If you believe your elderly relative is suffering from abuse, you should contact a Georgetown nursing home abuse lawyer. An elder abuse attorney may be able to help you and lay out your legal options. With the help of experienced legal counsel, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your loved one’s losses.
Types of Abuse the Elderly Suffer
South Carolina Code §43-35-10 defines abuse as physical or psychological. This broad category includes any of the following types of harm to an older person:
- Physical abuse: the use of force that results in a bodily injury causes pain, or impairment
- Sexual abuse: non-consensual sexual touching or rape
- Emotional abuse: inflicting pain and suffering, distress, anguish or other mental harm
- Financial or material exploitation: illegal or improper use of an older person’s funds, property, or assets
- Neglect: failure by staff to fulfill their obligations to the elderly person
- Abandonment: total desertion of an older person by the individual who has custody over them and is charged with providing their care
Common Indicators of Harm
Because there are many forms of elder abuse, there many signs family members should watch to identify some harm. Compounding that difficulty is the fact that elders often are unsure, unaware of the abuse, or unwilling to talk about it with their families.
- Signs of physical abuse: unexplained bruises, welts, scars, sprains, and broken bones
- Signs of sexual abuse: bruises around breasts and genitals and torn or bloody underclothing
- Emotional abuse: changes in behavior such as rocking or mumbling
- Financial or material abuse: unexplained withdrawals from accounts, missing items around the house, and changes in wills, titles or policies
- Signs of neglect: weight loss, malnutrition, bedsores, or unbathed
- Abandonment: desertion in public places, injuries that took place while alone
A Georgetown nursing home abuse attorney may have seen many of these cases before; they could be able to use their experience in the field to help the plaintiff identify whether their family member may be abused.
Statutory Time Limits
If a plaintiff believes their loved one may be suffering from abuse, the first thing they should do is remove them from the nursing home. Next, they should speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer from Georgetown as soon as possible. If the plaintiff wishes to bring a lawsuit for their loved one’s injuries suffered, they only have a limited time to do so.
If the claim is for personal injuries or fraud, under South Carolina Code §15-3-530, a plaintiff has three years from the day the older adult was harmed to file a suit. If they are claiming sexual abuse, they have a six-year deadline as per S.C. Code §15-3-555. A nursing home abuse attorney from Georgetown could help victims identify which statutory period applies to their claim and ensure that this deadline is not missed. The court would likely dismiss a complaint filed after its expiration on a motion from the defendant.
Contact a Georgetown Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If a plaintiff proves their case before the court, they may be able to recover financial compensation for whatever the older adult’s damages were, whether it be physical, sexual, financial, or psychological abuse. A Georgetown nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to assess the merits of the case, discuss your legal options, and pursue a claim on your behalf. Call today.