Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
Helping you and your family recover compensation
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.
In the following video, Attorney Bernie Layne explains how his grandfather's death in a nursing home inspired him to fight for families:
When we have to place a loved one is a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is a very difficult decision. We do our research to choose the best possible facility. Then we put our trust in staff members to make sure our loved one's needs are met, their medical conditions are monitored and that they are treated with respect. But abuse and neglect can happen at any nursing home.
You have rights if your loved one has been mistreated
Our attorneys have extensive experience with representing nursing home abuse and neglect victims and their families in West Virginia. We understand the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. We know how victims can suffer severe and potentially fatal injuries, including:
- Broken bones, including hip fractures
- Head and brain injuries
- Urinary tract infections
- Medication-related seizures, heart attacks or strokes
We know that most of these nursing home accidents are preventable.
Our firm will work tirelessly to pursue compensation for your family on behalf of your loved one. You may be eligible to recover damages such as past and future medical expenses, physical pain and suffering and emotional distress. If a case involves a wrongful death, you could recover funeral expenses as well as compensation for your sorrow and mental anguish. Our legal team may also seek punitive damages.
What should I do if I suspect abuse?
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.
What are common types of abuse and neglect?
Nursing homes have a legal and moral obligation to care for residents in their facility. Failure to do so is a violation of their responsibility to provide a safe and welcoming environment which serves a resident’s physical, mental and psychological needs.
Abuse or neglect can cover a wide range. Some of the most common – and most serious – cases law firms regularly deal with include:
- Physical abuse by employees or fellow residents
- Psychological abuse (yelling at residents, teasing them, etc.)
- Sexual abuse, which is a serious crime that requires police intervention
- Unsanitary conditions, resulting in infections or other health problems
- Malnutrition due to not feeding residents enough food or unhealthy food
- Poor health care (no regular doctor’s check-ups, patients given wrong medications, etc.)
These are just a few examples but there are many other types of these cases. Each one requires a thorough investigation. That’s why it’s critical that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options if you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected. 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 does abuse and neglect happen?
Abuse or neglect happens for many different reasons, including:
- Lack of supervision
- Untrained staff members
- Failure to conduct background checks when hiring employees
- Mismanagement of finances
Nursing homes have a responsibility to make sure abuse or neglect does not occur in their facility. When it does, it’s important that families take strong legal action to hold nursing homes accountable for their actions.
Experienced attorneys know what to look for when it comes to abuse or neglect. They know how to thoroughly investigate cases and demand the compensation families deserve for their loved one’s injury-related expenses.
What are common warning signs of abuse and neglect?
Often, there are signs that something may be wrong in a nursing home. That’s why it’s important to take immediate action if you notice any of the following conditions or symptoms often associated with neglect or abuse:
- Sudden mood changes in loved one
- Sudden weight loss
- Unexplained health problems
- Unexplained bruises or other injuries
- Visits prohibited by nursing home
You know your loved one best. If something doesn’t seem right, take action right away.
- Contact the local police department and explain your concerns.
- Make sure your loved one gets immediate medical attention.
- Contact an experienced attorney to investigate your claim.
Each state has its own distinct rules and regulations when it comes to nursing home abuse or neglect. That’s why it’s important to talk with an experienced attorney licensed in your state and who fully understands the laws governing violations in your community.
Can I sue a nursing home for abuse or neglect?
In most cases, you have the right to file a lawsuit against a nursing home for allegations of abuse or neglect. In order to successfully sue a nursing home, however, you will likely need to provide proof that the nursing home acted in a reckless or negligent manner which resulted in an injury or illnesses sustained by a family member living in the facility.
Proving that a nursing home intentionally caused your loved one’s injury or illness can be challenging from a legal standpoint. In addition, each state often has a deadline (known as the statute of limitations) for taking legal action against a nursing home, including filing a lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, you could forfeit your right to file a lawsuit or not be able to take any legal action at all.
How much is my abuse or neglect claim worth?
There’s no simple answer when it comes the value of a nursing home neglect or abuse claim. The value of your settlement claim or verdict can depend on many different factors. Often, families seek economic damages (financial compensation) for medical bills, lost income, the cost of future medical treatment and other negative financial loses.
However, your family may also be able to pursue non-economic damages as part of your claim. This may include pain and suffering or other types of harm which can be difficult to quantify but which are still real and deserve financial compensation in many cases.
The severity of someone’s injuries can also be an important factor when determining the value of your family member’s claim. In particular, if they sustained a permanent disability or have a severe illness, the value of their claim could be significantly higher. A knowledgeable attorney can analyze all these factors and provide a realistic estimate for how much money to demand as part of your claim.
Why should I hire an attorney?
You might think you don’t need an attorney, especially if your case seems straightforward. The nursing home clearly abused or neglected your loved one. But, in many cases, claims often turn out to be far more complicated than people expect. Some of the reasons why include:
- The nursing home denies doing anything wrong.
- The nursing home claims your loved one is responsible for their injury or illness.
- The nursing home may try to destroy evidence.
- The nursing home will likely hire one or several attorneys to defend their actions.
Experienced lawyers know what’s at stake and they know how to handle complex cases. That’s why it’s critical that you have an attorney on your side who knows how to deal with all the details that often come up when pursuing compensation.
If you believe that your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home in West Virginia, please contact our firm to meet with a member of our highly distinguished legal team. We will review your case in a free consultation and explain all of the legal options available to you. And we help you take immediate action to protect your loved one.