Myrtle Beach Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
One of the most difficult decisions you will ever make is moving a loved one into a nursing home to receive the proper assistance and care they need. When you suspect that your family member has been abused or neglected by the nursing care professionals you trusted, however, you likely feel angry, as well as devastated.
Your family member has a legal right to a safe standard of care at their nursing home. When a nursing home facility fails to provide the level of attention and treatment necessary to protect your loved one from bedsores, broken bones, infections, head injuries, and more, you have every right to take action.
Elderly abuse may take the form of physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. Elderly abuse is particularly painful, because oftentimes the elderly have a hard time speaking up about what’s happening to them because they’re too ill or ashamed.
If you believe your family member has been a victim of harmful or substandard care, it’s important to advocate for them. And you don’t have to do it alone. The compassionate Myrtle Beach nursing home abuse attorneys at Law Office of William J. Luse will help you take steps to ensure your loved one’s safety, and we’ll fight vigilantly for the justice and compensation your loved one deserves. If you suspect any type of abuse occurred, contact our nursing home abuse lawyers today at (843) 839-4795.
The Facts About Nursing Home Abuse
There are approximately 200 nursing homes in South Carolina, which are home to thousands of residents. Every year, 25% of those nursing homes are responsible for someone’s injury or death. Calculating an accurate amount of abuse cases is difficult because most go unreported.
Abuse in nursing facilities falls under three main categories: physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force that causes injury, pain, or death. Common signs that indicate your loved one suffered from physical abuse include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Dislocated joints
- Loss of teeth
- Unexplained hair loss
- Medical Negligence
Many times, it’s apparent abuse occurred if there’s a pattern of hospitalization for the same injury or delayed care of an injury. Many elderly patients show fear or discomfort around the individual who abused them.
Emotional abuse is the intentional act of inflicting fear, distress, or psychological pain. This type of abuse can take many forms, such as:
- Prohibiting access to necessary resources
When a nursing home patient experiences emotional or psychological abuse, it can be evident in the way they behave afterward. Typically, they feel depressed or withdraw from certain activities. There’s also the possibility of mood swings and sudden isolation from family and friends.
Sexual abuse is when someone forces an unwanted sexual act on another individual. Sexual contact with an older adult, especially one that is physically disabled or incapacitated, is prevalent in nursing homes. The warning signs you should look for include:
- Bruised genitals
- Pelvic injury
- Issues walking or sitting
- Bleeding from the genitals or anus
- Bloody, torn, or stained underwear
- Diagnosis of an STD
The abuser may be a nurse, staff member, or another resident. Usually, when sexual abuse happens, the individual becomes distant and withdraws from social activity. It’s difficult for the victim to come forward because they feel embarrassed or fear no one will believe them.
Nursing Home Reform Act
The Nursing Home Reform Act grants legal rights, at the federal level, to all residents. At the state level, South Carolina’s Adult Protection law protects patients in nursing homes by defining abuse and dictating how to handle legal action.
Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, all residents in a nursing facility hold the following rights:
- Freedom from discrimination of any kind;
- Freedom for all types of abuse and exploitation;
- Complete information about living arrangements;
- Participation in deciding medical plans and treatment;
- Ability to file complaints without fear;
- Right to privacy;
- Right to make decisions about one’s lifestyle;
- Visitation with family members and friends; and
- Right to respect and dignity.
If you suspect a nursing home subjected your loved one to any form of abuse, it’s your right to seek legal action. The current laws in place allow you to pursue financial compensation for expenses and punishment against the abuser.
What to Do If Abuse Occurred
If you believe the nursing home caused or allowed abuse of your loved one, you need to take action immediately. It’s difficult to determine whether specific signs are because of abuse or an honest accident. Many facilities try to cover up injuries or blame any physical harm on the patient’s own actions.
The first step you should take is to transfer them to a different facility or to a hospital to treat their injuries. Undergoing a medical evaluation is vital to ensure there are no serious medical issues. You should also notify the nursing home of the suspected abuse and retrieve a copy of the documentation.
Seeking legal representation from a nursing home abuse lawyer at Law Office of William J. Luse could help you build a strong case. Most facilities don’t want to cooperate in an investigation like this. They will deny your allegations and try to prevent you from access to information to prove your claim. If you hire a lawyer, they can use their knowledge and resources to obtain sufficient evidence of the abuse.
What Compensation Is Available to Victims of Nursing Home Abuse?
In South Carolina, nursing home residents can receive compensation for their total losses if they become the victim of abuse. Depending on the severity of the injuries and extent of the evidence you’re able to find, you could potentially seek the maximum financial award available to your loved one.
Damages you could pursue compensation for include the following:
- Cost of relocating the patient
- Medical bills related to physical or emotional recovery
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma and mental distress
- Wrongful death sought by a family member if the resident dies as a result of the abuse
In rare cases, you could also seek punitive damages from the nursing facility for injuries caused by the abuse. Punitive damages are compensation awarded to the victim directly from the abuser or negligent nursing home. Unlike other forms of compensation, punitive damages don’t reimburse someone’s losses. Instead, they punish those responsible for their egregious actions.
Why You Should Choose Law Office of William J. Luse
The process of proving nursing home abuse occurred is complex. It’s also challenging to hold facilities responsible for any resulting injuries and expenses. Law Office of William J. Luse and our nursing home abuse lawyers have experience fighting for our clients’ rights. We understand the complicated nature of nursing home abuse cases and how to protect your loved one.
When you hire us, we’ll open an investigation and assist you with the following:
- Arrange for immediate transfer of your loved one to a hospital for treatment;
- Gather necessary evidence related to the abuse, including medical records;
- Speak with medical professionals about the injuries and treatment needed to recover;
- Subpoena nursing home staff and residents to obtain facts surrounding the abuse;
- File a claim with the facility’s liability insurance carrier;
- Negotiate a full settlement on you and your loved one’s behalf; and
- If necessary, pursue a lawsuit against the nursing home and/or responsible individuals for the abuse.
Experience matters when choosing the right law firm to represent a victim of nursing home abuse. You should hire someone who understands the laws in South Carolina and how to navigate the complicated legal road. Our nursing home abuse lawyers fight hard for the compensation owed to your loved one.
Law Office of William J. Luse Takes Cases on Contingency
We often find that many people will handle their own cases because they don’t think they can afford a lawyer. In those situations, they will likely lose their case or accept a low settlement offer. Nursing home abuse cases require skills and resources that only an experienced lawyer possesses.
We’re prepared to fight aggressively against the nursing facility or staff member that caused your loved one’s injuries. We understand you want to fight for justice. That’s exactly what we will do.
Law Office of William J. Luse works on a contingency fee basis. You won’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees. Once we secure a settlement, we take a percentage out for our legal fees and costs. If we’re unable to win your case, you won’t owe us any money. We only get paid if you get paid.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in South Carolina
Abusing a defenseless nursing home resident is a despicable act. At Law Office of William J. Luse, we take cases like this seriously. We know you want to pursue the maximum financial compensation available, and you won’t have to do it alone.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers will fight for the justice your loved one deserves. It’s infuriating to find out those responsible for providing care and assistance to an elderly adult ended up harming them in some way. You trusted the nursing home to keep your loved one safe, but instead, they created a dangerous environment that caused injury or death.
Receiving reimbursement for medical costs, relocation expenses, and psychological trauma is just the beginning. We want to prevent abuse from happening to anyone else in the future. We fight hard to make sure your loved one receives the protection and compensation they deserve.
To schedule an initial consultation and find out how we can help you, speak to one of our Myrtle Beach nursing home abuse lawyers. Call Law Office of William J. Luse today at (843) 839-4795. We’re prepared to take your call and get your loved one the help they need.