It’s been estimated that over 5 million older adults are abused every year, but only 1 in 4 will report the abuse. This has to stop. The goal of the attorneys at the South Carolina law firm of Dan Pruitt is to not only help you, and your loved one receive all the compensation your loved one deserves if they’ve suffered from nursing home abuse but to deter other Darlington nursing homes from abusing any other residents.
What Leads to Elder Abuse and Neglect in Darlington, SC?
Nursing homes in Darlington, South Carolina can be found liable for damages if any of the following happens to your loved one residing in a nursing home:
- Negligent Hiring: Darlington nursing homes must hire people who are qualified with the proper education and those who haven’t got a record of violence or abuse. A nursing home in Darlington may be held liable for any nursing home abuse in cases where background checks haven’t been conducted.
- Not Enough Staff: The Center for Disease Control has shown that the average staff to resident ratio is one staff member for every 1.64 residents. If a Darlington nursing home has failed to hire the proper amount of people to take care of their residents, your loved one may be neglected because there’s no one to take care of them. Also, the staff in a nursing home may not be appropriately paid for the amount of work they must do. As a result, this can cause stress among the staff members, which can lead to a loss of morale and compassion for your loved one staying in said home. Nursing homes in Darlington and throughout the state of South Carolina may be found liable if your loved one suffers an injury or dies due to the nursing home being understaffed.
- Insufficient Training: In many cases, Darlington nursing home staff members are not provided with enough of the proper training to handle the disabled or disobedient residents. As a result, the nursing home doesn’t provide the care that is required by South Carolina law and expected of you and your family. Nursing homes may be found liable if their staff is improperly trained and your loved one is injured.
- Third-Party Claim: Darlington nursing homes can be found liable if a third party abused your loved one within the nursing home. The nursing home has a duty to your loved one to provide them with a safe environment. If your loved one was injured by another resident or the guest of another resident, the nursing home could be found to be responsible because they did not provide proper security to prevent your loved one from being injured.
- Breach of Regulatory or Statutory Rights: All South Carolina nursing home residents are entitled to dignity, privacy, and autonomy. When a Darlington nursing home employee violates any of these rights, the nursing home can be found liable.
- Medication Mistakes: If your loved one isn’t given the proper dose of their medications at times, they are supposed to receive their appropriate dosage, they may suffer injury. If your loved one is injured due to a Darlington, South Carolina prescription medication error, the doctor, pharmacy, or pharmacist may be held liable.
- Physical Abuse: In South Carolina, physical abuse is not just limited to battery or other physical altercations. Your loved one may be physically abused by a Darlington, South Carolina nursing home if they’ve been force-fed, overmedicated, or been the victim of excessive use of chemical or physical restraints.
- Emotional Abuse: In a Darlington nursing home, emotional abuse can be verbal threats, isolation, sarcastic remarks, degradation, or insults. Additionally, mental abuse can also be emotional manipulation that happens when a nursing home staff member deceitfully influences your loved one to their own advantage.
As an example, a Darlington nursing home staff member may manipulate your loved one into not reporting any abuse under threat of not being fed, bathed, or groomed. Darlington nursing home emotional abuse can also take place if your loved one is threatened into being quiet about any abuse taking place.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse in a Darlington nursing home is when your loved one is the victim of unwanted sexual contact, or if they are too weak or sick to give their consent or fight back. Your loved one can also be sexually abused by another resident, visitor, staff member, or family member.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse in a Darlington nursing home can take many forms. The person responsible for monitoring your loved one’s spending may use funds for their own benefit, cash checks without consent, force your loved one to sign a will or other legal document, or take advantage of a power of attorney.
- Neglect: In South Carolina, nursing home neglect refers to the failure or your loved one’s caretaker to perform their duties properly. Darlington nursing home neglect can include, failure to provide food, failure to assist with bathing, failure to provide clothing or shelter, failure to provide necessary medical treatment, failure to take care of health and safety hazards, and failure to handle unsanitary conditions that may harm your loved one.
What are Warning Signs of Abuse in a Darlington Nursing Home?
It’s essential that you learn to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse, and not dismiss indicators as being old age or dementia. Each type of nursing home abuse has its symptoms that may indicate your loved one is being abused. The most common signs your loved one is being abused in a Darlington nursing home include, but aren’t limited to:
- Emotional abuse: Symptoms may include withdrawal, mood swings, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, involuntary seclusion, sucking, rocking, or biting.
- Bleeding or bruises
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Quiet around nursing home staff
- Bruises around your loved one’s genitals
- Diseases or infections that are unexplainable
- Physical discomfort
- Sudden financial problems
- Unpaid bills
- Changes in your loved one’s will
- Changes in your loved one’s power of attorney
It’s important to remember that your loved one who resides in a Darlington nursing home may be too ashamed, disgusted, or embarrassed to tell you about the abuse they are suffering at a Darlington, South Carolina nursing home. Because of this, it’s crucial that you keep a close eye on your loved one, ask them questions, and seek the advice of a qualified Darlington, South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney.
What Damages Available in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
The damages available in a Darlington, South Carolina nursing home abuse case may include medical bills, pain, and suffering, disfigurement, and disability.
How a South Carolina Nursing Home Attorney Can Assist Your Loved One
At the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm, we are not only here to help, but we will also report your loved one’s nursing home abuse to the proper authorities and take the steps necessary to ensure your rights are protected in the event the report of abuse is lost or altered.
It’s imperative to document any information having to do with your loved one’s Darlington nursing home abuse case with detailed accounts, and pictures if the abuse is evident. South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney, Dan Pruitt, understands how to file nursing home and legal claims against the negligent nursing homes and their employees.
In cases of Darlington nursing home abuse, the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm will notify the nursing home of the allegations and give them a chance to respond. In many cases, the Darlington nursing homes will try to settle your case by scheduling a meeting to discuss the matter. By settling, your loved one can recover compensation for their loss, and the Darlington nursing home saves time and resources.
The Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm has access to and will hire expert medical witnesses who can testify in court as to how your loved one’s injuries are linked to the nursing home’s abuse or negligent behavior. This testimony is vitally important in the success of your Darlington nursing home abuse case.
Keep in mind you only have three years from the date your loved one suffered abuse and neglect in a Darlington nursing home to file a claim for damages.
If your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a Darlington nursing home, contact the Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm today for a free consultation.