Seniors are often afraid or reluctant to get their caregivers in trouble or they may simply not wish to be seen as needy or weak. As such, many incidents of abuse go unreported. If your loved one tells you that they are being abused or suffering neglect, believe them.
Unfortunately, on many occasions nursing home patients cannot speak for themselves. In these situations, a family member needs to be appointed to act on their behalf. In South Carolina, if the patient experienced conscious pain and suffering resulting in death—the most serious cases of South Carolina nursing home abuse—the estate’s personal representative can bring a survival cause of action against the nursing home.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
South Carolina state law requires anyone with knowledge of nursing home abuse to report that abuse. The Vulnerable Adults Investigations Unit of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, in affiliation with SC Department of Mental Health, handles reports on state-run agencies. Case reporting for non-state agencies should be made to the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. In a case involving death, any person with a reasonable suspicion that a person died due to the abuse or neglect by a nursing care facility has a duty to inform the coroner or medical examiner of the death and the suspected cause.
In most cases of physical abuse, mental abuse, or neglect committed by a nursing home employee, an expert witness will need to testify on behalf of the victim. This is often because the victim suffers memory loss or dementia and would be unable to articulate the cause of the injury that he or she sustained. Additionally, an expert witness may be required to testify that the act or failure to act was below the standard of care for a particular care facility.
Different facilities may have different standards of care depending on their designations, such as nursing homes versus assisted living. An expert witness will usually be a medical professional or doctor who testifies to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the nursing facility deviated from the standard of care required, and that the injury was proximately caused by the negligence.
Contact Our Rock Hill, South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
At the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr., our South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys know that protecting your loved one from future harm is what matters most. That’s why we work tirelessly to prevent future abuse from occurring by holding abusers and negligent institutions accountable.
Call the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson Jr. today at (803) 324-7200 (Rock Hill), (803) 289-7202 (Lancaster), (803) 396-5200 (Fort Mill), (864)466-5170 (Union) or fill out our confidential contact form. With offices conveniently located in Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Union, and Lancaster, we are here when you need us. Call us today for a free case evaluation.