“I’m leaving a 5-star review for Lakota Denton and his excellent team because of their utmost care and compassion. I came to them drowning in the turbid waters of despondent lawyers and sketchy doctors, and they put me on a plan to physical recovery, while they recovered my case. Lakota is a lawyer with keen awareness, dignity, and most importantly, heart. Thank you, Lakota.” – Ganesh Braymiller
“Excellent in every way. Lakota is easily the best lawyer I have ever worked with. Effective, efficient, honest, compassionate, friendly and fair. Hiring a lawyer can be stressful, but Lakota transforms that stress into confidence. And that confidence is then justified by the results he gets. Thanks for your help Lakota!” – Stephen Barnard
“I couldn’t be happier with the job Lakota Denton and his awesome staff did for me after I had my accident. They all really cared about my outcome and stayed in touch every step of the way. I can’t recommend him enough!! 5 stars all the way. Thank you!” – Peter Estrada
“In an accident? Need Help? This is your turn-key, set-it-and-forget-it solution! Lakota and Jenny are two of the best friends you will meet in Asheville! If anything can go sideways, be atypical or oddball… it seems like it will happen to me. True to form, several legal obstacles cropped up, even though I was not at fault in the accident.” – Christopher McGrath
“Lakota provided me with a free consultation and gave me crucial information on how to handle my accident case with an 18 wheeler. His guidance set me on the right path to maximizing my settlement while feeling confident I understood the process. I cannot recommend his services enough, he was an incredible help to me.” – Amy Fisher
“Lakota Denton is a champion for the people. He worked with me on a car accident case and won the maximum settlement. He has a strong reputation as an experienced trial lawyer so insurance companies know he doesn’t mess around.” – Chalkley Matlack
“Attorney Lakota Denton was super effective at isolating the issue, building a strong case, and achieving immediate results on behalf of clients in a matter that is so key to our constitutional rights. If looking for an attorney, look no further. You need him in your court!” – Zachery Adam
“Incredibly helpful folks- whether you end up utilizing their services or not. They provided me with peace of mind on a terrible day when I had no idea what steps to take. You won’t find a friendlier or better informed personal injury lawyer in Asheville! Even if you’re just not sure of your rights or the steps to take, it’s definitely worth making the call!” – Chessa Budai
Our Asheville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help Your Loved Ones
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you need a nursing home lawyer in Asheville to fight for you and your older loved ones. We all know that older loved ones often need more care than their family can provide. You and your family may be looking for a skilled nursing facility to provide the medical and personal care that you cannot. Nursing home residents in North Carolina are protected by a bill of rights. But, unfortunately, nursing home staff sometimes fails to provide proper care and even harms residents intentionally.
When thinking about moving older loved ones into a nursing home, it’s important to learn about and understand nursing home abuse, including its causes and symptoms. Understaffed nursing homes with undertrained staff can result in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect.
When this occurs, you need the right nursing home lawyers. Know what to look for and what to do if you find signs of abuse, and be ready to turn to a nursing home attorney in Asheville for help. Attorney Lakota R. Denton has the experience to handle your case and the compassion to make this difficult process as easy on you as possible.
Get help for your loved one today. Call our team at 828-333-5996 for a free initial consultation.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Types of Injuries our Asheville Nursing Home Lawyer Sees in Legal Cases
Some signs of abuse or neglect are obvious, like bruising or unexplained injuries. However, many effects of elder neglect are not as apparent. If you are concerned about a loved one’s care, look for the following signs:
- Unsanitary living conditions: unchanged bed linens, bad smells or unclean living areas
- Poor personal grooming: unchanged bandages, unchanged or soiled clothing
- Unmanaged symptoms, such as pain, agitation, and combativeness
- Unexplained health issues: bruising, dehydration/malnutrition, weight loss, pressure sores, unexpected death or hospitalization
- Emotional changes: agitation, irritability, withdrawing from family, sudden changes in behavior, unwillingness to speak around nursing home caregivers.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence
What to Look for in a Legal Case
Nursing home staff can abuse or neglect residents in a variety of tragic ways. Frequent accidents, inattention, and ignored care plans can all result from negligent staff. Abusive nursing home employees might intentionally hit, overmedicate, or verbally or sexually abuse residents. All of these instances should be brought to the attention of authorities and a nursing home abuse lawyer. Here is a closer look at some of the common forms of nursing home negligence and abuse:
- Physical and verbal abuse. Physical abuse sometimes involves a staff member’s intentionally hitting a patient or otherwise causing physical harm to intimidate or get a patient to obey. Staff members who inflict physical harm or sexual abuse may be trying to exploit your loved one for their money or valuables or trying to control them with violence. Verbal abuse could include making threats, yelling, or using obscene language around patients in order to intimidate and control them.
- Withholding medication. Abuse can also take the form of overmedicating or withholding medication from a patient. Staff may medically over-sedate patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in order to control their behavior. They may withhold pain medication or other medications as punishment or as a cost-saving measure.
- Wandering. Patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are prone to wander away from safety, which is one reason why their families place them under care. Serious injuries could result if negligent staff permit residents to wander away because of poor supervision or insufficient facility infrastructure.
- Neglected care plans. When new residents enter nursing homes, they should receive a care plan tailored to their individual needs. Care plans can address everyday needs and specific concerns, such as walking with assistance, ability to chew and swallow food and medication, and enhanced monitoring to prevent wandering. When care plans are neglected or ignored, residents can suffer. Some might not be given soft foods as needed or could be denied mobility assistance and end up injured in a fall.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
Our Asheville Nursing Home Lawyer Explains Your Options
North Carolina’s Department of Social Services handles reports of elder abuse and neglect, including nursing home cases. Such investigations could also involve law enforcement.
If abuse or neglect is occurring or if your loved one is being exploited, a criminal investigation and charges against the people involved in the abuse may result.
However, criminal cases do not provide compensation to injured people or their families. Unless you file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home, your loved one will not receive compensation for the pain and suffering caused by nursing home abuse. When you are considering a civil suit, our nursing home attorney in Asheville will be an invaluable resource. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer knows how to hold negligent and abusive nursing homes responsible while obtaining compensation for your loved one.
Steps to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Count on Our Nursing Home Lawyer in Asheville to Guide You through the Process
Asheville residents considering filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit must consider many factors. At the beginning of the process, many families wonder, what effects will the legal process have on their aging parent? How long will the nursing home malpractice lawsuit take? How much money do nursing home injury lawyers cost?
Families should have an idea of what to expect before even contacting an attorney’s office about filing suit against a nursing home. Below are several steps common to the process of filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Step 1: Your Initial Consultation with Our Nursing Home Attorney in Asheville
Personal injury attorneys often do not charge a fee for initial consultations with prospective clients. Free consultations allow injured people to fully discuss their case without feeling cost-related time pressure. Bring these documents to your initial consultation to help provide a complete picture of your nursing home abuse claim:
- Medical records pertaining to the injuries resulting from the abuse or neglect
- Photos of injuries like bedsores or bruises
- Psychiatric or psychological assessments, especially regarding emotional trauma
- Any contracts or agreements between your loved one and the nursing home
- Any communications between your loved one and the nursing home.
This is not an exhaustive list, so bring any other documents you suspect might be important. Any information you provide to an attorney is completely confidential.
During your initial consultation, our Asheville nursing home abuse attorney can help you identify which parties might be responsible and what damages your loved one may be able to recover.
After the consultation, our nursing home lawyer in Asheville may perform background checks on employees at the nursing home. They might also look into whether state agencies or other organizations have investigated the nursing home or its owners for similar incidents. Once a family or their loved one decides to proceed with the lawsuit, our nursing home injury lawyers will conduct a more thorough investigation.
Step 2: Our Nursing Home Lawyers Will Investigate Your Claim
Investigating nursing home abuse will take time. Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are almost never simple, so building a good case takes skill and persistence.
Our Asheville nursing home abuse attorney will gather records. Records include your loved one’s medical records from before, during, and after the abuse or neglect, along with facility records from the nursing home. These records can help determine the extent of your loved one’s injuries and the financial and non-economic damages that may be collected. Facility records and even some of your loved one’s medical records will come from the nursing home, whose staff may delay and prolong providing records of their negligence or malfeasance for as long as they can.
Our attorney will also likely consult with experts who will review your loved one’s records and write a report about any abuse that has taken place and its effects on quality of life. Our Asheville nursing home abuse lawyer may consult geriatric physicians or nurses, mental health practitioners, life care planning experts, or other experienced professionals who can provide reports or testify in your family’s case. Their reports and testimony can benefit settlement negotiations or support your case in trial.
Step 3. Our Asheville Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Will Serve Your Claim
Once our nursing home abuse lawyer has collected enough information about your loved one’s nursing home neglect or abuse claim, your attorney will create a demand package. This will demonstrate your case to the nursing home, its insurer, and other responsible parties who may be liable for damages. The demand package discusses the ways in which the nursing home was negligent in caring for your loved one and enumerates the damages your loved one is seeking.
Most personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse cases, end with a settlement out of court. Negotiations surrounding the demand package can continue for several months, as both sides attempt to achieve the most favorable outcome for their client. This back-and-forth is much less costly than taking the case to court, however. So, both plaintiffs and defendants have an interest in settlement rather than going to trial.
Step 4: Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
If negotiations fail to produce a reasonable settlement for your loved one, you and your attorney may decide to take your case to trial. This process begins with filing a complaint with the court in the county where you live. The complaint contains information similar to what was included in the demand package: it describes how and why the nursing home was responsible for your loved one’s damages, and it discusses the amount of money that your loved one is seeking in compensation. It also contains a demand for a jury trial in the case.
Once the complaint is filed with the court, the court imposes specific deadlines. One such deadline involves the completion of discovery. This process involves the exchange of information between the parties.
Our nursing home lawyers may request that the nursing home provide documentation of its practices, such as employment information or Medicare reviews. In turn, the nursing home may request information about your loved one’s medical or mental health history or other sensitive information. The nursing home is free to uncover all information relevant to the case; while your attorney can object to certain requests, if the court determines that specific documents must be produced, your attorney must comply.
In North Carolina, all superior court litigants must attempt to resolve their case through mediation before the court will hear the case at trial. Mediation involves a neutral third party who attempts to help both sides of a lawsuit reach a settlement. Both sides split the cost of the mediator’s services. After hearing from both sides, the mediator brings settlement offers between the two parties and offers his or her insight into the case. The mediator’s role is not to suggest a resolution, but rather to help parties reach a settlement for themselves. Mediation also provides a final opportunity for both parties to minimize costs and settle the case.
If mediation fails, the case will be scheduled to go to court in front of a judge and a jury. Our nursing home injury lawyers may conduct focus groups before trial to determine the characteristics of a “good” or “bad” juror when selecting a jury. The experts who provided their opinions in earlier stages of the case may to testify on your behalf.
At the trial, both sides will present their arguments to the judge and the jury. The judge is responsible for findings of law in a trial—for example, whether a piece of evidence is admissible or how to instruct the jury on applicable laws. The jury is responsible for findings of fact in the case—for example, whether the nursing home was negligent in hiring someone who was previously convicted of a violent crime.
Lawsuits are extremely complex and require a skilled and experienced nursing home lawyer to guide you through the process and give you the best possible outcome.
Get the compensation you and your loved one deserve. Call Lakota Denton at 828-333-5996 for help today.
How Long Do Nursing Home Abuse Cases Take?
It is difficult to determine the duration of a case at its start. Litigating a nursing home abuse case can take two years or more. However, cases that take longer than two years are rare. It is important to remember that most cases are resolved before a lawsuit is ever filed. Cases often settle in a few months to a year. Once your nursing home lawyer in Asheville has obtained all of your loved one’s medical records, he or she may be able to give an idea of the timeframe.
Each step in the process of a nursing home abuse claim is crucial to the success of your loved one’s case. Patience and trust in your nursing home lawyers are important. Our personal injury team offers initial consultations at no cost to you or your loved one. Contact our Asheville nursing home abuse attorney today for help getting your family member the compensation he or she needs after suffering nursing home abuse or neglect.
Proving Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
How Our Nursing Home Lawyer Proves Your Case
People who have been abused or neglected in nursing homes experience profound damages to their physical and emotional health. They may have lasting injuries or illness from instances where they wandered into danger, from bedsores, or from other instances of neglect or abuse.
Seniors who have lived in these dangerous environments often experience financial difficulties in addition to the physical and emotional damage that results from abuse or neglect. Surgery, ongoing physical therapy, and other treatments needed for serious injuries or illness can be catastrophic for elderly patients’ households, especially if they live on a limited income.
Handling an abuse or neglect case is often difficult for elderly nursing home patients and their families. Seniors who need around-the-clock care typically have pre-existing health conditions. These conditions can become obstacles to proving that nursing home neglect caused a patient’s injuries or condition.
Our team has experience with such cases, and we know how to prove when abuse and neglect takes place. Count on us for skilled and compassionate help through the process.
Contact Our Asheville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help
Nursing home abuse cases are made more complex by the number of parties typically involved. The responsible staff members, managers, managing company, and other parties could all be named in a lawsuit.
Patients and their families typically do not have the experience needed to prove nursing home negligence, to identify all the parties involved, or to manage other aspects of litigation.
Skilled nursing home lawyers may be able to help victims of nursing home abuse and their families. Seeking compensation from a nursing home and the company that manages it may be too complex for families, especially when they are coping with the effects of elder abuse. In addition to advising seniors through each step of the legal process, personal injury attorneys can also work with medical providers so that they stop collection attempts.
Attorney Lakota R. Denton has the experience and expertise required to handle your case with expert care and is ready to discuss your nursing home case with you.
Call his office today at 828-333-5996 to schedule a free initial consultation and determine the next steps for regaining peace of mind and proper care for your loved one.