Compassionate and Knowledgeable Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
It is a difficult decision to trust your loved one’s well-being to the care of a nursing home, even when there is very little choice. If you suspect that a nursing home has violated your trust by abusing your loved one through active abuse or neglect in Virginia, you need to act quickly to stop the abuse and secure full compensation for your loved one.
Nursing home abuse is more common than most people realize. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates than nearly half of all nursing homes are understaffed, a problem that often results in neglect. Understaffing is particularly likely in profit-hungry private nursing homes. Active abuse is less common, but it is by no means rare.
Our Legal Team
We are Koonz McKenney Johnson DePaolis & Lightfoot LLP, and we have been assisting personal injury victims for more than 35 years now. In that time we have brought in over a billion dollars in compensation for our clients, including many multi-million dollar recoveries. That kind of track record encourages defendants to settle out of court rather than face us at trial.
The thirteen Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys of our firm are regularly recognized for excellence by clients and peers. Four of our Virginia nursing home abuse lawyers have been named Top Lawyers by the Washingtonian Magazine, five of us have been named Super Lawyers, and five were selected Best Lawyers in America through a survey of 13,000 of our peers. We can put that expertise to work for you.
What Our Clients Say
“Special thanks to Mr. Schloss and his assistant Suzy Kelly. You guys are the Best of the Best.”
“You have taught me so much about patience and the law. My wife and I both believe you have done an excellent job watching out for our best interests. It’s because of your hard work that we have had about the best year since the start of this whole mess.”
Other Types of Claims We Handle
We handle all manner of personal injury claims, including:
Car Accidents: Car accidents injure millions of people every year. Most claims are paid by auto insurance companies. Nevertheless, legions of victims get short-changed by insurance companies or see their claims denied altogether. We have been dealing with auto insurance companies for decades, and we know how to handle them.
Medical Malpractice: Many people would be afraid to go to the doctor if they realized just how common medical malpractice is in the United States. Defendants take medical malpractice claims seriously because they consider them attacks on their reputation. This fact, plus the fact that cases often turn on complex scientific issues, make it essential that you seek experienced legal counsel before pursuing a medical malpractice claim.
Worker’s Compensation: Virginia worker’s compensation system is a different ball game than the ordinary personal injury civil compensation system. It is typically easier to win a worker’s compensation claim than to win a personal injury claim. However, damages are limited. Under certain circumstances it is possible to file both a personal injury claim and a worker’s compensation claim for the same injury.
Construction Accidents: Construction work is some of the most dangerous work in the world – catastrophic injuries and workplace fatalities are not at all uncommon. In some cases, it makes huge difference whether a construction accident claim is pursued as a worker’s compensation claim or as a personal injury claim.
Asbestos Disease/Mesothelioma: Asbestos-related diseases, particularly mesothelioma, often show up decades after exposure, long after the natural defendant (the victim’s former employer, for example) has gone out of business. A good Virginia asbestos lawyer can help you find alternate sources of compensation and negotiate prompt and generous compensation.
Products Liability: Manufacturing defects, design defects, and failure to warn can all support a product liability claim if they result in an unreasonably dangerous product that injures someone. Just about any legally purchased product can become the subject of a product liability claim. Virginia products liability law, however, is less consumer-friendly than the products liability law of most other states.
Premises Liability: You slip on a wet floor in a grocery store and end up with a concussion and a broken hip. Do you have a valid premises liability claim? That depends on several factors. As a practical matter, a lot depends on the skill of your lawyer in tying the wet floor to the negligence of the property owner or renter.
Federal Tort Claims Act: Once upon a time, the principle “the king can do no wrong” made it virtually impossible to sue a government for money damages. With the passage of the Federal Tort Claims Act, however, it is now possible to sue the U.S. government for a personal injury caused by the wrongful behavior of one of its employees. Significant restrictions exist on this right, however, and special procedures must be followed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a nursing home and an adult home or an assisted living facility?
Adult homes and assisted living facilities provide residents with assistance in daily living activities such as bathing and dressing. They usually do not provide health care and might not even administer medication.More acute care is usually given in a nursing home. Nursing homes are heavily regulated, provide health care and must be staffed with nurses.
Are there limits on how much I can recover from a Virginia nursing home in a lawsuit?
In Virginia, there is a cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice claims. There is a $2,000,000 limit on medical malpractice damages against nursing homes (but not adult homes or assisted living facilities). Punitive damages, if awarded at all, are limited to $350,000.
What rights do nursing home residents enjoy under federal law?
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act provides guidelines for all nursing homes that receive Medicare/Medicaid funding from the federal government. Residents of nursing homes enjoy many rights that are codified under state and federal law, including:
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect
- The right to manage their own money or designate someone else to perform this task
- The right to see their own doctor
- The right to refuse medication and treatment
- The right to assistance to live as independently a possible
These are only a few of many rights enjoyed by nursing home residents.
How can I find out how my loved one’s nursing home is rated?
You can look it up on the federal Medicare website.This webpage allows you to search for a nursing home by name, or search all nursing homes within a particular area. It lists the nursing home’s overall ranking, the result of health inspections, staffing, and quality measures.
Do nursing homes have written policies and procedures?
Yes. They are required by law to codify policies and procedures. If you are a nursing home resident, you have the right to read them or to designate someone else to read them. Violation of the nursing home’s own procedures can form the basis of a nursing home abuse claim.
My loved one is mentally incompetent. Can I file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on his behalf?
You can file if you have
- a durable power of attorney, or
- have been appointed legal guardian of your loved one.
You often, but not always, need to be given the specific right to sue on your loved one’s behalf. If you are not the legal guardian and do not have a durable power of attorney, our firm can speak with you about available options that would allow a claim to be filed on the behalf of your loved one.
What is the statute of limitations deadline on a nursing home abuse claim?
If you have a possible claim and are concerned about the statute of limitations, we suggest contacting a Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Statute of limitations analyses can be very complicated where the negligence involves a nursing home.
What are my legal options if my loved one dies from nursing home abuse?
The Virginia Wrongful Death Act allows certain relatives, financial dependents and heirs (“statutory beneficiaries”) to file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive damages.
How can I file an administrative complaint against a Virginia nursing home?
You can file a claim with the Virginia Department of Health. Call (800) 955-1819 or visit their website. The Virginia Department of Health will investigate and possibly sanction the nursing home; however, it will not provide your loved one with compensation (compensation will require a lawsuit or an out-of-court settlement with the nursing home).
If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in Virginia, Contact Us as Soon as Possible
Our Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys don’t charge our clients any upfront fees, and our fee structure is based on a percentage of the amount of money that we eventually recover for you. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering nursing home abuse, call us at (703) 596-1718 or simply contact us online so that we can schedule a free evaluation of your claim and answer your questions.