South Carolina Lawyer Holds Nursing Homes Accountable for Abuse and Neglect
Attorney advocates for the rights of seniors to competent care in the Charleston area
Nursing homes owe a duty of care to the elderly patients who reside in their facilities. When that care is substandard or patients are subjected to abuse, the consequences can be devastating, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these senior residents suffer from ailments that prevent them from speaking out or have no family members to advocate for their welfare. Ortner Law Firm, LLC represents victims of nursing home abuse or neglect in the Charleston area and throughout South Carolina in civil actions. I hold nursing home staff and facilities accountable when they mistreat the vulnerable seniors in their care. If an elderly loved one has been subjected to mistreatment, I will seek the compensation and justice they deserve for injuries suffered at the hands of negligent or malevolent nursing home staff.
Skilled advocate details the warning signs of abuse
Elderly residents of nursing homes are at the mercy of those responsible for their care. Abuse and neglect in these facilities, unfortunately, happen all too often, for a variety of reasons: nursing home staff may be poorly trained and often poorly paid; they may not be thoroughly vetted before being hired; and the facilities may be understaffed, compromising patient care.
There are warning signs that family members need to look for when they suspect that an elderly loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home:
- Bedsores, which show the patient has not been moved frequently enough
- Bruising or bleeding
- Wounds or cuts left untreated
- Soiling and poor hygiene
- Unexplained weight loss
- Hair loss
- Burns and abrasions
- Ligature marks on wrists or ankles that could be signs of improper restraint
While the signs of physical abuse and neglect are more obvious, the signs of emotional abuse may not be as evident but are just as significant. Nursing home residents who suffer emotional abuse may become withdrawn, depressed, listless, and unresponsive. If your loved one shows any of these signs, it's important to act immediately. I will investigate the facility, document injuries, consult with medical experts, and work to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Diligent lawyer upholds clients' rights under the Nursing Home Reform Act
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) established a minimum standard of care for all patients receiving care in nursing home facilities. Prior to passage of this landmark legislation, nursing facilities were largely unregulated. Even with these regulations, abuse and neglect continue. NHRA states that each resident should enjoy these basic rights while living in a nursing home facility:
- Dignified existence
- Communication with people inside and outside the facility
- Access to services
- Freedom from physical abuse and neglect
- Protection from misappropriation of property
- Accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
- Freedom to file a complaint if rights are violated
If any of these patients’ rights have been violated, I can take legal action. I will demand compensation for the victim's injuries, their movement to a safe place, punishment of individuals who are engaging in abuse, and the immediate remedy of violations at the nursing home facility.
Lawyer stresses the importance of reporting nursing home violations
If you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, it is vital that you report it. One incident of abuse usually represents a pattern of abusive behavior. If one patient is being victimized, most likely others are too. By exposing abuse, you can help other vulnerable patients while protecting yourself and your loved ones.
Contact a dedicated South Carolina attorney when you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect
Ortner Law Firm, LLC represents victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout South Carolina by holding staff and facilities accountable for mistreatment that injures our clients. I will seek justice on your behalf. Call 843-405-0574 or contact me online to schedule your free consultation. My office is in Charleston.