Durham Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Durham has a population that exceeds a quarter of a million people. About one in 10 of these residents is over the age of 65, and many live in nursing homes or other facilities. As our population ages, this trend will continue, with an even higher number of our elderly loved ones confined to institutional long-term care. While placing a family member in a nursing home may be one of life’s most difficult decisions, the expectation is always that they will receive a higher level of care than would be possible in the home environment. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and serious injuries or even an avoidable death may result. If you suspect that a loved one has not been treated appropriately in a long-term care facility, the Durham nursing home abuse lawyers at Maurer Law can assist you in investigating your case and pursuing compensation from any responsible party.
Nursing home abuse and neglect may take many different forms. Medical neglect occurs when a facility fails to provide a competent diagnosis or treatment of a patient’s medical needs, or when proper preventative measures are not taken in order to avoid infections. A resident’s personal hygiene and basic needs may also be neglected, leading to bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, falls, and other forms of harm. Emotional or social neglect may cause nursing home patients to become withdrawn, fearful, and depressed. Alarmingly, physical or sexual abuse also may occur in some long-term care facilities.Pursuing Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
North Carolina’s negligence law is the most common legal theory through which an elderly person or their family may pursue compensation for their medical expenses and pain and suffering. In order to prove that a facility or a staff member has been negligent, the plaintiff in a lawsuit must show that a duty of care existed, that the duty of care was breached, that harm occurred, and that there was a link of causation between the defendant’s breach of duty and the harm suffered by the victim.
The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence action and must be able to offer evidence sufficient to show each element of the claim by a preponderance of the evidence. In cases in which medical negligence is alleged, rather than a more generalized form of negligence, expert testimony may be required with regard to the standard of care and the issue of whether the standard was breached.
It takes time for a nursing home negligence lawyer to prepare a lawsuit for trial. The statute of limitations places an outer limit on the filing of a claim, and in any event a family who is concerned about the quality of a loved one’s care should contact an attorney as soon as possible. This is important to make sure that evidence is appropriately preserved and that the situation can be investigated before tragedy occurs.Seek Guidance from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in the Durham Area
To schedule an appointment with a Durham nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your or your loved one’s situation, call Maurer Law at (919) 229-8359 or contact us online. There is no charge for the initial consultation, and we handle most personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that the payment of legal fees occurs only if your case is concluded by a favorable judgment or a settlement. Thus, there is no reason to wait to start exploring your options with one of our injury attorneys.