If you’ve had to make the difficult decision that it’s time for your loved one to receive nursing home care, you know just how emotionally fraught the process is. If your loved one—instead of being well cared for and provided for—is injured due to nursing home negligence or abuse, it is a devastating blow. You obviously chose your aging relative’s healthcare facility very carefully and with the sole goal of ensuring that your loved one receives the care and treatment that he or she needs and deserves. The elderly are some of the most vulnerable among us, and when they are neglected or abused, it can be very difficult to process.
Nursing Home Neglect
The facility where your aging loved one resides owes a duty of care to each of its residents. Such duty involves assessing the individual healthcare needs of each resident and creating a personalized healthcare plan that adequately addresses these needs. While every nursing home neglect claim is unique to its own circumstances, there are four basic classifications of neglect:
- Emotional or social – Emotional support and social interaction are important elements of a healthy and rewarding life. When a nursing home fails to provide adequate opportunities for residents to interact and connect meaningfully, residents can suffer.
- Basic care – All of us have basic care needs that include a safe and sanitary living environment and adequate hydration and nutrition. When residents are deprived of these basic needs, serious consequences can result.
- Personal hygiene – Adequate hygiene is critical to the well-being and health of everyone, and because nursing home residents are often dependent on others to provide them with such care, they’re especially vulnerable to this kind of neglect.
- Medical care – Nearly all nursing home residents need ongoing medical care at some level, and when they fail to receive adequate medical attention, it can lead to a precipitous decline in their health.
These represent the basics when it comes to living a healthy and full life. When a nursing home facility fails to consistently provide care in any of these areas, it may be found legally negligent.
If your loved one has been injured by nursing home neglect or abuse, you need skilled legal counsel. These claims are very important, but they’re also complicated. Your experienced nursing home abuse attorney will fight for your loved one’s rights and for his or her rightful compensation. At the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston, our dedicated legal team has the experience, skill, and commitment to help guide your claim toward its best possible resolution.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse takes things to the next level because it involves intention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as a caregiver’s intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm for someone who is 60 years old or older. The CDC forwards several classifications of such abuse:
- Emotional or psychological abuse – Emotional or psychological abuse typically involves verbal or nonverbal actions that cause mental pain or anguish, emotional distress, or fear. Such actions can include threats, isolation, humiliation, and/or the exertion of undue control.
- Physical abuse – Physical abuse includes the implementation of physical force that causes injury, pain, functional impairment, illness, or death.
- Abusive sexual contact – Abusive sexual contact refers to any unwanted or forced sexual interactions committed against someone who is either incapacitated or incapable of consenting.
- Financial abuse or exploitation – Financial abuse or exploitation refers to a caregiver’s improper, illegal, or unauthorized use of the resources of a resident for the benefit of someone who is not the resident.
Nursing home abuse happens; if you suspect that your relative may have been abused, consult with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Your Nursing Home Claim
If your loved one has suffered an unexplained injury or shows other signs of suspected neglect or abuse—including a change in demeanor and/or appearance; a fearful countenance; an unexplained change in health, including bedsores; and/or physical signs like dehydration and malnourishment—you need an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. Damages can include medical costs, the diminishment of quality of life, and the emotional suffering wrought by the negligent or abusive treatment. Your attorney will carefully assess your aging relative’s claim, and will help guide it toward just resolution.
Will Your Claim Go to Court?
Whether your claim will end up in court or not depends upon the circumstances that are specific to your case. Nursing homes carry insurance to cover claims of negligence (but not all these insurance policies cover nursing home abuse, which is intentional in nature). If your loved one was injured by nursing home neglect, your nursing home neglect attorney will skillfully negotiate with the insurance company to help ensure that your relative is compensated fairly.
If, on the other hand, your parent or relative was injured by nursing home abuse that isn’t covered by the nursing home’s insurance policy, your case may need to go to court to obtain a just settlement. Your nursing home abuse attorney will skillfully guide your case through the legal system while aggressively advocating for the compensation to which your loved one is entitled.
It’s usually difficult to know at the outset whether a nursing home claim will go to court, but it’s important to keep your options open when it comes to protecting the rights of your aging relative. Nursing home claims are serious and should never be discounted.
If Your Relative Has Suffered Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse, You Need a Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Nursing home claims are especially upsetting—and complicated. If your loved one has been injured by either nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse, seek immediate legal guidance.
The dedicated legal team at the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston, South Carolina, has the experience, commitment, and compassion to help guide your claim toward its most positive outcome—whether it goes to court or settles with the insurance company. Our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help, so please contact or call us at (843) 881-8644 today.