NURSING HOME LAWYERS

Having to consult with nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA residents often hire, is one of the saddest realities families may face. Taking advantage of an elderly person is shameful, illegal, and punishable. Unfortunately, elder abuse is all too common in Georgia, and it often happens where people of retirement age are supposed to be the safest—in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Our lawyers aggressively go after nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and staff members that engage in this inexcusable behavior.

TYPES OF ELDER ABUSE

As nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA residents turn to during difficult times, we help seniors who have been victimized by abusive staff members in nursing homes, hospitals, personal care homes, and long-term care facilities. In most of the nursing home abuse cases that we see, we typically find three types of elder abuse: physical, emotional, and financial.

Physical Abuse Against Elderly

The signs of physical abuse are usually more obvious than those of emotional or financial abuse. Unexplained bruises may be caused by the kicks, slaps, or punches of an abusive staff member. In the worst cases, the abuse is so severe that it results in broken bones or bone marks. We can’t erase physical abuse, but we can hold the abuser responsible.

Emotional Abuse Against the Elderly

Emotional abuse is any type of verbal or nonverbal behavior that causes an elderly person to feel frightened or distressed. This type of abuse doesn’t leave any physical scars, but it causes long- lasting damage to the victim’s self-esteem and confidence. Here are just a few examples of emotional abuse:

  • Humiliating the victim in front of other people
  • Isolating the victim from friends and family members
  • Verbally assaulting the victim
  • Threatening the victim with violence

Emotional abuse is difficult to identify, but we’ve seen cases where the victim displays unusual behavior or withdraws from normal activities as the result of abusive behavior. As aggressive nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA defense law firms respect, we pursue both the abuser and the facility where the abuse occurs.  We want to make sure that we hold both parties accountable—the abuser for committing the crime, and the facility for not doing a better job supervising staff members.

Financial Abuse Against the Elderly

In simple terms, financial abuse is improper use of an elderly person’s money or assets. Cashing an elderly person’s checks without permission, for example, is a type of financial abuse. We’ve also seen cases where an abuser forged an elderly person’s signature on checks and loan documents.

ELDER NEGLECT

As top nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA has to offer, we handle “elder neglect” cases. Elder neglect is when a staff member fails to meet his or her duty to care for an elderly person. Failing to give an elderly person food, water, or medical care is an example of elder neglect. Signs of neglect aren’t always easy to spot, but it doesn’t mean they’re not there. While our personal injury law firm is based in Georgia, we work with nursing experts and doctors across the country. One of the first steps we take when we are hired is hiring a nurse to review the client’s charts, nursing forms, and other state-required documents. We are looking to find evidence of neglect. That’s often how we catch abusers in the act.

Three of the most common consequences of neglect are malnutrition, bed sores, and dehydration. Malnutrition is when a person does not get enough food or enough of the right foods. In cases of elder neglect, staff members may withhold meals or refuse to help residents eat. Some facilities are understaffed, leaving just a few employees to make sure dozens of residents get enough food. Bed sores develop when someone remains in the same position for a long time. Constant pressure causes the skin to break down, resulting in redness. Without treatment, the skin breaks open and the bed sore gets deeper, eventually exposing bone and muscle. As top nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA residents trust, we’ve seen cases where people developed serious bed sores because staff members did not turn them over or help them get out of bed frequently. Dehydration is an obvious sign of neglect. When an older person is in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility that is being paid to care for that person, dehydration shows that the facility is not doing its job.

MEDICATION ERRORS

Staff members are responsible for giving residents the right medications, in the right dosages, and at the right times. Medication errors are mistakes made during the preparation or administration of medications. These are just some of the medication errors known to occur in nursing homes and long-term care facilities:

  • Giving too much or too little of a prescribed medication
  • Not giving the resident enough food or liquid with medication
  • Failing to shake liquid medications before administering them
  • Cutting or crushing medications that are supposed to be given whole

In some facilities, the facility owners are so focused on their own profits that they don’t hire enough staff members to give out medications correctly. That causes errors. Abusive staff members may even withhold medications or overmedicate residents on purpose. We pride ourselves on being excellent nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA residents can count on.

FAILURE TO MONITOR

Choosing to move a loved one into a nursing facility isn’t an easy decision. When you find the right facility, you expect that staff members will protect your loved one from danger. Unfortunately, understaffing is a big problem in some nursing homes. There have been many cases of residents wandering off and getting lost because no one was around to stop them. Tragically, some of these residents sustained serious injuries.

ELDER ABUSE LAWS

There are several state and federal laws related to elder abuse perpetrated by staff members in nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. O.C.G.A. § 30-5- 8 makes it illegal to abuse, neglect, or exploit an elderly person. It is also illegal for someone who is obligated to report elder abuse to fail to report that abuse. The Bill of Rights for Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities, found in O.C.G.A. § 31-8- 100 et seq., establishes requirements for companies that provide care, treatment, and services to residents of long-term care facilities in Georgia. We have earned a reputation as nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA residents come to with hard questions during hard times.

OBRA ‘87

On a federal level, the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act, often referred to as OBRA ’87, outlines minimum standards of care for people living in certified nursing facilities.  The nursing home rules guarantee certain rights. For example, 42 CFR § 483.10 gives residents of certified nursing facilities the right to live a dignified existence. According to 42 CFR § 483.13(c), certified nursing facilities must put protocols in place to protect residents from neglect. When a facility fails to implement required protocols, a good personal injury lawyer can step in and get justice for those who have been neglected or mistreated. Additionally, 42 CFR § 483.13(c)(2) says all instances of patient neglect must be reported to facility administrators.

False Claims Act

Under the False Claims Act, the federal government can levy steep fines against companies that knowingly submit false claims for payment or approval. Because Medicare is a government- funded program, the law applies to nursing facilities that receive Medicare funds. If an abusive staff member withholds medication from a resident, for example, the facility can’t turn around and request a Medicare payment for that medication. To do so would be fraud.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WHEN YOU WORK WITH US

If you have concerns about your loved one, you’ve come to the right place. We have earned a reputation as nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA community members can count on. Here are some of the things our firm can do:

  • Gather evidence, including photographs
  • Collect incident reports
  • Request your loved one’s records from the nursing home or hospital
  • Have an experienced nursing professional review the records and identify signs of abuse or neglect
  • Ask for your loved one’s power of attorney documents
  • Track down witnesses
  • Interview former staff members
  • File a lawsuit on your behalf

A durable power of attorney is a legal document granting someone the ability to act on another person’s behalf. For example, an elderly person may give power of attorney to a spouse or child before moving into a nursing facility. If you have power of attorney for your loved one, you have the right to access the personal information we need to complete a thorough investigation.

Our nursing home abuse lawyers have the experience necessary to hold abusers and their employers responsible for their reprehensible actions. We know how to investigate the abuse, what to look for, which experts to consult, and how to win in court. If you are concerned that your parent or has suffered neglect, contact the best top nursing home lawyers Atlanta GA has to offer.

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