Often, elderly members of your family are the most vulnerable. You’d like to assume that their nursing home or assisted living facility is a safe place where they will be cared for, but that safety isn’t guaranteed. Unfortunately, long-term trauma, extensive injury, and even death can occur due to nursing home or assisted living facility abuse.
If your loved one has been a victim of abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you and your loved one may be entitled to significant compensation. Contact the experienced, compassionate attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm today at (843) 881-8644 to learn more about how we may be able to help.
The Problem Is Huge in South Carolina
Including Washington D.C., South Carolina ranks 50th in the nation for elder-abuse protections—only California scored worse. It is tied at the bottom of the list with California and Rhode Island for the most elder abuse, gross negligence, and exploitation complaints, and tied with three other states for the least total expenditures on elder abuse prevention.
Those who want to compare the quality of local nursing homes may do so here.
Results from Hughey Law Firm in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
When negligence at a group home led to a resident’s escape, the Hughey Law Firm was able to achieve a settlement of more than $3 million. When an autistic boy escaped a group home due to negligence, we were able to get a settlement for the family of over $1 million. A client who suffered a broken neck and pelvis in a wheelchair accident at a nursing home recovered a $875,000 settlement thanks to our legal representation. At the Hughey Law Firm, we believe in providing dedicated service to our clients. Whether it means settling out of court or taking the battle to the courtroom, we work to get our clients the compensation they deserve for their injuries or the injuries their loved ones have suffered.
Common Injuries from Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Abuse
Abuse at a nursing home or assisted living facility falls usually falls into one of four primary categories: neglect, in which the individual isn’t given the care necessary to maintain quality of life; physical abuse, in which the patient suffers physical mistreatment; emotional abuse, in which someone manipulates, berates, or threatens an elderly person; and sexual abuse at the hands of a nursing home employee or another resident. While a wide range of injuries may occur, some of which may leave no marks, there are several common injuries that often signal that abuse has occurred.
- Bed sores, especially sores that worsen or go untreated;
- Severe infections;
- Head trauma, including traumatic brain injury;
- Bruises, cuts, and welts with no reasonable explanation; and
- Broken bones.
Many family members begin to suspect abuse when they realize that a loved one has multiple injuries in several different stages of healing, that the loved one has become anxious or withdrawn, or has suddenly started showing signs of fear at physical contact. Elderly individuals may also display unusual behavior changes, including repetitive behaviors such as rocking or choosing isolation, as a result of abuse.
Liability in Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Abuse Cases
In the case of nursing home and assisted living facility abuse, the facility bears much of the legal responsibility for the abuse. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a clear duty of care to the patients who reside there. When facilities breach this duty of care by hiring abusive employees, they may bear legal liability for the harm caused. The individual who committed the abuse may also be held legally responsible. Most often, abuse occurs when nurses or orderlies are left alone with patients. In some cases, doctors employed by the facility may also be responsible for abuse.
Potential Damages From Nursing Home Abuse
While money can’t take back the damage your loved one has suffered, it can help with a fresh start in a new facility and ensure medical needs are taken care of properly. Damages recovered after abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility may include:
- Payment for any medical expenses incurred as a result of the abuse. In some cases, physical injuries can be severe. If this is the case for your loved one, the nursing home or assisted living facility may be held responsible for paying for medical expenses.
- Compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is not necessarily just physical, though that can be a serious consideration in cases of abuse. Pain and suffering may also include emotional trauma or humiliation at the hands of employees of the nursing home or assisted living facility.
- Property damages associated with the abuse. Sometimes, nursing home employees may choose to damage a resident’s possessions as part of emotional abuse. If property damage was part of the case, it can be possible to recover the funds for those possessions.
- Funeral and burial expenses. If the abuse was severe enough to cause the death of your loved one, you may be able to recover funeral and burial expenses.
Punitive damages. In extreme cases of abuse or neglect, punitive damages may be available to punish the wrongdoers and ensure the conduct never occurs again.
Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities May Get Defensive
Often, nursing homes and assisted living facilities try to avoid paying for injuries suffered by residents. These facilities may attempt to:
- Deny that the abuse took place. They may suggest, for example, that there are other, reasonable explanations for the elderly individual’s injuries, or try to claim that sexual contact was wanted.
- Claim that someone else was responsible for the abuse. If they can prove that a family member was the one physically abusing a resident, for example, they may no longer bear liability.
- Offering a low settlement. In some cases, the nursing home or assisted living facility may accept responsibility, but fail to provide a reasonable settlement offer. Working with an attorney can help you more effectively evaluate how much your loved one should recover.
Get the Legal Help Your Loved One Deserves—Contact Our Greenville Nursing Home/Assisted Living Abuse Attorneys
If your loved one has been involved in a case of abuse or neglect, hiring a lawyer can help you get the full compensation you deserve. Hiring a lawyer proves that you’re serious about seeking compensation and appropriate penalties for your loved one’s abusers. In many cases, this simple step can significantly increase the amount of your settlement as well as removing some of the weight from your shoulders during a difficult time. At Hughey Law Firm, we’ll start with a free consultation to learn more about your situation. In many cases, we’re able to accept clients on a contingent fee basis: our payment, in these cases, comes out of the settlement amount, rather than being paid up front.
If your loved one suffered abuse at the hands of a nursing home or assisted living facility, call the experienced lawyers at the Hughey Law Firm at (843) 881-8644 today.