South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Explain Possible Legal Options

Nursing homes have an enormous responsibility to the public. These facilities are responsible for caring for our loved ones who are too old or disabled to care for themselves. In many cases, nursing homes meet the challenge to provide essential services to the elderly and disabled. However, there are instances where nursing homes violate our trust and harm our loved ones. Despite having a responsibility for caring for society’s most vulnerable populations, there are instances of nursing homes taking advantage of or abusing patients.

If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, then you may be looking for information on what to do next. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to hold the nursing home accountable for their actions or inaction.

Below, our South Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys answer some of the most common questions about nursing home abuse and neglect.

What Are Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

There are several potential signs you should consider looking for if you believe your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect at a nursing home. Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect may include:

  • Bed sores. Patients who are unable to move by themselves have to be moved by staff on a regular basis. If staff fail to move patients out of a stationary position after a long period of time, those patients may develop bed sores. In some cases, bed sores can become infected.
  • Fractures or head injuries. Blunt force trauma injuries may be a sign of nursing home abuse. Be on the lookout for brain injuries, broken bones or fractures.
  • Malnutrition or poor hygiene. If your loved one is showing signs of malnutrition or extreme weight loss, it could be a sign of nursing home neglect. Poor hygiene and infections can also be a sign of abuse or neglect.
  • Behavioral problems. If your loved one is showing signs of extreme fear, or is more withdrawn than usual, it could be a sign they are suffering abuse. Your loved one may also be unusually quiet or reluctant to speak in a certain staff member’s presence.
  • Other unexplained injuries. Cuts, abrasions or bruises can sometimes be a sign of abuse or neglect.

What Are the Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

There are different types of nursing home abuse and/or neglect.

  • Physical abuse. One of the most common types of nursing home abuse involves assault, such as shaking, punching or slapping.
  • Financial abuse. Some nursing home patients may have mental health or cognitive problems that make self care impossible. In some cases, nursing home staff may take financial advantage of patients with these conditions.
  • Emotional abuse. Nursing home staff may direct shouting, yelling or insults at patients. Emotional abuse can also lead to mental and physical health problems for some patients.
  • Sexual abuse. Due to many nursing home patients suffering debilitating conditions that affect movement or cognition, they may be at a higher risk for suffering from sexual abuse.
  • General neglect. Nursing home staff must take care of the needs of patients. In cases of neglect, staff may withhold essential care for patients, such as by not providing food, hygiene or essential medical care.

Can I Sue a Nursing Home?

Nursing home abuse and neglect is against the law. If abuse or neglect occurred, nursing homes may be responsible for the damages patients or their family members suffered. You may also be able to file a lawsuit against a nursing home for medical malpractice.

You may be able to recover compensation for your loved one’s damages if they suffered harm in one of the scenarios above. However, with medical malpractice, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the home for failing to provide medical services within the accepted standard of care. Your loved one would have to suffer damages as a result of the insufficient care.

Whether you can sue a nursing home also depends on whether you are within the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the incident.

Our South Carolina personal injury law firm can help you determine if you would be able to file a lawsuit against a nursing home. We offer free initial consultations. It does not cost money to reach out to us to discover whether you have legal options to pursue compensation.

Contact Our South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for More Information

The Law Offices of Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson offers free consultations. We also take cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe us fees unless we successfully recover compensation. You can schedule a free consultation with us by dialing (803) 324-7200 or by using the contact form on our site.