Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawyer – Sumter & Columbia, SC
Nursing homes are supposed to offer safe, clean, and well-staffed living environments where seniors, who are no longer fully independent, can receive the care and assistance they need to live comfortably. Sadly, reports of nursing home abuse and neglect are common. And studies have found that the vast majority of cases of nursing home abuse likely go unreported.
For nursing home residents in South Carolina and for family members who have loved ones living in Sumter and Columbia nursing homes, it is important to understand what constitutes abuse or negligence. It is also important to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms of abusive and negligent nursing home care. Waiting too long to seek help can have severe consequences. Regardless of whether you have been abused or you are concerned about the quality of your loved one’s care, you have every reason to seek help as soon as possible. Contact the Marc Brown Law Firm to speak with an experienced nursing home abuse and negligence lawyer today.
A Passionate Advocate for Nursing Home Residents in South Carolina
Attorney Marc Brown is passionate about protecting the rights of nursing home residents in South Carolina. He is a compassionate advisor and a dedicated advocate who believes in using the law to protect his clients. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, Mr. Brown will work closely with you every step of the way. He will fight tirelessly to make sure you and your family receive the care, treatment, and financial compensation you deserve.
Common Questions Regarding South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
What Constitutes Abuse Or Negligence In The Nursing Home Setting?
Nursing home abuse can take many different forms. Broadly defined, “abuse” is any form of intentional mistreatment that results in physical, psychological, or financial harm. While “negligence” involves unintentional errors and oversights, these mistakes are often no less harmful to the residents who suffer unjustly while under nursing home care. Some of the most common forms of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical assault of nursing home residents
- Sexual assault of nursing home residents
- Failure to properly tend to and care for residents
- Wrongful use of physical restraints (e.g., bed rails) or chemical restraints (e.g., sedating drugs)
- Financial exploitation (e.g., exercising undue influence over a resident or charging excessive fees)
- Deprivation of access to family members or outside care providers
- Deprivation of access to food, liquids, medications, or restrooms
- Berating, yelling, accusing, and other forms of verbal belittlement
Common examples of administrative and care-related mistakes that constitute nursing home negligence include:
- Medication errors (e.g., overdose, underdose, providing the wrong medication, or failing to provide medication with required food)
- Failure to adequately monitor at-risk residents
- Failure to adequately staff the nursing home to ensure adequate care
- Failure to install, provide, or maintain necessary safety equipment (e.g., handrails) or medical equipment (e.g., wheelchairs or walkers)
- Failure to identify and provide treatment for injuries, illnesses, infections, and other medical conditions
What Are The Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Abuse And Neglect?
With nursing home abuse and negligence taking so many different forms, the warning signs and symptoms can vary broadly. Additionally, in some cases, symptoms that are consistent with abuse or negligence can also be consistent with conditions occurring naturally as a result of illness or old age. That said, residents and their loved ones must familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, and they must take action promptly if they have any concerns regarding improper care.
The following are all potential signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and negligence:
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Lack of proper hygiene
- Sudden mood swings or unexplained changes in a resident’s mental state
- Emotional withdrawal, fatigue, and other symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers)
- Physical injuries consistent with a fall or other trauma
- Physical injuries consistent with sexual assault
- Sepsis and other healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs)
- Refusal to speak with family members by nursing home administrators
- Attempts to conceal or misconstrue information about a resident’s condition or care
What Are Nursing Home Residents’ Rights In South Carolina?
As you may have heard, South Carolina consistently ranks among the worst states in the country when it comes to legal protections for nursing home residents. However, while this may be true, nursing home residents in the Palmetto State still have clear and undeniable rights under South Carolina and federal law. These rights include (but are not limited to):
1. The Right to Be Free from Abuse
There is no justification for the abuse of nursing home residents. Physical, sexual, verbal, and financial abuse are all clearly prohibited, and nursing homes are legally responsible for all forms of abuse perpetrated by residents’ caregivers and other employees.
2. The Right to Quality Nursing Home Care
All nursing home residents in South Carolina have the right to quality care consistent with professional standards. Nursing homes must hire caregivers with adequate training and experience, and these caregivers must ensure that they are always upholding their professional (and legal) duties.
3. The Right to Speak with Family Members and Doctors in Private
Nursing homes cannot prevent residents from speaking with their family members or their healthcare providers. They also cannot monitor residents’ communications. If nursing home administrators or caregivers are trying to prevent you from speaking with your loved one, this may be because they are aware that abuse or negligence has occurred.
4. The Right to Just Compensation for the Effects of Abuse and Negligence
Under South Carolina law, nursing home residents are entitled to just compensation for the effects of abuse and negligence, and families are entitled to just compensation in cases of wrongful death. This includes compensation for current and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.
5. The Right to Professional Assistance (Including Legal Representation)
Nursing home residents are entitled to participate in their medical care, including their choice of the doctors who treat them. They are also entitled to legal representation, and under no circumstances can a nursing home stand in the way of a resident obtaining legal advice in confidence.
Contact Us Now for a Free, Confidential Consultation
Do you need to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Sumter or Columbia, South Carolina? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a free consultation. To speak with attorney Marc Brown, in confidence, please call (803) 848-0008 or inquire online today.