Asheville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Take Action to Prevent Further Nursing Home Abuse
Like many Asheville families, you may have struggled with the decision of whether to place your aging loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. These facilities are often the safest place for seniors with age-related medical conditions. However, many nursing homes fall short of fulfilling their obligations to patients, often leading to negligent or intentional harm by the employees of these facilities. Understaffed nursing homes and those with undertrained staff can lead to cases of nursing home abuse and neglect.
When this occurs, you need to take action and hire the right nursing home lawyers. Know what to look for and what to do if you find signs of abuse. Below, you’ll find details about how you can identify abuse and neglect in a nursing home resident. If your loved one’s well-being is at stake, choose to protect them. Turn to our nursing home abuse attorney in Asheville for help. Attorney Lakota 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 Asheville nursing home lawyer at 828-333-5996 for your free initial consultation.
Why Choose Our Asheville Nursing Home Lawyer
When Your Loved One Faces Abuse and Neglect You Need the Best Help You Can Find
Honesty. Compassion. Experience. Results. That is what you can expect from Ashville nursing home abuse lawyer Lakota Denton and his team.
Why should you turn to Asheville nursing home lawyer Lakota Denton and his team? Here are a few good reasons:
- We have a proven track record of success. We have represented many injured victims in North Carolina, and we have a successful track record of obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts for our clients. And when we do win, we make sure that you get the full compensation you and your loved one deserve.
- See what our past clients say. Learn about how we helped others. See what our clients have to say. If you’re looking for a car accident lawyer in Asheville, NC, who will fight for you and get you the maximum settlement, we’re the firm for you.
- We understand your concerns. We understand that knowing your loved one is a victim of abuse in their nursing home represents a broken promise of trust. You thought the staff would make any resident’s needs their primary concern. Instead, you learn of neglect and abuse that victimized your loved one.
- We explain your legal options. Sometimes, abuse of a nursing home resident is obvious, but if your loved one struggles to communicate or suffers from dementia, you may not be sure they show the signs of abuse. Our Asheville nursing home abuse lawyer will help you determine if you have a case. Then, we will let you know how your case can proceed and what outcome you might expect.
- We get paid only if we win. Our nursing home lawyer works on a contingency basis, which means that you don’t pay us unless we win your case. That’s why you will know that if we take on your case, we believe strongly that we can win.
- We don’t rush a settlement. Insurance companies often want to reach a settlement quickly, and they always prefer to pay as little as possible. Rushing into a settlement is detrimental to your case. Our nursing home abuse attorney always gathers all evidence and information about your case before determining the settlement amount to pursue. When we enter into negotiations with an insurer, we are always ready to seek the maximum amount possible.
- You deserve a better lawyer. We believe that every client deserves the best available representation. Our Asheville nursing home lawyer is not afraid to take on tough cases, and he never gives up until we get results. As our client, you deserve nothing less than the best.
Choose a fierce advocate who will fight tirelessly for you to get the maximum amount of compensation possible. Call Lakota today at (828) 333-5996 to arrange a free consultation.
“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
Get Immediate Help from Our Nursing Home Lawyer
We Can Help Protect Your Loved One Now and Help You Find a New Facility
Our compassionate team is ready to give you support not only in fighting a legal case, but also in ensuring that your loved one has a safe nursing home to which they can be moved.
While reporting nursing home abuse or neglect to law enforcement is an important step to take, investigations can last for months. In the meantime, you will have to find a new nursing home for your loved one to live in. He or she may need care for physical injuries and emotional distress following the abuse. The expense of this process can be a strain on families already struggling with the abuse their loved ones faced. Those costs can be covered by compensation in a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Our nursing home lawyer in Asheville may be able to help you and your loved one at all stages of your nursing home abuse case. Our legal team can write letters of protection to medical providers and creditors to make sure your relative gets the treatment needed after suffering abuse or neglect. Our team will investigate all details of your claim against the nursing home. If the facility refuses to offer adequate compensation in a settlement, our nursing home lawyer will take the case to trial.
Contact our team today at 828-333-5996 to schedule a free consultation with Lakota. He will evaluate your case and determine the first steps to make a claim against a negligent nursing home.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you’ve discovered your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, you may have trouble determining your first step. You want to help your loved one collect the compensation they deserve for their pain and suffering, but collecting the evidence of abuse and neglect and other documentation you’ll need from the nursing home can be difficult or impossible.
Our legal team at Lakota R. Denton, P.A. has the skills and experience necessary to develop your loved one’s case after they have been abused or neglected by caregivers at a nursing home. We will assess your case, identify issues that need to be investigated, and make an action plan to move forward.
With the professionals at our law office on your side, you and your loved one will not face the nursing home’s attorneys alone.
We will advocate for your loved one’s rights so that you and your family can focus on helping your loved one move on after abuse and neglect. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at no cost to you.
Can You Sue a Nursing Home?
Our Asheville Nursing Home Lawyer Explains Your Options
When someone calls us because their loved one has been victimized at their care facility, they often ask, can you sue a nursing home? You can, and our attorney will guide you in that process.
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. Our experienced nursing home abuse lawyer knows how to hold negligent and abusive nursing homes responsible while obtaining compensation for your loved one.
Compensation in an Asheville Nursing Home Abuse Case
Talk to Lakota Denton about your case. He will explain what types of compensation may be available and will give you an honest assessment of what you can expect in your settlement. Compensation for nursing home abuse or neglect can include money for:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death.
Lakota will dedicate himself to fighting for the full compensation you and your loved one deserve. He’s an Asheville nursing home abuse lawyer who deeply cares about his clients. He will help you seek compensation and get justice. When a nursing home facility is on the losing side of a legal claim, it can instigate change in how they help patients. That can be yet another positive outcome of your case. You might prevent future acts of nursing home abuse.Talk to Our Attorney
How a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Works
Can You File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit on Behalf of Your Loved One?
If you’re considering filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit, there are several factors to consider. The first step is to find out if and how you can file a suit. Since you may be filing the suit on behalf of your loved one, there are some added legal requirements for the case to move forward. Give our nursing home abuse lawyer a call at 828-333-5996 to learn about the legal options that apply to your situation.
As a family member, you may file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on behalf of your loved one if you have a valid power of attorney document and if the language of that power of attorney allows you to file a lawsuit. What if your loved one has not executed a power of attorney? There is another way you can seek justice for nursing home abuse. You can be declared a legal guardian and, in that position, you have power to file a lawsuit.
If your loved one has passed on, there is still opportunity to seek justice. Whoever is designated as the personal representative of the estate of the deceased can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on behalf of the heirs. This can be done even when the person died of causes that are not related to the abuse they suffered in a nursing home. If your loved one died as a result of abuse, you may then have cause to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Given the potential legal intricacies of a nursing home abuse case, it’s best to work with our attorney and find out what options you have specific to your situation.
Steps to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Count on Our Nursing Home Lawyer in Asheville to Guide You through the Process
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
We do not charge a fee for initial consultations with prospective clients. This approach means you can fully discuss your 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. We might also look into whether state agencies or other organizations have investigated the nursing home or its owners for similar incidents. Once you decide to proceed with the lawsuit, our nursing home injury lawyer will conduct a more thorough investigation.
Step 2: Our Nursing Home Lawyer 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, he 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. Lakota will always seek the maximum compensation possible in the settlement negotiations of your nursing home abuse case.
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. Here is the process of a nursing home abuse lawsuit that proceeds to litigation:
1. It 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.
2. 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.
3. Various documentation is requested by both sides of the legal case.
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.
4. The nursing home abuse case moves to the mediation stage in an attempt to reach a settlement.
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. The two 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 the parties to minimize costs and settle the case.
5. Your nursing home abuse lawsuit may proceed to a courtroom trial.
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 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.
Work with Lakota Denton to ensure you have a strong and trusted litigator at your side. He is a fierce advocate and insurers in the area know his skill in trial. That’s why he is successful in obtaining a strong settlement for his clients. Insurers hope to avoid costly litigation. When they confront an experience and capable attorney in court, they know their costs will go up. Talk to Lakota. Give our team a call today at 828-333-5996.
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 to intimidate and control them.
Abuse can also take the form of overmedicating or withholding medication from a patient. Staff may medically over-sedate patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to control their behavior. They may withhold pain medication or other medications as punishment or as a cost-saving measure.
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.
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.
How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
While you can’t be alongside your loved one in a nursing home 24/7, there are some ways you may be able to prevent abuse. Regular visits are important to keeping your elderly loved one safe and healthy. Nursing home residents who receive frequent visits from family members receive more attention from staff members than those residents who don’t. Abusers are less likely to target patients who have involved loved ones who check in on them often. However, nursing home residents are dependent on others for help in their daily routines and this makes them vulnerable. It’s important to recognize the possibility for nursing home abuse exists, even for residents who have frequent visitors.
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Elder abuse or neglect often doesn’t result in visible marks on the person’s body. Abusers harm their victims in other ways. Intimidation, threats, and emotional abuse leave nursing home residents living in fear of the people around them. Sudden changes in their personality, withdrawal from friends and family members, and depression symptoms are all important indicators to watch out for. If your loved one is being emotionally abused or feels threatened in some way by the people who work or live with them, there may be other, more serious abuse or neglect occurring.
Financial Abuse of Nursing Home Residents
In recent years, authorities and family members of victims have uncovered more cases of financial exploitation of elderly patients in nursing homes. Attempts to coerce a senior into giving up money, checks, or property usually come along with physical intimidation or neglect. Nursing home employees may isolate a patient who does not comply, or they may withhold medication (particularly pain medication), food, or other care to force patients into handing over money or valuables. If your loved one frequently “loses” possessions or their money seems to be disappearing, someone may be financially exploiting them.
Wrongful Use of Restraints in Nursing Homes
Nursing home employees may wrongfully use restraints on patients to coerce them to do something, to control them, or to discipline them. Federal laws protect nursing home patients from being wrongfully restrained, and nursing home staff may use restraints only when it is to keep patients from hurting themselves or others. Restraints can be physical, as in wrist and ankle straps. Other types of restraints include specialized chairs and vests or jackets that keep the patient attached to their bed or other furniture. Some abusers use medications to keep patients sedated. This is sometimes called chemical restraint.
Patients who are frequently restrained, whether through the use of physical or chemical restraints, often show both physical and emotional symptoms.
Physical symptoms of nursing home abuse by use of restraints can include:
- Muscle atrophy
- Frozen joints
- Increased bone fragility
- Swelling in the legs, feet, or ankles.
Emotional symptoms of wrongful restraint can include:
- Increased confusion and disorientation
- Withdrawal or decreased participation in activities with friends and other residents
Abuse by Other Nursing Home Residents
More nursing home patients suffer abuse from fellow residents than from staff members. Financial exploitation, physical abuse, and sexual abuse and assault are common types of abuse that occur among residents of nursing homes. Although the person who commits abuse is responsible for their own actions, nursing homes are responsible for ensuring that residents are safe from harm, including from the other people who live there. If another resident has been abusing your loved one, it may be a sign that they are being neglected by nursing home staff.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Types of Injuries our Asheville Nursing Home Lawyer Sees in Legal Cases
Unexpected weight loss, depression, or injuries are common symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. These symptoms are often serious indicators that your loved one is not receiving the care they need. When you visit the nursing home, it is important to keep an eye on your loved one’s eating habits, their mood, and their physical and social activity so that you notice sudden changes that might be signs of neglect.
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
- Inattentive staff: vague or poorly informed explanations given in response to concerns raised about the quality of care.
So what should you do if your elderly relative insists that they are being abused, or if their demeanor has changed, making you suspect something is wrong with their living situation? All you have to know is to contact us. Lakota is just the nursing home abuse attorney you want on your side. He can provide you clear legal guidance and will skillfully steer your nursing home abuse case as it moves forward.
Find Out How North Carolina Nursing Homes Compare in the Eyes of Regulators
Nursing home residents in North Carolina are protected by a bill of rights. Unfortunately, these rights are sometimes trampled upon. In the cases handled by our Asheville nursing home abuse lawyer, it is clear that some nursing home staff fail to provide proper care and may even intentionally harm residents. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect, you may want to research their facility. Perhaps others have reported similar problems.
This Nursing Home Inspect tool from Pro Publica is an excellent resource to learn about problems in specific nursing homes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Learn about the nursing home where your loved one is staying. Find out the deficiencies government officials identified and the fines levied against the nursing homes.
There are other resources that can help you understand a history of problems at nursing homes in North Carolina. The NC Division of Health Service Regulation provides information on inspections of nursing home and residential facilities. A facility must submit to routine inspections as well as those that follow up on complaints to retain a valid license to operate a nursing home, per NC regulations. Click here to view ratings of North Carolina nursing homes based on inspections conducted by the NC Division of Health and Human Services. You can conduct a search by county, city or facility name.
Furthermore, the federal government also rates nursing home facilities. You can click here to search for a facility by name and learn more details about how it measures up. If your loved one was abused in a nursing home, you might find indications that it’s part of a larger pattern based on the information you find in these government ratings and data. Our nursing home abuse attorney in Asheville will fully investigate all facts surrounding the harm done to your loved one.
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. Our team knows that residents 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. That’s why we’re here to help you. Let us remove the burden of stress related to your legal case so that you can focus on attending to the needs of your loved one.
Lakota is an Asheville nursing home abuse lawyer with the experience and expertise required to handle your case with expert care; he is ready to discuss your case with you.
Call our 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.