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Current Nursing Home Staffing Rules in Virginia

Despite numerous pandemic deaths, Virginia still has no rules dictating minimum nursing home staffing requirements. According to recent AARP statistics, Virginia’s nursing home COVID-19 death rate is the country’s second-highest. However, the state’s nursing home staffing issues began long before the pandemic. Some of Virginia’s nursing homes consistently receive low marks year after year, with several facilities garnering federal attention for immediate corrective action. The lack of proper Virginia nursing home staffing requirements has contributed to many of the ongoing issues multiple facilities have encountered in recent years. When there is a lack of staff, the residents are the ones who suffer. There tends to be a direct link between understaffing in a nursing home and increased neglect and abuse cases. In 2019, Richmond Times-Dispatch published an expose on the problems plaguing some of Virginia’s nursing homes. The title tells you all you need to know: “Bedsores, burns and a maggot: 5 Va. nursing homes on federal list of persistent underperformers.” Legislation to Establish Minimum Staffing Ratios Died Despite the increase in deaths due to the pandemic, there’s still no current Virginia legislation addressing minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes. 2020 marked the 16th time a proposal to set minimum staffing requirements was brushed off, even though Virginia nursing homes continue to be ranked so low. The proposal came from state Senator Jennifer Kiggans, R-Virginia Beach, who wants nursing homes to provide a minimum of one direct-care staffer per six patients. The current reality is that some caregivers are assigned three to seven times that number. Some nurses have reported they are typically assigned anywhere between 20 and 40 patients every shift. Nurses being overworked means they can’t adequately care for residents, ensure high-risk patients are appropriately monitored, etc. That is why neglect and abuse are rampant within the Virginia nursing home system. Even though the proposal was shot down in 2020, legislators ordered the Department of Health to create a workgroup that would review and share recommendations on how to increase the Virginia nursing home workforce.  Updates to the Proposal in 2021 Fast forward to 2021, and it’s now the 17th time this proposal was killed. The workgroup held meetings, but when the final list came out, the top three recommendations out of 34 were focused on creating optional service-learning credits for students who were volunteering in these long-term care facilities. Further down on the list were proposals that would pay facilities a higher Medicaid reimbursement amount if they achieved specific nursing home staffing ratios. The first suggestion was to start at 12 patients to one caregiver and eventually reach the desired six-to-one ratio over the following four budget cycles. Lobbyists for nursing homes voted against both of these recommendations. The Virginia Health Care Association—Virginia Association of Assisted Living, was against instituting any type of staff-to-resident ratio. They argue that there needs to be more credentialed health care professionals in Virginia and that establishing staff-to-resident ratios isn’t going to work without having certified nurses who want to be there. How Nursing Home Staff Ratios Contributed to COVID-19 Deaths While staffing shortages existed long before the pandemic, COVID-19 exacerbated them, further contributing to the virus’s spread. According to the Virginia Department of Health, long-term care facilities are the second biggest source of outbreaks. There have been over 31,000 cases of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, resulting in nearly 4,000 deaths. The next highest source of cases is at correctional facilities, with just over 18,000 cases and only 61 deaths. Those are significantly lower numbers than in nursing homes.   One of the reasons COVID-19 spread so rapidly through nursing homes is due to the shortage of staff. Many of the low-paid staff work at multiple facilities. If they contracted the virus and worked in two to three facilities in the same week, imagine all the people they exposed. Staffing shortages also led to not isolating positive COVID-19 patients from the negative ones. For nursing home residents, nursing home staffing issues literally mean the difference between life and death right now. Virginia Nursing Homes Continue to Rank Low Virginia nursing homes consistently fall to the bottom of the charts on various ranking criteria. For example, Families for Better Care has ranked Virginia as 36 overall with an overall grade of “D” for the third consecutive time. The report card shows residents receive less than two hours and 17 minutes of direct care daily. Three out of four nursing homes didn’t reach an above-average rating in the inspection. Overall, nursing home care in Virginia is second to the bottom for the Mid-Atlantic Region, barely squeezing above Pennsylvania as the worst state.  What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Deciding to move a loved one to a long-term care facility is complicated enough in normal times. Having to do it during the pandemic is even worse. It’s crucial to do your research to find the best long-term care facility for your family member. However, even if you choose the best one, there’s no guarantee that residents are fully protected against neglect and abuse. To help protect your loved ones, you must monitor your family member’s condition and watch for red flags of abuse and neglect. If you suspect something is amiss, speak with a skilled Virginia nursing home abuse attorney right away. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., we have decades of combined experience handling nursing home abuse cases. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your situation and explain the best course of legal action.

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Kentucky Woman Sues County Hospital After Medical Staff Allegedly Missed Her Cancer Diagnosis

(Fleming County, KY, March 3, 2021) — A Kentucky hospital misinformed a woman of her cancer diagnosis and attempted to cover it up, according to the woman’s lawsuit. The misinformation and lack of action led to the tumor continuing to grow untreated for nearly a year. Case Background The plaintiff, Kim Johnson, had a mammogram at Flemming County Hospital after feeling a lump in her right breast. Johnson’s mother died of breast cancer, so she was hyper-aware of the tumor. Much to her relief, Johnson received a letter in the mail a few weeks after her mammogram that informed her there was “no evidence of cancer.” Johnson, 53 at the time, went back to her life with seven kids and multiple farm animals. However, the lump in her breast did not subside. Her primary care physician, having been informed of the negative cancer screening, prescribed steroids for a staph infection. After nine months, the lump had grown more prominent and more painful; at Johnson’s request, the primary care physician referred Johnson to a different hospital for another mammogram. Johnson’s Fears Confirmed Johnson traveled 80 miles to Elizabeth Fort Thomas Hospital, where Dr. Heidi Murley ordered a mammogram and an emergency biopsy upon reading the results. Murley soon informed Johnson that she had stage 4 breast cancer, and it had spread to her lymph nodes and bones.  Rightly, Johnson wondered how the other hospital missed the cancer almost a year earlier. Murley wondered the same thing and reviewed the mammogram from Flemming County Hospital. She found apparent evidence of cancer in the image and determined that Johnson should have been scheduled for a biopsy within 30 days of that initial radiology appointment. Johnson confirmed that she only received one letter from Flemming County Hospital informing her that her mammogram was clear. Confused, Johnson followed the advice of a nurse in Murley’s office and sought legal counsel.  Johnson Sues Johnson’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against Flemming County Hospital in September 2016. To Johnson’s shock, the hospital responded and said they sent two additional letters after her initial visit directing her to schedule a follow-up appointment. She insisted she had never seen those two letters, but Johnson and the hospital settled the lawsuit for $1.25 million in 2018.  However, the plaintiff hired Andrew Garrett, a digital forensics expert, to analyze the evidence in the case. After multiple visits to the hospital and an extensive review of the documents in question, Garrett determined that the hospital created the two letters after Johnson filed the lawsuit—two years after her initial mammogram. Garrett also found evidence of two different hospital workers editing Johnson’s file various times to erase evidence of medical negligence.  The plaintiffs filed a motion to undo the settlement in 2019. Although the trial judge denied the motion, Johnson and her attorneys unsuccessfully appealed the decision in November and are now appealing to the Kentucky Supreme Court.  The defense argues that hospital computer systems frequently glitch, and the evidence related to computer records is unreliable. Johnson’s legal team ascertains that the codes used to change the documents belong to active employees, arguing that the defense is invalid. Case Result Although the outcome of her lawsuit remains unknown, Johnson is focusing her time on her children and her farm. She has undergone more than 50 rounds of chemotherapy and 40 rounds of radiation to treat the growing tumor; the cancer has continued to spread and is now in her neck. At the time of her diagnosis, doctors told her she would live for less than one year. Nearly five years later, Johnson is still fighting.  Source: NBC News Contact a Virginia Medical Malpractice and Negligence Lawyer If you believe your case is severe enough to warrant legal action beyond a formal complaint with the Virginia Department of Health, you need to speak with one of our attorneys. Our legal team has decades of combined personal injury experience, including with medical malpractice cases. We can review your circumstances and advise you on the best course of action. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation.

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How to Report a Nursing Home in Virginia

Moving a family member to a nursing home is a scary transition. You assume your loved ones will be well taken care of and receive the care they need. However, not all nursing home employees treat residents with the respect they deserve. If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused, it’s imperative you take action immediately. You may be wondering how to report a nursing home in Virginia. There are Virginia elder abuse laws with provisions to protect nursing home residents. You can file a report with the Virginia Department of Health to start. You can also speak with one of our Virginia nursing home abuse attorneys at Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to discuss the best course of action for your situation.   How to Report a Nursing Home for Neglect You might assume that your only course of action is to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, but we don’t recommend that option to start. To win a lawsuit against the nursing home, you need to prove that the nursing home was negligent and that its negligence was the proximate cause of your family member’s injuries. You also have to show that your loved one suffered harm due to the nursing home’s negligence. Even though your family member may have suffered some harm, you don’t need to file a lawsuit for every incident. You may be better off trying to resolve it out of court. Not to mention a lawsuit will take considerable time to resolve, and it could be well over a year before your case settles. Not to mention, there’s always a risk that Medicaid or Medicare will want their share of the settlement. So, what do you do instead? Many clients we speak with say their primary concern is to ensure that the abuse or neglect doesn’t happen to another family. Filing a report with the appropriate agency in Virginia will trigger them to open an investigation to check out your concerns. Where to Report a Problem with a Nursing Home in Virginia? When you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect in Virginia, you need to file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC). The board will investigate your concerns by sending out a team of investigators to the nursing home to review the situation. They will not give the nursing home any notice either. During their visit, they will check your family member’s chart and condition and verify whether the level of care received met the legal standards of Virginia law. You can report the suspected abuse or neglect by contacting the Virginia Department of Health hotline at 1-800-955-1819. There is also an online Virginia nursing home report form you can complete and return in the mail or via fax. The OLC only responds to complaints involving suspected neglect, abuse, inadequate care, mistreatment, failure to treat, etc. They have no jurisdiction over any disputes related to billing practices or fees. Contact a Virginia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer If you believe your case is severe enough to warrant legal action beyond a formal complaint with the Virginia Department of Health, you need to speak with one of our attorneys. Our legal team has decades of combined personal injury experience, including with nursing home abuse cases. We can review your circumstances and advise you on the best course of action. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation.

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Who Regulates Nursing Homes in Virginia

Are you faced with the need to decide whether to send a loved one to a nursing home, or is a family member already a resident? Understandably, it’s a very serious matter and a decision that should not be taken lightly. You may have many questions related to the process, the nursing home’s record, what your family member can expect, what to do if you suspect neglect or abuse, etc. If you already have a loved one in a nursing home, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with who regulates nursing homes in Virginia and where to report any issues.  You can also contact the experienced team of Virginia nursing home neglect lawyers at Lantz & Robins, P.C., to discuss your concerns. We will review your circumstances and advise you on the best course of action. Who Is Responsible for Regulating Nursing Homes in Virginia? The Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC) operates under the Virginia Department of Health. They administer the state licensing programs for all medical facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient surgical centers, hospice programs, and home care organizations. They are also responsible for conducting inspections and monitoring complaints to verify nursing homes are complying with all state requirements. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) oversee things on a national level. They contract with state-level agencies like the OLC to certify that the nursing homes and suppliers who participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs comply with the minimum health and safety standards. Under their regular certification process, they ensure nursing homes adhere to all federal certification requirements. The Joint Commission Accreditation Nursing homes can also apply for voluntary accreditation through The Joint Commission. This accreditation lets people know the nursing home is committed to excellence throughout all aspects of care. Some potential benefits of Joint Commission accreditation include: Strengthens people’s confidence in the quality and safety of care, services, and treatment their family members will receive; Helps maintain and organize patient safety efforts; Could reduce liability costs for the nursing home; Reduces risk and improves risk management; Recognized by insurance companies and third parties; Provides deeming authority for certification from Medicare; Fulfills regulatory requirement in some states; Provides professional advice and counsel, including educating staff; and Aligns a nursing home with the most respected names in healthcare. Although there are many benefits for nursing homes to pursue voluntary accreditation, not everyone will go the extra mile. You can search for accredited nursing homes in Virginia by searching the Quality Check website. Currently, there are less than 100 certified nursing home facilities in Virginia. Nursing Home Reform Act Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, nursing homes across the country are legally required to provide services and activities that achieve or maintain the highest levels of physical, psychosocial, and mental well-being of all residents per the written care plan. Before a nursing home can qualify to participate in Medicaid and Medicare, it must adhere to all federal requirements applicable to long-term care facilities. Examples of some federal regulations require nursing homes to: Conduct an initial accurate and comprehensive assessment of every nursing home resident’s functional capacity; Have an appropriate number of nursing home staff members; Assist with activities of daily living, such as grooming or personal oral hygiene, if the resident is unable to carry out these activities on their own; Develop a comprehensive care plan for all residents of the nursing home; Promote every resident’s quality of life; Complete and maintain accurate clinical records on every resident that are easily accessible; Verify all residents receive satisfactory supervision and assistive devices that will prevent accidents; Promote every resident’s quality of life; Verify residents are free from any significant medication errors; Keep residents from developing pressure sores or, if a patient has one, treat them so they heal and new ones do not form; and Provide all residents with enough fluids, so they do not become dehydrated. Before a nursing home is eligible to receive funds from Medicare or Medicaid, it must comply with all aspects of the Nursing Home Reform Act. Elder Justice Act The Elder Justice Act was passed in 2010 to address neglect, abuse, and exploitation of older adults on a federal level. New initiatives and programs emerged that have helped promote elder justice research, coordinate better federal response to issues surrounding elder abuse, increase protections for nursing home residents, and support Adult Protective Services systems. The Elder Justice Coordinating Committee was also formed under the new act, coordinating activities across the federal government related to elder neglect, abuse, and exploitation. What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse in Virginia? If your loved one is already in a nursing home and you suspect abuse or neglect, it’s crucial you take immediate action. The first thing you should do is file a nursing home complaint with the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Licensure and Certification. The OLC has a comprehensive nursing home complaint form that you can use to detail what is going on. If the abuse is serious, you can call the hotline number at 800-955-1819. You can return the form via mail or fax as well. Once you file a complaint, the OLC will open an investigation and send out inspectors to review your family member’s chart. These visits are unannounced, so the nursing home doesn’t have time to alter any records or cover up anything. Contact a Virginia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Did your loved one suffer serious harm or injuries due to a nursing home’s negligent or intentional acts? You may be considering legal action. To learn the best course of action, you should speak with an experienced Virginia nursing home neglect and abuse attorney. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience with personal injury matters, including nursing home neglect and abuse. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your circumstances and see how we can help.

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What Are the Four D’s of Medical Negligence in Virginia?

When you visit a doctor, you expect that they will treat you to the best of their ability. You should be able to trust your doctors and other medical professionals. However, not all medical providers provide the required standard of care, resulting in mistakes. Some of these mistakes rise to the level of medical negligence, which means you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To successfully resolve a medical malpractice claim, you need to prove the 4 D’s of malpractice. Because medical negligence claims are typically complicated to pursue, we recommend contacting a skilled Virginia medical malpractice lawyer for assistance.  What Are the Four D’s of Negligence? The four D’s of negligence are duty, dereliction, direct causation, and damages. If you cannot prove even one of these elements, you won’t have a valid claim for medical malpractice.  Duty Is the Physician’s Duty of Care All health care professionals are legally obligated to uphold a certain standard of care when treating any of their patients. This duty requires medical professionals to use the same high standard of care that similar medical professionals would use. They must also inform their patients about any potential risks of treatment or procedures and keep their patients’ personal information confidential. Dereliction Occurs When the Health Care Provider Breaches Their Duty When a health care provider is derelict in their duty, they can be held responsible for their actions. Examples of dereliction include when a health care provider prescribes the wrong medication or performs an unauthorized procedure. Other derelictions occur when a surgeon leaves a foreign object in someone’s body after surgery or a patient develops an infection after a procedure because a medical professional didn’t properly sanitize the work environment. Direct Causation Involves Showing That the Health Care Provider’s Negligence Caused Your Injuries The third D is direct causation. Proving direct causation requires showing the health care provider’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries. In some cases, proving direct causation is very easy, while it’s far more complicated in other cases. One example of direct causation is when a surgeon operates on the wrong body part. Damages Are the Financial Losses and Harm You Suffered The final element is damages. You must be able to show you suffered some financial and physical harm to have a case. Without the ability to show there was some negative impact to you, you don’t have the 4 d’s of negligence to successfully recover damages in a Virginia medical malpractice case. Damages in a medical malpractice case include physical and emotional harm, additional medical expenses, lost wages, and more. If you have suffered harm due to a medical professional’s actions, you need to contact a Virginia medical malpractice lawyer who can advise you whether you have a valid case to pursue. Contact Our Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyers Don’t try to handle a potential medical malpractice claim on your own. Let an experienced Richmond medical malpractice lawyer represent you. You need a legal advocate who can protect your rights and gather the necessary evidence to prove the four d’s of negligence. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us help you fight for the compensation you deserve and hold the negligent health care providers accountable for the harm they caused you.

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What Is Nursing Home Negligence in Virginia?

If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected in their nursing home, it’s imperative to take action right away. Some prospective clients want to file a lawsuit against the nursing home immediately. However, filing a complaint against a nursing home in Virginia requires you to prove negligence. Without proper evidence, the nursing home will not be held accountable. You can also file a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health. To learn more about how to report nursing home abuse, we recommend speaking with a skilled Virginia nursing home abuse attorney. Defining Nursing Home Negligence in Virginia Nursing homes are held to a high standard of care. Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain protections and rights when living at a nursing home facility, one of which is the right to be free from any type of neglect or abuse. Under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare funds are required to maintain a safe environment for all their elderly residents. When a nursing home fails to adhere to the required standard of care, it can be held accountable for its actions. Proving negligence in a lawsuit requires you to show: The nursing home was negligent (the nursing home made a mistake); Their negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries (their mistake caused the injury); and The injury was severe and resulted in damages (the plaintiff’s injuries required medical treatment). You want to have strong evidence before you consider filing a legal complaint. You also need to weigh the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit. Lawsuits can take years to resolve, they tend to be very costly, and there’s a good chance that Medicaid or Medicare will take a significant percentage of the settlement. Instead, look at filing a complaint with the Virginia Department of Health first. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., our legal team has decades of combined experience handling Virginia nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We can help you get a complaint filed with the Department of Health and determine whether you have enough evidence to proceed with a lawsuit. How to Report Nursing Home Abuse to the Virginia Department of Health? The Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC) oversees activities and licenses for Virginia nursing home facilities. You can report a concern by phone or file a written complaint. You’ll need to share detailed information on your concerns and why you suspect abuse or neglect. The OLC will send out an investigator unannounced to investigate and review your family member’s chart. The investigator will determine whether the nursing home provides the standard of care as required by the law. Filing a claim with the Office of Licensure and Certification does not cost you anything, but it can have a significant impact. It could help stop the abuse and neglect against your family member, as well as other residents of the facility. Contact a Virginia Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer To learn more about nursing home abuse and neglect and discuss the best course of action for your particular situation, speak with our experienced Virginia nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation. Let us put our years of experience with nursing home abuse and personal injury cases to work for you and help you hold the nursing home accountable for mistreating someone you love.   

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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Virginia?

The unexpected and sudden loss of a family member is never easy to accept. The loss is especially traumatic when your loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence. In this situation, certain family members may have the right to claim damages against the at-fault party. To find out who can file a lawsuit under the Virginia wrongful death statute, you need to speak with an experienced Virginia personal injury lawyer. At Lantz & Robins, P.C., we have decades of experience assisting Virginia clients with all their personal injury needs, including wrongful death lawsuits. Like other states, Virginia has its own laws on who can file a wrongful death lawsuit. These can be complicated claims to pursue, which is why you want an experienced lawyer who can help. Statutory Beneficiaries Can File Under the Wrongful Death Statute in Virginia Virginia allows those who are defined as statutory beneficiaries to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. There is a specific order of priority regarding who can bring a claim. And the lawsuit itself can be filed only by the personal representative for the estate. Individual family members cannot file. Although the estate representative is the one filing, any financial recovery will go to the appropriate beneficiaries.  Surviving spouses and children are the family members who have the first right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in Virginia. If a child is deceased, the surviving grandchildren may bring a claim. If the deceased had no surviving spouse and no children or grandchildren, then the decedent’s surviving parents, siblings, and any other family member in the decedent’s household who was financially dependent can bring a wrongful death claim. If the decedent has no children or grandchildren but has a surviving spouse and both parents, then the surviving spouse and parents could bring the wrongful death action. In the rare event there is no surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, or any other family who primarily depended on the decedent, then Virginia’s estate laws will apply to identify the person’s next of kin. It’s important to point out that Virginia law recognizes relatives as someone related to the deceased by blood, marriage, or adoption. This can even include stepchildren. However, some parents are prohibited from filing a claim on behalf of their deceased child. If a parent had their rights terminated or had their child placed with a foster home, they are not entitled to bring a wrongful death claim or benefit financially.  How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? As with other types of personal injury claims, Virginia law requires that you file a wrongful death lawsuit within the statute of limitations. In most cases, this is two years from the date of the person’s death, not the incident or accident date. If you fail to file within two years, the court will likely dismiss your entire case. Contact a Virginia Wrongful Death Attorney Determining the right party to bring a wrongful death claim can be challenging in some cases. If you believe you have a valid wrongful death claim, it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney first who can help guide you through the process. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation. We know this is a terrible time for your family. Let us navigate the claims process for you and help you hold the responsible party accountable for your loved one’s death.

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The Process of a Nursing Home Lawsuit in Richmond

Nursing home abuse and neglect are problems plaguing facilities all around the country. You assume that when you move a loved one into a nursing home, they will be well cared for and treated with respect. When that doesn’t happen, the resident’s family may need to file a lawsuit to hold the nursing home accountable for negligence. A nursing home abuse lawsuit can be notoriously complicated cases to resolve. It can take months or even years before defendants are willing to negotiate any nursing home negligence lawsuit settlements. To learn more about how to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse and neglect in Virginia, speak with an experienced Richmond nursing home attorney at Lantz & Robins, P.C. How a Richmond Nursing Home Lawsuit Works Before filing a lawsuit, many victims and their families will try to pursue a settlement with the nursing home directly. Settling out of court can save both time and money. However, you could be settling for less money if you handle the claim yourself. That is why having a legal advocate like Lantz & Robins, P.C., on your side is so important. Insurance companies know plaintiffs don’t have legal experience or understand the claims process, so they often extend offers for far less than the case is worth. If your case doesn’t resolve out of court, then your attorney will file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf. The defendants will need to file an answer to your lawsuit. Depending on the case’s circumstances, your attorney may begin negotiations right away, or they may start depositions and utilize other investigative tools. At some point, you could be required to attend a mediation where an impartial third party tries to help you resolve your outstanding differences so you can settle the case. During the litigation process, your attorney may issue a settlement demand to the defendant, or the defendant may voluntarily extend a settlement offer. There is no exact order that all cases follow in litigation, which is why it’s hard to predict when nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuit settlements will happen. If you still cannot reach a settlement with the nursing home in the early stages of litigation, then your attorney will begin preparing your case for trial. How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit in Richmond? Because every case is different, there is no set time or average for how long nursing home negligence settlements take to negotiate. The more substantial evidence you can present to the nursing home’s defense team, the better your chance of resolving the matter sooner. When you have an experienced Richmond nursing home negligence attorney representing you, your case will likely resolve for more money than if you were unrepresented. In many situations, it can take months or even years before a nursing home lawsuit will settle. Factors that influence the time it takes to resolve your case include the amount of evidence, the severity of the victim’s injuries, their prognosis for recovery, and more. If your case ends up in litigation and may head to trial, it can take significantly longer to resolve. In some cases, it could be years before your family receives any sort of compensation. In general, most nursing home negligence settlements happen before the case gets close to trial. There is a high cost to take a case to trial, and there is no guarantee of the outcome. Settling beforehand can reduce legal expenses and costs while ensuring your family member isn’t waiting years for financial compensation. Your attorney will be the one who advises you on the best course of action and whether the proposed settlement is fair. Contact a Richmond Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today If you suspect someone in your family is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t wait to get help. Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C., today to schedule an initial consultation. We have extensive experience handling nursing home lawsuit cases, and we can help you fight for the compensation your family member deserves.

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What to Do After a Richmond Car Accident

Being in a car accident can be very emotional and scary. The moments following the initial impact can be filled with confusion and chaos. Knowing exactly what to do after a Richmond car accident may help calm your nerves.  Car Accidents in Virginia According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Traffic Crash Facts Report, there were 128,172 car crashes in 2019. Of those Virginia accidents, 827 had fatalities and 65,708 had injuries.  What to Do After a Richmond Car Accident If you are unlucky enough to be a part of those statistics, there are some important steps you should take following a car accident in Virginia. Understand That Safety Is Your First Priority Your first task should be to assess whether you and the people in your vehicle are safe. If there are extensive injuries or an emergency situation, call 911 without hesitation. Do not move a seriously injured person unless it is necessary. Wait for emergency services to arrive.  Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident  Whether there are serious injuries or just a fender bender, do not leave the scene. If your vehicle is safe to drive, try and pull over to the side of the road so you are not blocking traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers to use caution when passing you.  Call the Police Even if the damage to people or property does not appear extensive, it is a good idea to call the police. The police will be able to evaluate the scene of the accident and get statements from both you and the other driver and passengers. A police report can be an important piece of evidence to have later on.  Do Not Admit Fault You will likely speak to multiple people about the accident immediately after it happens. These may include police officers, paramedics, the other party, and insurance agents. It is important not to admit fault in any situation. Certainly state the facts, but do not provide more information than you need to. If you have to go to court to receive compensation for damages, anything you say can be used against you.  Receive Medical Attention Sometimes little aches that appear to be minor can be significant in the long run. Even if you do not need to be rushed to the hospital, you should be seen by a doctor for any aches, bruises, or abrasions. Keep an accurate and detailed record of all medical expenses related to the Richmond car accident.  When Do You Need a Richmond Car Accident Lawyer? If you are in a Virginia car accident, damages should be paid by the insurance company of the party that caused the accident. Most insurance companies seek to avoid payout. This could mean a lengthy liability dispute and potential litigation if the settlement offered is unfair to either party.  The experienced personal injury attorneys at Lantz & Robins, P.C., can provide professional guidance and peace of mind while helping you navigate the legal system and preparing your case for the best possible outcome and the recovery you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Tips for Hiring the Best Medical Malpractice Attorney in Richmond

There are no two ways about it: if you are the victim of medical malpractice, you have a right to sue for damages.  All medical providers have an obligation to give the best care they possibly can. When a medical provider violates this maxim, it can create serious problems for their patients and their families. If you are thinking about suing over medical malpractice in Virginia, you want to know how to find the best medical malpractice lawyers in Virginia. However, it is not always clear how to find a good medical malpractice attorney. These tips are to help show you how to find the best medical malpractice lawyers possible. Shop Around First, be sure to shop around while you are looking for a medical malpractice attorney. Don’t just hire the first lawyer you speak to. Check-in with a couple of other attorneys. In doing so, you can check the approach suggested by your attorney against other attorneys’ advice. If you speak with three attorneys who offer three different approaches to your case, pick the one that best suits your case’s individual needs. Because most medical malpractice attorneys offer free consultations, you don’t have much to lose. If an attorney will not meet with you without charging a fee, you may want to steer clear of them. Look for Reviews While you are choosing which attorneys to speak with, look for reviews of those attorneys. Websites like Google often have attorney reviews, but there are also attorney-specific review sites like Avvo and Findlaw that have attorney reviews. You may find a red flag in a review or multiple reviews that will help you avoid wasting your time speaking with an attorney who is not a good fit for you. If you know anyone who has sued over medical malpractice in the past, you can also speak with them for recommendations. Many attorney websites will have client testimonials too. These can be of great help in screening medical malpractice attorneys. Be Cautious If They Promise You the World Remain wary of any attorney who promises you the world or guarantees that they will get compensation for you. A good medical malpractice attorney will not make such promises and will probably tell you that there is a range that you might see in a settlement. A good attorney will not guarantee to you that they will get you X amount of money because such guarantees can be difficult to follow through on. A rule of thumb to remember in this regard is if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you speak with several attorneys that give you similar settlement estimates, you can have confidence that they are being upfront and honest with you. Experience and Focus Finding a lawyer who has extensive experience with medical malpractice is a must. The same goes for any area of law. A lawyer with experience in a given area will know the ins and outs of that area of law. Drawing on their experience, they will be ready for whatever direction your case takes. Without an experienced medical malpractice attorney, your medical malpractice case may face unforeseen challenges in the claims process that can derail it. Finding a lawyer who has medical malpractice as one of their focus areas is a good way to find one with specific experience in the area. Different areas of law require different skill sets. It is difficult, if not impossible, to master every area of law and keep up with that mastery. Every area of law is constantly evolving, so you want an attorney who is keeping up with the evolution of medical malpractice specifically. If medical malpractice is one of their focus areas, it is a good sign that they have experience with it.  Contact Lantz & Robins, P.C. If you are shopping around for medical malpractice attorneys in Richmond, Virginia, contact us at Lantz & Robins, P.C., for a free consultation. As medical malpractice is one of our focus areas, we have extensive experience in the field and can help guide you through your claim from start to finish. Don’t just take our word for it; check out our case results and testimonials pages to see what we have done for our previous medical malpractice clients. Our goal is to give you the best medical malpractice help possible, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Call us today!

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