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Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be difficult for a variety of reasons. You want to feel confident in the choice you make, and know that your family member will be treated with dignity and respect. A certain standard of care is expected, though unfortunately, this level is not always met.

If you or your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you have legal rights. Contact an experienced Winston-Salem nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to help your loved one get help, obtain a settlement, and the peace of mind that you both deserve. To learn more or discuss the first steps you should take, consult with an injury attorney in Winston-Salem today.

Nursing Home Abuse Laws

Seeking the assistance of a Winston-Salem nursing home abuse lawyer who understands the legal responsibilities of nursing home and elder care facilities in North Carolina is of the utmost importance.

North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 131E-117 outlines the legal rights of patients in nursing home facilities. Part (6) specifically states that nursing home patients have a right “to be free from mental and physical abuse and, except in emergencies, to be free from chemical and physical restraints.”

North Carolina law clearly dictates what will not be tolerated at a nursing home or elderly care facility, so it is extremely important to have a legal advocate on your side who can help you protect the rights of your loved one.

What are the Recoverable Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?

Every nursing home takes on a duty to protect its residents under state law. A failure to uphold this duty is negligence in the highest degree. As a result, a nursing home is liable provide compensation for all a resident’s losses.

The most obvious loss is the cost of medical care necessary to treat an injury. This may include an ambulance ride, corrective surgery, a hospital stay, and rehabilitation. Most instances of abuse also affect a person’s emotional state. While difficult to measure, a nursing home is also liable to provide compensation for these losses. Working with a Winston-Salem nursing home abuse attorney could help residents and their families to measure how the incident has affected victims of abuse.

Benefits of a Nursing Home Attorney

Nursing home abuse can come in many shapes and forms, often in ways that may be difficult to detect. In addition to physical mistreatment, nursing home care providers may be engaging in abusive behaviors or severely neglecting patients’ needs in the following ways:

  • Verbal assault
  • Force feeding
  • Improper hygiene/cleanliness
  • Failing to provide treatment/medication
  • Ignoring requests for care

A nursing home abuse attorney in Winston-Salem understands that this can be one of the most difficult times in a family’s life, and he or she will be attentive and sensitive to such personal matters.

Since it can be difficult to detect nursing home abuse at first, it sometimes can be even harder to figure out who is responsible. Nursing home abuse attorneys will do all they can from the moment you seek their help to protect your loved one from further abuse, as well as find out who is liable for the abusive behavior.

Having a lawyer on your side from day one can provide you with the immediate comfort of knowing that your loved one will be protected.

Are Nursing Homes Required to Report Abuse?

Nursing home facilities in North Carolina have the legal obligation to investigate any allegations of abuse or mistreatment.

The facility must report the completed investigation to the Division of Health Service regulation within five days of the allegation, outlined in 10A NCAC 13D .2210. An experienced attorney will understand how to hold the nursing facility in question accountable for the allegations of abuse.

What to Do When a Person Suspects Abuse

Unfortunately, many residents of nursing home are unable or unwilling to report abuse when it occurs. This can be the result of intimidation, a lack of cognitive awareness, or feelings of hopelessness.

Oftentimes, it falls to visiting relatives to notice changes in demeanor, unexplained injuries, or other signs of abuse. These people should immediately contact local law enforcement who will begin an investigation. It can also be helpful to take pictures of injuries or even take recorded statements from a loved one. A Winston-Salem nursing home abuse attorney could help to recommend the next steps upon discovery of abuse.

Residents and Families Must Act Quickly to Pursue a Claim

Allegations of nursing home abuse fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims that arise out of negligence. As a consequence, these claims are subject to the State’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims.

According to North Carolina Statute §1-52, plaintiffs seeking compensation for personal injuries arising from negligence have three years to do so. However, this time limit starts to run upon the discovery of an injury. In cases involving nursing home abuse, this may be many days, weeks, or months after the fact. A Winston-Salem nursing home abuse attorney could help to ensure that a case does not fail because of an expiration of the statute of limitations.

Contact an Attorney Today

Discovering that your loved one has been abused in a nursing home can be an extremely painful and emotionally difficult experience. It is important that you get help as soon as possible. Protect your loved one from further abuse by contacting a Winston-Salem nursing home abuse attorney today.