Senior Man in Wheelchair Looking Out Window

Has Your Loved One Suffered From Nursing Home Abuse?

No one should have to suffer harm at the hands of their care facility. Our attorneys will fight for the justice your loved one deserves!

Many people don’t realize how common elders are subjected to abuse or neglect by their caregiver in a nursing home facility. Unfortunately, understaffing, poor training, and low funding leads to elder mistreatment every day. If your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect in their nursing home, you have rights.

Our Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers are fierce advocates and have been protecting the rights of abused or neglected seniors in CharlestonDunbarHuntington, and cities across the state for over 30 years. We have the knowledge and resources to seek justice for your loved one. Don’t wait to call us today for help.

Getting Help
Is Easy

We strive to make things as easy as possible for our clients. If you need help, all you have to do is call us and we’ll take it from there.

We’ll Fight for What You Deserve

Your family deserves compensation for the pain your elderly loved one was forced to endure. Our tough trial lawyers will fight for every penny you’re owed.

No Fees Unless
We Win

Our attorneys work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we win your case! This way, you never have to worry about expensive hourly legal fees or upfront costs.

We Understand Your Pain. We’re Here to Help

When the unthinkable happens and your elderly parent, grandparent, loved one, or friend are mistreated in their nursing home, you will likely be overcome with a range of emotions.

Many of our clients find it difficult to face the reality of what has happened. To learn a loved one was forced to endure mental, physical, or any type of abuse or neglect can be hard to come to terms with, especially when it was on the watch of a facility you trusted.

We understand you may be feeling angry, hurt, and even disgusted. We want you to know we’re here to help you through this difficult time in every way we can. Our Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers are passionate about protecting the elderly and holding negligent nursing home facilities accountable for their unacceptable actions. That’s why we give these cases everything we have. When you call us, you’ll get a partner in seeking justice for your loved one.

Did Your Loved One Suffer in Their Nursing Home?

Call our Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers to find out how we can help. Don’t wait to protect the rights of your loved one!

Let’s Seek Justice Together.

Call Us Get Your Free Case Review

Has Your Loved One Suffered Signs of Abuse?

Empty Bed in the room hospitalUnfortunately, nursing home abuse is a largely hidden issue because many of the victims are too weak or sickly to warn anyone they’re being mistreated.

That’s why it’s vitally important to visit your loved one on a regular basis and be aware of any signs of abuse or neglect. There are a number of signs that can potentially mean your loved one is a victim. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms and believe your loved one is being abused, please call us.

Also called pressure sores, these skin injuries occur when a person is left to lie in bed in the same position for extended periods of time. When this happens, blood flow to the body’s pressure points is diminished, allowing painful sores to develop. This is a common sign of neglect.

If you notice a change in your loved one’s behavior, such as crying, trembling, unusual frustration, fear, or anxiety, they may have experienced psychological or emotional trauma. Staff members can take their anger out on residents verbally by screaming at them in a degrading or embarrassing manner that can cause the victim to become depressed.

Some facilities are notorious for neglecting the basic needs of elderly residents, depriving them of necessities such as food and water. Many seniors require assistance with daily activities, like eating. When caregivers fail to provide daily help, it can severely impact an elder’s physical health and cause dehydration and malnutrition.

Physical signs of harm or distress, like bruises and cuts, are more obvious indications that your elderly loved one is possibly being mistreated. Always take note of any new and unusual injuries and ask your family member how they occurred.

Why Does Abuse and Neglect Happen in Nursing Homes?

You put your trust in a facility to care for your loved one and that trust was betrayed in the foulest way.

Nursing home abuse and neglect are, sadly, common occurrences. According to the National Council on Aging, “Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse.”

Many inadequate facilities actively participate in hiring or sanitation practices that increase the likelihood of abuse and neglect. Listed below are some of the most common practices seen in elder care facilities with increasing incidents of resident mistreatment. If you witness any of these poor methods in your loved one’s care facility and believe it is affecting the health and well-being of your loved one, don’t hesitate contact our Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers.

Federal law only requires one registered nurse to be on duty at any given time at a nursing facility. Similarly, there are no minimum staffing requirements for nurse’s aides (the workers who provide the most direct, day-to-day care). Many nursing homes use this law as an excuse to staff their facilities with the least number of employees necessary in order to cut overhead expenses and collect more profit. Understaffed facilities are a major reason that many elderly nursing home residents do not receive the level of care and attention they need.

Due to stressful and unfavorable working conditions, many nursing home facilities are in constant need of new employees. Therefore, important employee credential checks and criminal background investigations go unfinished as nursing homes try to fill vacancies quickly.

Many elder care facilities offer free training courses to potential employees as a way to entice them to work for their facility. However, these training courses are often poorly structured and designed to meet the minimum amount of training required by law. These inadequate methods, oftentimes, result in insufficient employees who don’t know how to properly care for the elderly.

Serious health issues can develop when staff members fail to maintain adequate facility sanitation or resident hygiene. Additionally, life-threatening germs and bacteria can spread throughout nursing homes when staff members ignore important hygienic precautions themselves, such as regular handwashing.

When nursing home staff administer medication in a manner that contradicts the doctor’s orders, the manufacturer’s suggested dosage, or accepted professional medical standards, they put elderly residents at risk of serious complications or death. Many times, older individuals have a tender state of health and cannot withstand the adverse side effects caused by medication errors. When medication is administered carelessly, patients can suffer unnecessarily.

What Happens Next?

After reporting the incident to the appropriate authorities, there are several more steps you will need to take in order to ensure the safety of your elderly family member. At this point, it is in your best interest to hire our experienced Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers who are familiar with the laws surrounding elder abuse. We can guide your family through this difficult process and help hold the negligent facility liable for the physical or emotional pain they have forced your senior loved one to endure.

Our trusted attorneys can also help you find a good nursing home that meets all of the requirements necessary for your loved one’s health and happiness. We’re dedicated to helping our clients find facilities that are clean, have a sufficient staff-to-patient ratio, stellar credentials, and are free of complaints or citations.

Call Us Get Your Free Case Review

Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

Nursing home abuse can take several different forms. Any time an employee of a nursing home or assisted living facility inflicts physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm upon a resident, it may be considered nursing home abuse.

If you believe your loved one has suffered any form of abuse, it’s important to know that you have options. Residents of nursing home facilities are protected by the law and have a right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse.

If your loved one is living in a nursing home facility, they always have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, mental, and physical abuse. Elderly citizens should be treated with respect and care. Chemical or physical restraints should never be used for discipline or convenience purposes.

Sadly, it can be difficult to know if your loved one has been a victim of abuse at the hands of their care facility. Nursing home abuse is a largely hidden and unreported problem because many seniors are too weak, sickly, or afraid to warn someone.

If you’re concerned that your loved one is being mistreated, look out for and document these common signs of abuse:

  • Bruises, broken bones, cuts, burns, etc.
  • Marks on their wrists from restraints
  • Nervous or scared behavior around a certain employee
  • Withdrawal, depression, or anxiety
  • Bed sores
  • Soiled bedding or clothes
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Sudden loss of weight, signaling malnourishment
  • Dehydration

Take action immediately. If you have any reason to believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s vitally important that you notify the proper authorities. Here are several entities dedicated to helping family members address possible cases of elder mistreatment:

Local Law Enforcement: If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 right away. The local authorities will be able to help you remove your loved one from the dangerous situation.

West Virginia Adult Protective Services: If you suspect possible abuse or neglect at your loved one’s nursing home facility, you can file a report with APS. A representative will then review your report, conduct an investigation, and provide the appropriate services and support based on their findings.

Stewart Bell, PLLC: After you have notified the proper authorities and ensured your loved one is safe, contact our Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers. Navigating the legal process in these situations can be incredibly difficult. Our team can help you fight against the facility responsible for your loved one’s suffering and give you the best chance of obtaining the justice and compensation your family deserves.

Usually, when there is a report of abuse, an investigation will be held and residents, family members, and staff will be interviewed. If the accusations are found to be true, Adult Protective Services will work with the resident to try and fix the problem and prevent further harm.

If you are not satisfied with the actions of Adult Protective Services, call our office. Our Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse lawyers will be able to help you understand your rights and figure out next steps.

If your loved one has been a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation due to the careless actions of their nursing home facility, you may be able to take legal action. Our nursing home abuse lawyers have years of experience helping families in Charleston, Huntington, and surrounding West Virginia communities take civil action against elder care facilities in order to recover damages associated with the abuse.

If you’re in this situation and aren’t sure about your legal options, please don’t hesitate to give our office a call. We can review your case, help you determine the best course of action, and do everything in our power to demand justice for the wrongdoing committed against your elderly loved one.

At Stewart Bell, PLLC, we work on a contingency-fee basis. This means we don’t get paid unless we win your case. This way, you never have to worry about upfront costs or expensive hourly legal fees. We want you to focus on the health and safety of your loved one while we take care of your case!

A nursing home abuse attorney comes with years of expertise that can help you navigate your case. Feel free to ask your attorney:

  • Do I have a strong case?
  • How long will the legal process for my case take?
  • What will the legal process look like?

Your appointed expert can answer all of these questions and more.

Nursing home abuse cases are a form of medical malpractice. While the harm may be extremely obvious to those involved, the court system often takes things a bit slower to make sure that everything is handled properly. This process can involve notifying the nursing home of pending charges, gathering records, and building a case — all before the case is even heard!

Because of all the intricacies involved, reaching a verdict can often take over a year. While this may not be the swift justice you’re looking for, it ensures that the ruling will be able to hold up should it be challenged. Your best bet is to get a strong attorney on your side right away so that all the filing processes can begin.

Navigating an abuse claim can be painful and complicated. A Charleston, WV, nursing home abuse attorney has the skills and resources necessary to ease your burden. Facing stumbling blocks on your own is a waste of your time and money. Lawyers will make the process speedier and seamless.

We’ll take the time to get to know your family and your case. We understand that facing nursing home abuse is an incredibly unpleasant experience, and we’re ready to meet you with compassion and the tools you need to get justice.

You have two years from the incident or from the discovery of the incident to file your claim in West Virginia. If your report is delayed too long, the statute of limitations can come into play and your case may be dismissed.

It is always a best practice to pursue legal action as soon as you become aware of abuse. This will reduce the risk of losing track of witnesses or key accounts. It will also be your swiftest path to the justice you deserve.

Request a Free Consultation

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.