Nursing Homes and Premises Liability
Our law firm holds negligent administrators accountable
The whole purpose of putting a loved one in a nursing home is to provide that person with a safe and caring environment. Unfortunately, nursing homes often cut corners and fail to meet their responsibility to keep their facilities safe. When that happens, residents and visitors alike can be seriously injured.
Many cases of nursing home negligence are covered under the legal field known as premises liability, which is the duty of a property owner to maintain a safe environment on the premises. When nursing home administrators and managers fail to meet that responsibility, an experienced nursing home negligence attorney can hold them accountable. Contact The Law Office of George S. Johnson if you or a loved one was injured on the premises of a Georgia nursing home.
A brief introduction to premises liability law
In order to file a premises liability claim against a nursing home - or any other business - you need to show that your injury was sustained due to a hazard on the premises that the owner or manager should have addressed. There are three standards of liability used in premises liability cases:
- The nursing home's management created the hazard on the premises.
- The nursing home's management knew about the hazard and did not take steps to address it.
- The nursing home's management should have known about the hazard, as sufficient time had passed and sufficient information was available, but did not take steps to address it.
Proving any one of these standards of liability can be quite difficult. That's why you need an attorney on your side who will conduct thorough research and find that critical evidence.
How do I make a formal complaint against a nursing home?
If you believe a loved one is a victim of neglect or abuse involving premises liability law in a nursing home, you often have four, main options for filing a formal complaint in Georgia:
- Notify the nursing home where your loved one lives that you believe abuse or neglect is taking place. This option often does not solve the problem, which is why many people choose to pursue the next three options.
- File a formal complaint with Georgia’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the state agency that formally investigates nursing home abuse and neglect complaints.
- File a complaint with the local police department if you believe a crime has been committed.
- Contact a nursing home neglect lawyer right away to pursue legal action against the nursing home.
The last option should always be considered in every case. Even if state officials or the local police are investigating your complaint, it’s important to have someone on your side looking out for your family’s best interests. An attorney can assist you with your complaint and conduct an in-depth, formal investigation on your family’s behalf.
Can I sue a nursing home for negligence?
In most cases, you have the right to file a lawsuit or take other legal action against a nursing home if you suspect that the nursing home facility is abusing or neglecting your family member. However, it’s important to understand that premises liability lawsuits involving neglect or abuse at a nursing home can be complicated legal cases.
In addition, you also only have a limited amount of time to take legal action in such cases. In Georgia, the deadline for filing a lawsuit involving nursing home abuse or neglect is normally two years from the date of the incident. This deadline is known as the statute of limitations. If you miss this deadline, you could forfeit your right to take legal action.
How much is my legal case worth?
The total financial value of your nursing home abuse or neglect claim will likely depend on many different factors, including:
- The total cost of all medical bills for your loved one’s medical care
- The severity of your loved one’s injury
- How long the nursing home was abusing or neglecting your family member
- Whether other people were subject to similar abuse or neglect
- If the nursing home tried to hide what was happening at the facility
Depending on all these factors and many more, your legal case could potentially be worth thousands or millions of dollars, especially if a family member died due to abuse or neglect in the nursing home facility. In that particular case, your family would likely file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. Whatever the circumstances of your particular case, your lawyer can thoroughly investigate your claim and pursue the maximum financial compensation on your family’s behalf.
Common examples of premises liability in nursing home injury cases
Because of the large number of residents, staff and visitors coming and going at a typical nursing home, there are many types of hazards that could result in injury. Some of those hazards include:
- Slip, trip and fall hazards. Unmarked wet floors. Defective railings. Steep stairways. Any type of fall hazard poses a particular danger to elderly residents, who can be seriously injured in falls. Visitors, too, can be seriously hurt, especially if they are themselves elderly - such as the spouses and siblings of residents.
- Negligent security. Nursing homes see many visitors every day, and they need to take steps to ensure that those visitors do not pose a threat to residents, staff or other visitors. You may have a negligent security claim against the nursing home if a loved one was assaulted or abused by a visitor or another resident.
- Cleaning and maintenance. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are notorious for leaving their premises in poor condition. If a nursing home is dirty or in disrepair, a variety of health and safety concerns for residents can come into play.
Like any property owner, nursing home owners and managers have a duty to maintain safe premises. In fact, their duty of care is even higher because their residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our society. When they fail to meet that duty of care, you need to contact an experienced attorney who can hold them accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the premises of a nursing home in the greater Atlanta area or anywhere else in Georgia, attorney George S. Johnson can help you get back up. Call (866) 904-6653 today for your free consultation.