Elder Abuse Laws in South Carolina

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 877-BICE-877 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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