Most people are at their most vulnerable two times in their lives–at the beginning and at the end. We put our loved ones in nursing homes because they cannot care for themselves. In Atlanta, as our population ages, more and more of our loved ones find that nursing homes are the best alternative to medical and day-to-day care.
Unfortunately, Georgia is one of the lowest-ranked states for nursing home staffing, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. With that comes the sad reality of nursing home abuse. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Atlanta take on these cases to compensate your loved one and we fight to make sure that it never happens again.
Your loved one can’t fight this battle alone. Let John Foy & Associates fight for you. We’ll keep the call confidential; our priority is to keep your loved one safe while we investigate your case. And just like in any personal injury claim, our fees come out of any settlement, not your pocket. Victims of nursing home abuse require a compassionate and skilled personal injury attorney in Atlanta to navigate the complexities of their cases.
What Is Considered Nursing Home Abuse in Atlanta, GA?
Nursing home abuse is a broad area, covering everything from neglect to downright malicious abuse. Some signs of abuse in a nursing home include:
- Bedsores. Bedsores are 100% preventable, and if your loved one has them, he or she is not getting proper care.
- Falls. Many nursing home patients needlessly fall. Look out for unexplained fractures.
- Malnutrition. No nursing home patient should be malnourished.
- Overmedication or mismanaged medications. Patients must be able to trust their caretakers to dispense medication properly.
- Sexual abuse. As sad as it is, sexual abuse does occur in nursing homes. No one should have sexual contact without consent at any time in one’s life.
- Patient wandering or leaving the premises unsupervised.
- Resident-to-resident abuse. A nursing home takes in all kinds of people and sometimes that means bringing in a predator.
- Bullying by a staff member or other resident.
The abuser in your situation does not even necessarily have to be an attendant or nurse. Abuse in a nursing home can be institutional, stemming from the leadership or organization of the home itself. If you have any suspicion that your loved one is being abused, you can get a free consultation with a nursing abuse lawyer in Atlanta.
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Do I Have a Valid Nursing Home Abuse Claim?
In any elder abuse case, the following must be true for your loved one to be eligible for compensation:
- Their caregiver owed them a duty of care. This applies to most attendants and nursing home workers–the duty of care refers to the standard level to which someone of a certain educational background and position can be expected to treat other people.
- The caregiver violated the duty of care. This is known as negligence.
- The caregiver’s negligence caused specific damages to your loved one, including injuries, psychological harm, or financial damages.
It’s crucial that the third point is true–otherwise, the victim isn’t eligible for any financial compensation. The point of a nursing home abuse claim that a lawyer would help you file is for you and your loved one to recover money for the repercussions of their caregiver’s negligence.
A skilled Atlanta elder abuse lawyer will be able to investigate your situation and gather evidence that proves that the home, attendant, or any other responsible party is liable for your damages.
What Compensation Is Available for Elder Abuse?
Every nursing home abuse case is different, so it’s impossible to say how much your case is worth without knowing the details. Each claim depends on specific damages that the at-fault party caused, which can be economic, non-economic, or punitive:
- Economic damages are specific, monetary expenses that you or your loved one have had to pay as a result of abuse. These can include medical bills, monetary fraud, and payments for special accommodations.
- Non-economic damages are more abstract costs to the victim’s quality of life. These can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress, which are all common in nursing home abuse cases.
- Punitive damages are fines that are simply meant to further punish the at-fault party. These are usually imposed by a judge who wants to discourage others from performing the same act.
- Your nursing home abuse attorney in Atlanta will calculate your damages so the other party and their insurance company know exactly how much they owe you and your loved one.
Why does Nursing Home Abuse Occur?
Much of the time, nursing home abuse occurs because a facility is mismanaged, understaffed, or poorly staffed. Employees are typically not registered nurses; instead, they are low-paid untrained workers. The result can be professional negligence and substandard care.
In addition, staff tend to have a high rate of turnover, and add to all of this a growing demand for senior care. Ninety percent of nursing homes lack the staff for proper care. If you think something is wrong and, either intentionally or not, someone is abusing your loved one, don’t hesitate to call an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer.
What Are the Causes of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?
There are many causes of nursing home neglect and abuse:
- Like any business, nursing homes can be mismanaged.
- Staff tend to be underpaid and poorly trained.
- Patients often cannot speak for themselves so cases are unreported.
In fact, according to a university study, in abuse cases of people 60 and older, only one in 10 cases are ever reported. That’s why, if you have any suspicion of abuse, you should contact someone who can help. Elderly people so often put up with abuse because they think nobody will listen.
Your loved one deserves the right care, and they deserve the justice that can come with a successful claim. Our team of personal injury lawyers in Atlanta will know how to handle your case with the respect and care necessary for such a difficult situation.
What Do You Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse in a Nursing Home?
The Georgia Department of Community Health regulates nursing homes. But before you bring a claim against a nursing home, call an Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney. A skilled lawyer will understand that you’re devastated for your loved one and you need a professional by your side.
If you suspect elder abuse in a nursing home, document as much as you can. If there are bedsores or other injuries, take photographs. Write down any concerns you have. Usually, if you suspect one nurse is being abusive, other staff may suspect as well. Anything you can do to help your lawyer down the line will increase your chances of a favorable settlement.
Our investigators will help find legitimate witnesses who are willing to discuss the abuse and evidence that points to the negligent party. If you suspect abuse, contact a lawyer that will help.
Is It Worth It to Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Atlanta?
Yes, if you plan on pursuing compensation for your loved one’s abuse, it may very well be worth hiring a lawyer to handle your case. We don’t charge anything unless you get compensation, so there’s no risk in hiring a lawyer to handle your case.
Our firm approaches these cases very differently from other types of personal injury law because the victim is often still in a hurtful situation. We don’t make our legal proceedings public until we are done with our investigation and we know your loved one is safe.
We won’t request medical information until we’re ready to act. Nursing home abuse requires tact, empathy, and sympathy from your attorney’s firm. Our goal is to make sure that nothing we do will impact your loved one’s safety or care while we’re investigating.
We’ve been in Atlanta for more than 20 years and we usually know the facility with which you’re concerned. We also have many friends in the legal community. This is one time when we work with our legal competitors to share information–all of us are appalled by nursing home abuse.
Financial Abuse of a Senior Citizen
Unfortunately, some nursing home attendants in Georgia don’t get paid very high wages. This can lead to a special type of nursing home abuse that affects your loved one’s finances. In those cases, caregivers scam their patients or steal their identity to take their money.
Some signs of financial abuse to look out for include:
- Suspiciously low bank balance
- Missing possessions
- Changes in a will
- Transfers of assets
If a caregiver does manipulate, bully, or trick your loved one for financial gain, there are solutions. A lawyer can help you file an abuse claim and possibly recover the funds that the victim lost.
Can You Sue for Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home?
If your loved one has passed due to a nursing home’s negligence, you can call an Atlanta wrongful death lawyer to investigate their death. You can sue a nursing home facility in what is called a wrongful death claim.
We urge you to act quickly. We cannot bring your loved one back, but we can compensate the family and help prevent abuse from harming another person. As in any lawsuit, there are statutes of limitations on bringing these cases.
How do You Report Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia?
Each of the 50 states, including Georgia, has laws surrounding elder abuse. Unfortunately, more must be done than pass laws. The U.S. General Accountability Office reports that during investigations, 70 percent of states missed “significant deficiencies” and 15 percent did not see signs of actual abuse and danger.
The state needs community partners to advocate for and protect our elderly. Georgia has an anonymous hotline to report abuse, and that line is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
What Can a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Atlanta Do?
It is a very difficult decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, many of these facilities are chronically understaffed and operate with a “profits over people” mentality. As a result, many elderly residents are seriously injured or die as a result of negligence and corporate misconduct.
There may be nursing homes and assisted living/personal care facilities throughout the State of Georgia that have caused serious injuries or a resident’s death. We believe that all long-term care residents deserve to live in a safe environment. Families deserve that their loved ones receive appropriate and safe care. Our elderly population deserves better.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, you need to understand your legal rights. John Foy & Associates will hold nursing homes and other long-term care facilities responsible for their negligence and abuse. Areas of Nursing Home Abuse may include but are not limited to:
- Falls and fall-related injuries
- Bedsores, pressure sores, bad wound care
- Unexplained fractures, infections, marks, cuts, bruises
- Medication/Drug errors
- Understaffing/Medicaid Fraud
- Physical, emotional, or verbal abuse
- General neglect
If you believe that your loved one is not receiving proper care due to negligence or lack of reasonable care and skill, lack of respect for your loved one’s dignity or privacy, and non-compliance with the applicable laws and regulations, contact a lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible.
Georgia’s Minimum Standards for Nursing Home Operations
The Georgia Department of Community Health has rules and regulations under the law designed to establish minimum standards for the operation of assisted living residential care facilities. There are necessary requirements in place for staffing, inspections, training, and safety standards for these facilities.
There are also rules regarding residents’ care plans, medications, nutrition, and procedures for documenting changes in condition. If implemented effectively, proper care can prevent deadly falls and injuries. These facilities should be held accountable for upholding OBRA and DCH rules. Our elderly resident’s rights and health must be safeguarded under the law.
Talk to an Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Your loved one’s safety and happiness are your number one priority, and they should be your lawyer’s priority as well. The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at John Foy & Associates want to make sure elderly people are cared for properly.
Call us or contact us online today to get a FREE consultation with a lawyer in Georgia. Our team is standing by to help you and your loved one hold negligent caregivers accountable.