What Exactly Is Elder Abuse in South Carolina?

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If you have an elderly loved one under the care of a professional, whether in a home or in a nursing facility of some kind, you will want to ensure that they are well cared for. Unfortunately, caregivers do not always have their patients’ best interests at heart. There are numerous types of elder abuse under South Carolina law. These include

  • Physical or psychological abuse – includes using physical force resulting in injuries, force-feeding, using excessive medications, harassment, verbal threats, and more.
  • Exploitation – causing the elder to participate in illegal activity or one that is against their will, improper use of the elder’s funds or other powers over the elder, or causing the elder to spend money improperly or against their will.
  • Neglect – the failure of a caregiver to meet the needs of the elder in order to ensure their quality of life.

In all of the above situations, the abuse may be determined to be intentional or unintentional, but remains unethical–and perhaps illegal–in either case.

Signs of Elder Abuse in South Carolina

There are numerous things to watch for in order to protect the elderly members of your family from abuse. Some of the most common are:

  • Bruises, cuts, bedsores, and other physical injuries
  • Sudden changes in weight or hair thickness
  • Sudden changes in the financial situation and account balances
  • Anxiety around caregivers
  • Unsanitary conditions

These signs are not always a guarantee that your loved one is being abused, but they are certainly concerning and worthy of attention. If you notice anything unusual or suspect abuse of any kind, be certain to contact a Charleston Nursing Home Abuse attorney. Your Charleston Nursing Home Abuse attorney can assist you in investigating the possible abuse and in filing the appropriate reports and pursuing necessary legal action.

Filing a Civil Suit in South Carolina

You will first need to report abuse to the appropriate authorities, who may choose to pursue a criminal case against the abuser. While abuse, neglect, and exploitation of a vulnerable adult are all classified as felonies under South Carolina law, punishable by jail time and/or fines, only exploitation carries with it any possibility of restitution as a criminal case. This means that your loved one or his or her power of Charleston Nursing Home Abuse attorney can be required to pay any costs associated with the abuse, even if the caregiver is convicted.

Once the criminal case, if there is one, has concluded, a civil case may offer you the best chance of getting financial compensation for the various forms of elder abuse. Your civil suit will use evidence from the criminal case and will seek payment for the harms inflicted, often in the form of pain and suffering, but can also include any medical costs, counseling costs, money lost, or other financial costs directly caused by the abuse.

Contact a Charleston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Elder abuse is a complicated issue and, especially in cases of psychological or emotional abuse, can be difficult to prove. Therefore, it is essential that you contact the Charleston Nursing Home Abuse attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices to protect your loved one’s rights by pursuing a civil case against the abuser.

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