There are thousands of nursing homes and other elder care facilities throughout Georgia, and they house hundreds of thousands of our family members. When your loved one enters one of these facilities, either due to age, medical conditions, or disabilities, you expect them to receive excellent care and to be treated with respect. Unfortunately, many families just like yours learn that their loved ones are not as safe and healthy as they believed. Elderly individuals, particularly those with cognitive defects or physical disabilities, face a serious risk of neglect and abuse, which can be psychologically traumatizing and physically detrimental to their health.
If your loved one has been injured at a nursing home, or you believe nursing home abuse or neglect led to your relative’s death, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in Atlanta right away. It can be challenging to determine whether your loved one’s injury or death is the result of age, their medical conditions, neglect, or abuse. The skilled and compassionate attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC are here to help you find out. We are here to assist with every aspect of your situation, from the initial investigation to pursing compensation.
To learn how we can help you or your loved one recover what’s right, call (404) 419-6674 or submit your information through our online form. We will contact you as soon as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation.
Nursing Home Resident Rights
When your loved one enters a nursing home, they lose a great deal of autonomy. Though they have some flexibility, most facilities rely on predetermined schedules, rules, and processes. When a facility follows these rules and procedures, your loved one can maintain a safe and healthy living situation. When these rights are violated, their physical and mental health may be harmed. If you have an elderly loved one living in a nursing home or another elder care facility, it is important that you both understand their rights and your legal options when they are violated.
Your loved one has the right to:
- Privacy regarding their personal, medical, and financial affairs;
- Private and unrestricted communication with others of their choice;
- Visits by friends, family members, and others;
- Refuse guests;
- Be treated with dignity and respect;
- Privacy and security of their possessions;
- Participate in their own care;
- Review their own medical record;
- Refuse chemical and physical restraints;
- Refuse medical services;
- Be fully informed of their options, the facilities services, and the facility’s fees;
- Make independent decisions;
- Be free from neglect, abuse, discrimination, and harassment; and
- Complain to the facility, the state ombudsman, and other state or federal authorities.
This is not a comprehensive list of your elderly loved one’s rights. To learn more about nursing home residents’ rights and their options if violated, contact an Atlanta nursing home lawyer at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect occurs when the staff members fail to maintain an adequate standard of care regarding your loved one. Neglect does not have to be intentional. It is often the result of carelessness, poor training, lack of supervision, and understaffed facilities. However, the lack of intent does not make neglect any less harmful. Negligent care may result in your loved one not being bathed often enough or properly. Your loved one’s clothing and bedding may not be changed when necessary, including when they are soiled. Neglect can lead to your relative not receiving enough food or fluids throughout the day, causing dehydration and malnutrition. Neglect also increases the risk of your loved one falling and suffering physical injuries.
If you believe your loved one is not being taken care of like they should at a facility, call a nursing home neglect attorney as soon as you can. When neglect or abuse causes your loved one physical or psychological harm, they may be able to pursue compensation. If it led to your loved one’s early death, then you may be able to seek a financial recovery through a wrongful death claim, including loss of companionship, mental anguish, loss of guidance and nurturing, and funeral and burial expenses.
Nursing Home Abuse
While neglect can arise from carelessness and recklessness, nursing home abuse is the result of intentional misconduct. Your loved one is at risk for:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Psychological & Emotional Abuse
- Financial Abuse
If you notice any physical or social signs that your loved one is being hurt while living in a nursing home or other facility, call a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. Signs may include social withdrawal, depression, anxiety, fear or nervousness around certain staff members or residents, self-soothing techniques, inexplicable or poorly excused bruises, repeated falls, and more serious injuries.
One of our experienced attorneys at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC will thoroughly investigate your loved one’s situation and determine if there is evidence of neglect or abuse. If we find evidence of wrongdoing, we will explain how to secure compensation for your loved one, including past, present, and future medical costs, pain and suffering, as well as permanent disability or disfigurement.
Common Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Injuries
If your loved one is neglected or abused at a nursing home or other care facility, they may suffer from:
- Pressure Sores/Bed Sores
- Broken Bones
- Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury
- Back and Spinal Injuries
- Infections, including Urinary Tract Infections and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Resident’s Injuries?
If you believe your loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse, call us to speak with an Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. There are two questions we need to answer: 1) who is directly at fault for the neglect or abuse, and 2) who is liable for the harmful conduct? We will investigate the situation to determine who has perpetuated the neglect or abuse, which may be a facility staff members, another worker, a resident, or a visitor.
Once we identify who harmed your loved one, we can determine legal liability. If a person employed by the nursing home harmed your relative, our goal is to hold the facility liable. If the individual who hurt your relative was not an employee, such as a resident or visitor, then it may be more challenging to prove liability. We may seek to hold the individual responsible for his or her misconduct, as well as the facility, which was supposed to keep your relative safe from harm.
Types of Elder Care Facilities
Seniors have the most freedom in independent living communities, otherwise known as retirement communities. These facilities may also offer non-medical services, such as cleaning, meal facilities, and social activities.
Assisted living facilities provide more services than typical independent care facilities. For instance, they assist residents with hygiene and dressing, and ensure that residents take their medications on time. Although assisted living facilities do not have to have nurses and physicians on staff, they do offer medical care.
Nursing homes are medical facilities with 24-hour medical staff that provide care for seriously ill individuals. The standard of care that a nursing home or another medical facility must provide to your loved one is typically higher than the standard of care required at a non-medical facility.
There are also residential care facilities, continuing care communities, and multi-level care facilities. It can be confusing depending on how the facility labels and markets itself. Your definition of a nursing home may be different than the legal definition of a nursing home.
Federal and State Law for Elder Care Facilities
One of the ways to obtain compensation from a facility in a nursing home and abuse case is to prove that it violated one or more federal or state laws regarding the standard of care it must provide residents. To determine whether your loved one’s facility violated its duty of care, we will evaluate the type of facility so that we can determine the applicable federal and state laws that govern it.
The federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA) applies to elder care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding — almost all nursing homes. Entirely private care facilities that do not accept any Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements are not covered by this law, though they may be covered by other federal laws.
Georgia also has a number of laws dictating the standard of care at:
- Adult Day Centers
- Assisted Living Communities, 25 or More Residents
- Community Living Arrangements
- Intermediate Care Homes
- Nursing Homes
- Personal Care Homes
When you contact us, we will discuss the type of facility your loved one resided in at the time of their injury or death and the applicable laws. We will also review all of your documentation regarding the facility’s potential misconduct and tell you whether you or your loved one has a strong case to recover compensation.
Contact Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Today
We know you, your elderly relative, and your other family members trusted the facility in question and their staff. You never expected your loved one to be hurt by someone’s carelessness or malice. However, now that you suspect this may be true, you should call an Atlanta nursing abuse attorney right away.
At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, we have over 33 years of experience in helping people who have been injured. We assist individuals and families across Fulton County, DeKalb County, Clayton County, Cobb County, and Gwinnett County.
To speak with an experienced and skilled attorney, call (404) 419-6674 or submit your details through our online form. We offer free, no-risk consultations and work on a contingency fee basis. If we take on your case, we only get paid if we win your case.