North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyer

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In North Carolina, nursing home abuse has become a serious issue that has impacted thousands of residents. From the sanitation of food to the professional standards maintained by nursing home staff workers, it is clear that there are serious deficiencies in North Carolina nursing homes.

Throughout the year, Medicare routinely gathers information through surveys, investigations and inspections at every North Carolina nursing home. Currently, according to the federal agency, 176 (41%) of the 419 nursing facilities rated in North Carolina are deemed to be below the national average because they provide their residents substandard care. Was your loved one abused, mistreated, injured or did they die prematurely through neglect while residing at a North Carolina nursing facility? If so, we encourage you to contact the North Carolina nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center today to discuss the merits of your case. Let us begin a claim for compensation on your family’s behalf to ensure your damages are recovered.

Over 39 percent of nursing homes had issues with improper food sanitation in 2008, and over 27 percent of nursing homes were cited in having issues in regards to professional standards. It is clear that something must be done to improve the standards of nursing homes throughout North Carolina, and nursing home lawyers are available to assist in improving the standards of such facilities. If your loved one has developed bed sores, received injuries from falls or developed infections as a result of neglect, then speak with our North Carolina nursing home lawyers today for assistance in your case.

Understand North Carolina Nursing Home Laws

In North Carolina, the Protection of Abused, Neglected or Exploited Disabled Adult Act is in place to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. Despite the fact that this Act is in place, vulnerable elderly adults are still injured from abuse every day. “Abuse” is defined in the Act as the willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish. In addition, “abuse” is also defined as an unreasonable confinement or willful deprivation of basic living services by a caretaker. If an elderly person is left alone without any means of leaving a room or receiving services that he or she needs, then this may be considered an unreasonable confinement. There are severe penalties when a person becomes the victim of abuse by a nursing home staff worker.

Nursing home staff workers can also be criminally liable for the exploitation of vulnerable adults. Exploitation is defined as the illegal or improper use of a disabled adult for the profit or advantage of another person. An elderly person may be exploited if funds are taken from his or her personal accounts, personal belongings are stolen or the elderly person is otherwise used for an advantageous reason.

The Importance of Recognizing Warning Signs of Abuse

North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse LawyerAnyone who notices or has cause to believe that an adult is suffering from abuse has a legal duty to file a report. One must file a report with the director of a social services department, and a director will then review the report and perform an investigation. A director may decide to conduct an in-home evaluation of the patient.

A director may decide that an adult is in need of protective services and decide to transfer the adult, but only with the informed consent of the adult. If the adult does not want protective services or withdraws consent, then the services must not be provided.

It is vital that anyone be able to recognize the warning signs of abuse so that patients are taken out of abusive facilities. Even if a person only has reason to believe that a patient is being abused, he or she must file a report with the director. The following is a list of the common warning signs of abuse:

  • Bruising and scratches
  • Open wounds and bleeding
  • Constant migraines
  • Bed sores
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Bed injuries
  • Reluctance to talk to family members or friends

If a North Carolina nursing home resident displays any of these physical signs of abuse, then workers or family members must file a report with a director. The court may then be given an opportunity to authorize an entry onto the premises and put forth an emergency motion. Nursing home workers who fail to file a report can be held criminally liable for this failure to report.

Speak with a North Carolina Nursing Home Lawyer Today

Call our nursing home lawyers today to receive assistance in protecting a North Carolina nursing home resident. A lawyer can review your case and begin pursuing an investigation into the abuse that your loved one has suffered. Our nursing home lawyers will provide aggressive representation for your vulnerable loved one when you need it most. Our nursing home lawyers are ready to help North Carolina families in areas such as:

  • Cary
  • Charlotte
  • Durham
  • Fayetteville
  • Greensboro
  • Greenville
  • High Point
  • Raleigh
  • Wilmington
  • Winston-Salem

Feel free to call or email us to schedule an initial consultation to begin discussing filing your report and the possibility of obtaining compensation in your case.

North Carolina Nursing Home Lawyers Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers

When a mobility-challenged individual does not have the capacity to turn or readjust their body without assistance, they can easily develop a decubitus ulcer within hours. Immobility is a serious problem in North Carolina nursing homes where the aging and disabled require constant monitoring to avoid developing a bedsore (decubitus ulcer; pressure ulcer; pressure sore).

Nurses and nurses’ aides at nursing homes have the responsibility to follow a routine two hour “turning” or “readjusting” schedules for all patients unable to reposition themselves on their own. This schedule is part of the patient’s health care plan to help them avoid developing a sore. Turning the patient ensures that pressure is alleviated on any part of the body that contacts a chair, bed or other body part. Performing this simple procedure every two hours or less can eliminate the possibility of acquiring a bedsore that results in damage to skin and underlying tissue.

Decubitus ulcers can form within hours when pressure restricts oxygenated blood flow to tissue and skin. These sores usually develop on bony areas of the body including the back of the head, shoulders, shoulder blades, elbows, hipbones, tailbone, buttocks, back of the legs, heels, ankles and toes.

Bedsores are a Serious Medical Condition That may Result in Complications & Death

North Carolina Nursing HomeIt is the duty of the nursing staff to perform regular skin assessment on every mobility-challenged patient’s body. Their assessment can help them detect any developing bedsore in its early stage before it becomes a serious condition. Usually, blisters, red spots or the redness will appear on a contact point when pressure has been applied to the area for over two hours. When discovered, the pressure sore needs to be treated according to proven protocols to ensure it completely heels. If the pressure ulcer is not treated properly or is left unattended, it can easily progress to an advanced stage.

Progressive bedsores will usually form a shallow crater at the site where fat deposits can appear. Within days, the sore can become life threatening where the crater deepens to expose the patient’s bone and muscles. At this stage, infection can become a serious problem, where the patient can die quickly without effective antibiotics to treat a bone infection (osteomyelitis) or blood infection (sepsis).

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Untrained Nursing Staff Behind Many Episodes of Pressure Ulcers

In many incidences, a facility-acquired decubitus ulcer is a major indicator of neglect at the nursing home. A pressure sore might be the result of nursing staff that lacks sufficient training to eliminate or minimize the potential of patients developing a sore. Without proper training and supervision to ensure that the nurses and nurse’s aides are providing quality medical care, the patient can easily develop a pressure sore through improper monitoring and neglect.

Many bedsores develop as a result of excessive moisture on the skin. When the patient is forced to lie in their own sweat, feces or urine, the integrity of the skin degrades and becomes highly susceptible to developing a decubitus ulcer. Alternatively, nearly every type of facility-acquired bedsore can be prevented with continuous monitoring of the patient’s needs and routine readjustments to alleviate pressure.

Taking Legal Action to Stop Neglect

If you have been told by the nursing staff that decubitus ulcers naturally occur as people age, that statement is not true. Nearly every type of bedsore can be avoided or managed to ensure it does not progress to a life-threatening stage. In many incidences, the administrators of the nursing home will make this claim in the hope of shielding their corporation against litigation.

If you suspect your loved one has acquired a decubitus ulcer while a resident in a nursing home, it is essential to take legal action to stop the neglect now. You can fill in the form here to make contact with a North Carolina nursing home law firm. Hiring an attorney can ensure your loved one receives proper medical care immediately to heal from their wounds. These professionals provide services in cities all throughout North Carolina including:

  • Charlotte
  • Raleigh
  • Greensboro
  • Durham
  • Winston-Salem

Our lawyers have experience prosecuting pressure sore cases and accept cases on contingency so you will not pay upfront fees. In addition, they offer a free initial consultation to help the family seek financial compensation for the damages caused by the neglect of others.

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric