In North Carolina, nursing home abuse has become a serious issue that has impacted thousands of residents. From the sanitation of food to the professional standards maintained by nursing home staff workers, it is clear that there are serious deficiencies in North Carolina nursing homes. Over 39 percent of nursing homes had issues with improper food sanitation in 2008, and over 27 percent of nursing homes were cited in having issues in regards to professional standards. It is clear that something must be done to improve the standards of nursing homes throughout North Carolina, and nursing home lawyers are available to assist in improving the standards of such facilities. If your loved one has developed bed sores, received injuries from falls or developed infections as a result of neglect, then speak with our North Carolina nursing home lawyers today for assistance in your case.
Understand North Carolina Nursing Home Laws
In North Carolina, the Protection of Abused, Neglected or Exploited Disabled Adult Act is in place to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. Despite the fact that this Act is in place, vulnerable elderly adults are still injured from abuse every day. “Abuse” is defined in the Act as the willful infliction of physical pain, injury or mental anguish. In addition, “abuse” is also defined as an unreasonable confinement or willful deprivation of basic living services by a caretaker. If an elderly person is left alone without any means of leaving a room or receiving services that he or she needs, then this may be considered an unreasonable confinement. There are severe penalties when a person becomes the victim of abuse by a nursing home staff worker.
Nursing home staff workers can also be criminally liable for the exploitation of vulnerable adults. Exploitation is defined as the illegal or improper use of a disabled adult for the profit or advantage of another person. An elderly person may be exploited if funds are taken from his or her personal accounts, personal belongings are stolen or the elderly person is otherwise used for an advantageous reason.
The Importance of Recognizing Warning Signs of Abuse
Anyone who notices or has cause to believe that an adult is suffering from abuse has a legal duty to file a report. One must file a report with the director of a social services department, and a director will then review the report and perform an investigation. A director may decide to conduct an in-home evaluation of the patient.
A director may decide that an adult is in need of protective services and decide to transfer the adult, but only with the informed consent of the adult. If the adult does not want protective services or withdraws consent, then the services must not be provided.
It is vital that anyone be able to recognize the warning signs of abuse so that patients are taken out of abusive facilities. Even if a person only has reason to believe that a patient is being abused, he or she must file a report with the director. The following is a list of the common warning signs of abuse:
- Bruising and scratches
- Open wounds and bleeding
- Constant migraines
- Bed sores
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Bed injuries
- Reluctance to talk to family members or friends
If a North Carolina nursing home resident displays any of these physical signs of abuse, then workers or family members must file a report with a director. The court may then be given an opportunity to authorize an entry onto the premises and put forth an emergency motion. Nursing home workers who fail to file a report can be held criminally liable for this failure to report.
Speak with a North Carolina Nursing Home Lawyer Today
Call our nursing home lawyers today to receive assistance in protecting a North Carolina nursing home resident. A lawyer can review your case and begin pursuing an investigation into the abuse that your loved one has suffered. Our nursing home lawyers will provide aggressive representation for your vulnerable loved one when you need it most. Our nursing home lawyers are ready to help North Carolina families in areas such as:
- High Point
Feel free to call or email us to schedule an initial consultation to begin discussing filing your report and the possibility of obtaining compensation in your case.
While we endeavor to keep this website current, the information and laws published here are subject to change. This web site may not immediately reflect such changes, and should not be considered legal advice. Please consult a lawyer if you have a specific legal problem.more information »
About Jonathan Rosenfeld
Jonathan Rosenfeld is a lawyer who represents people injured in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Jonathan has represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Illinois and across the country. Jonathan’s reputation as an aggressive advocate for the …read more »
Nursing Home Laws by State
- District of Columbia