In a Rock Hill nursing home abuse or negligence case, the owner of the nursing home is always going to be held liable. The culpable party most often going to be the employee or an agent of the nursing home. The nursing home will be responsible for all of the actions of their employees and/or agents working on their behalf. Even in an abuse case, you can find instances where the nursing home has not done a sufficient job in terms of hiring, doing a background check, supervising, training, and other things of that nature. On the negligence side, the nursing home is always going to be responsible for the actions of their individual employees and/or agents. We usually find that there is one company that owns a lot of different nursing homes all across the country. Sometimes it is hard to track down the parent company of these places, and they tend to change ownerships quite often. Therefore, identifying the correct entity to file the claim against is sometimes very problematic.
Bringing a Claim On Behalf of a Loved One
Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of cases in which a family member is the first one that notices that something is not right. It could be something as simple as noticing a bed sore, for instance. In these cases, we advise family members to immediately make a complaint to the administration at the nursing home. Oftentimes, these people are being cared for by Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), or other people on the nursing staff. Every one of these nursing homes has a Director of Nursing (DON). If a family member feels that their loved one is being neglected in any way, a complaint must be made to the DON.
Hopefully, the DON will do what they need to do internally. Obviously, if things aren’t getting resolved, these kinds of cases are very complicated. Like I said before, complications arise in terms of identifying who the proper defendant might be, and from the nature of how we have to put evidence together. You really can’t do anything on your own; you’re probably going to need the assistance of a nursing home abuse lawyer to get you through the maze that’s required in these kinds of cases.
You are certainly allowed to bring a claim on behalf of a loved one if they are unable to do so. In fact, the patient is incapable of representing themselves in 99.9% of these situations, either from physical disability or diminished mental capacity. Most of the time, a family member already has a power of attorney for medical needs and financial matters. In those types of cases, we would get a family member court-appointed as guardian of the patient after proving that the patient is incapable of handling the claim on their own. The process of having a family member appointed as a guardian is pretty simple. If it’s a wrongful death case, then a family member is usually appointed as the representative of the estate.
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Damages Available in a Claim
The damages in a nursing home negligence or abuse claim are not much different than the damages in any type of civil case; there are economic damages and non-economic damages. If the abuse or the neglect results in further medical care that wouldn’t have been necessary otherwise, then any cost associated with that would be recovered. On the non-economic side, pain and suffering to the patient are always damages that can be received and compensated for in these matters.
The Statute Of Limitations
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the injury or act. It is also three years from the date of death. North Carolina is the same, with the exception of wrongful death cases, in which you only have a two year statute of limitations.
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How An Attorney Can Help to Determine Liability in Rock Hill Nursing Home Abuse Claims
We’ve handled a number of these cases over the years. We are familiar with the kinds of things that go on, the standard of care within the nursing home, the duties that are required by the CNAs and Director of Nursing, the type of neglect that can occur, and the type of abuse that can occur. We know what needs to be done in order to compile the evidence that we need, especially given the fact that we are dealing with patients who probably can’t help very much in providing details. Oftentimes, we will get nursing experts or CNA experts to assist us in reviewing the records and identifying where substandard care is occurring. We may even go as far as getting independent medical exams on the patients in order to determine whether the injuries were a natural occurrence or due to specific neglect. So, there are a lot of things that need to be considered and analyzed. These are the kinds of things that we have gained knowledge on through experience with many different types of cases.