South Dakota Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
Being aware of the rise of nursing home abuse and neglect can help family members ensure that a loved one is protected at all times. It is important to be aware that instances of nursing home abuse and neglect are actually quite common, despite marketing portrayals of nursing homes as comfortable and safe facilities for elderly people. Research indicates that a total of one in three nursing homes are cited for instances of nursing home abuse every year. Over 50 percent of nursing home residents suffer from physical pain that is left untreated by nursing home staff workers every year. A University of California-San Francisco research study indicates that over 30 percent of South Dakota nursing homes consistently have issues with food sanitation and maintaining a safe environment for nursing home residents. South Dakota nursing homes have also been discovered to have issues with housekeeping services, infection control and maintaining confidentiality in clinical records in the past. If you feel that your loved one has suffered as a result of deficiencies in South Dakota nursing homes, then nursing home lawyers are available to help you.
According to data managed by Medicare, there are currently 109 nursing homes rated in South Dakota based on surveys and investigations. The federal agency identified serious violations and deficiencies at thirty-two (29%) of these South Dakota nursing homes and deemed these facilities at below average compared to national statistics. Was your loved one abuse, mistreated or injured or did they die unexpectedly through neglect while residing at a South Dakota nursing facility? If so, we encourage you to contact the South Dakota nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center today to discuss a claim for compensation during a free case review.South Dakota Nursing Home Injury Laws
There are state laws and agencies in place to provide protections for those who have suffered from abuse or neglect in South Dakota nursing homes. Despite the existence of these government agencies and state laws, there are still thousands of residents who suffer from abuse and neglect in South Dakota every year. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program Act is the statutory authority that establishes the protective programs for adults who suffer from abuse and neglect in the state. The departments charged with the task of investigating abuse reports include the South Dakota Department of Health, Adult Protective Services Act, Adult Services and Aging Act and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Act.
The Ombudsman Office provides a variety of functions for families who are dealing with nursing home abuse in South Dakota. According to the Department of Social Services website, the Office helps file complaints on behalf of residents, mediates with nursing home staff, investigates complaints and grievances and also educates families about nursing home abuse. Families can also seek elder care information in South Datakota from the Ombudsman Office. They can also inquire about any past incidents of abuse or neglect that have been filed at nursing homes in the state.Know the Rights of Your Loved One in Nursing Home Facilities
All too often, family members do not realize the broad extent to which their loved ones have rights under the law. Nursing home residents are a protected class of citizens under the law, and it is a serious issue when administrators fail to recognize the rights of these individuals.
There are certain fundamental rights listed in the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 that every resident has, including the following:
- The right to privacy
- The right to be treated with dignity
- The right to be free from abuse, exploitation or neglect
- The right to be free from physical and chemical restraints
- The right to participate in family groups
- The right to communicate with others
- The right to review one’s care plan established by a nursing home facility
- The right to voice disagreements without suffering from retaliatory behaviors
There are certain surveys conducted under the federal law that also seek to determine whether nursing homes are providing services to ensure these rights for individuals. If a nursing home is violating the rights of nursing home residents, then it may be subject to sanctions that include directed training of staff, civil monetary penalties, new management or termination of Medicare and Medicaid agreements. Nursing homes may also lose reimbursement for payments of Medicaid or Medicare benefits.Obtain a Free Consultation with South Dakota Nursing Home Lawyers Today
Call our nursing home lawyers to receive a free consultation today. Nursing home lawyers will do whatever it takes to ensure justice is served in your loved one’s case. This may mean that your loved one is entitled to receive compensation for the harm that he or she has suffered. Our attorneys are ready to help families throughout South Dakota in areas such as:
- Rapid City
- Sioux Falls
Lawyers can provide you with elder care information in South Dakota. Our nursing home lawyers are available to provide you with guidance in this difficult time.South Dakota Nursing Home Lawyers Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Pressure Sores & Decubitus Ulcers
When a nursing home patient is not fed nutritional meals or kept clean and dry, they can easily develop a bedsore if unable to reposition their body every two hours or less. Wheelchair-bound and bedridden patients are the most susceptible to developing bedsores (pressure sores; pressure ulcer; decubitus ulcers). Prolonged pressure on bony parts of the body continuously contacting a mattress, pad or chair can restrict blood flow. Without oxygen, skin and underlying tissue can become damaged or die.
Common areas where pressure ulcers occurr include the patient’s neck, back of the head, shoulder blades, shoulders, elbows, hipbones, tailbone, buttocks, toes, heels and ankles. The first noticeable signs of a pressure sore typically appear as red spots or blisters where the surrounding tissue is noticeably cooler or warmer than the wound.The Standard of Care SD Medical Care Facilities
The medical professionals in nursing facilities are responsible to provide every patient basic acceptable standards of care to minimize the development of a sore. Doctors, nurses, nurse’s aides and the facility itself can be held legally accountable for negligence if any developing bedsore is allowed to progress to an advanced stage.
Severe cases of decubitus ulcers usually require extensive medical care including debridement, where a doctor removes dead skin from the wound. Without proper treatment, the ulcerated sore can expose the bone and muscle below, making the wound highly vulnerable to infection of the blood (sepsis) and bone (osteomyelitis). If antibiotics are ineffective, the patient can die quickly from the bedsore-related infection.
Many families have no other choice than to place a grandparent, parent or disabled sibling in the care of a nursing facility. They entrust nursing homes with the duty of providing continuous quality care to their loved one, ensuring that their well-being and health are maintained.
Typically, nursing home administrators and admitting staff provide assurance to the family that their loved one will be treated with care, respect and dignity at all times. This is why families are often disturbed to find that their loved one has developed a pressure ulcer while at the facility. Because nearly every type of bedsore is preventable, a developing skin wound is usually a sign of neglect by the medical professionals at the nursing home.
Nearly all nursing facilities are run by “for profit” corporations that are willing to sacrifice the health of the patient for a better return on their investment. As a result, many nursing homes are understaffed or operate on minimal budgets where only unskilled or untrained caregivers are hired. Many patients suffer bedsores because the facility lacks properly trained staff to provide constant skin monitoring.
Nursing homes are to follow rigorous protocols that ensure the patient’s potential of developing a sore is eliminated. This involves routine schedule “turning” or readjusting of the patient’s body every two hours or less. These protocols ensure that all pressure on the patient’s skin is alleviated before the potential of a developing sore can occur. When strictly followed, this simple procedure can save the life of the patient.Legal Action Available to Those Who Have Acquired Decubitus Ulcer in a South Dakota Facility
Nursing home management and caregivers are charged with a legal and ethical obligation to protect the health and well-being of every patient at the facility. When the medical professionals breach their obligation, any patient who develops a sore can be facing a serious life-threatening condition.
When families realize their loved one in a nursing home has developed a bedsore, taking legal action is often necessary to stop the negligence. Hiring a South Dakota nursing home attorney is a viable solution hold those responsible accountable for their actions. The attorney can also file a claim for financial compensation to pay for quality care to ensure that the love one heels properly. They provide their services in South Dakota cities including:
- Sioux Falls
- Rapid City
Fill out the contact form here to schedule an appointment with a South Dakota pressure ulcer lawyer listed below. These attorneys work on contingency and can assist you and your family in stopping the abuse now.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 3 years. (South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. §15-2-14)
- Medical malpractice – 2 years. SOL period is extended by continuous treatment. In cases involving minors under age six, child has two years after sixth birthday to file a medical malpractice action. In cases involving minors six years of age and older, minor must file suit within three years of malpractice. (South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. §15-2-14.1)
- Non-economic damages are limited to $500,000. (South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. §21-3-11)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 3 years with Discovery Rule. (South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. §21-5-3)
- Noneconomic damages are limited to $500,000. (South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. §21-3-11)
- Long Term Care Ombudsman Program – (South Dakota Codified Laws Ann. §§28-1-45.6-7)