Information On South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawsuit Case Values
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a tragic, but unfortunately common, occurrence in the U.S. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, as many as 5,000,000 elderly people experience some type of abuse each year. When abuse or neglect happens in a facility entrusted with the care of a loved one, it is a heartbreaking breach of trust.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1.4 million people are currently living in 15,600 nursing homes in the United States. Nearly 70% of these are operated as for-profit facilities. According to Medicare data, almost 37% of the facilities were deemed to be below average by surveyors. This can lead to tragic consequences.Types of Abuse & Neglect Found in South Carolina Nursing Homes
Some of the most common types of abuse and neglect in South Carolina nursing homes include:
- Physical Harm
This may be an act perpetuated by nursing home staff, other residents, or visitors to a facility.
- Unknown Fractures
Any fracture occurring at a nursing facility is cause for concern. In addition to the underlying circumstance, many patients suffer from serious medical complications following a broken bone.
- Sexual Assaults
Facilities have a responsibility to screen staff and residents who have a history of aggressive behavior and sexual assault.
- Dropped Patients
When staff fail to get assistance or needed lifting equipment, patients may be dropped, suffering serious injuries.
- Errors Made with Medication
Facilities have a responsibility to provide the correct medication and dosage as prescribed by the resident's physician. When errors are made, patients may sustain complications or even death.
- Untimely Death
A sudden, unexpected death should always be examined to determine if there are factors involving the patient's care that contributed to the death.
You may wonder what you should look for to head off the neglect or abuse of a loved one. Some signs of neglect or abuse include:
When a patient with limited mobility is not moved and repositioned frequently, the blood supply to tissue is interrupted and the flesh dies. An open wound may develop. In a nursing home this is a clear sign of neglect.
- Repeated Falls
When nursing home staff fail to evaluate a patient to determine if they're at risk for falling or fail to implement safeguards, they may be accountable for a patient's fall-related injuries in the nursing facility.
Many patients have special diets to accommodate difficulty swallowing. When staff fail to adhere to the dietary restrictions or monitor patients, they may choke on solids or liquids, resulting in catastrophic injury or death.
- Dehydration and Malnutrition
If you see rapid weight loss in a loved one, there may be an underlying situation involving malnutrition or dehydration.
Nursing facilities must identify patients prone to wandering, including dementia and Alzheimer's patients, and take safeguards to prevent them from leaving the safety of the facility without the knowledge of staff.
If you suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected in a South Carolina nursing home, you may wonder if it's worth the hassle of a lawsuit.
Every case is different, and the value of each individual case will, of course, depend on the facts and circumstances, as well as the severity of the harm or injury to the patient. But frequently lawsuits may help to change nursing home practices and procedures, as well as help pay for additional medical treatment needed as a result of the abuse or neglect.
Some things that may be used to determine the financial value of the case in both nursing home negligence and wrongful death are:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering of the patient and family
- Loss of income
- Loss of normal life
- Survival damages, in the case of wrongful death
The total amount awarded will depend on the extent of the injury and can also be affected by South Carolina laws that limit the amount of compensation that can be recovered, such as the Tort Claims Act, shared fault rules, and medical malpractice damage award caps.
Some additional factors may affect the value of a South Carolina nursing home abuse and neglect case, including:
- Age of the patient: The value of a younger person's life is generally higher than an older person, with the assumption that a younger person has more life left to live.
- Conduct of the facility: Was this a poor system of care with ongoing problems or a one-time mistake or accident?
- Insurance: Negotiating with an insurance company may be easier than negotiating with a facility or individual.
- Family care and involvement: A family that is actively involved in the care of their loved one, making regular visits, is more likely to receive a higher settlement.
Some examples of specific lawsuit recoveries include:
- Bedsore Settlements
- Fall Settlements
- Inadequate Care Settlements
- Medical Error Settlements
- Nursing Home Abuse Settlements
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected in a South Carolina nursing facility, please contact us. We can help you determine if you and your loved one might be entitled to relief under South Carolina law.