Helping Injured Residents of Lawrenceville Nursing Homes
Older adults are some of society’s most vulnerable members, and many seniors need specialized care in a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, these individuals can be the target of abuse and neglect if they reside in nursing homes and extended care facilities. Due to their age, some elderly people can’t protect themselves. Those who suffer from dementia may not even recognize the abuse they are suffering, but the injuries that result are still very real, often resulting in financial, physical, and mental losses. All loved ones should watch for certain signs and indications that often accompany nursing home abuse and neglect of nursing home residents.
If you suspect that your loved one’s injuries resulted from abuse or neglect in a nursing home or extended care facility, there are legal options available to you. The Lawrenceville personal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you in investigating your claim of nursing home abuse and, if necessary, filing a complaint with the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services.
We can also assist you with filing an insurance claim or lawsuit in the state civil court system to pursue the just and fair monetary compensation that your loved one deserves for their physical and emotional injuries. Please give our Lawrenceville nursing home abuse lawyers a call today to learn more about how we can assist you with your nursing home abuse and neglect legal action.
Who Commits Acts of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Anyone who works at a nursing home or extended care facility may commit an act of abuse or neglect against a patient. Individuals who commit these acts include doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, dietitians, physical therapists, service providers, and administrators employed by the nursing facility.
If you suspect that a specific staff member or members are abusing or neglecting your loved one who resides at a nursing home or extended care facility, the Lawrenceville nursing home abuse lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm may file a legal claim or lawsuit against not only the negligent or abusive staff member but also the supervisor and the nursing home itself.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect and Who Are the Victims?
Abuse and neglect in the nursing home context can take on various forms and can affect anyone who resides in a nursing home the number of nursing home abuse cases could surprise you.
Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include:
- Verbal abuse of a patient – Verbal abuse of a nursing home patient may involve making direct threats to the patient or otherwise coercing the patient to do something that they do not want to do. Verbal abuse also includes making demeaning remarks to a nursing home resident.
- Sexual abuse of a patient – Sexual abuse of a nursing home patient includes sexual harassment, sexual advances, touching, fondling, or penetration committed by a nursing home staff member against the patient’s wishes.
- Physical abuse of a patient – Physical abuse of a nursing home patient may involve a staff member striking the patient or otherwise touching the patient in a manner that a reasonable person would find objectionable.
Another common form of abuse in the nursing home setting involves neglecting a patient while they reside at the home or long-term care center.
Like abuse, nursing home neglect can take on a variety of forms, including:
- Failure to provide the resident with proper medical care – Nursing homes and extended care facilities have a duty to provide residents with appropriate care and treatment at all times. This treatment includes meeting all of the patient’s medical needs on time and responding promptly to patients’ symptoms and complaints. When nursing homes fail to provide patients with the proper medical care required, this failure can be deemed negligent.
- Medication errors – Nursing homes are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the proper medication in the appropriate dosage and at the correct time. If nursing home staff provide patients with the wrong medications or in the wrong dosage, serious medical complications, including death, can result. The same is true when nurses dispense a drug to which the patient is allergic.
- Failure to keep the facility clean – Nursing home residents deserve to live in a safe and clean facility. When nursing home staff fail to clean patients’ rooms regularly, or when bed linens are not routinely changed, germs can spread and potentially lead to patient illness. When nursing home floors in patients’ rooms and hallways are not inspected and cleaned regularly, slip-and-fall accidents may occur.
- Failure to regularly bathe patients – Nursing home staff must wash patients frequently. When patients do not receive frequent baths, they can develop infections and become ill.
- Failure to properly supervise a patient – Some nursing home patients, especially those who suffer from dementia, require more supervision than others. When nursing home staff fail to monitor patients properly, the patients run the risk of injury from slip and fall accidents. In some instances, these residents may even inadvertently leave the facility.
- Failing to address a patient’s symptoms – When a nursing home resident complains about a specific symptom, such as pain in a particular area of the body, nursing staff must address the patient’s symptoms quickly. Failing to respond to patient symptoms can lead to a more serious medical complication and even the patient’s untimely death.
- Failing to monitor a patient’s medical condition regularly – In addition to promptly addressing a patient’s symptoms, nursing home staff must also treat patients’ medical conditions regularly. This treatment includes performing check-ups and checking a patient’s vitals regularly.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of one or more of these forms of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a knowledgeable Lawrenceville nursing home abuse attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm as soon as possible. Our legal team will promptly investigate the circumstances and assist you with filing a legal claim against the nursing home, so you can pursue monetary compensation on your loved one’s behalf.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Numerous signs and symptoms often accompany nursing home abuse and neglect. That being said, not all residents are aware that they are the victims of abuse or neglect. This is especially true among nursing home residents who do not have family members and friends nearby who are looking out for them and making sure the facility is meeting the patient’s needs.
When it comes to physical or sexual abuse of nursing home patients, common symptoms include the following:
- Injuries on a patient’s body – Mysterious injuries that appear on a nursing home patient’s body, such as cuts, lacerations, abrasions, and bruises (when the patient has not fallen or otherwise injured themself recently) are often a telltale sign that physical or sexual abuse is taking place.
- Bleeding or discharge – Bleeding or discharge around a patient’s vaginal area may signify that the patient is the victim of sexual abuse at a nursing home or extended care facility.
- Changes in mood – Individuals who are the victims of physical or sexual abuse in a nursing home often exhibit noticeable mood swings and may even become socially withdrawn and isolated. Victims may also seem disinterested in activities that they used to enjoy.
In addition to these physical and sexual abuse symptoms in the nursing home context, other symptoms that typically accompany neglect include the following:
- Unpleasant odors – Unpleasant odors in a patient’s room or coming from the patient may be a sign that the patient’s room is not receiving regular cleanings, the patient is no longer being bathed or changed daily, and that the nursing home is not doing its job of properly caring for a patient.
- Bedsores – Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are very serious afflictions that occur when a patient remains in the same position and location for extended periods of time. Bedsores are especially common among nursing home residents confined to their beds and wheelchairs. These pressure ulcers may also signal uncleanliness at the nursing facility.
- Mysterious bruises, scrapes, cuts, and lacerations – Bruises, scrapes, cuts, and lacerations may be a sign that a patient has fallen (possibly repeatedly) and that the nursing home is not properly caring for or supervising the patient.
- Illnesses – When nursing home staff do not provide their patients with the proper medications or when the facility is unclean, patients can develop serious illnesses that may lead to premature death.
If your loved one resides in a nursing facility or long-term care center and exhibits one or more of these conditions, your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect that this might be the case, you should reach out to a Lawrenceville nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. If necessary, your lawyer can file a complaint with the state and may also file a claim for monetary compensation against the nursing home (and possibly against the nursing home’s insurance company as well).
Defendants in Lawrenceville Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Nursing home employees, and even nursing homes themselves, are held to a reasonableness standard of care. For example, nurses are held to a standard of hypothetical care equivalent to that of a nurse who is acting reasonably under the same or similar circumstances. When a nursing home employee acts unreasonably under the circumstances, and this leads the patient to develop an injury or illness, then you may file a claim or lawsuit directly against the negligent employee.
If the nursing home employee acted within the scope of their employment at the time the alleged negligence occurred, you may directly assert a legal cause of action against the nursing home. In addition, there may be a valid legal cause of action that exists against the nursing home for negligently hiring or retaining a problematic employee (such as one disciplined in the past for negligence but was not fired from their position). Finally, a nursing home may be deemed negligent for failing to adequately supervise employees to make sure that they comply with all of their duties.
When it comes to filing a claim or lawsuit against a nursing home employee or against a nursing home itself, the experienced Lawrenceville nursing home abuse lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will be sure to name all potentially responsible parties as defendants and file your claim or lawsuit promptly and well within the applicable statute of limitations for the state of Georgia.
Pursuing Monetary Compensation in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to serious medical complications, injuries, illnesses, and other damages for victimized nursing home residents. Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect may be eligible to pursue compensation for all related medical bills, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, mental and emotional distress, and loss of the use of a body part.
If the nursing facility’s negligence resulted in a loved one’s premature death, then the surviving family members may bring a wrongful death claim against the nursing home. As part of a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members may pursue compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship.
Talk to an Experienced Lawrenceville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
The skilled team of attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you in filing a formal complaint against a Lawrenceville nursing facility or members of the facility’s staff and pursuing monetary compensation for injuries that your loved one sustained while residing in a nursing home. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Lawrenceville nursing home abuse attorney, please give us a call at (678)-647-1314 or contact us online for more information.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043