A nursing home is a facility that provides organized, structured nursing care and services to its residents.  Families may become weary when looking for a reputable home that will give optimal care to their loved ones. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently provided an icon that reveals nursing homes with reported violations of care on the agency’s Nursing Home Compare website.  The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 outlines residential rights to protect the approximately 1.3 million Americans living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities from nursing home abuse.

Responsibility for negligence and abuse.

The nursing home facility can be held liable for any personal injury or neglect causing harm to a resident or patient in their care.  This negligence may have occurred by their part through 1) negligent hiring, 2) understaffing, 3) breach of regulatory obligations to guidelines, 4) insufficient employee training, or 5) errors in treatment or medication dispensing.  Liability is the state of being responsible for something, especially by law, vicariously liability is a legal doctrine assigning liability for the injury to a person, even if they did not cause the injury directly but had a legal relationship with the negligent person who caused the injury.

This means that a nursing home employer can be held responsible for the negligent, or abusive acts of its employees during the course of their work and through the scope of their job descriptions. Due to the nature and varying levels of care given at nursing homes, there are often contracted workers who have direct access to residents that may cause purposeful harm or harm through negligence to a resident.  Those parties, through their contracts with the nursing home, may share the liability for any neglect, abuse, or injury to a resident.

Statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for personal injury, or  wrongful death claims in South Carolina  is three years from the date of injury or death, but in certain medical malpractice cases it could extend as long as six years.

Seek legal counsel.

When sub-standard care results in harm to a resident, or outright abuse occurs, legal action may be taken against a nursing home and/or the treating medical professional because acts of negligence that cause, or exacerbate existing health conditions, or place residents in danger are deviations from the Nursing Home Reform Act  rights.  Call an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Offices, to discuss concerns if you believe a loved one is being mistreated at a nursing home in South Carolina.


McDougall Law Firm, LLC

115 Lady’s Island Commons
Beaufort, SC 29907

Phone: 843.379.7000






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