Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney in Georgia

When elderly family members can no longer care for themselves, their loving relatives sometimes place them in a nursing home. This is an extremely difficult decision for everyone involved. Loved ones want to ensure that the nursing home staff will take proper care of their family member. They want to be sure residents are treated with the respect they deserve.

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Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Nursing home staff members can be neglectful or abusive, and residents suffer serious injuries as a result.

When these unfortunate situations arise, you could file a claim to recover for losses your family member sustained. These claims can quickly become complex and confusing. It’s important to work with a Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer who can help.

If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim, call a Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer today at Cain Injury Law or contact us online. We will schedule a free case review and explore how we can help your family.

What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Do you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home? You may be unsure of what to do. You can take these steps to keep your loved one safe:

  • Make sure your loved one is safe at the moment. If your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911 for assistance. Do what needs to be done to remove your loved one from the nursing home.
  • Talk to your loved one. Before speaking to anyone else, ask your loved one whether he or she feels threatened or has been harmed in any way. Remember that your loved one may not have the capacity, or be too embarrassed, to admit abuse or neglect is occurring.
  • Talk to the nursing home staff members. If you have concerns about the care your loved one is receiving, speak to the nursing home staff. The nursing home should have a grievance resolution procedure in place.
  • File a complaint. If you feel the nursing home has not adequately responded to your concerns, file a complaint with the state agencies that oversee nursing home abuse cases.
  • Document everything. You need evidence of the abuse or neglect to file a claim. Take pictures of the injuries. Keep copies of appropriate documents, such as accident reports. Keep a journal of any event that makes you suspect abuse.
  • Take corrective action. Ask the facility to take corrective action and fix any deficiencies. Remain a visible presence at the facility. Continue to actively participate in the care of your loved one.

You should always speak to a lawyer any time you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect. A lawyer will know what action to take and can help your loved one get the justice and compensation they deserve.

How a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help Your Family

It is often difficult to confirm that nursing home abuse has occurred — even when you have good reason to suspect it. A nursing home abuse attorney will conduct an investigation. The attorney will collect evidence that proves your loved one has been a victim of abuse or neglect. This evidence can include medical records, eyewitness statements and photographs.

An attorney will also know what federal and state laws apply to the claim. After filing a claim, an attorney will negotiate a settlement with the nursing home’s insurance company. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, an attorney will file a lawsuit to secure the compensation victims need.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?

In most cases, either the nursing home staff member or the nursing home owner are held liable for abuse or neglect. The staff member can be held liable for neglect or abusive actions. The nursing home owner can be held liable for improper hiring practices. Those hiring practices may include failing to conduct background checks or failing to ensure a staff member had the proper experience and qualifications.

In some cases, another resident may be held responsible for nursing home abuse. For example, if one resident regularly hit or slapped your loved one, you can file a claim against that resident. In these cases, you may also be able to file a claim against the nursing home for failing to prevent or stop the abuse.

Compensation for Neglected and Abused Nursing Home Residents in Georgia

When your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, you can file a claim for compensation on their behalf. Your loved one may also file a claim. By filing a personal injury claim your loved one can receive compensation for the damages suffered as the result of abuse or neglect.

The most common types of damages include compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement and disability

In some nursing home abuse cases, punitive damages are also available. These damages are awarded when a loved one can prove gross negligence or intentional misconduct by the nursing home.

Common Types of Nursing Home Injuries

Although nursing home residents may suffer from any type of injury when abused or neglected, some injuries are more common than others. These include:

  • Bed rail injuries
  • Bedsores
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Infections

  • Spinal injuries
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Lacerations, scratches, and bruises
  • Burns

In the most tragic cases, elders do not survive their abuse, resulting in a wrongful death case.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

Residents of nursing homes rarely come forward with complaints about abuse and neglect. Family members should know that signs of neglect and abuse can vary, depending on what type of abuse or neglect is occurring.

The signs of physical abuse include, for example:

  • Broken bones, sprains, and dislocations that are unexplained
  • Scars, welts, and bruises on the body
  • Failure to take medications
  • Signs of restraint, such as marks on the wrist or ankles
  • Broken possessions, such as eyeglasses
  • Nursing home staff members who don’t allow you to be alone with your loved one

Emotional abuse can also occur in nursing homes. This type of abuse typically involves:

  • Removing the resident from social situations
  • Belittling them
  • Threatening them

Signs of emotional abuse include mumbling or sucking one’s thumb.

Sexual abuse is one of the most egregious types of abuse that can occur in a nursing home. This type of abuse may manifest itself with:

  • Unexplained STDs or other genital infections
  • Bruising near genitals or around breasts
  • And bloody, stained, or torn undergarments

Financial abuse occurs when nursing home staff members steal from an elderly person or trick them into giving them money. Signs of this abuse include:

  • Sudden and unexplained changes in the resident’s financial situation
  • Unexplained withdrawals from the resident’s financial accounts
  • Changes in estate plans, including power of attorney, wills, and property titles
  • Cash missing from the resident’s room
  • Additional names on signature cards for credit cards
  • ATM withdrawals when it is impossible the elder could have done it themselves

When you notice any of these or other signs of abuse, you should speak to an attorney who can help correct the situation.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

When you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, report it to the appropriate authorities. This should ensure mistreatment of your loved one stops. It may also keep the mistreatment from happening to anyone else. You can report nursing home abuse to the Georgia Department of Community Heath’s Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR) at (800) 878-6442.

Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

The statistics regarding nursing home abuse in Georgia are disturbing. They underscore the need for loved ones to be constantly on the lookout for troubling signs. Consider these shocking numbers:

  • The quality of nursing homes in Georgia ranks 43rd in the country.
  • Of all the eight southeastern states, Georgia ranks the lowest in terms of nursing home quality.
  • One in four Georgia nursing homes have received a one-star rating, the lowest rating there is for nursing homes.
  • Throughout the entire country, approximately 10 percent of the elderly population is the victim of abuse.
  • In a recent five-year period, 20 residents died while in nursing homes because of inadequate care. More than 100 suffered serious injuries during that same period because of inadequate care.
  • In a recent four-year period, $8.57 million in penalties were levied on nursing homes.

These numbers will start to fall only when nursing home abuse or neglect is regularly reported and these facilities are held responsible.

Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Georgia Now

There is no excuse for nursing home abuse and neglect. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim, get help right away from a Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer. At Cain Injury Law, we know how to hold nursing homes and their insurance companies accountable.

When your loved one needs help, call us or contact us online. We will schedule a free case review and explore what we can do for your family.

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