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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Protecting Loved Ones from Their “Protectors”: Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

You did your research, you visited the places you liked best, you worked out the finances ever so carefully, and you’re well on your way to providing your mom or dad with the care they need — and achieving some peace of mind for yourself. Care facilities and nursing homes are where your loved ones are supposed to get the round-the-clock help and attention they need, and you trust these facilities to do just that.

But what happens if those same places end up violating their commitment to take care of your loved ones — even when they have the highest ratings in your town or state?

Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Case Shocks the Nation

You may remember hearing about the woman in an Arizona facility that gave birth in December 2018, even though she had been in a vegetative state for over a decade, and currently still is. The suspect was one of the male nurses in charge of the victim’s care, and was arrested. Investigations are still underway to find out how the facility did not notice the woman’s pregnancy until her medical distress while giving birth.

Senate Hearing on Nursing Home Sexual Assaults

Sadly, sexual abuse at care facilities is rampant across the nation, and yet little has been done to put the discussion at the forefront of people’s minds.

Thus far, nursing home and care facilities who have been cited for some form of abuse have been able to fly under the radar because so little has been done to keep them accountable. Not to mention, there is a high standard for proving sexual assault, so cases often go unreported.

On March 6, 2019, similar stories emerged during a senate hearing convened for the sole purpose of investigating the nursing home abuse crisis. Witnesses recounted their stories to lawmakers of how their loved ones experienced sexual abuse at the hands of their caretakers. Notably, one witness had placed her mother in a facility that was ranked at the highest possible level for quality of resident care by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). However, it had also been fined for verbal and physical abuse.

Reforms to Long-Term Healthcare Facility Reporting

As lawmakers await reports from watchdog reporting agencies, it would seem reforms are on the horizon regarding how nursing homes and care facilities are run. CMS announced that it was updating their online Nursing Home Compare and the Five-Star Quality Rating System, which helps families find and compare facilities for their loved ones. It also announced that it was updating its guidelines that identify red flags in those situations.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect – Red Flags

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care released the following checklist that may signal sexual abuse and neglect:

  • Bruises around inner thighs, the genital area, or breasts
  • Unexplained genital infections or STD’s
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, pain, or irritation
  • New difficulty sitting or walking
  • Torn, stained, or bloodied underclothing
  • Extreme agitation
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Panic attacks or emerging PTSD symptoms
  • Suicide attempts
  • Sudden or unexplained changes in behavior including:
    • Fear or avoidance of a person or place
    • Fear of being left alone or the dark
    • Increased nightmares and/or disturbed sleep
  • Victims of dementia will exhibit anxiety or excessive fear around the person providing or tending to their care. They may also engage in more aggressive behaviors.

Click here for common signs of general abuse and neglect at care facilities.

North Carolina Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Investigations Underway

If someone you know in a nursing home, rest home, assisted living, or senior care facility has complained about any mistreatment, we urge you to take them seriously. Ask questions. Get the facts. Talk to management. View their medical records. Place a hidden camera in the room like this Raleigh woman did.

And contact us immediately if you suspect abuse. You may be eligible for compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of care and family duties
  • Loss of the victim’s earnings
  • Wrongful death
  • Funeral expenses for the victim

The statute of limitations for reporting is a short window. We are available 24/7 to offer you a free case evaluation. You can use our live chat feature or send a message through our secure and confidential form on this page.

Contact us or call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to find out if one of our North Carolina lawyers may be able to help you try to protect your loved one from elder abuse.

How Good Are You at Eating & Talking on the Phone While Driving? Take Our Test.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws making it illegal to talk on the phone while driving. North Carolina may be next. If some NC lawmakers have their way, by 2020 it will be against the law to talk on the phone while driving.

As personal injury lawyers, we think this is a good thing.

Think You’re Good at Multitasking While Driving?

We are not wired to get behind the wheel and text, talk on the phone, or even eat fries. (Eating behind the wheel, incidentally, has been shown to be more distracting than using a cell phone to text or talk.) Face it. Wielding a two-ton vehicle at 60 mph on an eight-lane highway surrounded by 18-wheelers and your garden variety of inattentive drivers is no place for multitasking distractions of any kind.

Yet why can’t we stop? We know the statistics and understand the devastating consequences of one split second gone wrong. But what makes us continue to check that text or voicemail. Spoiler alert: your own brain’s dopamine production. Click here for your chemistry lesson explaining why it is so hard not to check that text message while driving.

Everyone Multitasks Behind the Wheel

It seems as though everyone is a drive-by multitasker. It’s something we’ve done since the early days of auto travel. Today, not only is it hard to stop multitasking while driving, but we tend to think we are better at it than we really are. (Oh yes you do, admit it.)

But are you as good at multitasking as you think? Click here for a fun and quick exercise that can help you find out.

What Do You Think About People Who Multitask While Driving?

Are you a “hang up and drive” person? Or are you the one applying mascara at a stoplight on Trade and Tryon in Uptown Charlotte? Tell us on the social media links below what you thought of this exercise. Better yet, share this exercise with your teen drivers!

 

Wheel Runoff Accidents – Will Insurance Try to Blame You?

No one is prepared for a wheel to come off their car while they are careening down the I-85 near Greensboro or the I-77 near Charlotte. Nor are they usually prepared to encounter a runaway tire as they are headed down the I-40 to the Crystal Coast. Yet it happens more often than you might realize.

Crashes involving a detached wheel are known as wheel runoff or detached wheel accidents.

A Wheel Runoff Crash Is a Road Debris Crash

A wheel runoff accident is often referred to as a road debris crash. Approximately two-thirds of road debris-related crashes involved debris that became detached from a vehicle, including wheels, tires, driveshafts, etc. These items can either strike another vehicle as they detach or remain on the roadway and contribute to a crash.

Our firm has represented thousands of car wreck cases, some of them wheel runoff accidents. Here is how these types of accidents happen – and who can potentially be at fault when they do happen. (Spoiler alert – you could potentially be blamed even if you are the victim.)

Wheel Runoff Accident Causes

Many things can cause a car wheel to fall off while in route. Some of the more common can include:

  • Over-torqueing the lug nut: Overtightening the bolts that are used to secure the wheel to the car. This is the most common cause of wheel runoff accidents.
  • Under-torqueing the lug nut: When the bolts securing the wheel to the car aren’t secured tightly enough.
  • Wheel paint thickness: When the paint on a wheel is too thick, causing parts to become defective.
  • Hub failure: Like the lug nut, the hub of the wheel can become defective if it the axle nut is too tight or too loose. Additionally, the hub can lack necessary lubrication or be overloaded.

Some Reasons Why Wheels Detach

Experience has taught us that typically the causes mentioned above are usually a result of an error during the wheel maintenance or installation process. Here are some specific examples:

  • Incorrect use of tools: Over-torqueing the lug nut occurs because of the widespread use of impact wrenches. These tools make it fast and easy to add a lot of torque. But sometimes this results in dangerous outcomes when used incorrectly.
  • Use of defective tools: Under-torqueing can be caused by using cheap or worn out wrenches.
  • Hasty remanufacturing: Paint thickness defects can potentially occur when tire dealers and traders try to quickly repaint wheels to make them look new for resale.
  • Not following procedure: Correct axle installation involves following detailed steps to adjust and preload bearings.
  • Improper maintenance: Hub failures are usually progressive and often come with warning signs. These include leaking hub seals, tire tread wear anomalies, strange sounds and smells coming from the car, and smoke.

Who Is at Fault for Wheel Runoff Crashes and Injuries?

Wheel runoff accidents can be complex and must be investigated thoroughly to try to determine who was at fault. Negligence can sometimes be found in:

The driver or owner of the car. Did the driver or owner know about the defect? Was the owner a private party or was the vehicle a company vehicle? Maintenance records must be thoroughly examined and, in some cases, mechanics may need to be interviewed.

The mechanic or repair shop. While there are many exceptional mechanics throughout North Carolina, as in every profession, some can be less than exceptional. Of course, no mechanic wants to admit fault, and in many cases, they may not have been aware that they potentially contributed to the wheel runoff situation. It takes an experienced car accident attorney who is skilled at interviewing potentially negligent parties to try to uncover the truth as to who was at fault.

The manufacturer of the wheel or wheel part. While many of these errors are caused by those performing car maintenance and upgrades, wheel runoff accidents can also be caused by manufacturer defects. In late 2018, Toyota recalled the 700 2019 C-HR Crossovers because of axle issues that could cause the rear tires to come off. It seems that tire recalls are almost as common as new tires, themselves. Michelin, Firestone, Goodyear, Bridgestone – all have had recalls for one reason or another. When an accident occurs because a tire failed to function properly, the manufacturer or distributor could potentially be found negligent.

Contributory Negligence – Are You Partially at Fault?

There’s one more entity that the insurance company could try to pin the blame on. You.

North Carolina is one of the few states known as a contributory negligence state. In insurance terms, that means that, barring a few exceptions, if you are at found to be fault for an accident or injury – even partially, just 1%, for example – the insurance company may not have to compensate you for your injuries or damages. Worse, you may even have to pay for some of the damages caused from the accident or injury.

NC Personal Injury Lawyers Offer Free Case Evaluation

If you have been injured in a wheel runoff accident we urge you not to try to settle with the insurance company on your own.

Studies have shown that, on average, car accident victims who hired a personal injury lawyer to represent them received 3.5X more compensation for their loss than they would have on their own*

Contact us or call 1-866-900-7078 for a free case evaluation.

 

*Insurance Research Council, 1999.

Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-552-8215
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

1001 Morehead Square Drive, Suite 350
Charlotte, NC 28203
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

2915 Raeford Road, Suite 204
Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Phone: 919-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078