Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Deciding to admit your loved one to a nursing home is a difficult decision.
Choosing the right facility can be stressful because you want to ensure your loved one receives the care and attention they deserve.
Families place their trust in nursing home staff and caregivers to watch over their loved ones.
Sadly, too often, nursing home residents do not receive the care they need.
Georgia ranks among the worst in the country for nursing home abuse. Chronic understaffing, poor training, and other deficiencies lead to inadequate care and cause nursing home abuse and neglect.
When nursing home abuse occurs, responsible parties must be held accountable. A skilled Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney will fight on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse includes any type of harm an elderly nursing home patient suffers due to mistreatment by a trusted caregiver.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is widespread across the United States. Nearly one out of every three nursing homes in the U.S. have been issued citations for abuse. Even more concerning, the Office of Inspector General has found that nursing home abuse often goes significantly underreported.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are several types of nursing home abuse that fall into four major categories, including:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse (including mental or verbal abuse)
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
Nursing home abuse can be difficult to detect. Make sure you speak with your loved one regularly to ensure they receive proper care and treatment.
Georgia law defines physical abuse as any forceful or physical act against a patient that causes physical injury or pain.
Some examples of physical abuse include:
- Pushing or shoving
- Improperly tying down or restraining a patient
- Any other form of physical acts that cause a patient harm
Nursing home caregivers should use restraints only for medical purposes or in an emergency. Caregivers should never use restraints for discipline or for their own convenience.
Emotional abuse can cause significant, long-lasting harm, especially to vulnerable populations such as the elderly. Any intentional act that causes emotional distress or trauma may constitute emotional abuse.
Examples of emotional abuse include:
- Verbally attacking a patient
- Threatening or intimidating a patient
- Degrading or humiliating a patient
- Yelling at a patient
- Isolating a patient from friends or family
Emotional abuse can include verbal and nonverbal acts and may be difficult to detect. You should monitor your loved one and keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Non-communication or antisocial behavior
- Increased anxiety
- Claims of abuse
If your loved one exhibits these symptoms, it may indicate emotional abuse.
Sexual abuse includes any non-consensual sexual contact between a caregiver and a patient.
Sexual abuse includes physical contact as well as showing unwanted sexually explicit images, coercing a patient to take off their clothing, and unwanted indecent exposure. Sexual abuse can cause severe physical and emotional trauma.
Symptoms of emotional abuse include:
- Bruising or other injuries to the genitalia
- Torn or ripped clothing
- Unexplained emotional or behavioral changes
If your loved one shows any of these symptoms or complains of sexual abuse, you should take action to protect them. Consider contacting a qualified Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney.
Your elderly loved ones worked their entire lives to earn savings and retirement. They rely on that money to pay for their care later in life. Stealing money from an elderly person is an egregious offense and constitutes elder financial abuse.
Elder financial abuse can occur through various means, including:
- Forging an elderly person’s signature on a check or other financial statement
- Stealing property from an elderly person
- Forcing or coercing an elderly person to sign a will or deed transferring property or assets
- Using an elderly person’s credit cards or bank accounts without their consent
Financial abuse in nursing homes can be challenging to detect. Family members should keep a close eye on their elderly loved one’s bank accounts and other financial assets. Watch for unusual activity, such as large or unexplained withdrawals or transfers of ownership of any financial assets. An experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can help you identify potentially suspicious activity and take action to protect your loved one’s financial interests.
Nursing Home Abuse Resulting in Death
In severe cases of neglect or mistreatment, nursing home abuse may result in death.
Older people are at much higher risk of injury and have difficulty recovering from severe physical trauma. A broken leg or hip can be a death sentence. Georgia created a statute to hold responsible parties accountable for negligent or wrongful conduct resulting in death. Family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the responsible nursing home accountable. The spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, the children of the deceased person may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one.
Unfortunately, Georgia laws and regulations require only minimal reporting of the causes of injuries that result in death. Because of this failure to document poor or substandard care, proving a wrongful death claim may be difficult.
A skilled Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer is familiar with standard nursing home procedures and can investigate potential causes of death. Your lawyer can help you gather the necessary evidence to pursue a successful wrongful death claim.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, you may want to speak with an experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer. Filing a legal claim can be complicated and time consuming. Your lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence and navigate the complex legal procedures.
An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can help you with:
- Gathering evidence such as police reports, medical records, and nursing home records
- Filing a lawsuit against the proper parties, such as individual caregivers, the nursing home facility, or a corporate entity
- Representing you in settlement talks or fighting on your behalf in court
Nursing home abuse should not go unreported. An Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney will help you and your loved ones secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact a Qualified Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
For nearly 40 years, the attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C., have successfully represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Atlanta and across the State of Georgia. Our dedicated team cares deeply about our clients and fights diligently to defend their interests.
We understand the harm nursing home abuse can cause, and we ensure nursing homes are held accountable for their actions. We will provide you and your loved one support and advice throughout the legal process and fight to secure the compensation you deserve.
To speak with a qualified Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney, contact our offices at 706-354-4000 or fill out an online form today.