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Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Law Firm

nursing home litigation

Congress recently released a report that found that verbal, physical, psychological and sexual abuse are an epidemic in American nursing homes and other care facilities for the elderly what Congress calls truly a national tragedy. Other findings included the fact that more than 5,200 institutions were cited over a 2-year-period for a staggering approximate 9,000 instances of elder abuse. More than 1,600 of the cases involved serious infractions that could lead to sever personal injury or even death.

If one of your elderly family members has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, the victim could be eligible for compensation for the damages they have suffered, including pain and suffering, mental anguish and medical bills. The offending nursing home should be held accountable for their negligence and the attorneys at Harbin & Burnett can aggressively pursue justice on behalf of victims.

Find out how we can help learn about your legal rights by filling out the Free Case Evaluation form to your right to get started.

Evidence of Nursing Home Abuse

Although in certain cases it is not apparent when abuse is occurring, there are signs to look for when seeking evidence of nursing home neglect or abuse.

Some common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:

  • Pressure ulcers / bed sores
  • Bruises
  • Changes in demeanor
  • Short temper
  • Weight loss
  • Emotional / physical withdrawal
  • Cuts / abrasions
  • Depression
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Open wounds
  • Burns
  • Poor hygiene
  • Infection
  • Hair loss
  • Torn / stained clothing or bedding
  • Childish / infantile behavior
  • Listlessness
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Missing personal effects
  • Unusual spending
  • Delay or refusal of access by staff

It is important for families of nursing home residents to visit often to ensure their needs are being met and that the environment provides safety, caring and compassion.

No one wants to believe that their loved one is being abused and the above signs could be symptomatic of other situations; however, if you have any suspicions that your loved ones care facility is engaging in negligent or illegal behavior, it is important to seek evidence and file a complaint. Consider hiring a nursing home abuse law firm.

Types of Nursing Home Negligence

There are over 17,000 elderly care facilities throughout the United States. In 2007, there were approximately 1.4 million nursing home residents, and more than 20,000 abuse, neglect or exploitation complaints meaning 1 in 14 elderly residents suffered some form of negligence.

In most nursing home lawsuits, damages are defined by whether the patient suffered abuse or neglect.


Abuse is defined as harm, pain or damage to a person or object that is caused intentionally. Examples of elder abuse include:

  • Physical
    • Punching
    • Shoving
    • Slapping
    • Spitting on
    • Force-feeding
    • Rough handling
    • Choking
  • Emotional / Psychological
    • Cursing at
    • Threatening
    • Berating
    • Ignoring
    • Ridiculing
  • Sexual
    • Seduction
    • Coercion
    • Improper physical contact
    • Rape

In some cases, the abuser may not be a staff member, but a visitor to the home or intruder. In such cases, the nursing home may still be held liable for negligence because of a lack of security.


Neglect is a serious issue in the nursing home industry, and is the most commonly occurring cause of injury. Repeated neglect that occurs over time can lead to life-threatening injuries and disorders.

Some types of nursing home neglect, according to The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, include:

  • Failure to bathe
  • Inadequate bathing / substandard washing
  • Failure to respond to alarms, cries for help or yelling
  • Failure to assist in walking
  • Improper or incorrect dispensing of medications
  • Failure to assist in eating or drinking
  • Improper positioning of bodies
  • Failure to turn bodies
  • Allowing residents to wander off-property

These are just some forms of nursing home neglect. Unfortunately, understaffing and inadequate training are known issues in the nursing care industry, and according to 2007 statistics from the Center for Personal Assistance Services, the average number of hours spent with each patient was only 3.7 versus the recommended 4.55, depriving each of more than 300 hours of care per year.

Common Injuries in Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Cases

While it can be hard to identify abuse or neglect in early stages, repeated instances can lead to physical wounds that can grow larger and more grievous with time. Combine these injuries with the compromised immune system of an elderly individual especially one in a substandard care facility and the results are often fatal.

Some common forms of injury in elderly care facilities include:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Pressure sores
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Asphyxiation
  • Burns
  • Slips, trips and falls

Unfortunately, in many cases, a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect will never recover from their injuries. If an injury occurs, physically or psychologically, it is of extreme importance to access treatment in a safe, compassionate medical setting as soon as possible.

Contact Our Nursing Home Litigation Firm

The types of abuse and neglect that occur in nursing homes every day across America are atrocious. When a loved one is dehumanized in such a way, it can be infuriating and devastating. The personal injury attorneys at Harbin & Burnett are aggressive in nursing home litigation and will work tirelessly to secure a favorable verdict or settlement for those who have suffered such horrific abuse.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you are urged to contact our Anderson, SC law firm to discuss the details of your case. We proudly serve the residents of Greenville County and offer comprehensive legal services to injury victims in the following cities and towns:

  • Anderson
  • Spartanburg
  • Simpsonville
  • Seneca
  • Piedmont
  • Greenville
  • Powdersville
  • Pickens
  • Travelers Rest
  • Easley
  • Mauldin

Learn how we will work to pursue justice for you. Simply call 1(888)821-0247 today to speak with one of the professionals on our legal staff.

To get started immediately, simply fill out the FREE Case Evaluation form at the top of this page its 100% confidential.

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