Compassionate Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Ready to Assist You
Fulton County and Atlanta, Georgia host dozens of nursing homes. Some of these nursing homes, such as the Shepherd Center, Signature Healthcare of Buckhead, and Reliable Health & Rehab at Lakewood, enjoy excellent reputations. Nevertheless, nursing home abuse can occur anywhere – sometimes, all it takes is a single rogue employee. In other cases, a nursing home might suffer from systematic problems that encourage and perpetuate abuse. If you need help, speak with the trusted Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys at T. Madden and Associates, P.C., today.
The Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights
The following rights are enshrined by both federal and state law. They can be enforced by a civil lawsuit and, in some cases, by criminal prosecution:
- The right to nondiscrimination in care regardless of age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, or financial resources;
- The right to privacy;
- The right to manage their own lives to the extent possible, including their finances;
- The right to sufficient nutrition; and
- The right to freedom from restraints, including chemical restraints such as tranquilizers.
Some (but not all) of these rights can be circumscribed if the resident loses mental competence or if an emergency occurs.
Hiring Our Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Matters
Your first priorities in a nursing home abuse case, of course, are going to be removing your loved one from the abusive environment and treating them for any medical needs that arose from the abuse. After that, it will be time to demand fair compensation for your loved one (or for yourself, if your loved one died). You might be surprised at how much the attitude of a nursing home changes once they learn that you have retained a highly-skilled Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney at T. Madden & Associates, P.C. to represent you.
No words can express the gratitude that I have for T. Madden & Associates, P.C. Thanks for making such an unfortunate experience not so much of a headache. No questions or concerns were left unanswered and everything was handled in a timely and professional manner. I also wanted to extend a special thank you to my legal assistant, Elexis Cummings, for going the extra mile to make sure nothing was left undone. Thanks so much for everything you all have done. I sincerely trust you guys.
—La Toya Denise
Other Kinds of Cases We Handle
At T. Madden & Associates, P.C., we practice all forms of injury legal matters, including:
- Medical Negligence and Malpractice: Doctors make mistakes, and sometimes these mistakes cause serious harm. Not every mistake rises to the level of medical malpractice, but many of them do. When they do, you are entitled to compensation.
- Trip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents result in over a million emergency room visits every year in the United States alone. If you were injured because someone else was careless (a department store owner who failed to properly maintain an escalator, for example), you may have a valid slip and fall claim.
- Negligent Security: A property owner who invites guests onto their property, including business customers, has a duty to render their property reasonably safe against all foreseeable risks. If crime, for example, is a foreseeable risk, the owner has a duty to provide security. Failure to do so results in a claim if someone is hurt that way.
- Wrongful Death: A wrongful death claim could be based on a murder, a negligent homicide, or even an accidental death caused by an oversight that does not rise to the level of a criminal offense. If your loved one’s death was caused by someone else’s wrongful behavior, you may have a wrongful death claim.
- Auto Crash Accidents: The odds are fairly high that you will be injured in an auto vehicle accident at some point in your life. The odds that your injuries will be the fault of the other driver are not that much lower. In such a case, you are entitled to full compensation, including compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Semi-Trucking Accidents: Commercial trucks, especially 18-wheelers, cause tremendous damage when drivers lose control of their vehicles. One advantage of pursuing a truck accident claim, however, is that commercial truckers are required by law to carry enough insurance to cover just about any personal injury claim.
- DUI Accidents: If you are injured in a DUI accident, you don’t have to wait to find out whether the driver is convicted in criminal court. You can file and win a claim, even if no charges are ever filed against the driver.
- Dog Attacks: Dog attacks are quite common, and children represent about half of all victims. Georgia law holds dog owners financially responsible, as long as they had reason to know in advance that their dog had aggressive tendencies.
- Motorbike Accidents: Few experiences are more frightening (and painful) than a serious motorcycle accident. In our experience, most two-vehicle motorcycle accidents are caused by an automobile or truck driver, not the motorcyclist.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?
If you have reason to suspect that your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse, you need to spring into action immediately:
- Seek immediate medical attention to the extent necessary: This is important not only for the well-being of your abused loved one but also to help gather evidence for your loved one’s nursing home abuse claim. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance, if necessary.
- Notify the nursing home. Sometimes nursing home abuse is not systematic – it could be the consequence, for example, of a single rogue employee. In either case, you should notify the management in writing of your suspicions and keep a copy for yourself. If you don’t do this, the opposing party could later question why you waited so long to report your suspicions.
- Call the police if you have good reason to believe that your loved one was subjected to criminal misconduct. A police report can serve as valuable evidence.
- Take photographs, especially if your loved one exhibits clear physical evidence of abuse such as bed sores or bruises. Photographs can greatly strengthen your case.
- Take steps to have your loved one removed from the facility as soon as possible. The Georgia Department of Human Services maintains a hotline through which you can report elder abuse.
- Contact T. Madden & Associates, P.C. so that we can begin preparing your claim. Our Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys have handled nursing home abuse claims many times before, and we can advise you every step of the way.
Can a nursing home be sued for the wrongful acts of their employees, or do I have to rely on the employee’s personal resources to satisfy a judgment?
In Georgia, as well as every other state, an employer such as a nursing home can be held civilly liable for the consequences of the wrongful acts of its employees, under the legal doctrine of respondeat superior, if these activities took place during the course of the employee’s performance of his duties.
This principle applies regardless of whether the nursing home itself was negligent. It does not apply if the employee was an independent contractor rather than an employee. Nevertheless, nursing home staff are typically considered employees, not independent contractors. If the nursing home itself was negligent (through negligent hiring or supervision, for example), you can even hold the nursing home liable for the wrongful acts of an independent contractor.
My loved one is incompetent. Can I file a claim on their behalf?
You can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on behalf of your loved one if:
- They granted you durable power of attorney in writing before they became incompetent; or
- A court appoints you as your loved one’s legal guardian. This can happen even after your loved one becomes incompetent. Even if you have not yet been appointed guardian, you can still use your eligibility for guardianship as leverage in settlement negotiations.
Who investigates nursing home abuse or neglect in Georgia?
The Georgia Department of Community Health Healthcare Facility Regulation (HFR) is responsible for investigating reports of nursing home neglect. You can call 800-878-6442 (toll-free).
What if my family member doesn’t remember what happened?
If your loved one is mentally incompetent, suffering from cognitive decline, or heavily medicated, they may have no recollection of the abuse they suffered – particularly if it was a single incident such as an injury or sexual abuse. Alternatively, they may remember the abuse but be unable to communicate it.
Naturally, this state of affairs will complicate a nursing home neglect investigation and make the claim harder to prove. Nevertheless, claims like these have been won before based on physical evidence and/or eyewitness testimony, among other means.
Can you sue a nursing home for wrongful death?
Sadly, the consequences of nursing home abuse can be tragic. In some cases, the victim literally dies from the abuse they suffer. Although Georgia does not allow a personal injury lawsuit to be filed in the name of a deceased person, it does allow surviving relatives and the personal representative of the victim’s probate estate to seek compensation.
How long do you have to bring a claim for nursing home abuse?
Like other types of injury claims, you have only a limited amount of time to bring a claim. If the nursing home is in Georgia, you typically have two years from the date of injury to resolve your claim. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. If you cannot resolve your claim and the statute of limitations is approaching, you need to file a lawsuit. Failure to file a lawsuit before the deadline could result in your entire case being dismissed.
Be advised that the deadline isn’t always two years. Also, some nursing homes have special requirements regarding litigation. If you do not meet the requirements, the court could throw your case out as well. For example, a nursing home might require that the injured victim provide a sworn affidavit from a medical professional that supports a claim of nursing home abuse. It could take time to secure one, which is why you don’t want to wait until the last minute.
Because specific circumstances can alter the statute of limitations or there may be special nursing home requirements you must adhere to, it’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Don’t jeopardize your case by misjudging the statute of limitations. When you retain our firm to represent you, we will make sure you don’t miss the deadline. Even if we are close to settling, we will still file a lawsuit to protect your rights.
Contact one of our Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers to learn more.
We will Fight for Your Loved One’s Right to Fair Compensation
At T. Madden and Associates, P.C. our Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer believes that there is no wrongdoing more despicable than nursing home abuse. Stories from our clients fill us with the desire to demand justice for the abuse of the helpless. All told, we have won tens of millions of dollars for our clients. In fact, our track record is so good that defendants seldom risk facing us in court, instead preferring out-of-court settlements.
Immediate, Decisive Action Is Critical
If you suspect abuse, speak to our proven Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as possible. We can be reached by telephone, by email at email@example.com, or through our online contact page. Our Atlanta nursing home abuse attorney can set up a free, confidential case consultation to listen to your story and evaluate your claim. Our lawyers serve personal injury clients in Ansley Park, Blandtown, Atkins Park, and elsewhere in Atlanta, GA. We also take cases in other areas of Georgia and the US.