Macon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Macon Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Aggressive Legal Representation for Nursing Home Abuse Victims
The city of Macon, Georgia is home to more than a few dozen nursing homes and elderly care facilities. With nearly 15% of the population being over the age of 65, it’s no wonder that so many homes for the elderly are now operating in Macon. While it’s important that our elders have sufficient care, some facilities overlook various forms of abuse and neglect. If your loved one is abused, our Macon nursing home neglect law firm can help you pursue damages on their behalf.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
When defining types of nursing home abuse or neglect, the reality is that it’s often more than just intentional acts. Poorly trained, underpaid staff sometimes make mistakes while overseeing the individuals under their care. Unfortunately, this is all too common in large nursing home companies that manage hundreds, if not thousands, of facilities across the United States. Since their goal is to make a profit, these companies skimp out on quality care professionals, leading to a higher risk of abuse. Some of the most common types of abuse and neglect include:
- Medical malpractice,
- Physical abuse,
- Medication errors,
- Sexual abuse,
- Financial exploitation,
- Neglect, and
These are just a few of the types of abuse that may happen to a loved one under poor care. Even nursing homes that present themselves as tidy, clean, and organized may hide the abuse of elderly residents. No matter which one of these abuses happens to a loved one, the staff responsible should be held accountable.
Not all abuse that happens at a nursing home is physical. According to the Centers for Disease Control, elders may undergo emotional or psychological abuse under nursing home care. They define emotional abuse as “verbal or nonverbal behaviors that inflict anguish, mental pain, fear, or distress.” This includes things like disrespect, harassment, humiliation, threats, and isolation. This form of abuse is just as serious as physical abuse and can lead to long-lasting emotional trauma.
Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
For each type of abuse or neglect, there are different signs and symptoms to look out for. Not all forms of abuse look the same, so it’s important to know when abuse is likely to have taken place. Physical and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, often result in signs such as:
- Broken bones,
- Hair loss,
- Pressure ulcers,
- Rapid weight loss,
- Lack of focus,
- Genital bleeding, or
Since these signs are obvious, we recommend contacting our Macon nursing home abuse lawyer immediately if they appear. However, there are also more subtle signs of abuse or mistreatment that may not be as overt. This includes:
- Aggressive outbursts,
- Changes in behavior,
- Discomfort around staff, and
- Withdrawal from nursing home events.
In some cases, it may be difficult to get a relative to admit their abuse. However, there are some victims who are open about the abuse they’ve suffered. Make sure to listen to them and do whatever you can to keep them safe if you suspect abuse.
Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes
Tragically, some cases of nursing home abuse or neglect may end in the wrongful death of a loved one. Deaths involving neglect are particularly difficult for families, especially since the signs and symptoms are much harder to notice. Malnutrition, dehydration, medication overdose/underdose, and other injuries often go unnoticed by visiting family and friends because of a tendency to attribute these conditions to the aging process. To make matters worse, nursing homes typically withhold evidence of neglect if a resident dies as a result.
At T. Madden & Associates, P.C., our Macon nursing home abuse attorney thoroughly investigates cases of wrongful death in a nursing home. We have a variety of resources at our disposal to help expose the substandard care of a loved one.
Statute of Limitations and the Lawsuit Process
Typically, a nursing home abuse lawsuit falls under the category of personal injury. This means it is subject to the statute of limitations or time limit for most personal injury cases. Under Georgia Code section 9-3-33, victims and their families have two years to file a lawsuit for injuries or wrongful death. Generally, the clock starts ticking from the date of injury. However, an exception that may apply in a nursing home abuse case is the discovery rule. Under this rule, the clock doesn’t start until the injury is discovered.
While exceptions do help, it’s important to discuss your case with one of our Macon nursing home abuse lawyers as soon as possible. These exceptions don’t always apply, and if you fail to file within the time limit, the court may dismiss your case. For this reason, it’s best to start considering your legal options immediately after your loved one’s injury occurs or is discovered.
Once you initiate a lawsuit, it may take anywhere from a few months to a year or more to settle. The overall length of the process depends on the complexities of your case and available evidence. Even though a majority of cases are settled before reaching the court, some may end up going to trial. This may extend the length of the case to upwards of two years depending on the circumstances.
How to Collect Evidence
If you suspect that a nursing home is abusing or neglecting your loved one, report it immediately. After you’ve made your report, begin by talking to your elder. It may be difficult to get information from them if they were threatened, but try to reassure them. During your initial investigation, we recommend collecting the following information if possible:
- Photographs of the injuries,
- The victim’s medical records,
- Notes on behavioral changes, and
- Recorded witness statements.
For cases involving financial abuse, examine your relative’s bank statements and account information. You may find new account notices, unusual transactions, or late fees due to non-payment. All of these could be signs of someone having access to their account.
What Damages Can Be Claimed?
There are three potential damages available in nursing home abuse cases: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages include the tangible losses your loved one suffers, such as medical bills, physical therapy, or financial losses related to fraud. In contrast, non-economic damages cover things like pain and suffering or mental anguish. While rare, punitive damages may be awarded in cases of wanton negligence or intentional acts.
Contact Our Attorneys Today
Seeing your loved one fall victim to any form of nursing home abuse or neglect is emotional. The caregivers not only betrayed your trust but left a traumatic impact on your elder and the family. At T. Madden & Associates, P.C., we know how physically, emotionally, and financially devastating this can be.
Our experienced legal team also handles other types of injury cases:
If your loved one sustains an injury or other form of abuse under the care of a nursing home, contact us online or give us a call.