You can learn how to report nursing home abuse in South Carolina from the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS). Their site includes a list of phone numbers you can call depending on what type of facility your loved one is staying in, as well as an option to report the abuse online.
In nursing home abuse cases, the proper authority is most likely the Long Term Care Ombudsman, which handles cases involving nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. Their number is 1 (800) 868-9095.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, you have the right to file a report with the proper authorities. Examples of abuse, according to S.C. Ann. § 43-35-10, include:
- Physical abuse, e.g., hitting, sexual assault, isolating the victim
- Psychological abuse, e.g., making threats, screaming, humiliating the victim
- Neglect, e.g., not providing proper meals, withholding necessary medical care
- Exploitation, e.g., forcing the victim to participate in harmful activities, stealing money or other valuables from the victim
You will want to make your report as specific as possible. Include as much information as you have about:
- The victim’s condition before and after the alleged abuse
- The victim’s injuries, including any medical care they needed
- How and when the injuries occurred
- The facility where the injuries occurred
- The names of specific nursing home employees you believe were involved in the abuse
- Why you believe the injuries are the result of nursing home abuse
What Else Can I Do?
After filing your report, it is vital to get your loved one out of the abusive situation and into a safe environment as soon as possible. You will also want to preserve your legal right to sue the nursing home that has harmed your loved one; waiting too long could cost you compensation.
By consulting with a nursing home abuse lawyer, you’ll have someone managing your case while you focus on your loved one’s wellbeing. This way, you can ensure their safety and protect their rights.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-740-8653
Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse?
In general, the nursing home and those who work there can be liable when abuse occurs. You had an agreement with the facility and trusted the staff to look after your loved one’s welfare. Their failure to live up to their end of the bargain makes them vulnerable to lawsuits.
When you report nursing home abuse, you create a record that can help prove the liable party’s guilt. Meanwhile, waiting too long to file a report could allow the facility to argue that the abuse did not really happen or is not as serious as you claim.
Other Liable Parties
According to the DSS, the law requires people in certain professions to report the potential abuse of vulnerable adults if they have good reason to suspect it. These professionals include:
- Social workers
- Anyone working in medicine
- Anyone working in mental health
- Law enforcement officers
- Nursing home employees
If you can prove that an individual in any of the above fields knew about the abuse and did not report it, you may be able to sue them as well.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in South Carolina
Reporting nursing home abuse should only be your first step. To ensure that the liable party is held responsible for their actions, you can file a lawsuit. Doing so can:
- Penalize the liable party for their actions/failure to act
- Protect other nursing home residents from the abusive nursing home
- Give you the chance to recover compensation that will make it easier for your family to move forward
How a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
Our attorneys have experience in nursing home abuse cases and can help you collect evidence to prove your case against the liable parties. This evidence may include medical records, witness testimonials, and expert analysis. Our lawyers can then:
- Calculate how much you qualify to recover for your family’s financial, physical, and psychological suffering
- File your lawsuit with the appropriate court
- Notify the liable party and their representatives about the suit and ask to meet with them on your behalf
- Handle all of your administrative and communication needs, including drawing up the settlement agreement
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement and repudiate any attempts to deny the nursing home’s liability
- Take the case to court and work hard to convince a jury that you deserve damages if the insurance company will not offer satisfactory compensation
Click to contact our personal injury lawyers today
We Represent Clients in South Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Our team at Hammack Law Firm understands this is a difficult and emotional time for your family. Please know that you are not alone and our team is standing by to evaluate your South Carolina case at no cost or obligation.
Call us at (864) 326-3333. No matter where you are in your case – whether you need more information on how to report nursing home abuse or are ready to file your lawsuit – we want to help.