Carolina Accident Lawyers

Charleston Group Home Hit With Wrongful Death Suit

Charleston Group Home Hit With Wrongful Death Suit

Charleston Group Home Hit With Wrongful Death Suit

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

The father of a deceased resident of South Carolina MENTOR, a group home in Charleston that cares for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, filed a wrongful death suit against the facility. The deceased man, who was autistic and was in the care of the group home, wandered from the facility and was fatally struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run accident. According to an article from The Post and Courier, the man had wandered from the facility at least four times since moving into the facility, and the father alleges that the home’s staff failed to heighten its supervision accordingly.

South Carolina’s Wrongful Death Statute

South Carolina law defines wrongful death as being caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another. It is essentially a claim for personal injury that the deceased would have filed against the negligent party if he or she were alive and is, instead, brought by the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate. If there is no estate, then the court may name an administrator.

The executor, in actuality, brings suit on behalf of the deceased individual’s surviving family members. In South Carolina, these may include the surviving spouse and children or, if there are none, the surviving parents. If there are no parents, spouse, or children, then any recovered damages will go to his or her heirs at law.

Additionally, there is a legal time limit that wrongful death suits may be brought, which is set by a statute of limitations. In order for the court to accept the suit, it has to be filed within three years of the date of the deceased individual’s death.

Monetary damages are usually the form of recovery for wrongful death claims. These damages include compensation for different things such as funeral expenses and medical bills related to the deceased individual’s final illness or injury. Additionally, the court may also award lost wages and benefits from the individual that would have gone to family members. The court may then award damages resulting from the loss of the deceased individual’s care and companionship, and other pain and mental anguish suffered by the surviving family members.

Proving Wrongful Death in an Adult Care Home Neglect Case

In order to recover damages in a wrongful death case for an adult who was neglected in a nursing home, the plaintiff has to present evidence that the facility did something or failed to do something that was not up to par with the standard of care that it should have provided. Additionally, the plaintiff has to be able to show that the facility’s failure caused the individual’s death.

To that end, there are many forms of evidence that may be helpful towards proving the facility’s negligence. This may come in the form of photographs of injuries, medical records, including records of care provided by the facility, recordings, testimony from employees, and other things.

Proving that nursing home neglect occurred, either involving elderly individuals or individuals with disabilities, can be a complex endeavor. When brought in the context of a wrongful death suit, the process can be even more daunting. If you wish to bring a wrongful death claim, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 500-BICE today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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South Carolina Hospitals Penalized by Feds

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Attorney

Thirteen South Carolina hospitals have been penalized by the federal government for injuring patients in preventable accidents. The thirteen hospitals affected include:

  • Aiken Regional Medical Center;
  • Beaufort County Memorial Hospital;
  • Conway Medical Center;
  • Kershaw Health;
  • Mcleod Medical Center – Dillon;
  • MUSC Medical Center;
  • Novant Health Gaffney Medical Center;
  • Oconee Medical Center;
  • Palmetto Health Baptist;
  • Palmetto Health Baptist Easley;
  • Palmetto Health Richland;
  • Spartanburg Regional Medical Center; and
  • TRMC of Orangeburg and Calhoun.

These thirteen hospitals are a fraction of the more than 700 hospitals nationwide that have been penalized by the federal government. The penalties are assessed against hospitals based on the hospital’s rate of infections caused by fluid tubes pumping medicine or fluids into large veins, urinary tract infections caused by catheters, and complications patients suffer from bed sores, falls, and blood clots.

How Federal Investigations Help Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs

Any patient who is injured by the mistake of a hospital or healthcare provider can bring a medical malpractice case against that hospital or healthcare provider and recover compensation for his or her injuries. These sorts of cases can be difficult to win, as the injured patient must show that the hospital or health care provider’s mistake was such that a reasonable hospital or healthcare provider with similar experience and in similar circumstances would not have made the mistake. This usually requires expert witnesses and other doctors in order to establish not only what the “reasonable standard” in the community is, but also to opine as to whether the hospital or healthcare professional violated this standard.

Investigations and reports such as those that led to the federal government assessing penalties can also be immensely useful to medical malpractice plaintiffs. Being penalized in such a manner can be evidence that a hospital violated a standard or at least did not comply with the practices of other hospitals. A hospital who has a history of a certain type of injuries and who injuries another patient in a similar way may have a more difficult time arguing that the injury was unavoidable. While such investigations and statistics are rarely sufficient in and of themselves to win a medical malpractice case, they can provide important evidence for a judge or jury to consider.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

When you or a loved one has been injured by a healthcare professional or a hospital, knowledgeable legal representation is key. Attorneys with experience in handling medical malpractice cases are familiar with the sort of evidence and testimony needed to succeed. Not only this, but such attorneys generally stay informed of key studies and investigations (like the one that led to the federal penalties previously mentioned) that can help their clients win.  At Bice Law, LLC, we are committed to helping medical malpractice victims obtain the compensation they deserve. .

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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North Carolina Senate Bill 33 Effects Still Felt By Injured Patients

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer

Several years ago the North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 33, a bill that enacted sweeping changes to medical malpractice cases in North Carolina. A medical malpractice case is, in essence, a lawsuit filed against a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider seeking compensation for medical errors and mistakes. In times past these types of cases could result in injured patients recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars; however, in recent years, there has been significant national discourse regarding reforming medical malpractice laws as a way of curbing the rise in healthcare costs.

The changes to North Carolina medical malpractice law as a result of Senate Bill 33 are significant and can impact not only how much an injured patient can recover but whether that patient can recover any compensation at all. Some of the most significant changes include:

  • An expansion of the definition of a medical malpractice case. After Senate Bill 33, medical malpractice actions include claims for personal injury and wrongful death resulting from the furnishing of or failure to furnish medical, dental, or other healthcare services. The definition also includes claims of negligent supervision, monitoring, or credentialing of health care staff.
  • A medical malpractice claim is proven by evidence showing that the health care professional failed to deliver care in accordance with the practice standards of individuals both (1) in the same health care profession (doctor, dentist, etc.) and (2) who had similar training and experience and who were in similar circumstances at the time the malpractice occurred.
  • Emergency medical care providers can only be held responsible for care that violated the applicable standard of care and that is proven by “clear and convincing evidence” (a more difficult standard than the normal “by a preponderance of the evidence” standard applicable in most civil cases).
  • Noneconomic damages – such as damages for pain and suffering and loss of consortium – are capped at $500,000 in most cases. This is meant to prevent injured patients from receiving large sums of compensation for injuries that are difficult to assign a monetary value to. Juries can exceed this $500,000 cap only upon making certain findings.

Making Recovery More Difficult for Injured Patients

Medical malpractice cases are difficult for injured plaintiffs. Not only must injured patients deal with the physical and emotional aftereffects of a medical mistake, but Senate Bill 33 made it more difficult for injured patients to recover full and fair compensation for their injuries. If a health care provider (a term that covers a broad range of individuals after Senate Bill 33) makes a mistake, he or she can be held responsible only if the mistake or failure was one that a reasonable professional in the same discipline with similar education and experience and under similar circumstances would not have made. And even if an injured plaintiff is successful, the limit on noneconomic damages means he or she may not recover a full measure of compensatory damages.

If you or a loved one has been injured by the mistake of a health care professional, contact Bice Law right away at (855) 5-BICE-LAW for a free consultation. We are here to help in any way possible.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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What Should I Do if I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?

Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer  

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, more and more individuals find it necessary for one reason or another to place their parents and grandparents in a nursing home or other assisted living center. While many of these facilities are staffed with nurses and caregivers who are passionate about providing care to elderly individuals, some facilities do not have your loved one’s best interests at heart. In fact, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, as many as one in ten elderly adults experienced some form of abuse. What are some of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse that you should look out for?

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

  1. Details from your loved one. Some victims of elder abuse may be so ashamed that they do not describe abuse. But if your loved one is willing and able to speak, listen to him or her. If your loved one describes instances of abuse or neglect, you should at least investigate further.
  2. Unusual occurrences or injuries. Does your loved one have unexplainable marks, cuts, bruises, or other injuries? Does he or she appear or act different when you come to visit? Do staff members at the home refuse to let you visit alone with your loved one? All of these and other odd or unusual occurrences can indicate abuse or neglect is occurring. If you do notice an unusual occurrence, be sure to write down what it is you observed as soon as possible. Include as many details as possible – you may need this information later.
  3. Evasive management. If you do have concerns about the care your loved one is receiving, it is important to discuss these concerns with the administrator or manager of the facility. How the management responds to your concerns can indicate whether your fears are justified. If the facility’s management dismisses your concerns, treats you flippantly, or otherwise fails to provide satisfactory answers to your concerns, abuse or neglect may be occurring.

 What Should I Do to Protect My Loved One?

If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected by a nursing home or care facility in North Carolina or South Carolina, you should first try and speak with the administration or management of the facility. Sometimes a facility is unaware of employees who are abusive or neglectful. Once such an employee is brought to their attention, they can take disciplinary actions against the employee. They may even offer to compensate your loved one or your family in some manner.

If a meeting with the facility does not adequately address your concerns, or if your loved one suffered injuries because of the abuse or neglect, speak with us at Bice Law, LLC. Your loved one can recover compensation for their losses and expenses through a personal injury lawsuit. If the person who abused or neglected your loved one was an employee of the facility, the facility itself may be responsible as well. Contact us at (855) 5-BICE-LAW for a free consultation today.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Elder Abuse Laws in South Carolina

Charlotte, NC Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer

America’s elderly population is at its largest in history and growing. According to the 2010 US Census, 40.3 million people, or 13% of this country’s population, is over the age of 65.

Unfortunately, with this large of a percentage of the population aging, abuse of this vulnerable group is on the rise.  It is very difficult to get a good sense of the exact numbers and prevalence of elder abuse in this country. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, many of the signs of elder abuse are often missed by caretakers and even professional staff. Further, the elders themselves are often fearful of reporting abuse that is going on or lack the physical or cognitive ability to communicate the abuse. We do know that based on the most recent major study on reported incidents, 7-10% of the participants had experienced some type of abuse within the last year. Elder Abuse in South Carolina In South Carolina, elder abuse is defined as any type of abuse that results in harm or loss to an older person. At first blush, this definition seems broad, however, the Legislature has divided elder abuse into five types:

1. Physical Abuse: the intentional inflicting or allowing to be inflicted physical injury on a vulnerable adult by an act or failure to act. This types of abuse includes, but is not limited

to, slapping, hitting, kicking, biting, choking, pinching, burning, actual or attempted sexual battery.

2. Sexual Abuse: any non-consensual sexual contact with a vulnerable adult

3. Domestic Violence: any pattern of behavior that involves violence or another type of abuse against a vulnerable adult in a domestic environment

4. Psychological Abuse: deliberately subjecting a vulnerable adult to threats or harassment or other forms of intimidating behavior causing fear, humiliation, degradation, agitation,

confusion, or other forms of serious emotional distress.

5. Neglect: the failure or omission of a caregiver to provide the care, goods or services necessary to maintain the health or safety of a vulnerable adult; includes the inability of a

vulnerable adult, in the absence of a caretaker, to provide for his or her own health or safety

Reporting Requirements

South Carolina law requires suspected elder abuse to be reported to the proper authorities. Anyone who suspects that an older person is being abused, neglected or exploited must report his or her suspicions as soon as possible. If the reporting is made in good faith, the reporter is immune from civil or criminal liability based on his or her report.

What Can You Do

There are many resources available to someone in South Carolina who suspects that an older person is the victim of abuse.  If you suspect elder abuse, South Carolina Adult Protective Services has a hotline available to take your report. Further, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has a Vulnerable Adult Investigation Unit , which will receive and coordinate the referral of all reported cases of elder abuse. Finally, always remember that elder abuse is a serious crime. If your loved one is the victim of elder abuse or neglect, please contact Bice Law today. An experienced attorney will take your call and listen to the details of your case.

Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law

The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability.  We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly.  Call (855) 5-BICE-LAW today or submit an online request  to get a free consultation with a  personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.

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Concord Nursing Home Negligence

Charlotte NC Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer

The state of North Carolina has over 400 nursing facilities that are designed to provide therapy and safe homes for thousands of seniors.

A Concord woman has said that her husband was severely neglected while in the care of a North Carolina nursing facility. Local health officials said that they have this system highly regulated, but they are still receiving constant complaints. Hundreds of pages of inspection records investigating complaints of medical errors, falls and wandering residents.

In May 2010, this woman had brought her husband to a Concord nursing for therapy after he had suffered from a stroke. By August, she had noticed a dramatic weight loss and her husband was complaining of severe throat pain.

By the end of September, she had demanded that her husband be taken to the hospital. At the hospital the doctors found deep bed sores and an infection in his throat. After he had gone through surgery and treatment he passed away in his home in November 2010.

According to Medicare.gov, there are more than 30 facilities within 50 miles of Charlotte ranked “below average” or “much below average” according to health inspections.

After looking through hundreds of pages of state investigation records, Eyewitness News found reports that included several citations of medication errors, a resident found outside with severe hypothermia, and one resident’s leg fractured after being dropped by nurses. Contact a nursing home negligence lawyer if you or a loved one is a victim.

Contact the Nursing Home Negligence & Abuse Victim Law Firm of Bice Law

If you suspect your loved one has been harmed or injured by a negligent nursing home, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law.  We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly.  Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling (855) 5-BICE-LAW or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a nursing home negligence attorney.  Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf.

Posted on behalf of Bice Law April 24, 2012

Source: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/9-investigates-health-officials-hear-many-complain/nGSHB/

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