People are living longer because of advances in health care and more South Carolinians are turning to nursing homes to care for elderly relatives when their loved ones need assistance with daily activities. When you place your loved one in a nursing home in Charleston, the long-term care facility has a legal responsibility to provide quality care. Most facilities provide excellent care. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are understaffed and deliver substandard care. Because nursing home residents cannot care for themselves, they are vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Residents may develop bedsores, infections, or suffer unexplained injuries.
If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping you protect them and hold the negligent party accountable for their injuries. The Joye Law Firm is a well-established law firm in South Carolina with four office locations in South Carolina including our North Charleston office. Our staff takes a personal interest in each family we represent. Our attorneys have nearly 250 years of combined legal experience helping individuals and families that have been harmed.
Contact a compassionate personal injury attorney at the Joye Law Firm for a free consultation with no obligation or fill out an online contact form if you suspect abuse of your loved one in an assisted living facility. Our Charleston office is located at 5861 Rivers Avenue in North Charleston.
What to Do if Your Relative at a Nursing Home Has Unexplained Bruises or Injuries
When visiting your loved one you may have noticed that your relative had unexplained injuries or is exhibiting sudden changes in behavior such as increased agitation in the presence of a nursing home staff member. These may be indications of nursing home abuse or neglect, even if your relative cannot verbalize precisely what happened. If a nursing home staff member does not want to leave you alone with your loved one, this also may be a warning sign.
You should address any concerns you have initially to the nursing supervisor or the nursing home administrator and seek an explanation. If you speak to an administrator in person, it is a good idea to follow-up with a letter, putting your concerns in writing. Keep a copy of the letter. The nursing home administrator should be responsive to your concerns because the nursing home has a legal duty to provide for your loved one’s care and well-being. If you are not satisfied with the response and believe your loved one is in immediate jeopardy or that it is a life-threatening situation, you should contact the police. You should also contact an attorney at Joye Law Firm to discuss your legal options and offer guidance.
We will review the specific details involving your loved one’s treatment and evaluate whether you have a valid injury claim for neglect or abuse. If a nursing home resident has been harmed physically, emotionally or through financial exploitation, you may be entitled to recover compensation to make up for the expense of treating your loved one’s injuries. We work to stop harmful or negligent behavior and hold those responsible accountable.
In our experience representing families facing these situation, a nursing home injury lawsuit can focus attention on an abusive nursing home staff member or a systemic problem at a long-term care facility and lead to positive changes. It may prevent other nursing home residents from suffering similar abuse or neglect.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Neglect is the failure of a caregiver to provide food, clothing, or services needed for a nursing home resident to avoid physical harm or mental anguish. Bedsores, for example, may indicate that a resident has remained in the same position too long and is not receiving adequate attention.
Examples of neglect include:
- failure to carry out a doctor’s orders
- use of restraints without adequate monitoring
- lack of supervision of patients with special needs
- lack of supervision of patients with Alzheimer’s or cognitive impairment who may wander off
What Does Nursing Home Abuse Include?
Nursing home abuse includes the infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, punishment with physical harm or mental anguish, unwanted sexual contact, or intimidation.
Physical abuse also may include inappropriate physical restraints or inappropriate use of medication to restrain a patient. Nursing home abuse may occur because the staff members lack adequate training to understand patient behaviors caused by dementia or are under stress because of staffing charges.
Potential signs of elder abuse include:
- staff swearing or yelling at residents
- bruises around the breasts or genitals
- unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- rope marks
- black eyes
- broken glasses
- cigarette burns
- fractures or other serious injuries.
What is Financial Exploitation?
Unfortunately, residents in nursing homes are vulnerable to financial exploitation because in many cases they must rely on others to oversee their financial accounts. The warning signs that your elderly relative is being taken advantage of financially include:
- The provision of unneeded services
- Changes in a will or bank accounts
- Unexplained withdrawals from a financial account
- Disappearance of valuable possessions
- Discovery that a nursing home resident’s signature is being forged to transfer property
Call Our Nursing Home Abuse Accident Lawyers in Charleston, SC
The injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm represent nursing home residents and their families in Charleston and throughout South Carolina in cases involving elder abuse and neglect. Let us review the details of your loved one’s situation and discuss how we may assist your family. If we accept your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis so there will be no out-of-pocket costs to you. You will not pay a legal fee unless we obtain compensation for you through an insurance settlement or a jury award. Call Joye Law Firm to learn more or use our online contact form.