Nursing home abuse and neglect are inexcusable. When you trust and rely on these healthcare providers to take care of your loved one, and they fail to do so or go beyond negligence and begin to abuse their nursing home residents, you may be able to take action.
There are multiple ways you can make the liable party pay. Call an experienced Walterboro personal injury lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm for help today. Find out more about what is next for your case when you contact our team for a 100% free consultation.
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Walterboro
It is not unusual for the families of those who reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to be unsure whether their loved one is experiencing neglect or abuse. In order to be certain, it is vital to recognize the signs of the different types of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Individually, these signs may not mean your loved one is suffering from abuse. If you happen to notice several of the following signs, it may be in the best interests of your loved one to contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Walterboro, SC for help.
Financial abuse is one of the lesser-known but most devastating types of nursing home abuse. Healthcare providers may steal money directly from your loved one’s bank account or use their credit or debit cards without their permission. They may even be so bold as to take cash from your loved one’s nursing home residence room, make changes to their financial power of attorney, and otherwise defraud them.
Check your loved one’s bank accounts for missing money. Pay attention if someone contacts you regarding a change in power of attorney for them. Whenever you see unexplained changes in your loved one’s financial situation, a healthcare provider may be taking advantage of them.
Sexual abuse is also common in nursing home environments. Your nursing home abuse lawyer in Walterboro will be responsible for gathering the evidence needed to determine whether abuse occurred. They will also investigate to identify who is responsible.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is seen not only when healthcare providers abuse their patients but when other nursing home residents attack or abuse others who reside in the assisted living facility or nursing home. Keep an eye out for unexplained behavioral changes, sudden promiscuity, or unexplained STIs when they are examined by their doctor. If you notice your loved one engaging in self-harming behaviors, or if they appear afraid of their healthcare providers or other residents, they may be enduring sexual abuse.
Emotional abuse in nursing home environments is also one of the more common ways healthcare providers abuse and neglect their patients. Emotional abuse can take the form of threats, intimidation, yelling, name-calling, and behaviors meant to degrade the nursing home resident.
You might notice your loved one rejects offers to spend time with family and friends, seems depressed or withdrawn, has developed severe anxiety, or seems unwilling to talk about their environment in the nursing home. These could indicate they are suffering emotional abuse.
Your Walterboror nursing home abuse attorney will tell you that neglect is also considered nursing home abuse. Neglect can lead to malnourishment and dehydration. It often results in patients being starved and developing critical injuries, including bedsores.
This can happen when healthcare providers fail to provide nursing home residents with necessary medications, keep them isolated from other patients intentionally, or fail to keep them cleaned and changed as needed. Neglect also includes a failure to provide them with the necessary food and water and otherwise allows their health to deteriorate.
Your nursing home abuse attorney will need to find out whether there have been any signs of physical abuse. This might include bruising, welts, broken bones, burn injuries, and loss of hair. If your loved one is being physically abused by their healthcare providers or other nursing home residents, your lawyer may be able to put a stop to it and ensure they are compensated for the trauma of their experience.
Ways to Take Action When You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
When you suspect your loved one is being neglected or abused in their nursing home environment, there are certain steps you can take to protect them. These steps may include the following:
File a Formal Complaint
There are multiple state government agencies that you may be able to file a complaint with when you suspect your loved one is enduring nursing home abuse or neglect. These agencies include:
- The South Carolina Office of the Attorney General
- South Carolina Adult Protective Services
- South Carolina Department of Human Services
- South Carolina’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
- The South Carolina Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging
File a Medical Malpractice Insurance Claim
Nursing home abuse may be considered medical malpractice. Since nursing home facilities, nursing home staff, and other relevant parties are required to carry medical malpractice insurance coverage, you may have the opportunity to file a claim with the insurance company. This claim will be to recoup certain types of losses, such as the cost of your loved one’s ongoing mental health counseling, hospital stay, and costs of relocating your loved one to a safe nursing home environment.
Pursue Civil Action
You may also have the opportunity to file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home, the nursing home’s parent company, the individuals who abused your loved ones, and other third parties. Anyone who abused or allowed your loved one to be harmed should be held accountable for their negligent actions.
In filing a civil claim, you can have your case proceed to trial. You are not limited to being awarded specific types and amounts of damages the way you would with an insurance claim.
Get in Touch with a Walterboro Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
You can take action to protect your elderly relative from neglect and abuse. Bring their abusers to justice and recover the funds your family needs to help your loved one get through these emotionally taxing times.
Reach out to a compassionate Walterboro nursing home abuse lawyer at Shelly Leeke Law Firm to discuss your legal options further. Our firm is proudly offering no-cost, risk-free consultations to nursing home abuse victims across Walterboro and surrounding cities. Claim yours by filling out our quick contact form or calling our office today.