credit card charges
  • Loss of jewelry or other valuables
  • Changes in property titles, wills, trusts, or power of attorney

The National Center for Elder Abuse reports that many cases of elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes go unreported. Residents may lack the physical or mental capacity to report mistreatment, especially if they suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. In some cases, residents and their families may fear retaliation such as further mistreatment or discharge from the facility.

If you have any concerns or hesitation about reporting suspected abuse or neglect of your loved one in a West Virginia nursing home, contact Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC. We can help you to get through the reporting process.

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in West Virginia

If you suspect that a nursing home has mistreated your loved one, you can first raise your concerns with the nursing home’s administrator. You should submit your concerns in writing. You should also keep copies of any written response that you receive.

Unfortunately, the nursing home may ignore your concerns or fail to provide an answer that addresses the issues you raise. If you face this situation, you should report the situation immediately. If you believe it is an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, you should file a report with West Virginia’s Adult Protective Services agency. You can do this in two ways:

  • Go in person to your local West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) office (see this directory); or
  • Call the APS 24-hour elder abuse hotline at (800) 352-6513.

You should also contact your local ombudsman. You can find contact information here or call (800) 834-0598.

If the situation involves financial exploitation, you can report it to the West Virginia Attorney General’s office by calling (866) 241-5062.

Additionally, don’t wait to get in touch with the West Virginia nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC. We can help you to file a report. We can also work with law enforcement, APS, the ombudsman and others in the investigation of your loved one’s suspected mistreatment.

What Can a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Investigation Reveal?

When you report abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home, your report may lead to an investigation that reveals the reasons behind your loved one’s mistreatment. Those reasons could include:

  • Negligent hiring – The facility may have hired staff without conducting proper criminal background checks. As a result, your vulnerable loved one may have been exposed to a person with a record of abusive behavior.
  • Negligent training and supervision – The nursing home administrators may have failed to teach staff members how to interact with residents and handle difficult situations or to monitor staff members’ treatment of residents.
  • Inadequate staffing levels – When nursing homes lack adequate staffing, workers can easily become tired, stressed and overworked. As a result, they may fail to give proper attention to residents’ needs. In some cases, they may verbally or physically lash out at residents.
  • Poor physical environment – Unfortunately, many nursing homes are operated by chains that place profits before safety. They may allow a facility to become crowded, dirty, poorly lit or poorly maintained, which increases the risk of injuries.

An investigation may also reveal that the nursing home has no policy in place to prevent abuse and neglect, or it may show that your loved one’s mistreatment is just the latest in a series of incidents involving the facility or its owner.

Why Should You Hire a WV Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer?

The investigation into your loved one’s case could lead to important, positive developments. Abusive or neglectful nursing home staff members, administrators and owners may face consequences that include:

  • Criminal prosecution
  • Civil fines
  • Suspension or revocation of the nursing home’s license
  • Reduction of the facility’s bed capacity or a ban on new admissions
  • Placement of the home under temporary management
  • Emergency closure of the facility.

However, criminal prosecution or administrative actions may fall short of addressing the specific physical, emotional and financial harm that your loved one and your family have suffered. For this reason, you should seek assistance from the legal team of Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC. We can help you to pursue options that may include filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Our attorneys have extensive experience with representing nursing home abuse and neglect victims and their families in West Virginia. We know how victims can suffer severe and potentially fatal injuries, including:

We will work tirelessly to purse compensation for your family. You may be eligible to recover damages such as:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress.

If a case involves a wrongful death, you could recover funeral expenses as well as compensation for your sorrow and mental anguish and the loss of your loved one’s society, companionship, comfort, guidance and “kindly offices.”

Our legal team may also seek punitive damages in a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. These damages go beyond economic and non-economic harm, or compensatory damages. They serve to punish a nursing home staff member, administrator or owner who has acted with “actual malice” or a “conscious, reckless and outrageous indifference to the health, safety and welfare of others.”

Even though West Virginia places a cap on punitive damages, the amount can still be substantial enough to send a strong message – much higher than the penalties a nursing home may face otherwise.

In this sense, a lawsuit can allow you to punish a nursing home for the harm it has caused and deter it from causing similar harm to others in the future. It can lead to meaningful changes in the way a nursing home does business.

Get Help from Our Charleston, WV Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys Today

Mani Ellis & LayneMani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, has a record of helping families throughout Charleston and West Virginia to deal with the harm caused by the abuse or neglect of a loved one in a nursing home. We are ready to help you, too.

Each one of our partners has an AV Preeminent® rating in the Martindale-Hubbell® legal directory and are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum® and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.® We can provide the skills, experience and resources that it takes to hold negligent nursing home care providers accountable.

When you are ready to take action, contact us for a free consultation.

Find out if you have a case today. Call (800) 900-0673

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