Atlanta and Sandy Springs Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you are also placing your trust that your family member will be treated in a professional manner, both medically and psychologically. If you have reason to believe that the nursing institution has neglected or abused one of your loved one, you and your loved one may be entitled to file a claim against it. In Atlanta and throughout Georgia, nursing home negligence attorney Laurie Robbins can help you evaluate your claim and, if appropriate pursue damages against the nursing home.
Our attorney has been fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims in Georgia since 1978. We have seen firsthand the tragic consequences of negligent nursing home care, and we are committed to helping you hold all responsible parties accountable for their actions. It is our hope that our efforts will help prevent other similar atrocities from occurring in the future.
Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
In recent years, providing care to the elderly has become a big business. As a result, numerous nursing homes and assisted living facilities have opened to accommodate this growing need. Unfortunately, some of these facilities place profits above their commitment to providing high quality care to their residents. It has become all too common for nursing homes to cut costs in order to boost profits. This has resulted in negligent care to many elderly residents in their charge.
The following factors commonly contribute to nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Inadequately trained staff
- Failure to properly screen potential staff members before hiring them
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It is often difficult to determine whether your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse. Many nursing home residents lack the ability to communicate this abuse to their loved ones, and others do not report the abuse for fear of retaliation by the abusive staff member.
Therefore, when you visit your loved one, it is important to be on the lookout for the following warning signs:
- Frequent or unexplained injuries
- Poor hygiene
- Social withdrawal
- The appearance of being overly medicated
Questions about Nursing Home Negligence in Georgia
What is nursing home abuse or neglect?
In Georgia, any failure to provide a nursing home resident with the care and services necessary for health and safety, such as food, shelter, clothing, supervision, and medical care, may be considered nursing home abuse or neglect. Often the distinction between abuse and neglect will be determined by whether the act was intentional or just careless.
Examples of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Development of bed sores and ulcers
- Injuries resulting from restraint or lack of restraint
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene
- Sexual assault
- Failure to prevent falls
- Acts of violence committed against a resident by a staff member or by another resident
What rights do nursing home residents have in Georgia?
By law, residents of Georgia nursing homes that participate in the Medicare program have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse. Furthermore, staff members may not use physical or chemical restraints for the purpose of discipline or convenience. These restraints can only be used to treat a medical condition or protect the safety of other residents. A physician must specifically request the use of this restraint in writing, clearly stating the duration and circumstances where the restraint may be used.
Nursing home residents in facilities that are not regulated by the federal government still have rights. Regardless of whether or not your loved one is in a nursing home that accepts Medicare, if you believe he or she has been abused or injured due to staff negligence or neglect, please contact attorney Laurie Robbins for a free consultation.
Can a resident still sue a facility for abuse or neglect in Geogia if he does not have a contract with the nursing home?
Yes. The following actions may make a facility liable for abuse or neglect, regardless of whether or not there is a contract between the nursing home and the resident:
- Negligent personal supervision and care
- Negligent hiring and retention of employees
- Negligent maintenance of the nursing home
- Assault and battery, including sexual assault
Why is nursing home abuse and neglect so common?
The following factors make nursing homes settings that are particularly prone to abuse and neglect:
- Unqualified or poorly trained staff
- Negligent hiring practices leading to staff members with a history of violence
- Isolation of residents
- The known reluctance of residents to report incidents of abuse due to embarrassment or fear of retaliation
What kind of damages can I recover in a nursing home abuse claim in Georgia?
You may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment and disfigurement
What should you do if you suspect nursing home negligence in Georgia?
Although you should be able to trust that a nursing home will provide attentive, compassionate care for your family member, the sad truth is that nursing home abuse may occur at even the most highly rated and respected facilities.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that many instances of nursing home abuse go undocumented. Some medical conditions prevent many nursing home residents from communicating instances of abuse or neglect; others may be unwilling to admit they are victims of abuse due to fear or embarrassment.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, it’s important to watch for signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you believe your family member is suffering from nursing home abuse, speak with an attorney to determine whether or not your family member has a valid nursing home negligence claim.
In the event of suspected physical or sexual abuse, you should call local police and the Georgia Department of Human Services immediately then contact the Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer at Robbins & Associates, who can evaluate the circumstances and recommend a further course of action.
If you suspect neglect or financial abuse, it’s advisable to talk with a nursing home abuse attorney before attempting to confront nursing home administrators. Our attorney can assess your individual situation and offer advice on how to best proceed.
If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, please contact our experienced Atlanta, Georgia nursing home negligence attorney today for a free consultation.