Elderly man in a wheelchair looks out his window in a Dunbar, WV, nursing home

Need a Lawyer for Suspected Elder Neglect in Dunbar, WV?

If your elderly loved one has been neglected in a nursing home in Dunbar, WV, you may be able to recover compensation. Call Stewart Bell, PLLC, to learn more about your legal claim after an incident of elder neglect.

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At Stewart Bell, PLLC, we are committed to empowering elders and seeking justice for neglect cases in Dunbar. We are here to protect the rights and well-being of our senior community members. Contact an elder neglect lawyer in Dunbar, WV, today at (304) 345-1700 for compassionate legal representation and a free case review.

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How Common Is Elder Neglect in Dunbar?

Elder neglect is a growing concern in West Virginia. According to US Census Bureau statistics, seniors make up 25.9% of the population in Dunbar. The actual prevalence of elder neglect in Dunbar is challenging to determine due to underreporting. Only 1.75% of elder neglect by nursing staff is documented. While nursing home facilities are meant to provide care and protection for the elderly, there are instances where they may not be able to effectively address cases of elder neglect. This could be due to various reasons such as lack of proper training and awareness, reluctance to acknowledge or investigate neglect within their facility, or even potential conflicts of interest. At Stewart Bell, PLLC, our unwavering dedication lies in assisting victims and their families in their pursuit of justice and restitution.

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West Virginia Laws for Assisted Living and Long-Term Care Facilities

Assisted living and long-term care facilities have a crucial responsibility to ensure a safe environment and provide comprehensive care for their residents. Unfortunately, due to organizational pitfalls and shortcomings, instances of resident neglect can occur. In the state of West Virginia, specific elder neglect statutes are in place to protect the rights and well-being of residents within these facilities.

Elder Neglect Cases Stewart Bell, PLLC, Handles 

At Stewart Bell, PLLC, we address and advocate for victims of various forms of neglect, including:

  • Physical: Physical injuries due to accidents or lack of proper care. These can cause pain and limit mobility.
  • Emotional: Emotional suffering, which can be profound, leads to feelings of loneliness, depression, and a sense of abandonment.
  • Financial: Being neglectful with the funds of the elderly person and not making sure their bills are paid.
  • Abandonment: Abandonment occurs when nursing staff willfully deserts the elderly patient they are responsible for and does not put in place a qualified substitute.

Our dedicated team of elder neglect lawyers in Dunbar, WV, actively seeks justice and ensures the safety and dignity of vulnerable individuals. With our expertise and compassionate approach, we strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by elder neglect.

Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Caretakers in elder care facilities play an important role in ensuring the well-being of residents by providing the necessary support and ample space for Activities of Daily Living (ADL). ADLs encompass essential tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, and mobility, which are fundamental to maintaining a good quality of life. By offering well-designed dining areas, accessible bathrooms, comfortable bedrooms, and spacious common areas, facilities can create an environment that promotes independence and enhances the overall experience for residents. It is imperative for facilities to prioritize and fulfill these needs to prevent potential health issues, promote social interaction, and preserve the physical and mental well-being of residents. By doing so, they can contribute to the overall satisfaction and happiness of residents, creating a nurturing and vibrant community where everyone can thrive.

On the other hand, the nursing facility will be potentially sued for damages if an elderly resident is hurt due to the caregivers failing to provide adequate support and space for residents in activities of daily living.

Statute of Limitations

Part of confirming the validity of your elder neglect case in Dunbar, WV, consists of understanding the statute of limitations for your claim. In the state of West Virginia, you have 1 year to file a claim. You cannot bring forward the charge after this deadline. You will not be able to receive any damages for your elder neglect claim if the filing date lapses. Because of these circumstances, it is highly encouraged to consult elder neglect attorneys at Stewart Bell to file within the statute of limitations and receive the damages you deserve.

Damages You Could Receive in an Elder Neglect Case

In an elder neglect case, the damages one can recover include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.

Economic damages equate to the quantifiable dollar amount one can obtain. Stemming from how the elderly resident was hurt and based on the neglect, economic damages also include unearned subsequent income and medical bills. Stewart Bell, PLLC, can assist you in recovering the economic damages that you deserve for your elder neglect claim. Contact us today at (304) 345-1700 for a free case review.

Non-economic damages represent a critical component of legal claims. Unlike economic damages, which can be quantified through financial losses, non-economic damages encompass the intangible and qualitative impacts of an incident on an individual’s life. These damages account for the emotional, psychological, and social consequences of elder neglect that don’t have a direct monetary value but significantly affect the quality of life.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering 

In a trial, additional damages can be granted based on the jury’s judgment. These damages are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are limited to $500,000 or four times the compensatory damages appraisal. The larger dollar amount of the two will be used. If the judge determined that the neglect was excessive, then punitive damages would be granted. W.V. Code § 55-7-29 outlines the rules for punitive damages in West Virginia.

In elder neglect cases in West Virginia, the modified comparative negligence rule, as governed by state law, is a critical determinant of damages. This legal principle assesses the degree to which the claimant bears responsibility for their own harm and subsequently adjusts the compensation they may receive. Under this rule, the judge evaluates the levels of responsibility between the claimant and other involved parties. If the claimant’s degree of fault is deemed to be lesser than the defendant’s, they may still be eligible for compensation, although the amount could be reduced based on their contribution to the injury.

Defining Who Is at Risk for Elder Neglect and Why It Occurs

Nursing staff can consciously or unconsciously contribute to the neglect of an elderly resident, and they and their employers may be held legally accountable for the neglect. It is of the utmost importance to identify and protect individuals who are at risk of such mistreatment. By recognizing the subtle signs and taking proactive measures, we can effectively prevent further harm and ensure the well-being of our elderly population.

Elder neglect can occur in several ways. The basis of elder neglect consists of nursing staff not delivering the required services to maintain or enhance a senior’s quality of life in daily living. This includes ignoring them, not helping them stay clean, and not providing accurate medication dosages or clean food and water.

At Stewart Bell, PLLC, our skilled team of elder neglect attorneys in Dunbar, WV,  goes beyond identification and investigation. We provide expert testimony to hold accountable those responsible for elder neglect. Our commitment lies in promptly addressing our clients’ claims and delivering effective solutions to protect the rights and dignity of our vulnerable seniors. Call us today at (304) 345-1700 for a free case review.

Sounding the Alarm of Elder Neglect To Dunbar, WV, Authorities

Reporting elder neglect is crucial for improving the lives of all residents. If you suspect neglect, it is important to take immediate action and follow these steps to inform the authorities:

  1. If you believe the situation is an emergency or poses an immediate threat to the safety of the elderly person, call emergency services or your local police department. They can respond quickly and provide immediate assistance.
  2. Contact your local Department of Health and Human Resources at 1-833-734-0965. They have the expertise and resources to handle cases of elder neglect. Provide them with all the relevant details and information regarding the suspected neglect.
  3. Document any evidence of neglect that you have observed or encountered. This can include photographs, videos, or written records detailing incidents, dates, and any other relevant information. This documentation can be valuable in supporting your report and the subsequent investigation.
  4. Consider reaching out to local advocacy organizations or support groups for additional guidance and assistance. They may be able to provide you with resources, advice, and support throughout the reporting process. Also, be sure to contact a lawyer for legal advocacy and advice.

Remember, by reporting elder neglect, you are taking a vital step in protecting vulnerable individuals and ensuring their well-being.

Stewart Bell Injury Attorneys Can Assist You

When a facility fails to provide the necessary level of care and support for its residents, the Dunbar elder neglect lawyers at Stewart Bell, PLLC, are here to fight for justice on their behalf. With over 120 years of combined legal experience, we have won numerous cases and have secured millions in damages for our clients who have suffered due to elder neglect. If your loved one has been a victim of this unfortunate situation, we understand the pain and frustration you may be experiencing. We are committed to helping you seek the justice and compensation your loved one deserves. Contact us today at (304) 345-1700 for a free and confidential case review. Our compassionate team is ready to listen and provide the guidance you need during this difficult time.

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For more than 30 years, the lawyers of Stewart Bell, PLLC have helped the people and businesses of West Virginia protect their interests and rights. We understand the issues that injured people and their families face after an accident and work quickly to obtain the MAXIMUM amount of compensation for every case we handle.

We have recovered MILLIONS of dollars for clients injured because of nursing home abuse, motor vehicle accidents or medical malpractice.

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