Southwest Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Injuries & Neglect
Serving Clients in Bristol, Salem, and Washington, Smyth, Wythe, Carroll, Pulaski, Wise, Tazewell, and Roanoke Counties.
Nursing home and assisted living care is a valuable and necessary service for many of the elderly and their families living in Southwest Virginia. Individuals often invest substantial time, energy, and money in finding a facility that they trust to provide exceptional care for their vulnerable loved ones. Many families are rightfully stunned and devastated when they learn that an elderly family member has been physically, sexually, or mentally abused by trusted caregivers.
If a loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home or care facility, facility owners can be held legally liable for the negligent, abusive, or even criminal acts committed by employees, staff members, and those contracted by the facility to provide care.
Free Consult and No Fee Unless You Win
As nursing home abuse lawyers, we understand the distress and outrage that families feel when they discover that nursing home abuse has occurred. We will work to put an immediate stop to the mistreatment and assist in getting your loved one to a safe environment.
With more than 30 years of practice, firm founder Mark Hurt represents clients by demanding justice and working tenaciously in seeking to obtain full and fair compensation for those injured through abuse or neglect. He also represents the families who have lost a loved one due to the fault of a nursing home or other facility.
We invite you to call our offices at 276-623-0808 to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help. We represent nursing home injury and abuse clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we only receive a fee if compensation is obtained.
How Do I Know if My Loved One is Being Abused?
Physical symptoms are often a telling sign that nursing home abuse is occurring. In Virginia, the Adult Protective Services division of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is responsible for receiving and investigating reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of the elderly. DARS has compiled a list of common warning signs of elder abuse, including:
- Severe bruising and welts
- Bilateral bruises on upper arms
- Bruises resembling an object
- Old and new bruises
- Bone fractures or broken bones
- Open or internal wounds
- Sprains, dislocations, lacerations, cuts, or punctures
- Black eyes and/or broken glasses
- Burns or scalding
- Use of restraints
- Verbal assaults, threats, or intimidation
- Fear of a caregiver
- Prohibition of being alone with visitors
- Unexplained fear or unwarranted suspicion
- Untreated medical or mental health conditions
- Malnourishment and inadequate food
- Dirt, fleas, or lice
- Fecal/urine scent
- Animal or insect infestation in living quarters
- Lack of heat, running water, or electricity
- Hazardous living conditions
- Soiled bedding or furniture
- Unpaid bills
- Financial Exploitation:
- Unexplained disappearance of funds or personal belongings
- Misuse of money or property by a third party
- Excessive payment for care
- Transfer of property or savings
- Depleted bank accounts
- The sudden appearance of uninvolved relatives or friends
- Change in a will, payee, or power of attorney
- Chronic failure to pay bills
- Check endorsements that do not appear to be the individual’s signature
- Sexual Abuse:
- Genital or urinary irritation, injury, infection, or scarring
- Presence of an STD
- Unexplained physical illness
- Intense fear reaction to a specific individual
- Nightmares, night terrors, sleep disturbance
- Direct or coded disclosure of sexual abuse
- Self-destructive activity or suicidal ideation
If you suspect abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to ask questions, demand answers, or contact DARS to initiate an investigation. We also encourage you to reach out to our nursing home abuse team to discuss your loved one’s situation and learn how we can help.
Can I Sue a Nursing Home for My Loved One’s Injuries in Southwest Virginia?
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities owe a strict duty of care to each resident. This duty includes, but is not limited to, providing adequate medical care, shelter, and food, properly administering and monitoring medications, maintaining hygiene, and overseeing other basic needs.
A nursing home can be held responsible for abuse, injury, or neglect stemming from:
- Negligent hiring (failure to perform background checks)
- Negligent training of personnel
- Failure to monitor staff
- Intentional abuse
- Failure to provide adequate measures to ensure the safety of residents
- Failure to address medical or safety hazards
- Failure to provide nourishment or other necessities
- Failure to provide proper healthcare
- Utilizing unnecessary or harmful restraints (including chemical restraints)
- Medication errors
These are only some of the ways in which injury or even death can occur in a nursing home as a result of abuse or neglect. If you suspect that abuse has occurred, it’s our role to conduct an examination to find out what occurred, to determine whether a case exists against the nursing home or facility, and to seek full and fair compensation.
What Should I Do If My Loved One is Being Abused in a Nursing Home?
Nursing home abuse is an all-too-prevalent problem that often leaves elders seriously injured, financially broken, or emotionally scarred. In extreme cases, it can also lead to death.
Abuse usually occurs when staff is poorly trained and fail to meet residents’ needs, violently lash out, or do not intervene to prevent other aggressive residents from inflicting harm. Fortunately, families have several options for addressing abuse:
- Contact Law Enforcement Immediately. When an elderly resident is in danger of imminent harm or is being threatened, 911 should be contacted immediately. It is vital not to wait, as severe consequences can occur. Law enforcement can open an investigation, even if only threats have been made.
- Reach Out to Nursing Home Administrators. Incidents can happen outside of the presence of supervisors; thus, administrators may be unaware of abuse or neglect. Contacting administrators promptly can lead to the removal of negligent personnel.
- Report Abuse. To report suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation, a local Virginia Department of Social Services’ office can be contacted, or the 24-hour, toll-free Adult Protective Services hotline can be reached at (888) 832-3858.
- Save Evidence. If you have proof of abuse or neglect, it is crucial to preserve the evidence. This can include eyewitness statements, photographs of injuries, soiled or tattered clothing, medical records, and any correspondence with nursing home personnel.
- Seek legal representation. Even if abuse is reported to state or law enforcement authorities, it is still critical to speak with a Southwest Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer to learn about your rights and legal options. At our firm, attorney Mark Hurt and our team can begin working immediately to protect your loved one and start building a case for the full compensation that is owed by those responsible for causing injury.
It is always wiser to air on the side of caution than let a loved one stay in a potentially abusive situation. Even if your loved one is unwilling to speak up due to fear, shame, or cognitive impairment, you can take action to protect them. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation to learn what measures can be taken to safeguard against future harm and abuse.
Can My Loved One Get Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse Injuries?
Compensation for nursing home abuse often includes compensation for:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses
- Punitive Damages (if a situation involves intentional, outrageous conduct, including intentional abuse)
After abuse is discovered, a nursing home’s insurance company may try to settle as quickly and for the least amount possible. Insurers are typically not concerned with the welfare of elderly residents; instead, they will do everything possible to minimize compensation. Therefore, it is crucial to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible who understands common insurance tactics and can zealously negotiate to get you or your loved one the maximum compensation possible.
Mark Hurt has over three decades of legal experience and is known throughout Southwest Virginia for his tenacious litigation skills. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, Mark can move forward with a nursing home abuse lawsuit and present a compelling case to a jury to argue for every dollar that you and your family deserve.
How Can A Southwest Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Help?
Approximately one in ten Americans aged 60 or older have experienced elder abuse, and five million seniors are abused every year. Neglect and mistreatment can have significant, adverse effects, as elders who are abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated. Thus, it is critical to ensure that every means is utilized to protect their health and safety.
At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand that many victims and their families may not have the financial means to hire a dedicated attorney, which is why we represent clients on contingency fee basis, meaning that we are only entitled to a fee for our time and efforts if compensation is secured.
We also advance all litigation costs while a case is ongoing (typically, these costs are deducted from a jury award or settlement). Our no-upfront-fee policy allows families to receive legal support from a dedicated advocate so that they can concentrate on what is important—the safety of their vulnerable loved ones.
You and Your Loved One Don’t Have to Take It – Why It’s Important to Hold Nursing Homes Accountable
Some nursing homes put profit over resident welfare. They understaff facilities. They don’t hire those with proper training. They don’t properly supervise staff.
When abuse and injury occur, these are not unforeseen events. Rather they are a direct consequence of not putting the health and welfare of residents first.
Unfortunately, the only way to get negligent nursing homes to change their practices is to hold them financially accountable. Only when the cost of lawsuits becomes greater than the cost of treating residents properly will nursing homes stop trying to cut costs.
If you discover that your elderly loved one was abused in a nursing home or long-term care facility, you have a right to demand justice. The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt can help you get answers, protect your loved one, and help hold those responsible accountable. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and to learn the options available for your loved one and family.
 Indicators of Adult Abuse, Neglect or Exploitation, DARS, file:///D:/Downloads/indicators_of_a_n_e_2017.pdf
 Elder Abuse Facts, National Council on Aging, https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/.
“They are here to help you out and take care of your needs. I would recommend them for sure.”
We hired Mr. Hurt to help settle a worker’s comp injury case for my husband. Mark, Bart, and Mary worked tirelessly to resolve his case and reach a settlement we were pleased with. They were always available to answer questions and returned calls in a timely manner.