Aggressive & Compassionate Legal Representation
Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home can be a tough decision for you and your family. After taking the time to find a suitable home, it can be devastating to discover that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you’re looking for a trustworthy and compassionate lawyer with experience in cases involving nursing home negligence, Benoit Law Firm, PLLC can help. Our Charlotte personal injury attorney Dexter Benoit has helped clients win nursing home neglect and abuse lawsuits for nearly two decades.
To work with an understanding and experienced nursing home negligence attorney in Charlotte, call us today at (877) 600-7212.
Why Choose the Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys at Benoit Law Firm, PLLC?
- Since 2011, we have fought for the rights of negligence victims throughout North Carolina. Our attorneys will advocate aggressively for your loved one and work tirelessly to hold the nursing home accountable.
- We recognize the importance of proper compensation for victims of nursing home negligence. Over the years, we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
- Our firm offers free, no-obligation consultations and will gladly travel to your or your loved one’s home, hospital room, or another location upon request.
Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident
When you trust a nursing home with the care of your loved one, there is a level of comfort and respect that you expect from that nursing home. It’s important to first know what rights you and your loved one have when trusting the services of a nursing home. At a minimum, federal law specifies that nursing homes must provide for the following:
Participation in activities
A discrimination-free environment
An abuse-free environment
Proper medical care
Visitation from friends and family
Access to information about services and fees
What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
Nursing home neglect and abuse is shockingly common. Statistics from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) suggest roughly 95% of nursing home residents have been neglected or witnessed neglect. These numbers may merely reflect a portion of the problem, as many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported each year.
It’s important to keep in regular contact with your loved ones in elder care, and to believe them if they suggest something is amiss at their facility. Such cases are usually the result of poor staffing, but outdated equipment and unsanitary or dilapidated facilities may also pose a risk.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cites six types of mistreatment that can occur in elder care facilities. These are:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Sexual abuse
Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes is a Serious Issue in the U.S.
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “elderly who live in residential settings that offer long-term supportive services are at particular risk for abuse and neglect. They are particularly vulnerable because most suffer from several chronic diseases that lead to limitations in physical and cognitive functioning and are dependent on others. In addition, many are either unable to report abuse or neglect or fearful that such reporting may lead to retaliation or otherwise negatively affect their lives.”
Physical nursing home abuse is a serious problem that occurs in every corner of the United States. Read on to learn more.
Common Examples of Nursing Home Physical Abuse
No matter how you look at it, physical abuse is assault.
The following are some of the most common forms of physical abuse that elders endure in nursing homes:
- Inappropriate use of restraints
- Unnecessary confinement
- Using drugs to alter their state of consciousness
- Other actions using undue force
Regardless of whether a patient is combative or hard to handle, there’s never an excuse for a doctor, nurse, assistant, or another staff member to conduct violence, assault, or other forms of physical abuse.
What Are the Warning Signs of Physical Abuse?
It won’t always be immediately apparent that your loved one is being physically abused.
Below are some warning signs:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, welts, or other injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Improper distribution of medication
- Dislocated joints
- Unexplained soft tissue injuries
- Broken glasses, hearing aids, and other devices
- Marks on wrists from restraints
- Your loved one fears a particular caregiver
- A caregiver who refuses to allow you any alone time with your loved one
Other Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Aside from physical abuse, many residents of Charlotte nursing homes experience neglect, abandonment, and emotional, financial, and sexual exploitation. These types of mistreatment can have a profound impact on a person’s health and well-being, affecting a victim’s life for years to come.
Below are common signs of other types of nursing home abuse:
- Neglect: Signs of neglect can include sudden weight loss, dehydration, bedsores, poor hygiene, and unsanitary living conditions. Neglected residents may often appear unkempt, with dirty clothes or unwashed hair. Inadequate attention to medical needs, such as missed medication doses or a lack of mobility assistance, can also indicate neglect.
- Abandonment: If a resident is frequently left alone, isolated, or unsupervised, this could indicate abandonment. Other signs can include sudden changes in behavior, such as anxiety or depression, and an overall decline in the resident’s health and well-being.
- Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse can manifest in various ways. A resident may appear fearful, depressed, withdrawn, or anxious, especially around certain staff members. Other signs could include sudden changes in behavior, difficulty sleeping, or unexplained confusion.
- Financial Abuse: Signs of financial abuse can be harder to identify as they are often subtle. However, if a resident suddenly has unexplained bank withdrawals, unusual credit card charges, or new loans, these could be indicators. Other signs can include missing belongings, changes in legal documents such as wills, or the resident not having enough money to afford necessities despite adequate financial resources.
- Sexual Abuse: Signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home might include unexplained injuries in the genital area, sexually transmitted diseases, anxiety or depression, withdrawal from social activities, and behaviors consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder. A sudden change in demeanor, especially around certain individuals, can also be indicative of sexual abuse.
Legal Options for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse in Charlotte, NC
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, there are several ways that you can take action. First, you can report the abuse by calling 911 or filing a complaint with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Adult Protective Services division.
From here, you could pursue criminal charges against the abusive caregiver. At the same time, your loved one can file a civil lawsuit against the caregiver and, in some cases, the nursing home itself. By pursuing a lawsuit, your loved one can recover financial compensation to pay for medical care, property loss, and other damages related to the abuse.
A Charlotte nursing home negligence attorney from Benoit Law Firm, PLLC can help you choose your optimal course of action and hold the abuser accountable.
Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
Have you or a loved one suffered the effects of nursing home negligence? The attorneys at Benoit Law Firm, PLLC can help you secure the justice and compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at (877) 600-7212 to schedule your free case consultation with a Charlotte nursing home abuse attorney.