Summerville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
When you make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a Summerville nursing home, you trust the facility with giving them proper care and keeping them safe. Unfortunately, elderly patients are vulnerable to nursing home abuse and negligence in various forms including physical, emotional and financial abuse. They are often unable to report the abuse or defend themselves. In such situations, a Summerville nursing home abuse lawyer can help hold the nursing home and its staff accountable for their misconduct.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Around one in 10 older adults age 60 and over have experienced elder abuse in the United States. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, around five percent of nursing home patients have been harmed by the negligence of staff or suffered a negligence-related injury.
This number is actually believed to be a conservative estimate as the majority of nursing home abuse and negligence cases go unreported. Often, the elderly victim’s family members and friends do not even know about the abuse.
One study reported that more than 24 percent of residents experienced at least one instance of physical abuse while in a nursing home. Over 50 percent of nursing home staff have admitted to committing elder abuse of some kind.
A 2018 study found that South Carolina had the worst abuse protections for older adults overall, placing last on a national list. The state ranked 32nd for nursing home quality. The study took into account elder abuse, gross neglect and exploitation of residents 65 and older.
Types of Elder Abuse and How to Identify Them
Many elderly residents of Summerville nursing homes are neglected due to facilities having insufficient staffing and inadequate funding. There is an excessive number of residents in comparison to the number of caregivers. As a result, residents may not receive the care and attention they need.
Proving that elder abuse has occurred can be challenging. This is, in part, due to a deterioration in an elderly person’s faculties, including their hearing, vision and ability to think clearly. Thus, it can be difficult for them to be aware of the abuse and to impart information concerning the abuse they suffered.
Elder abuse can occur intentionally, such as when a staff member withholds medications from a resident, or it can happen negligently, for example when a caregiver forgets to bathe a patient. Common types of elder abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse and financial abuse. There are some telltale signs that can make it easier to identify that abuse is occurring.
• Signs of physical abuse
Among the signs of physical abuse in nursing homes are injuries for which there are no explanations. These can include welts, fractures, bedsores, or rope marks on the residents’ wrists or ankles.
Other signs of abuse include recurrent altercations between a caregiver and a resident, inappropriate attire for the weather and injuries due to falls. Neglect can also occur in terms of personal hygiene, which can result in skin infections, malnutrition, dehydration or extraordinary weight loss.
• Signs of emotional abuse
Because residents have little contact with the outside world, the staff at the nursing home wield an enormous amount of power over the elderly persons who reside in the home. Consequently, they can abuse such power by engaging in the following forms of emotional or psychological abuse:
• Yelling at and intimidating patients
• Making threats of violence
• Insulting or ridiculing patients
• Isolating patients from family members or fellow residents
• Disregarding the needs of patients
• Withholding medication, food and other necessities
• Signs of financial abuse
Financial abuse can take the form of nursing home theft or fraud, which is a severe type of nursing home abuse that people do not usually consider. This kind of abuse differs from physical abuse in that there are no obvious signs that theft or fraud is being committed.
In fact, the elderly person may not have even realized they were a victim of a crime. Some examples of financial abuse include direct theft, a considerable amount of withdrawals from a resident’s bank accounts, or the use of a patient’s name to apply for credit.
Financial exploitation happens when a caregiver uses access to a patient’s financial records to their advantage, steals or reveals the patient’s financial information to unauthorized persons.
Nursing Home Liability
You may be able to hold a Summerville nursing home liable for abuse and negligence provided you can show that the facility breached its duty to the patient and that breach caused the patient to suffer damages. Although the liability of a nursing home usually results from the negligent care of a patient, it can also arise from negligence in maintaining the premises, choosing equipment or employing workers.
Pursuant to a theory of vicarious liability, a nursing home can frequently be held liable for the negligence of a caregiver, provided that the caregiver is an employee. This holds true even if the nursing home did not instruct the caregiver to take certain actions.
Compensation Available in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Victims of nursing home abuse and negligence in Summerville are entitled to compensation for all of their losses. Filing a nursing home abuse claim can allow you or your loved one to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more. Punitive damages may be available in a limited number of cases to punish the defendant for particularly egregious actions.
How the Steinberg Law Firm Can Help Fight Nursing Home Abuse
If your family member or friend has been the victim of nursing home abuse in Summerville, the attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm will work zealously on behalf of your loved one to hold the perpetrators of such abuse accountable. Nursing home residents have important rights, and they should be protected.
At the Steinberg Law Firm, our qualified nursing home abuse attorneys are equipped to counsel clients in cases involving physical abuse, emotional abuse, and theft or fraud. These kinds of abuse should not be permitted to occur.
By filing a lawsuit, you will be taking a crucial step toward helping to eradicate abuse and neglect in Summerville nursing homes. We will help you and your loved ones recover full compensation.
Contact the Steinberg Law Firm
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Summerville, South Carolina, call the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm. Our attorneys will advocate for their rights and work to end the suffering they have endured. Call us today for a free case review at 843-720-2800.
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