Nursing Home Abuse

West Virginia Attorneys Helping Injured Residents

Many older people and also individuals with cognitive disabilities are unable to live alone safely. As a result, their families will often turn to nursing homes to provide their loved ones with the care that they need in a safe environment. Sadly, many nursing home residents are not provided with the attention that they require but instead are subjected to abusive behavior that causes significant harm. If you or someone in your family sustained injuries due to nursing home abuse, you should seek legal counsel regarding your possible claims. The West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers at Rich & Gutta Law Firm can gather the evidence needed to formulate persuasive arguments for your recovery of compensation.

We are proud to be part of the West Virginia community, and we strive to help ordinary people who have been harmed by the negligence of others by filing civil lawsuits in the pursuit of justice. We are mindful that many people are worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer, so we do not charge our clients fees unless we recover compensation for them.

Signs and Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes are obligated by state and federal laws to provide their residents with the services and care that they need to maintain their highest possible mental, physical, spiritual, and social well-being, in accordance with a thorough assessment and plan of care. This means, in part, that residents have a right to be free from any form of abuse, including mental, physical, sexual, and verbal harm. The laws also protect nursing home residents from enforced isolation, financial exploitation, and being denied certain privileges. A nursing home abuse attorney can help West Virginia residents hold a facility accountable for infringing on these rights.

Nursing home abuse is more likely to occur in environments where staff members lack proper training or where there is an inadequate number of workers to care for residents properly. Residents with dementia or other cognitive issues and those who need assistance with eating, drinking, or grooming are often victims of abuse. Signs that a resident is being mistreated include bruising, unintended weight loss, poor personal hygiene, diminished cognitive status, fearfulness, depression, and changes in behavior.

Liability for Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing homes owe a duty to protect the health and welfare of their residents, but when they cause harm instead, they can be held liable for civil damages. The exact claims asserted against a nursing home will depend on the circumstances surrounding the abuse, but generally plaintiffs will allege, at least in part, that the nursing home acted negligently.

To prove negligence, a plaintiff and a West Virginia nursing home abuse attorney must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that the defendant acted in a manner that constituted a breach of the duty. In cases arising out of nursing home abuse, the duty owed will likely be the duty to abide by the standard of care imposed on nursing homes by state and federal regulations. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the alleged damages. In other words, the injured resident would not have suffered harm if the defendant had abided by its duties.

Often, a plaintiff will need to hire an expert to offer testimony regarding the standard of care that applies to nursing homes and to explain how the defendant failed to uphold the standard. Expert testimony may also be needed to link the defendant’s acts to the resident’s harm and to explain the damages that the resident suffered as a result.

Speak with a Trusted West Virginia Attorney

Families often rely on nursing homes to provide their loved ones with competent care, but some nursing homes not only fall short of their duties but also engage in behavior that harms their residents. If you or a loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer regarding your rights as soon as possible. The personal injury attorneys at Rich & Gutta Law Firm will work tirelessly to help you fight to hold the parties responsible for your losses accountable. You can reach us at our Morgantown office by calling (304) 924-7001 or using our form online to set up a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in West Virginia.