No one ever expects their loved ones to suffer severe abuse or neglect at the hands of their trusted healthcare provider. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse in assisted living facilities and nursing home environments continue to be a major issue across not only Columbia but the entire state of South Carolina. If you have a reason to believe your loved one has been abused or neglected, it is important to take action.
Not only could you recover compensation for your loved one’s physical, emotional, and financial damages, but you may be able to put a stop to other victims’ ongoing abuse and prevent future instances of nursing home abuse or neglect as well. When you are unsure of how to get started on your case, reach out to an experienced and compassionate Columbia personal injury lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for a free consultation.
When to Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Columbia, SC
When you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be left feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what your next steps should be. You may have an idea that you should call a nursing home abuse attorney for help, but you may be unsure of what your legal options are or what to expect next.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse often continues because there are not always obvious signs. Those who suspect nursing home abuse may be hesitant to bring up their concerns with their loved ones, nursing home staff, and even other family members.
However, if you start to notice that your family member has exhibited unexplained changes in behavior or has unexplained physical injuries such as bruising, burn injuries, or broken bones, this could be a sign of abuse. Additionally, if they appear to be afraid of their healthcare providers, or if you discover they are missing significant amounts of money, they may be suffering from neglect or abuse in their nursing home environment.
Your best option will be to contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Columbia, SC, to discuss your concerns further. From there, we can discuss what your legal options are in the steps you should take to help protect your family member and demand justice.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse
Understanding what constitutes nursing home abuse will help you better understand whether you have grounds for a claim. Nursing home neglect and abuse can take many forms. Some of the more common types of nursing home abuse your family member may be at risk of experiencing include:
- Physical abuse by their healthcare providers or other nursing home residents
- Sexual abuse and any type of unwanted or non-consensual sexual contact with other nursing home residents or healthcare providers
- Emotional and psychological abuse in the form of threats, intimidation, name-calling, and demeaning behavior
- Neglect, which can include dehydration, starvation, social isolation, improper hygiene, and failure to provide the nursing home resident with their necessary medication
- Financial abuse and theft by the nursing home resident’s healthcare providers
These are only a few examples of what constitutes nursing home abuse. In each type of abuse and neglect, there are many different ways your loved one may be experiencing trauma.
For this reason, it is essential to get a nursing home abuse attorney working on your case as soon as possible. We can help you put a stop to the abuse your loved one may be enduring and help you fight to recover the compensation they are entitled to.
What Does Not Constitute Nursing Home Abuse
It is equally important to understand the types of behaviors that will not constitute nursing home abuse. Some examples of behaviors and actions by nursing home staff and facilities that will not be considered nursing home abuse include:
- Keeping your family member temporarily restrained or sedated if they begin engaging in self-harming behaviors or become violent towards other nursing home residents or nursing home staff
- Keeping your family member isolated from other nursing home residents if they are exhibiting violent behaviors or become hostile towards other nursing home residents
- Refusing to provide your loved one with medications that they do not have a prescription for
- Following the terms of your loved one’s estate plans, including how they are finances should be handled
If you are unsure whether the actions you are concerned with constitute nursing home abuse, the best way to find out is by contacting an experienced Columbia nursing home abuse lawyer. This way, you can explore your legal options further and figure out the steps you should take going forward.
Your Legal Options When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
There are multiple legal options that may be available to you when you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse. Some of these options provide opportunities for legal recourse, while others give you an opportunity to put a stop to abuse and neglect and ensure the nursing home facility or the parent company is held accountable. Some of these legal options could include:
- Filing a complaint with the South Carolina Department of Human Services Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- Working with a nursing home abuse attorney in Columbia to pursue civil action
- Contacting the Columbia Police Department to file a criminal complaint
- Filing a complaint with the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General
- Contacting South Carolina Adult Protective Services to make a complaint
Compensating Victims of Nursing Home Abuse in Columbia
There is no amount of money that will change the experience your loved one has been through after enduring nursing home abuse or neglect. However, with the financial compensation your family could be awarded, you may have access to the funds you need to get your loved one entered into a safe nursing home or assisted living facility, cover their ongoing medical costs, and ensure the nursing home compensates your loved one for the emotional trauma they experienced.
Some examples of the types of damages that may be recovered in a nursing home abuse complaint include:
- Pain and suffering
- Restitution for stolen money
- Costs of medical expenses
- Costs of mental health counseling
- Reimbursement for nursing home costs
- Costs of relocating to a nursing home facility
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
Reach Out to a Columbia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help Today
The nursing home abuse and neglect your loved one experienced should not go unpunished. You can take justice into your hands when you contact a reputable Columbia nursing home abuse attorney at Shelly Leeke Law Firm to discuss your legal options further. Fill out our quick contact form or call us to start working on your nursing home abuse lawsuits and complaints as soon as today.