As our loved ones get older, we trust that nursing homes will provide them with the medical and personal care they deserve. Unfortunately, this trust is all too often broken by the people we’ve tasked with their care. When a nursing home resident is injured or killed as a result of abuse or neglect, we must fight for the accountability and justice they deserve. Talk to a Durham nursing home abuse lawyer at Kreger Brodish LLP today to learn how we ca help.
For more than a decade, our law firm has been fighting for those who are at their most vulnerable. We strive to provide compassionate service and personal attention, taking the time to answer our clients’ questions and fighting for the maximum compensation they deserve. Many of the families we help also take comfort in the fact that their actions may save other nursing home residents from being harmed in the future.
Don’t wait another moment to demand the justice you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case with a compassionate nursing home abuse lawyer in Durham.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in North Carolina
In North Carolina, you can report suspected nursing home abuse or neglect to several different agencies:
- The North Carolina Department of Social Services operates Adult Protective Services in each county. Adult Protective Services offices can report evidence of abuse or neglect to the district attorney for criminal action, provide services to a victim of abuse or neglect, or initiate court action to move a nursing home resident from an abusive situation.
- You can also report nursing home abuse or neglect to the North Carolina Long Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman’s office takes a more non-adversarial approach than Adult Protective Services. It works to resolve concerns about abuse or neglect between both the nursing home facility and the resident and their family.
- You can also file a formal complaint with the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, the state agency that licenses and oversees nursing homes. The DHSR maintains a complaint hotline at 1-800-624-3004 (within North Carolina) or 919-855-4500. The hotline takes calls on weekdays (except holidays) from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
How a Durham Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Your family should not have to fight for the justice and compensation your loved one deserves while also dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of nursing home abuse. Let a Durham nursing home abuse lawyer from Kreger Brodish LLP help by:
- Thoroughly investigating the circumstances of the abuse or neglect to recover evidence we can use to build your case
- Protecting your loved one from further abuse or neglect, including facilitating relocation to another nursing home
- Documenting the full extent of damages your loved one suffered
- Consulting with expert witnesses when needed to help us craft an effective and persuasive case
- Managing all communication with the nursing home and insurance companies
- Pursuing settlement negotiations for maximum compensation
- Taking your claims to court, if litigation becomes the best path forward
Demanding Justice for Your Loved One
If your family member has been harmed by abuse or neglect at a nursing home, you can pursue accountability and justice on their behalf through a lawsuit. A successful lawsuit can provide compensation for:
- The costs of medical treatment and rehabilitation
- The costs of long-term care, including costs to relocate to a new nursing home or adult care facility
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced life expectancy
Sadly, severe nursing home abuse or neglect can result in death. Although no amount of money can bring back your loved one, your family still deserves justice, in the form of compensation for:
- The cost of your loved one’s last medical treatment
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Emotional distress suffered due to the loss of a loved one
- Loss of a loved one’s guidance, affection, and society
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
In many cases, victims of nursing home abuse or neglect do not report the crimes perpetrated against them. Some victims feel too embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they have been abused or neglected. Others do not understand that they are being abused or neglected. As a result, family members and friends of nursing home residents need to look out for signs of abuse or neglect. Common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Fall injuries, including broken bones
- Unexplained injuries or injuries in various stages of healing
- Frequent and unexplained illnesses or hospitalizations
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain
- Unsanitary or unclean living conditions
- Torn or soiled clothing or bedding
- Incidents of wandering, also known as elopement
- Restraint marks
- Heavy medication or sedation
- New sexually transmitted infections
- Bruising or injuries to the genitalia
- Sudden shifts in behavior, including depression or agitation
- Withdrawal or sudden loss of interest in activities
- Reluctance to speak in the presence of staff
- Fear of staff members or fear of being left alone
- Wanting to be isolated from others
- Engaging in soothing behaviors, such as rocking or thumb sucking
- Disappearance of property or money
- Unexplained transactions in a resident’s bank accounts
- Unexpected changes to a resident’s financial or estate planning documents
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the authorities immediately. Then reach out to a North Carolina elder abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take several different forms, including:
Physical abuse involves harm that is intentionally or recklessly inflicted upon a nursing home resident. Common examples of physical abuse include:
- Hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, or pushing
- Unnecessary restraint or sedation
- Intentionally withholding food or medical care
Emotional abuse involves the infliction of mental injury upon a nursing home resident and may arise from behaviors such as:
- Yelling at, belittling, or threatening a resident
- Isolating a resident
- Denying opportunities to participate in activities
Financial abuse of a nursing home resident involves improperly taking the resident’s assets or money. Examples of financial abuse include:
- Stealing money or property from a resident’s room
- Making unauthorized withdrawals from a resident’s financial accounts
- Signing a resident up for unauthorized or fraudulent recurring charges
- Effecting unauthorized changes in a resident’s estate planning documents
Sexual abuse of a nursing home resident can range from rape or unwanted sexual contact to exposing a resident for sexual gratification.
Types of Elder Care Neglect
Four of the most common types of elder care neglect include:
- Lack of basic needs. This occurs when the nursing home fails to give a person core necessities, such as food, water, and a sanitary living environment.
- Medical neglect. This occurs when nursing home staff does not give proper attention or care to a resident’s medication or medical concerns.
- Hygienic neglect. This occurs when a resident does not receive proper assistance with their hygienic upkeep, such as bathing, having clean clothes, or being moved to prevent bedsores.
- Emotional/social neglect. This occurs when a resident is repeatedly mistreated by staff, such as when they are ignored, isolated, or yelled at.
North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in North Carolina gives you only three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against the nursing home and the staffers responsible. If you wait too long to file a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit, you run the risk that the court will dismiss your case as untimely. If that happens, you lose the right to recover compensation for the suffering your loved one has experienced.
It is crucial to seek legal advice at the first sign of nursing home abuse or neglect. An experienced attorney from Kreger Brodish LLP can begin investigating your case immediately and demanding accountability.
Nursing Home Regulations in North Carolina
In North Carolina, nursing homes, adult care homes, and other long-term care facilities are regulated by the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, a division of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The DHSR also receives and investigates formal complaints of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Anyone who suspects that nursing home abuse or neglect has occurred can call the division’s complaint hotline at 1-800-624-3004. You can also file a written complaint form (available in both English and Spanish) via fax to 919-715-7724 or by mail to Complaint Intake Unit, 2711 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-2711.
Get Advice from a Durham Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Now
If your loved one has been injured or harmed by negligent or abusive nursing home staffers, contact Kreger Brodish LLP today to learn what a Durham nursing home neglect lawyer can do to help. We offer free consultations, so it won’t cost you anything to discuss your case and concerns with a compassionate attorney.