When you select a nursing home to care for your loved one, you are literally putting their life in someone else’s hands. Many good nursing homes provide residents with caring service and help them at a difficult time in their life. Unfortunately, some nursing homes put profits over people.
In serious cases, their carelessness can injure your loved one. When that happens, your family can sue the nursing home, both to get justice and financial compensation. At Hite Law Firm Trial Lawyers, we fight to right the wrong that was done to your family member. Call our nursing home abuse lawyers today to learn more.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
The term “nursing home abuse” is broadly defined to encompass many different forms of mistreatment, including:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Nursing home neglect
The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that one in ten nursing home residents will experience some form of abuse in a given year. Poor care that threatens to injure the resident is a form of abuse.
Nursing Home Resident Rights in South Carolina
State and federal laws outline the numerous rights that a nursing home resident has. These rights, in summary, include:
- To be free from neglect and abuse
- To participate in activities
- To be treated with respect
- To be free from discrimination
- To complain to the nursing home staff without fear or retaliation
- To be free from restraints, physical or chemical
Common Nursing Home Injuries
Nursing homes must uphold their own standard of care. While the elderly and infirm do suffer injuries from time to time, many accidents simply do not “just happen.” Many injuries are the result of nursing home negligence and abuse. Common injuries that nursing homes residents can suffer to the lack of care from staff include:
- Pressure ulcers: Bedsores that can become infected because the nursing home failed to shift the resident’s position and then failed to properly care for the ulcer. These bed sores can progress to a severe infection that can cause septic shock.
- Falls: A nursing home has a legal obligation to draft and implement a fall prevention plan when the resident is a fall risk
- Infections: A lack of proper hygienic care, such as not changing a resident often, can lead to illnesses, among them urinary tract infections
- Dehydration and malnutrition: Nursing homes may not keep their residents properly hydrated and may not observe dietary needs, such as puréeing a resident’s food if they have trouble chewing or swallowing
Who Can Be Held Liable for Nursing Home Injuries?
You would generally sue the nursing home where your loved one was injured. These days, many nursing homes are owned by large conglomerates and corporations. Owners have found that they can make high profits by cutting back on care and pocketing Medicaid reimbursements.
In addition, some injuries may be caused by medical malpractice. The treating doctor at the nursing home may fail to timely diagnose or treat a medical condition. In that case, you may also sue the doctor when they have failed to act as a reasonable physician would under the circumstances.
How to Report Suspected Nursing Home Abuse
It is up to the family to report suspected nursing home abuse. Federal law requires the nursing home to forward any abuse allegation to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control within 24 hours, regardless of whether they believe it to be credible.
Your nursing home abuse attorney could help you determine the most effective way to make a nursing home abuse report, including to:
- The long-term care Ombudsman
- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
- The nursing home administrator
Your immediate goal is to prevent serious injury to your loved one. If the injury has already occurred, you want to get justice and ensure that the nursing home is held accountable.
How Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help You
The nursing home may not tell you how and why your loved one was injured. They know that they can be liable for their own conduct, and they do what they can to keep relevant information from you that will help you hold them accountable.
The skilled nursing facility may also not respect a family alone. They believe that they have the power, and many nursing homes do not feel the need to answer to families. Staff are more afraid of their bosses, and the administration is more afraid of their bosses at corporate.
You need a local lawyer to get results and justice. Your attorney should believe that holding a nursing home liable for what they did to your loved one is their mission. At Hite Law Firm, this reason is why we come to work every day.
Our experienced nursing home attorneys can do the following for your family:
- Obtain the medical records that are your right to have
- Investigate and determine exactly what happened to your loved one and who should be responsible
- File a lawsuit against the nursing home to get justice and compensation
- Aggressively pursue evidence in the discovery phase of the case that will be used to prove your allegations
- Work to secure a potential settlement with the nursing home
- Argue your case to the jury and prove your family’s damages when the nursing home will not settle the case
It may be close to impossible to get justice from the nursing home without a compassionate and aggressive attorney who knows how to be your advocate and your fighter when need be.
Contact an Abbeville, SC, Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for the Help Your Family Needs
If you want to file a lawsuit against a nursing home, you should contact our Abbeville attorneys today. Hite Law Firm Trial Lawyers make getting justice for your family our most important cause. We will not rest until you are heard.
Contact us to speak to a lawyer. You can reach our team through our website or call us today at 864-664-2252 to discuss your case. You only need to pay us if you win your case against the nursing home.