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    Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect: A Brief Guide

    Gavel next to law booksIf you believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected by professional caretakers, you might be wondering if it’s time to contact a nursing home lawyer Arlington VA can provide. Nursing home abuse and neglect is a very serious type of personal injury; not only might families seek justice in criminal court, but they may also be able to collect financial damages in civil court.

    When searching for a capable and knowledgeable nursing home lawyer Arlington VA might seem like it’s filled with potential lawyers and law firms. Not all of these lawyers, however, would understand that nursing home abuse cases are often very different from other types of personal injury claims. Understanding the basics of nursing home abuse and neglect is essential for any successful lawsuit or claim.

    The Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse

    If you’re like many other Americans, you might be surprised to learn that abuse and neglect are quite common in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many of these facilities do operate carefully and treat their patients with the utmost compassion; however, not all facilities accomplish this.

    Data shows that well over 3 million American adults currently live in nursing homes, assisted living apartments, and other types of long-term care facilities. While it’s not currently possible to obtain perfectly accurate statistics on nursing home abuse cases, some researchers estimate that abuse or neglect likely affects 1 in 6 of residents living in these facilities. Other congressional studies suggest that as many as 1 in 3 nursing homes have been in violation of safety regulations at some point.

    When your loved one becomes the victim of this abuse or neglect, it might be wise to call a local nursing home lawyer Arlington VA residents would recommend for more detailed information about these cases.

    Common Causes of Abuse

    Research shows that when an elderly individual is abused, this abuse tends to come from a caretaker, rather than another elderly person. Caretakers might include family members or visiting nurses, but in the case of nursing home abuse, the primary caretakers are likely members of the staff.

    There are several possible reasons why abuse and neglect could be present in a nursing home facility, as an experienced nursing home lawyer Arlington VA has to offer might explain. Sometimes residents are not cared for properly because the facility hires unsuitable staff members, or because it does not provide staff with proper training. Other cases of neglect have been attributed to inadequate staffing altogether.

    Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

    There are several different types of abuse and neglect that may be considered forms of elder abuse in a court of law. Common types of abuse in a nursing home setting could include:

    • Physical abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Verbal abuse
    • Financial exploitation
    • Neglect regarding hygiene and safety
    • Medication errors
    • Unsafe living conditions

    If you’re unsure about whether your loved one is experiencing a form of abuse or neglect, speaking with a nursing home lawyer in Arlington VA could help. The signs of abuse and neglect are often difficult to spot in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This might be because residents are afraid to speak up, or because they don’t realize that they are victims of an unlawful action, or because they do not remember what happened.

    Legal Protections for Nursing Home Injuries

    It is important to understand that there is a difference between abuse and neglect, but that elderly adults can be legally protected against both. Abuse occurs when an individual purposely targets a victim, and neglect happens when an individual unintentionally fails to provide adequate care, thus causing harm. Even though nursing home negligence might sound like a lesser offense, it is still something that no resident should experience.

    Mistakes are bound to happen in nursing homes, even when every safety precaution is taken and staff members are carefully trained. However, continued “mistakes” are often signs that staff members are neglectful, or even abusive.

    One of the more difficult parts about a nursing home abuse lawsuit is being able to prove that the elderly victim truly was a victim of abuse or neglect. This is why so many families choose to hire a nursing home lawyer Arlington VA residents trust when they are considering taking legal action.

    The exact type of legal action that may be appropriate for your own case depends on the type of abuse or neglect present and on the laws of your state. All 50 states have laws that protect elderly adults from abuse in nursing homes, but the details of this legislation can vary from state to state. Some cases of abusive actions may justify a criminal court lawsuit, while others are better handled in civil court. Speaking with a nursing home lawyer Arlington VA can provide may be the best way to determine whether or not you have a case, and how your case might be handled in court. As with other types of personal injury claims, it may even be possible to reach a financial settlement through informal negotiations rather than going to court.

    Contact a Nursing Home Lawyer Arlington VA Residents Depend On

    Nursing home abuse and neglect are more common than you may realize, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for elderly adults to be the victims of such a crime. It’s never easy for a family to begin investigating the suspected abuse of a loved one in a nursing home. At Cohen and Cohen, P.C., we understand that this can be a very difficult time for our clients and their families.

    If you believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected at his or her nursing home facility, our legal team may be able to help your family collect damages for pain and suffering. Each case of nursing home abuse is unique. At our firm, we believe that it’s essential for a skilled Arlington VA nursing home lawyer to speak with potential clients in person about the specifics of their situation.

    For more information about Cohen and Cohen, P.C., or to speak with a top nursing home lawyer Arlington VA respects, contact our office today.

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    * Cohen & Cohen does not maintain a full-time office in Maryland or Virginia, but we do meet clients there upon request.