Why is Nursing Home Abuse Underreported?

Nursing home abuse is considered to be widespread and grossly underreported. This isn’t just an issue in South Carolina – it’s happening all over the United States. According to the National Law Review, “Underreported elder abuse is a major problem in nursing homes according to recent studies.”

The National Law Review continues, “Unfortunately, nursing homes are the setting of many cases of abuse and neglect. A recent federal audit demonstrated that nursing home abuse is a serious problem, and some nursing homes fail to report abuse that has happened to law enforcement agencies and families.” We’ve seen it, and the fact that nursing home abuse is underreported is no secret in the field of personal injury law.

Here are some of the main reasons why nursing homes and long-term care facilities fail to report elder abuse:

  • Fear of civil lawsuits
  • Fear of losing business
  • Fear of criminal prosecution

Unfortunately, many facilities put profits above doing the right thing and in effect, nursing home abuse goes unchecked, and thousands of residents every year suffer undue harm by the very people entrusted to care for their well-being.

Legal Remedies Available

Do you suspect that your loved one has been neglected or abused while in the care of nursing home staff? Are you afraid that the facility is trying to sweep the incident under the rug? If your loved one is being neglected or abused, you may have legal remedies available through a personal injury lawsuit and through the criminal justice system.

If desired, a civil lawsuit can be filed simultaneously with a criminal case against those responsible for the mistreatment of an elderly resident. Remember, there are state laws that protect your loved one against physical and mental abuse, and they should be utilized.

“Civil nursing home abuse and neglect claims should be promptly investigated. This helps preserve the evidence of the abuse so that the perpetrators and the nursing home may be held to be accountable for their actions and failure to act,” says the National Law Review.

If you suspect your loved one is a victim, we urge you to contact our firm to meet with a Columbia personal injury attorney for help!

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