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Virginia VA (703) 498-2928
Maryland MD (301) 637-4614
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Experienced at winning cases for people who need justice
Washington DC Personal injury law firm

Washington, D.C. Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Reputable Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Serving the People of the District of Columbia

washington DC nursing home abuse

Nursing homes should be loving, nurturing places for the elderly to enjoy spending time with others while being cared for and protected. If your family member is currently living in a Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. nursing home, you probably assume that the nursing home staff caring for your loved one are treating him or her with the utmost respect and kindness. Nursing homes should be like this and many, in fact, are respectable homes that treat their residents with the proper physical and emotional care. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are created equal.

For more than 30 years, the personal injury law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP has made nursing homes answer for their mistakes and have gained justice for victims of abuse. We find that our work in nursing home abuse cases are especially fulfilling in that we are not only acting as a voice for your family member but the legal actions we take also betters the care provided to all current and future residents. This information, provided by our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers, can help you understand how to recognize the warning signs of potential abuse affecting your loved one.

Nursing home abuse is a distressing topic that can be difficult to even contemplate, much less talk about. Nevertheless, Washington, D.C. nursing home abuse is far more common than most people realize. If you suspect that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse, you need to take three steps to help them.

(i) Talk to the nursing home about your concerns;
(ii) talk to a lawyer to help determine if there was abuse; and
(ii) gather evidence in preparation for filing a nursing home abuse claim.

Nobody Pushes Around Our Washington, D.C. Clients

We have been helping injured victims for more than 35 years now. In that time, we have learned all the tricks that greedy insurance companies and evasive defendants use to avoid liability, and we won’t let them get away with it. The one billion dollars in compensation we have recovered for our clients over the years stands as silent testimony to the effectiveness of our approach.

It is likely that your case will never go to trial – the great majority of our clients wind up with private settlements. The best way to negotiate a settlement, however, is to convince the defendant that you can win in court if you have to. The nursing home’s attitude toward settlement is likely to change dramatically once they realize that you have selected us to represent you.

We Charge No Upfront Fees

At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, we win the vast majority of our cases. Because of this, we don’t charge any upfront fees, and our legal fees are calculated as a percentage of your eventual recovery. We only win when you do too, and that’s the way it should be.

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys In D.C., Virginia, And Maryland For Elder Care Neglect

Washington DC Nursing home abuse Nursing homes should be loving, nurturing places for the elderly to enjoy spending time with others while being cared for and protected. If your family member is currently living in a Virginia, Maryland or Washington, D.C. nursing home, you probably assume that the nursing home staff caring for your loved one are treating him or her with the utmost respect and kindness. Nursing homes should be like this and many, in fact, are respectable homes that treat their residents with the proper physical and emotional care. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are created equal.

For more than 30 years, the personal injury law firm of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP  has made nursing homes answer for their mistakes and have gained justice for victims of abuse. We find that our work in nursing home abuse cases is especially fulfilling in that we are not only acting as a voice for your family member but the legal actions we take also betters the care provided to all current and future residents. This information, provided by our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers, can help you understand how to recognize the warning signs of potential abuse affecting your loved one.

Are Bedsores Caused by Nursing Home Neglect?

Bedsores are the result of neglect. Bedsores develop when a person remains in the same position for an extended period of time, such as bedridden nursing home residents. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are regions of skin damaged by unalleviated pressure. Bedsores will lead to serious infections and death if not timely treated.

Nursing homes have an absolute responsibility to prevent bedsores. Nursing home staff must change the position of all bedridden residents on a regular basis, and staff must change soiled clothing and linens when necessary. If your loved one has developed bedsores, you must take action to obtain proper medical care at once. Learn more about the possible causes and signs of bedsores on our bedsores caused by nursing home negligence page.

What are the Signs of Physical and Emotional Nursing Home Abuse?

When abuse or neglect happens in a nursing home setting, it is typically the result of the nursing home and its staff failing to provide residents with adequate food, water, shelter, clothing or medical care; basic needs to which we believe everyone is entitled regardless of their age, mental or physical abilities.

While physical abuse is the most obvious and brutal form, nursing home injury, neglect and abuse can take a number of forms, such as:

  • Direct physical abuse
  • Neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Unlawful use of a patient’s financial resources

For physical abuse in nursing homes, common issues you must be aware of include:

  • Broken bones or bone fractures
  • Bedsores
  • Open wounds
  • Weight loss
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Overmedication
  • Malnourishment or dehydration
  • Signs of sexual assault

Emotional abuse does not leave any physical wounds but can be just as damaging for nursing home residents. It is the hardest form of nursing home neglect to recognize and the most difficult for victims to feel comfortable coming forward with. Forms of emotional abuse and neglect include:

  • Threats
  • Humiliation
  • Isolation

In many cases of nursing home emotional abuse and neglect, victims have shown the following symptoms:

  • Eating less
  • Becoming unhealthy
  • Refusing to communicate with others
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal
  • Confusion
  • Child-like behavior

Elder Abuse Lawyers for Nursing Home Injury Lawsuits near DC

You have the ability to enact positive legal changes that not only benefit your situation, but also helps others going through similar hardships or avoid these hardships altogether. If you are concerned about your ability to afford nursing home attorneys, ask us about a contingency fee agreement.

By working on a contingency fees basis, there are no upfront costs for legal representation. You only pay attorney fees if we are successful in gaining compensation on your behalf. If we are not successful, you pay no legal fees. This means there are absolutely no financial risks to seeking the justice you and your loved one deserves. Get answers to your legal questions about nursing home abuse by contacting us at our Washington, D.C., Virginia, or Maryland law office near you today. Our proven Washington, D.C. Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a personal injury claim extinguished if the victim dies of his injuries?

No. Once the victim dies, a claim arises under the District of Columbia wrongful death statute. The lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative of the victim’s estate on behalf of certain close relatives. The personal representative is either named in the deceased victim’s will or appointed by a court. Damages in a wrongful death lawsuit can be substantial and may be shared among relatives.

How long do I have a file a lawsuit?

The District of Columbia applies a statute of limitations that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. Although it may seem straightforward, calculating the actual deadline can be tricky in certain circumstances. If you have concerns, talk to your lawyer about the matter.

Are punitive damages available for nursing home abuse claims in D.C. courts?

Yes, they are, although most claimants don’t receive them.

  • The defendant’s conduct must have involved ill will, fraud, recklessness, or willful disregard for your loved one’s well-being.
  • You must prove your case by “clear and convincing evidence” (a higher standard of proof than the standard normally used in civil trials).
  • Punitive damages are awarded in addition to ordinary damages.

What is “negligence per se” and why does it matter?

The negligence per se principle allows you to establish negligence by proving that the defendant violated a safety law or regulation. This is important for nursing home abuse claims because nursing homes are highly regulated. Once you prove negligence, you still have to prove that the negligence caused the injury.

Can I sue the nursing home even if my loved one has no written contract with them?

Possibly. Most nursing home cases are not based on contract law. Whether you can pursue a claim depends on whether there was a patient-physician relationship and whether the nursing home engaged in some wrongful conduct.

What are the most common legal theories used to combat nursing home abuse or neglect?

The most common legal theories used to file lawsuits against nursing homes include:

  • Negligent supervision and care (resulting in bedsores, for example),
  • Negligent hiring of staff,
  • Negligent maintenance of facilities and equipment, and
  • Assault and battery (by staff, or by other patients due to inadequate security).

Where do I file a complaint about nursing home abuse?

If the nursing home receives Medicaid funds, you can call (202) 727-2540 (Office of the Inspector General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit). You can also call the Adult Protective Services hotline (24/7) at (202) 541-3950 ( 888-832-3858 in Virginia and 1-800-332-6347 in Maryland), regardless of whether the nursing home receives Medicaid/Medicare funds. Filing this type of complaint will not result in compensation, but can help stop the abuse.

What are my options if I suspect abuse?

You have three main legal options. You can choose one, two, or all three of them if circumstances warrant.

  • File an administrative complaint
  • File a civil lawsuit (or threaten to file one and open settlement negotiations with the nursing home)
  • File a complaint with the local prosecutor (if you suspect criminal misconduct)

Do You Know the Value of Your Claim? Call the Trusted D.C. Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

The value of your nursing home abuse claim is not limited to reimbursement for remedial medical expenses. Compensation for pain and suffering, for example, can far exceed compensation for medical expenses, although it is important to keep in mind that since “pain and suffering” is a subjective concept, recoveries vary widely. Your claim might be eligible for other types of damages as well.

The D.C. civil compensation system, with its complex rules f procedure and evidence, can look like a maze to the uninitiated. A skilled D.C. nursing home abuse lawyer can help you gather evidence of your claim that is admissible in court. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing abuse at a Washington, D.C. facility, call us at (202) 794-6126, or simply contact us online for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

One of Our Clients Speaks Out

“To Mr. DePaolis:
I want to express my sincere gratitude for your professional and compassionate service you provided with the handling of my accident case. I was confident of a positive outcome after our initial meeting and I am glad that I was correct.

Your approach to the situation was impressive and you were reassuring to any potential doubts. Not only did you start the process proactively but you were passionate and honest. My case wasn’t that easy, but with your diligent work, WE were able to get the results we wanted. Your special ways and generous heart make a beautiful difference.” – A.K.