Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

As the population of residents in nursing homes and other assisted care facilities rises, so does the chance that a resident may suffer an injury at a nursing home. Many nursing home injuries are accidental and cannot be avoided. However, too many injuries are the result of carelessness or intentional misconduct on the part of nursing home staff.

There is no excuse for any type of abuse in any long-term care facility. Anyone who engages in such behavior—as well as an employer that allows it—should be held fully accountable under the law. While a prosecutor can criminally charge someone with assault or the government can penalize a dangerous nursing home, this does little to compensate the victims who suffer serious physical and mental injuries due to abuse. Instead, the law gives victims the right to bring their own legal action in civil court to seek redress.

At the Hughey Law Firm, we have seen how seriously nursing home abuse can harm victims and their families in and around South Carolina. We stand up for victims of abuse, neglect, and other nursing home-related injuries, and we can advise you about your rights. If you would like to discuss a possible case, please call our office today for more information.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Instances of nursing home abuse can vary widely. No two cases are exactly the same; therefore, a legal professional should evaluate each situation on an individual basis. Nevertheless, the following types of nursing home abuse may result in an injury claim:

  • Physical assault – Nursing home staff may try to take advantage of residents who are physically weaker than them and may lash out with physical violence. This can include any type of striking, cutting, restraining, pushing, or other violent actions that can cause serious physical injuries.
  • Sexual assault – Sexual assault against nursing home residents happens more often than you may believe. Undressing or exposing a resident, unwelcome touching, and rape are only a few examples of how sexual assault may take place in a nursing home. A sexual aggressor may work at the facility, live there as a resident, or even just visit and have contact with the assault victim.
  • Mental abuse – Not all abuse and injuries are physical in nature. Instead, nursing home staff may engage in many kinds of mentally and emotionally abusive behavior. Belittling, humiliating, isolating, name-calling, threatening, and other actions can all cause deep-rooted mental injuries.
  • Neglect – Injuries do not require an affirmative act, but can also result from failing to provide adequate care. This can include allowing residents to live in unsanitary conditions; not providing necessary food, water, or shelter; ignoring medical issues; and failing to provide medical care. Falls are also oftentimes the result of neglect on behalf of nursing home staff.

No matter what type of nursing home abuse took place, it can seriously diminish a victim’s quality of life and even put someone in life-threatening conditions. No nursing home resident should have to endure any type of abuse or intentional injuries—and the Hughey Law Firm will stand up for the rights of your loved one.

Signs That Your Loved One May Have Been a Victim

Nursing home abuse is grossly underreported for many reasons. Some residents no longer have the mental capacity to recall what happened or report it to loved ones. In other situations, an abusive staff member may threaten additional harm in the event of any reported abuse. That’s why everyone who visits a loved one at a nursing home should always watch out for signs of abuse or neglect, including:

  • Cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other injuries that are in different stages of healing
  • Changes in personality, such as acting more withdrawn
  • Regression to childlike behavior
  • Fearfulness of staff members or a particular staff member
  • Fearfulness of physical contact
  • Soiled or bloodstained clothing, under clothes, or bedding
  • Not being allowed to visit your loved one without a staff member present
  • Marks on wrists or ankles that may indicate the use of restraints

One particular cause for concern should be the discovery of serious bedsores on your loved one. Bedsores—also known as pressure ulcers—are painful injuries that develop on the skin when someone stays in one position for too long. The conditions of many nursing home residents may confine them to wheelchairs or beds and, therefore, bedsores may be inevitable. However, staff should fully treat those bedsores to reduce pain and escalation of the condition.

If your loved one is able to move around, bedsores may indicate that the staff has unnecessarily restrained your loved one to a bed or chair. In addition, if bedsores are allowed to worsen, it may be a sign that your loved one is not receiving necessary medical care—and may suffer injuries from neglect or abuse.

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

If you believe that a loved one has suffered injuries due to abuse or neglect, your next step should depend on the circumstances at hand. If you think your loved one is in danger of further serious and imminent harm, report the injuries to the authorities and remove your loved one from the facility as soon as possible. If the signs of abuse or neglect are less serious, you may want to discuss the matter with the doctors or administration at the nursing home.

In either case, always contact a skilled nursing home injury law firm like the Hughey Law Firm to discuss the best course of action. We can help you stand up for your loved one’s rights to proper treatment, health, and safety—and we help our clients obtain compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

A Committed Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help

If you suspect nursing home abuse, it can be difficult to know where to turn. If you are in the Charleston area, you should not hesitate to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm. We can evaluate your case, so please call (843) 881-8644 or contact us online for a free consultation today.

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