Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
We can help you hold the nursing home accountable
Nursing homes serve an important role in our society – they care for our loved ones when they can no longer care for themselves. That’s why nursing home abuse and neglect cases are so upsetting. Instead of making their residents’ lives better, some nursing homes cause serious harm that results in severe injuries or even death.
If your parent, grandparent or someone else close to you has been injured in a nursing home, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. The nursing home might deny any wrongdoing. Your loved one might not remember exactly what happened. In these complex cases, it’s critical to have someone on your side who understands how the legal system works and knows how to confront nursing homes and dig for the truth.
You can trust George S. Johnson to guide you toward justice for your loved one. An experienced attorney with a strong track record of success, George has dedicated his career to fighting for nursing home neglect and abuse victims in greater Atlanta and communities throughout Georgia. He knows what evidence to look for and how to transform those facts into results that stop neglect and get justice for families.
If you have questions and need to find out if you have a case, George is ready to meet with you and explore your options. Here are some common questions we are asked:
What are the types of nursing home neglect?
Nursing homes have comprehensive responsibilities to take care of residents’ needs and protect their safety. Common forms of neglect include:
- Medical neglect, such as failure to monitor residents’ medical condition, failure to appropriately treat medical conditions, such as bedsores and infections, or failure to send a resident to the hospital or refer them for other treatment if needed.
- Medication errors, such as failure to administer medications as prescribed or monitor for adverse side effects and interactions.
- Poor nutrition and diet, leading to malnutrition, starvation and dehydration.
- Other basic needs neglect, such as failure to bathe residents, leading to infections.
- Not maintaining safe and sanitary premises, such as leaving trip hazards in walkways, letting the building get overheated (a common issue in Georgia summers), or preparing food in unsanitary kitchens.
- Negligent security, such as failure to install cameras or rigorously screen and monitor visitors.
- Failure to monitor residents, creating a risk of unsafe wandering and potential physical harm.
What are the types of nursing home abuse?
- Physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping or beating residents.
- Mental and emotional abuse, such as belittling, insulting or isolating residents.
- Use of unnecessary force or restraints, whether physical or chemical.
- Financial exploitation, such as fraud, double-billing, or outright stealing residents’ money.
- Sexual abuse or assault.
Acts of abuse may be committed by staff, visitors or other residents. However, whether the abuse is committed by an employee or someone else, long-term care facilities have a responsibility to maintain a safe environment for residents, and thus potential liability when they fail in that responsibility.
What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse or neglect?
As soon as you see an unexplained injury, worsening symptoms, or otherwise suspect something is wrong with your loved one, we strongly recommend you take these important steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention – Your loved one’s health matters most. If something seems wrong, have a medical professional examine them right away.
- Report the abuse – Notify the nursing home’s administrators and document the notification in writing. Contact the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman and, if you believe a crime was committed, the local police.
- Contact a nursing home neglect attorney – an experienced advocate can help stop the abuse and pursue justice for your family.
How do I report nursing home abuse?
Some nursing homes have a pattern of abuse, which means the person you love may not be the only victim suffering harm. Be sure to report nursing home abuse or neglect right away.
- Report the abuse or neglect to the nursing home. Share your concerns with a supervisor or administrator at the nursing home, then document the conversation so that you have evidence showing they were made aware of the situation.
- File a complaint with the state agency that investigates abuse. The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman investigates claims of nursing home abuse and neglect in the state of Georgia. To determine the community ombudsman serving your area or file formal complaint, visit their website.
- Notify the police. Elder abuse is a serious crime and reporting it to law enforcement is a critical step. Call the police department where your loved one’s nursing home is located and make a report.
- Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will be your voice and help you pursue the compensation you’re entitled to.
How do you prove nursing home abuse?
One of the main challenges of investigating nursing homes is that residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s may not remember what happened. Residents may also struggle to communicate or live in fear of abusive staff. Proving nursing home abuse may involve talking to multiple witnesses and cross-referencing their stories, reviewing documentation, securing camera footage, and collecting physical evidence. These are intensive investigations that should be carried out by an experienced attorney.
Can I sue a nursing home for abuse and neglect?
Yes. Nursing homes are responsible for residents’ health and safety, and they can be held legally liable through the civil justice system when they don’t meet that responsibility. Filing a lawsuit may be the way to pursue justice for your family. However, only an experienced attorney can determine whether that is the right option for you.
What’s the legal cause of action in a nursing home neglect case?
Depending on the facts of the case, any of the following causes of action may apply:
- Professional negligence, which commonly applies in cases of medical neglect by a nurse or other trained medical care provider.
- Ordinary negligence, for claims arising from trip and fall injuries, fires, poor maintenance of the facility or other hazards on the premises.
- Negligence per se, if the nursing home violated the standards of care guaranteed by the Long Term Care Patients Bill of Rights or another applicable law or regulation.
- Third-party injuries, such as injuries caused by other residents, because Georgia courts have held that long-term care facilities have a special duty of supervision to protect their residents.
- Breach of contract, depending on the specific standards laid out in the residential care contract.
How can a nursing home abuse lawyer help me?
A lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse and neglect cases knows the statutes, rules and regulations that apply to elder care facilities and knows how to fight to hold them accountable. An experienced attorney can also take legal action to prevent a cover-up by the nursing home and advise you of any applicable statutes of limitations (legal deadlines) that may affect your legal rights.
Contacting law enforcement, state agencies and other investigative bodies is important, but you must remember that those agencies are primarily focused on determining whether abuse or neglect occurred in a nursing home, not whether your family is compensated for the injuries sustained by your loved one. An attorney is your advocate, focused on your family’s interests.
The Law Office of George S. Johnson will be your advocate, seeking justice for your family. As your attorney, George S. Johnson will conduct his own investigation and fight for the compensation and closure you need.
As your attorney, George S. Johnson can:
- Make sure your loved one gets medical attention.
- Demand that appropriate government agencies officially investigate your case.
- Help move your loved one to another nursing home if necessary.
- File a lawsuit, if necessary, against the nursing home.
We’re here for you when you need us most. That’s because we believe in fighting for justice for families and restoring dignity to injury victims. Contact our law firm and find out how we can help your family.
Seeking justice and dignity for victims and their families
The financial impact of abuse and neglect can be significant. Medical expenses can quickly add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Your loved one might also need additional surgical procedures or physical therapy. Without proper legal representation, your family could be forced to pay the bills related to the abuse or neglect.
That’s not right but George can help you avoid such financial hardship. George understands that many people spent their lives carefully planning for their retirement. Now, a major crisis could suddenly derail all those plans.
Your case is about more than just money. It’s about holding abusers accountable and making nursing homes safer for every resident. Contact our law firm right now. George passionately defends the rights of injury victims and their families statewide.
Learn more about nursing home abuse and neglect cases by clicking on the links listed below:
- Types of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
- Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
- Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect FAQ
- Liability In Nursing Home Injury Cases
- Investigating Negligent Nursing Homes
- How A Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Can Help
- Nursing Homes and Premises Liability
- Preventing Elder Abuse
- Reporting Elder Abuse In Georgia
- Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Statistics