When people know or suspect that a loved one has been abused or neglected at a nursing home, they are often unsure about what to do next. They want the perpetrators to be held accountable but they may not know there may be compensation available for the various effects of the abuse.
This is why you should strongly consider contacting a reputable Macon nursing home abuse attorney for a free consultation to explore your legal options. The attorneys at Roden Law understand the shock and anger that follows when a loved one suffers a personal injury from abuse or neglect. We are prepared to launch a detailed investigation of your claim to build a case against the abusers to give you a chance of collecting compensation for physical, financial and emotional damages.
Our attorneys provide legal representation on a contingency fee basis, so there is no charge for your consultation and we will not charge legal fees unless we recover fair compensation. We have a long track record of recovering fair compensation for victims of negligence.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse
People often do not realize the many forms of compensation they could recover in a nursing home abuse claim. These forms of compensation cover the various types of damages that can be caused by nursing home abuse, including:
- Surgical procedures
- Physical rehabilitation
- Psychological therapy
- Funeral expenses if your loved one died because of abuse
- Prescription drugs
- Blood tests
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Damaged or stolen property
- Physical impairment
- Attorneys’ fees
- Hospital stays
If your loved one was abused or neglected, contact a Macon nursing home abuse attorney for a free legal consultation. We may be able to help you recover these and other forms of compensation.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia
If you think your loved one has been neglected or abused, the first thing you should do is report it to the facility. Under federal and state law, a nursing home resident or his or her guardian or representative has the right to present a grievance to the facility if any of the resident's rights were violated.
Filing a grievance with the facility creates an official record of your complaint and what the facility finds when it investigates the incident. This will be a crucial piece of evidence if we have grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Once a complaint is submitted, the administrator of the facility must act promptly to resolve the problem. If there is no resolution within three business days, the administrator or his or her designee must provide a written response that includes the following information:
- Name of complainant and person providing the written response
- Date the grievance was submitted and date of written response
- Description of the complaint
- The position of the facility on the complaint
- Description of your rights to appeal the decision, such as the name and phone number of the community or state ombudsman
If you are not satisfied with the written response and the actions taken by the facility, you can file a complaint with Georgia's Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LTCO). The principal function of this office is to work on resolving complaints by residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. You can file a complaint online or contact the local office in Macon by phone or emailing a representative.
Another place to submit a nursing home abuse complaint is Georgia's Division of Aging Services. You can report a complaint online or call a toll-free phone number. Reports are only accepted on the phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you call after those hours, you can leave a message. However, this does not count as an accepted report until you speak with a representative.
Mandatory Reporting of Complaints
Even if you do not submit a complaint to the Division of Aging Services or LTCO, others at the facility are required to by state law.
Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 30-5-4, the following staffers are required to report suspected abuse to an adult protection agency:
- Medical personnel
- Physical therapists
- Licensed professional counselors
- Nursing personnel
- Employees of a public or private agency providing professional health related services to the elderly
Reporting abuse to the authorities is the first step in finding out what happened and starting to build a case for nursing home abuse or negligence.
After abuse is reported, contact a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer for a free legal consultation to discuss what happened and learn about your potential legal options.
Contact Roden Law today for your free, no obligation consultation.
Why Do I Need a Macon Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
The purpose of reporting nursing home neglect or abuse to the authorities is to attempt to hold the perpetrators accountable for their actions. In some cases, law enforcement may get involved and staff members or administrators could face criminal prosecution for their actions.
However, even if the authorities hold the abusers accountable, you or your loved one will not receive compensation for the physical, financial and emotional damages caused by the abuse.
That is why victims of nursing home abuse and their loved ones should meet with a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer. An attorney may be able to file a claim to pursue compensation for medical expenses and various other damages.
There is no requirement that you work with an attorney on your claim. However, there are many reasons why it could be to your benefit to work with a lawyer.
For example, nursing home abuse claims can be complicated. The only way to build a strong case is to conduct a detailed investigation. Our attorneys have many years of combined experience investigating negligence and know what evidence to look for.
We have access to medical experts who can review your loved one's injuries to determine their effects. This helps us with determining an accurate value of your claim so you obtain all of the compensation you deserve.
Another advantage of having an attorney is that he or she can take your case to trial if necessary. This is extremely important during settlement negotiations. If the other side does not think an attorney is prepared to go to trial, they may be less likely to offer a fair settlement.
Our attorneys have many years of combined experience in the courtroom and can manage every aspect of the legal process. We will also keep you informed about anything we need from you and what to expect, because we know people are often anxious about the prospect of going through a trial.
Contact the Macon nursing home abuse attorneys at Roden Law right now for a free legal consultation.
Nursing Home Resident Bill of Rights
Another advantage to working with an attorney is that he or she has detailed knowledge of state and federal laws on nursing homes, including the rights of nursing home residents. Georgia has a residents' bill of rights while the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law grants many of the same rights and protections for nursing home residents as our state's bill of rights.
Some of your loved one's rights include the right to:
- Be treated respectfully
- Not suffer abuse, including abuse of a physical, mental, verbal or sexual nature
- Not be physically restrained for disciplinary purposes
- Receive a written explanation of rights and grievance procedures when he or she is admitted to the facility
- Be informed 30 days before any changes in medical services
- Receive treatment from the physician of his or her choice
- Refuse to receive medical treatment
- Have freedom to associate, meet and communicate in private with whoever they choose
- Wake up and go to sleep at the time of their choice
- Retain ownership of his or her property
- Not have staff members enter the resident's room without making their presence known
- Complain or make grievances without being afraid of punishment
- Have complaints addressed promptly
- Access medical records
- Have doctors, representatives or interested family members notified if he or she is injured or has a worsening medical status
- Refuse to take part in experimental treatment
- Have medical records be kept confidential
- Have access to a telephone
- Not be transferred or discharged from the facility unless it is necessary for his or her welfare or the safety of others at the facility
- Manage his or her money or choose someone to do it
Contact a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim?
We encourage anyone with a potential nursing home abuse case to contact an attorney as soon as possible. We have a limited amount of time to file a case because of Georgia's personal injury statute of limitations.
This is a law that sets a deadline for filing personal injury claims, including nursing home abuse claims. If we miss the deadline, we will be unable to file a lawsuit, and you might lose your only chance to obtain compensation.
Georgia's personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date the cause of action accrues. In a nursing home abuse case, this statute begins to run on the date of the abuse and ends two years after that date.
Two years might sound like a long time, but it can pass a lot faster than you may realize. Some of that time will be taken up by the investigation and building a case. The later you contact us, the less time we will have to build a strong case.
Schedule a free consultation with a Macon nursing home abuse attorney right now.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Unfortunately, nursing home residents suffer many forms of abuse at nursing facilities throughout Georgia and the rest of the nation. That is why our nursing home abuse lawyers are prepared to handle cases involving many different types of abuse, including:
This includes a variety of physical actions against residents that cause injuries, such as:
- Beating a resident with an object
- Pushing or shoving
- Forcing a resident to eat or drink
- Physically restraining a resident in such a way that it causes injury
In some cases, staff members use physical violence as a form of discipline or punishment when they are frustrated with a resident. No matter what causes it, these actions are against the law and if we can prove that your loved one suffered physical violence, we may be able to recover compensation.
Mental or Psychological Abuse
Sometimes perpetrators of nursing home abuse do not resort to physical violence. Instead, they use their words to insult or bully residents.
Some examples of mental or psychological abuse include:
- Calling a resident names
- Making fun of or humiliating a resident
- Making threats
- Verbal harassment
- Isolating a resident from everyone else
- Ignoring a resident to cause mental distress
- Making a resident do something demeaning in front of others
This is not limited to rape or other forms of sexual assault, like unwanted touching. It could also include taking pictures of a resident while he or she is naked or in a compromising position. In some cases, staff members force residents to remove their clothes.
Unfortunately, many nursing home residents do not have the mental stability or understanding to manage their finances. This is why so many staff members choose to take advantage and try to steal or misuse residents' financial assets.
Some common examples of this type of abuse include:
- Stealing money from a wallet or bank account
- Using credit or debit cards without permission
- Forging a resident's signature on financial documents, like checks
- Selling a resident's personal property
- Opening an account in the resident's name without permission
- Forcing or tricking a resident into signing over power of attorney
This occurs when a resident is denied the care that meets his or her physical or emotional needs. For instance, sometimes facilities fail to adequately provide the following:
- Food and water to keep the resident healthy
- Clean, sanitary clothing
- Sanitary living environment
- Personal hygiene, including bathing and toileting
Some residents need more help with these things than others, but facilities are legally obligated to provide what each resident requires to maintain his or her well-being.
There are a variety of other forms of neglect, such as not moving residents who cannot move on their own. For example, some residents are almost permanently bed ridden so they need to be moved multiple times per day to prevent the development of bedsores.
In some cases, neglect is so bad that residents are rarely moved or even checked on, causing bedsores to develop and become infected.
Other forms of neglect include:
- Failing to give a resident his or her medication or giving the wrong dosage
- Failing to clean a room and leaving obstacles that could cause slip and fall accidents
- Not including residents in activities
Call 1-844-RESULTS to schedule a free legal consultation with a Macon nursing home abuse lawyer.
What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Anyone who has a loved one at a nursing home or assisted living facility should watch for any signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. Many people do not want to believe that their loved one could be abused, but the fact is that this is a widespread problem in the nursing home industry.
It is particularly important for you to look for these signs because the elderly are often afraid or unable to report abuse. In some cases, residents have such diminished mental capacity that they really do not have an idea of what is going on. That is why their loved ones need to do the best they can to try to protect them.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Staff members refusing to leave your loved one alone with you
- Large or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts
- Transfer of power of attorney
- Missing possessions
- Marks from restraints
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Bloody underwear
- Mysterious increase in living expenses
- New credit card accounts your loved one did not tell you about
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Broken bones
- Depression or withdrawal from social situations
- Open wounds
- Broken eyeglasses
- Internal bleeding
- Changes to a resident's will
- Mood swings
- Noticeable weight loss
- Sudden changes in mental capacity, which could be a sign of medication errors
- Nervousness around nursing home staff
- A messy room
- Slip and fall obstacles
- Poor hygiene, including dirty or soiled clothes
If you notice anything like this, report it and contact a Macon nursing home abuse attorney from our firm. There is a limited time to file a claim so the sooner you contact us, the better.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form right now.
Proving There Was Abuse or Neglect
When our attorneys try to build a nursing home abuse case, we will review a variety of factors. We will document all injuries and effects of the abuse and try to identify the perpetrators.
We will also look at other factors that may have helped cause the abuse. Identifying these other factors could be the key to holding the abusers and the nursing home accountable.
For instance, some facilities hire staff members who have not passed a background check or who lack the appropriate qualifications for their position, such as academic degrees or state licenses.
There are also situations where facilities do a poor job training staff members. No matter how many degrees someone has, without proper training, he or she could abuse or neglect a resident without realizing it.
Another common problem in the nursing home industry is understaffing. Facilities are either negligent or they are simply trying to save money by employing small staffs. This can increase the chances of abuse because overworked staff members are more likely to lash out at residents. They can also forget to take care of residents' needs because they have so many things to do.
Our Macon nursing home abuse attorneys will carefully analyze records from your loved one's nursing home to determine if any of these problems existed. This could help bolster your claim and possibly improve your chances of obtaining fair compensation.
Contact Roden Law right now for a free legal consultation.
Schedule a Consultation with a Macon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When a loved one is abused at a nursing home, families should strongly consider meeting with an attorney to discuss their potential legal options. Not only can an attorney work to hold the abusers accountable, he or she may also be able to obtain fair compensation for the damages suffered by your loved one.
At Roden Law, we take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no charge for your consultation and we will not assess legal fees unless you receive compensation.
Nursing home abuse is illegal and we are committed to holding abusers accountable and obtaining compensation. While compensation cannot change what happened, it can go a long way toward helping you and your loved one manage the physical, emotional and financial consequences of abuse.