Atlanta Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
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How Is Abuse Different From Neglect?
While neglect may be unintentional and arise from careless conduct, the same cannot be said for abuse. Abuse is intentional and willful misconduct. Your loved one may suffer harm due to:
- Physical Abuse
This encompasses any harmful physical contact between a caretaker and your loved one. It may include hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, choking, and spitting. It can also include the inappropriate use of physical and pharmaceutical restraints. At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, we have handled many daycare abuse cases. If you believe your child is being harmed, call us right away.
- Sexual Abuse
Any sexual action perpetrated by an adult towards a child is unlawful. Any sexual action perpetrated by an individual toward someone who is unable to consent due to a disability is unlawful. Also, any sexual conduct performed on an elderly person who is unable to consent or who does not consent is illegal. Sexual abuse encompasses non-consensual vaginal intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, penetration with an object, and the touching of intimate parts. If you notice any signs that your loved one has been sexually abused, contact us immediately. We are highly experienced and passionate about seeking justice in nursing home abuse cases.
- Psychological & Emotional Abuse
Not all abuse is physical. Caretakers can cause your loved one significant harm through manipulations, threats, name-calling, insults, and harassment. Emotional and psychological abuse often causes children or elderly adults to feel isolated, depressed, and anxious. It significantly reduces their quality of life, and for young children, can lead to trauma that impacts them the rest of their lives. If you hear about any verbal abuse, your relative tells you about it, or you notice other signs, talk with an Atlanta abuse and neglect lawyer immediately.
- Financial Abuse
Another form of abuse that is rampant among the elderly is financial abuse. People in a position of trust and power with your elderly loved one may use lies, misrepresentations, and manipulations to gain money and property from your relative. Caretakers have been known to make up fees, steal, and use undue influence to get a senior to sign over property or to have the senior make them a beneficiary of the senior’s will. If you notice that your loved one’s finances are deteriorating or that a facility’s billing seems off, call us right away.
Filing Civil Claims for Criminal Actions
Neglect and abuse may lead to criminal charges. For example, under Georgia law, elder neglect can be a felony charge. Abuse against anyone may be charged as a crime based on the specific acts, such as assault, strangulation, or rape. Whether or not criminal charges are brought against the perpetrator of neglect or abuse is based on the prosecutor’s discretion.
In addition to criminal charges that may arise from neglect or abuse, the injured individual may have a civil legal claim against the perpetrators of the unlawful conduct. Your loved one may also have a civil claim for compensation without an action being a federal or state crime.
If your loved one was physically, psychologically, or financially injured due to another person’s carelessness, recklessness, failure to act, or intentional misconduct, then they may bring a personal injury claim for compensation, including for:
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Past, present, and future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Property damage
To learn more about how you can pursue a civil claim arising from criminal misconduct, contact the Atlanta abuse and neglect lawyers of Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC. Filing a claim based on neglect and abuse can be difficult. You need more than a feeling or gut instinct regarding what has happened. There must be evidence that another person’s negligence or intentional misconduct caused your loved one an injury. We are here to investigate the situation and gather evidence on your behalf.
Fatal Abuse and Neglect
If you believe your loved one passed away as the result of neglect or abuse, speak with an attorney as soon as possible. We will investigate your claims, and if we find evidence that a caretaker’s harmful conduct led to your relative’s death, we will discuss Georgia law surrounding wrongful death claims and how to secure compensation through a wrongful death suit, including:
- Loss of companionship
- Mental anguish
- Loss of guidance and nurturing
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of benefits
While your injured loved one may file a personal injury suit and seek compensation for their injuries, a wrongful death suit looks at your and your other family member’s injuries. The financial recovery you seek will be for your own emotional and financial damages – not for the harm your loved one suffered while they were alive.
Contact an Atlanta Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today
We understand that after an incident or on-going case of neglect or abuse, you, your loved one, and your family may be in a great deal of pain. Your loved one may be physically injured, requiring medical care and weeks or months of recovery. You and your relatives may be distraught over what happened or grieving for your loss. During such times of pain, it can be difficult to make legal decisions. We are here to help. We will thoroughly explain your legal rights and options. Once you have all the facts, you can make the right call for yourself and your family. If you wish to take legal action against the negligent or abusive party, we will represent you and fight hard for the best possible outcome.
Our team at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC represents individuals and families throughout Fulton County, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, and Georgia.