You can hold a nursing home responsible for abuse by contacting local authorities and talking to a lawyer. You’ll want to take action as quickly as possible to reduce further harm.
Besides reporting the abuse or neglect, you might also have a legal case against the nursing home. A lawsuit helps the victim or their family seek compensation for physical injuries and pain and suffering.
Where to Report Abuse in a Nursing Home
Contact the Healthcare Facility Regulation, part of the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH), to report abuse.
You can also report abuse to the Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1 to reach the police.
If the abuse didn’t happen in Georgia, you’ll need to contact the state agency that handles elder abuse reports. That could be Adult Protective Services (APS) or another office. Talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer if you’re not sure what to do.
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How to Hold the Nursing Home Accountable
Besides reporting the nursing home for abuse, you can also explore legal options. If the nursing home failed to address issues that led to the abuse, you might have a personal injury case.
The facility could be liable for the harm it caused. Even if one employee was at fault, the nursing home is responsible, according to OCGA §51-2-2. Employers are accountable for their workers’ actions on the job.
Examples of nursing home abuse can include:
- Neglecting basic needs like food or clean clothes
- Emotional abuse, such as yelling or intimidating
- Bedsores, especially those in an advanced stage
- Overmedication or under medication
- Injuries from hitting, slapping, or restraining
- Falling from lack of monitoring
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation
Nursing home residents are a vulnerable population. Without proper care, a resident can suffer severe or life-threatening harm. If abuse has happened, the nursing home should be held accountable.
At John Foy & Associates, we know how to hold businesses responsible for harm. Our team has been helping injured clients and their families for over 20 years. With over $1 billion in results, we know how to win for our clients.
To get started with a free consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Filing a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim
If someone has caused abuse in a nursing home, there could be criminal charges. The victim of family members might also be entitled to compensation for the harm that’s happened.
Personal injury claims seek financial recovery after an injury or death. You can file a claim with the nursing home’s insurance company. If you cannot reach a settlement, you might file a lawsuit against the facility.
Nursing homes will often deny doing anything wrong. The business might even blame the resident for the harm or say that loved ones were overreacting. This is why it’s best to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer for help.
How to Sue for Abuse-Related Damages
Long-term care facilities must ensure residents are safe. If someone suffers injuries, the business is probably liable for the damages.
You might be able to recover damages like:
A resident might need medical care because of abuse or neglect. If so, the nursing home is responsible for paying those bills. The resident and their family should not bear the costs of harm that was not their fault.
For instance, a resident might suffer a broken hip from falling because a staff member was not providing proper supervision. Or a resident might have serious bedsores from caregivers who left them in one place for too long. These are just a few of many examples of neglect.
Medical expenses can include:
- Doctor bills
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Physical therapy
- Psychological counseling
Abuse has both physical and mental effects. Your lawyer will consider all of the costs related to medical treatment for what the victim has suffered.
Pain and Suffering
Georgia law allows a victim to recover pain and suffering damages, also known as general damages under OCGA §51-12-2. These non-economic losses are about how the harm affects the victim’s quality of life.
An abused resident can suffer:
- Physical or mental pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Fear or embarrassment
- Mental anguish
A lawyer can help show how the nursing home’s actions have affected the victim’s life. Your lawyer will also calculate the value of these damages for your claim.
Some cases allow for punitive damages. The courts award punitive damages when there is reckless or malicious behavior.
In some cases, abuse or neglect easily falls under the category of punitive damages. Talk to your attorney about whether or not these damages are an option for you.
Proving Your Damages
You will need to prove several points when holding a nursing home accountable for abuse.
A personal injury case must show that:
- The nursing home owed the resident a duty of care.
- The nursing home failed in its duty of care, such as allowing careless actions or failing to take action.
- The resident suffered harm because of the nursing home’s carelessness.
Long-term care facilities always have a duty of care towards residents. The business should ensure residents are safe and cared for. If that doesn’t happen, the company is liable for the damages.
However, you will also need to provide proof to back up your claim. Your lawyer will gather evidence like:
- Pictures of injuries or other signs of neglect
- Statements from witnesses
- Nursing home contracts
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
An experienced lawyer will investigate your situation and compile strong evidence. It’s best to at least consult with an attorney as soon as possible to know what you need to do.
Also, do not speak with the nursing home’s insurance company on your own. The insurer will be looking for ways to reduce what they have to pay you. That includes using something you’ve said or done against you.
To protect your rights, you’ll need to speak with a lawyer about how to move forward.
Don’t Miss the Statute of Limitations
Don’t wait to take action. In Georgia, you typically have two years to file a lawsuit for injuries. However, abuse cases are complicated and can leave you with even less time.
Speak with an experienced attorney today to get started. If you miss the deadline to file, you’ll be unable to pursue the justice the victim deserves.
Get a Free Consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Get a free, no-risk consultation with John Foy & Associates today. We do not collect a fee unless we win your case, and we’ve available 24/7.
Call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a free consultation.