Columbia Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Seeing a loved one in a nursing home is often difficult for family members, even in the best of situations. It’s nothing less than horrific when a vulnerable elderly person, relying on nursing home staff and management for their care, is subject to abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, the tragedy of nursing home abuse is all too common, both here in South Carolina and across the country.
The South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyers at Mann Blake & Jackson have a long track record of taking up big cases and winning big settlements, including those in excess of $50 million. From our Columbia office, we serve all of South Carolina.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
The National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA) says that almost half of nursing care residents report suffering direct physical abuse. If the issue is neglect, that figure rises to 95 percent. Abuse and neglect may constitute the basis for a lawsuit against the offending institution.
It’s important to note that abuse and neglect need not be intentional. The issue is whether or not the nursing home and its staff were negligent. This can simply mean that a reasonable standard of care was not provided.
As an example, one reason for nursing home residents having their needs neglected is that there aren’t enough staffers to care for them. Management might be held liable under these circumstances for failing to staff appropriately, even if this poor decision-making was simply the result of incompetence rather than malice.
Nursing home residents often need to be helped out of bed, sometimes including with lifts that move them from a bed to a chair. What happens if a staffer is careless is putting an elderly person in the lift and a serious injury results? In circumstances like these, it’s unlikely the staffer acted negligently on purpose. But if they failed to exercise the standard of care appropriate to the situation, there can still be liability.
Laws are in place at both the federal level—the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act—and here at the state level in South Carolina through the Adult Protection law, that grant nursing home residents basic legal rights.
These rights include, among other things, the ability to give voice to their problems with the facility or any staff without fearing retribution. They have the right to flexibility regarding when their loved ones visit. They have the right to participation in decisions regarding their medical treatment.
A nursing home resident also has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. They are not to be discriminated against. And while privacy issues can be particularly sensitive in a nursing home, the residents do maintain a basic right to privacy.
When these rights are violated can be a gray area. An experienced South Carolina nursing home abuse attorney will have the benefit of past cases, in understanding what type of behavior the courts will not tolerate and what evidence is required to prove it.
One of the most difficult parts of identifying nursing home abuse is that residents often feel either shame or fear in speaking up for themselves. In some particularly egregious cases, there may be Alzheimer’s patients who genuinely cannot remember what happened to them, or recall who the perpetrator was. It’s up to family and friends to watch out for the signs of nursing home abuse.
Poor hygiene can certainly be one indicator, as can bruising or other sores that seem difficult to explain. Does the nursing home resident seem unusually fearful, either generally or around a particular staffer? If so, it’s worth asking questions. Do you find it impossible to be alone with your loved one, absent the presence of any staffers. Maybe it’s an extreme level of conscientiousness on the part of the staffer. But maybe it’s something less benign. Someone has to find out.
Finding out exactly what is going on calls for a South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer that understands how to conduct an investigation and won’t back down until all relevant details have been obtained.
HOW CAN A COLUMBIA NURSING HOME ABUSE ATTORNEY HELP YOU?
No one should have to worry about the safety of their elderly loved ones in nursing homes, but unfortunately abuse and neglect are all too common. If you fear your elderly family member is suffering from mistreatment or negligence at a nursing home, an experienced Columbia nursing home neglect attorney can provide legal help. They can investigate any claims of abuse and fight for justice on behalf of victims and their families. A skilled attorney will be able to advise you on what steps to take in order to protect your loved one’s rights and how best to pursue compensation for the harm that has been done.
A nursing home abuse attorney in Columbia can also help:
- Ensure that any out of court settlements comply with relevant laws and regulations
- File a lawsuit against the responsible parties in a timely manner
- Represent family members during trial proceedings
- Advocate for maximum compensation from all liable individuals, companies, or institutions
- Handle paperwork such as medical bills, insurance documents, witness statements, etc.
- Negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of the victim's family
- Advise families regarding their legal options if they are dissatisfied with an offered settlement offer
- Access important resources such as expert witnesses and medical professionals
Relentless Lawyers for Serious Cases
Mann Blake & Jackson has a track record of success that people can feel confident in. We’ve taken on big institutions, their lawyers and their insurance companies and we’ve delivered big settlements to clients. Every case is a new one and past success is never a guarantee of future performance—but we think, or track record is a reason that clients can have peace of mind in knowing that their lawyer is doing everything possible to get justice.
We've Fought and Beaten Government Agencies
We've recovered over $100M in verdicts, settlements, and awards for our clients, much of that against government agencies. We know what you're facing, and we're the team to help you win.
These Cases Are Close to Home For Us
Not only are we North and South Carolina attorneys, but our families, friends, and neighbors have fallen victim to the injustices at Camp Lejeune. We'll fight vigorously for you and your family not just because it's the right thing to do, but because we've been hurt by this too.
We Know How to Protect and Service Our ClientsWe've fought for whistleblowers. We've fought for catastrophic injury victims. We know this can feel like a daunting road, but we have the experience and know what it takes to provide you the justice you deserve.
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The compassion for their clients is excellent.
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I highly recommend Jenkins and his firm.
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