One would hope that any resident of a nursing home will be well cared for and able to live with dignity. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not the case. Nursing home abuse is a common occurrence and tends to be carried out quietly, particularly among nursing home residents without regular family visits. Thankfully, there is still hope for help.
Stockbridge nursing home abuse attorneys can help victims of nursing home neglect and abuse receive compensation for their mistreatment. A personal injury-focused law firm may be your best place to look for help, as you are at a severe disadvantage without a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Every nursing home abuse lawsuit is going to be different, with any number of variables complicating the issue. Nursing homes are unfortunately fertile ground for various types of abuse, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Financial abuse
Nursing home residents are often viewed as helpless, encouraging those in power over them to exercise that in harmful ways. Nursing home negligence is also common and just as harmful, in instances where residents are ignored or given subpar care. Without an outside party noticing, these abuse cases can go on for years.
Nursing home abuse lawyers understand intimately the various types of nursing home abuse cases and can help you recognize them. If you or a loved one believes nursing home abuse is happening, it is best to consult with one as soon as possible. Your diligence may help an entire home of vulnerable residents.
Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?
One of the top responsibilities of personal injury lawyers is establishing liability in a case. Liability means who is responsible for what occurred, and the party who owes financial compensation. In the case of an assisted living facility, you must prove that the duty of care was breached and show that damage was done because of them. Abuse or inadequate medical care would make a nursing facility liable.
While one of the nursing home staff may have committed the abuse, the nursing home itself will be held financially responsible. Criminal charges may be brought against the individual, but that comes secondary.
Proving liability is a job for our law firm, with your help. A good lawyer can help you establish who is responsible and for how much, so it is best to consult with one before you begin.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse is a serious and despicable offense, especially when one trusts assisted living facilities. Several types and criteria of compensation are possible, based on the types and levels of nursing home abuse.
When this abuse leads to physical health problems, you could be looking at a very hefty settlement. Understanding what you are after is important to begin seeking it, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the information below.
Economic damages are fair compensation for monetary damage done. For example, medical bills, property damage, and funeral expenses in a wrongful death.
A multitude of health problems can arise from nursing home abuse, like broken bones, bed sores, and even sexually transmitted diseases. All of these will need potentially expensive treatment, and the legal process is in place to ensure that the entity responsible covers the price.
Economic damages are the base level of a settlement and a Stockbridge nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to quantify it all into a number. You can essentially rely on economic damages being covered, but a skilled attorney can likely argue for more.
This refers to damages with no concrete monetary value. Often referred to as pain and suffering damages, these are granted in cases where the victim suffered psychologically and emotionally. They may also be granted to a family member if they have suffered for their loved one’s mistreatment.
Much of the abuse victims face in nursing homes is not simply physical, such as sexual harassment or emotional abuse. It can be difficult to recover from and may require therapy and other such treatments to recover from.
A skilled nursing home abuse law firm will be able to determine whether non-economic damages were incurred, and to prove to a judge that they are warranted in the settlement.
In a personal injury case, punitive damages are a somewhat rare addition to the settlement. They are added fines when a law has been broken, which in cases of abuse can be more common.
Nursing home staff found engaging in one of the many forms of abuse will likely be charged with a crime, though this may not affect your settlement. If the nursing home itself is found to be knowingly engaging in criminal abuse, however, you could be entitled to a major increase.
Punitive damages above all are dependent on a good lawyer, so it is important to discuss all possibilities and follow their advice carefully. When criminal charges are on the table, the nursing home is likely to fight back that much harder.
What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
Many Georgia residents have an elderly loved one in an assisted living facility or nursing home. The idea that they could be enduring neglect or abuse by the staff is a difficult one to face, especially because it can sometimes be hard to tell.
You cannot always rely on the residents to tell you, particularly if they are under threat of violence or simply unable to communicate. However, there are common signs to look for, so you can bring the facility to justice.
If your loved ones within a nursing home suddenly display signs of the following, nursing home abuse may be taking place and you should contact a lawyer immediately.
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Strange changes in behavior
- Poor health and hygiene
- Finances or property changing hands
Your attorneys will advise you on how to proceed, but generally, you should follow these steps.
Gather Evidence of Abuse
Rather than bringing this up to the staff or administration, try to gather as much evidence as you can. Pictures, medical records, testimony, evidence left on a resident’s clothes such as blood, and anything else you can get that could prove the abuse of your disabled loved one is taking place.
The facility may try to destroy evidence or use your own words against you. Remember that the more evidence you have, the more your lawyer will be able to use for your benefit.
How Do I Report a Nursing Home to the State of Georgia?
If you or your loved one has discovered a neglectful or abusive nursing home facility in Georgia, you should call the Healthcare Facility Regulation at the Department of Community Health. They are responsible for ensuring that facilities such as these live up to their duty of care, and will likely launch a professional investigation.
In particularly dire situations, such as when victims have been subjected to serious injuries, you should call the police immediately. No matter the situation, the lives and well-being of those in the homes are the highest priority.
While it is important to build a case for negligence or abuse with your lawyers, you are also responsible for making sure no serious harm is done. Be sure to consult with your attorney, if you are unclear on how to proceed.
Remove Your Loved One From Abusive Situation
The families of the victims will still need to ensure their loved ones are receiving the necessary care. While finding a new caretaker or facility may cause anxiety, the resident needs to be removed from the nursing home failing them.
Whatever you do, you need to remove your loved one from the offending facility. Whether you choose to care for them yourself for the short term or move them to a new nursing home is up to you, but your lawyer can help.
Ask about what options are available to you based on safety and insurance, so that there is no further suffering. A nursing home abuse case may take time, but your loved one’s care comes first.
Can I Sue On Behalf of Nursing Home Residents?
In cases where the nursing home resident cannot sue for themselves, another person can sue on their behalf. Examples include if the victim has dementia or is catatonic and could not possibly carry out the necessary steps.
However, you have to be able to prove you have the authority to do so. You must be able to act on their behalf, such as a close family member. A child, spouse, grandchild, or someone who has been given power of attorney may have grounds to act on their behalf.
How Can Stockbridge Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Help Me?
Suffering abuse at the hands of your caretakers, or discovering that a loved one is enduring this, is a difficult thing to go through. You may feel frightened, powerless, or hopeless against the much wealthier and more organized facility. A nursing home abuse attorney can take the matter into their own hands, using their experience and resources to help their clients take back that power.
A Stockbridge nursing home lawyer will help you gather evidence, build your case, and negotiate on your behalf. If it comes to legal action, they will argue before the court on your behalf. They handle the entire process, working closely with you to get the compensation you deserve.
Reach Out for a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Stockbridge
If you suspect that you or your loved one is enduring nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to seek legal help immediately. Help is available and there is no reason to endure the abuse for even a moment longer than necessary.
T. Madden and Associates, P.C. is an experienced and trusted law firm serving Georgia, dedicated to helping nursing home abuse victims fight back. Reach out as soon as possible and we can begin building your case together.