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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Personal Injury > Breaking Down a Nursing Home Negligence Case

Breaking Down a Nursing Home Negligence Case


Basically, negligence is a lack of care. Since nursing home employees take care of physically frail people, the duty of care is very high. Usually, owners have a duty of reasonable care. Like the Good Samaritan went out of his way to help an injured traveler, they must go out of their way to avoid injuring residents, intentionally or unintentionally. If owners breach their duty of care, and that breach causes injury, an attorney can obtain compensation in court.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Sometimes, a Columbia personal injury attorney can obtain additional punitive damages as well. These damages, which deter future misconduct, are available if an attorney proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that the nursing home owner intentionally disregarded a known risk.

What Causes Nursing Home Negligence?

Money is a root of many kinds of evil, and money is usually the root of nursing home negligence in South Carolina.

To accommodate more residents, and attract more residents, large construction and renovation projects are standard features of most nursing homes. These projects create significant hazards for older residents.

Many residents cannot see well. So, they don’t spot construction hazards or see warning signs, like “Keep Out.” Furthermore, many nursing home residents have gait disorders. Instead of lifting their feet as they walk, they shuffle their feet. As a result, if they lose their balance, they generally fall.

At the same time, to improve their profit margins, many nursing homes trim payroll. They cut jobs or hire lower-paying workers when possible. For example, a nursing home administrator might hire a licensed vocational nurse to do a job a registered nurse should do.

These staffing issues often create problems during patient rounds. During low census periods, like holidays and weekends, a skeleton staff might only sporadically look in on residents. Moreover, less-qualified professionals are less able to spot potential serious health issues, like early-stage bedsores.

Pressure ulcers and falls are two of the most serious nursing home negligence injuries. Others include resident-on-resident assaults and malnutrition. The duty of care requires nursing home owners to create safe and healthy environments.

Resolving a Claim

Usually, a Columbia personal injury lawyer settles nursing home negligence and other injury claims out of court. These resolutions significantly benefit victims, mostly because settlements are final. A nursing home could tie a trial verdict up in appeals for years. But nursing homes immediately write checks after they sign settlement papers.

Liability (responsibility) issues often prevent fast settlements. We mentioned two issues above. The failure to heed a warning sign could be a legal defense, and, since South Carolina is a contributory negligence state, victims who partially cause their own injuries are entitled to less compensation.

Furthermore, the best evidence is often unavailable early in the process. So, a fast settlement usually means less than maximum compensation.

Therefore, most nursing home negligence claims settle late in the process, during mediation. A third-party mediator meets with both sides and brings them together on a compromise settlement agreement.

During mediation, both parties must negotiate in good faith. “Take it or leave it” is not a good faith offer. Largely because of this responsibility, nursing home negligence mediation is about 90 percent successful.

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Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. You have a limited amount of time to act.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

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Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

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After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

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At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

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We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

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